David Tibet Contributing to The Coptic Magical Papyri Project

One of the many roles played by O.T.O. Cabinet member David Tibet is as a Contributor to the The Coptic Magical Papyri: Vernacular Religion in Late Roman and Early Islamic Egypt project. The project’s website says:

“The Coptic Magical Papyri: Vernacular Religion in Late Roman and Early Islamic Egypt is a five-year research project (2018-2023) based at the Chair of Egyptology of the Julius Maximilian University Würzburg and funded by the Excellent Ideas programme. The team consists of Korshi Dosoo (research group leader), Edward O. D. Love, and Markéta Preininger Svobodová.

“Our goal is to advance the study of the corpus of Coptic “magical texts” – manuscripts written on papyrus, as well as parchment, paper, ostraca and other materials, and attesting to private religious practices designed to cope with the crises of daily life in Egypt. There are about five hundred of these texts which survive, dating to between the third and twelfth centuries of the common era. The largest published collection to-date, Ancient Christian Magic (Marvin Meyer & Richard Smith, 1994), contains only about one hundred of these texts – about a fifth of the total number – while the remainder of those published are scattered in over a hundred books and articles, accessible to and known by only a few specialists.

“These documents serve as vital pieces of information for vernacular religion – the realities rather than the ideal of religious practices and beliefs as they were experienced and carried out in daily life. They provide rich information about the experiences of people from the periods they document – the transitions from traditional Egyptian religion to Christianity and Islam, the diffusion and interaction of different forms of Christianity (“gnostic” and orthodox, Miaphysiste and Dyophysite, cults of saints and angels), and conceptions of the human and divine worlds – how human experiences such as happiness and success, suffering and sickness, love and conflict were understood and negotiated.”

What Tibet brings to the table is:

“David Tibet gained his MA in Coptic Studies under Dr. Heike Behlmer at Macquarie University, where he submitted his edition of P. IFAO Copte 145-148 (The Installation of Michael) which is to be published by the IFAO. His long-standing fascination with Coptic Apocrypha began when he fell in love with the ghost stories of M.R. James as a boy, and then read James’ The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford University Press, 1924). The individual behind the Hallucinatory ParaMusical SuperGroup Current 93, his main hobby is now studying Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Biblical Hebrew, as well as continuing to look into Coptic magical and apocryphal texts as a contributor to The Coptic Magical Papyri project. His edition of P. Strasb. K550, an untitled magical text, is included in Coptica Argentoratensia (Editions de Boccard, Paris, 2014), edited by Sebastian Richter, Catherine Louis, Alain Delattre, and Anne Boud’hors. His most recent publications are The Moons At Your Door (Strange Attractor, London, 2016) and Of Kings And Things: Strange Tales and Decadent Poems by Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock (Strange Attractor, London, 2018); There Is A GraveYard That Dwells In Man is to be published in 2020. His last album was The Light Is Leaving Us All (The Spheres, Hastings, 2018).


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