Presented by Mika Ahuvia

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According to a less-quoted saying by the ancient sage Hillel, “The more women, the more witchcraft.” What is the connection between gender, witchcraft, and magic in ancient Judaism? Professor Ahuvia’s lecture will survey the evidence for ancient Jewish magic in dialogue with recent novels by Anna Solomon, Sue Monk Kidd, and Maggie Anton, which all feature Jewish women engaged in magical practices.

Mika Ahuvia is an assistant professor of classical Judaism at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Ahuvia co-edited the volume Placing Ancient Texts: the Rhetorical and Ritual Use of Space (Mohr Siebeck, 2018) and has published book chapters and articles on ancient ritual-magic, gender and rabbinic literature, and late antique archaeology, among other areas of interest. She received her Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University in 2014. Her forthcoming book, Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture (June 2021) analyzes conceptions of angels among ancient Jews.