My newest (and long-anticipated) paper, Measuring the strength of belief in the supernatural entities in the Babylonian Talmud. A method based on the Elyonim veTachtonim project was published in Critical Research on Religion in the online-first formula. The accepted version is available in the Legacy section.
This paper offers a technique for assessing the strength of belief in the traditions involving supernatural entities (angels, demons, ghosts, and monsters) present in the Babylonian Talmud. The method is based on the appreciation of the formal features of the text (genre, language, attribution, etc.) in the theoretical and technical framework of the Elyonim veTachtonim project and allows to grade relatively the perceived reality of particular accounts. The analysis of the quantitative data shows that these are the traditions about the demons, which are usually provided in the form of pragmatic recommendations transmitted in Aramaic and featuring the Babylonian sages. This allows us to infer that the demons appeared to the final redactors (i.e., the Stammaim) as the most real among the supernatural entities: they were presented as posing real danger and as demanding adequate means of action.
TL;DR Demons are the most real supernatural entities of the Babylonian Talmud.
This paper was written in the framework of the project The Supernatural Entities and Their Relationships with Humans according to the Babylonian Talmud from the Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives financed by the National Science Centre, Poland (SONATA 14; Registration number: 2018/31/D/HS1/00513).