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This article considers the interface between orality and textuality in the Aramaic incantation bowls, as well as the use of performative utterances in the texts of their spells. It demonstrates that writing and writtenness were central to bowl praxis as a whole, and argues that the bowls reflect a growing understanding of writing as performative in itself. In light of this, it suggests that the use of illocutionary acts in the bowl texts reflects the (gradual and ongoing) transfer of performativity from speech to writing in Sasanian Mesopotamia. Such acts of “word magic” in the bowls as oaths and curses are more likely to represent transitional language or a kind of “oral residue” than the verbatim representation of speech or spoken acts.
Mental health policy places a requirement on clinicians to address matters of religion and belief, yet practice falls far behind. This paper summarizes a Panel Discussion at the 2008 BABCP Annual Conference attended by over 50 people. The five speakers each presented their experience of working with particular faith groups (Orthodox Jewish, Christian, Muslim) and from an agnostic viewpoint. Common themes are given, as well as practical advice to therapists who find themselves working with people who hold strong faith beliefs they may not share.
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