The ‘Fascinating’ World of the Evil Eye: A Review of Beware the Evil Eye: The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World, Vols. 1-4, by John H. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review (Academic Journal)


The Evil Eye is a pervasive folkloric belief in the eye as an active organ. Historically the belief and its related protective practices have been much maligned by modern Western attitudes. Origins of the belief, as best as can be traced, are pinned to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. From there, the belief radiated outwards until it was pervasive throughout the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world: including, as Elliott argues, ancient Judaism and early Christianity. Conceptualizations of the Evil Eye and related beliefs and protective practices have been found as far as Brazil, Tibet, and Australia and are still expressed in Western society. Elliott’s four-volume work on the Evil Eye in antiquity is a contextual reception history that draws together both textual sources and material culture of this fascinating belief across the ancient world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages6
JournalReviews in Religion and Theology
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Evil Eye
  • envy
  • gluttony
  • greed
  • apotropaic
  • magic

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