Demons between the Desert Fathers and the Rabbis
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In recent years, the study of demons in late antique Christianity has taken off; by comparison, the study of late ancient Jewish demonology has arguably lagged behind. In the broader arena, ground-breaking work has been done comparing similarities and exploring the possible connections between patristic and rabbinic texts. However, thus far there have not been many comparisons of the demonologies of patristic and talmudic texts, and those that exist have been undertaken by scholars primarily acquainted with the rabbinic material. This article offers an experimental comparison between stories about and approaches to hostile demons in Christian ascetic texts and Babylonian rabbinic texts from the opposite direction: familiarity with the patristic tradition. While it makes no definite claims for direct influence between these sources, it identifies a number of notable parallels in ideas about and strategies for dealing with demons in rabbinic and patristic texts.