Annette Yoshiko Reed is a scholar of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity, focusing on angels, demons, and ancient identities. She is currently Professor in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and she will joining Harvard Divinity School as Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity in fall 2022. Her books include Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature (2005), Jewish-Christianity and the History of Judaism (2018), and Demons, Angels, and Writing in Ancient Judaism (2020), and she is the co-author, with John C. Reeves, of Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages (2018).
Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2022, April 2 – 3, 2022
The Beginnings of Jewish Demonology: What Did Ancient Jews Believe About Demons?
The Hebrew Bible tells us little about this question, even as an interest in demons later abounds in the New Testament. This lecture explores our oldest evidence for systematic Jewish concern with evil spirits, with special attention to what scholars have learned from the Dead Sea Scrolls. It focuses in particular on recovering a renaissance of Jewish scribal knowledge in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great, marked by new literary concerns for asserting special expertise concerning the cosmos—from angels and stars above to demons below.