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Embodiments of Evil: Gog and Magog

Interdisciplinary Studies of the "Other" in Literature & Internet Texts

164 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Gog and Magog, as archetypes of evil, have dwelt in our consciousness since their threatening appearance in the Bible and Quran. Maps, literature and texts ranging from Medieval Europe, the Byzantine and Arab world, in Berber, Persian and Indonesian traditions, to contemporary internet texts: all use these imaginary monstrous creatures. The figures are constantly reinterpreted as the enemies of order change. Gog and Magog have been represented with dog heads, snake tongues. On the covers of contemporary Arab apocalyptic literature they may be giants or half-humans.
This volume Embodiments of Evil: Gog and Magog reveals in eight essays the images of the ‘Other’ in genres ranging from contemporary folk religion on the internet to the rich literary heritage of Alexander romances.
Author Bio
Asghar Seyed-Gohrab is Professor of Iranian and Persian Studies at Utrecht University in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He has published extensively on Persian literature, mysticism and religion. His publications range from Persian poetry to Sufism and the role of religious and mystical motifs and metaphors in Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) and how peaceful religious injunctions are used to justify violence. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator (PI) of an ERC-Advanced Grant entitled Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam (www.beyondsharia.nl), examining Islamic non-conformist movements. Faustina Doufikar-Aerts is researcher at the Leiden School of Middle Eastern Studies. S. McGlinn is an independent scholar who writes and translates in the fields of Bahai studies, Iranian studies and Islamic studies.