Demons and the Devil in Ancient and Medieval Christianity by Nienke Vos, Willemien Otten

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By Nienke Vos, Willemien Otten

This number of essays ways the function of demons and the satan in old and medieval Christianity from various scholarly views: ancient, philosophical, and theological in addition to philological, liturgical, and theoretical. within the starting article Gerd Theissen offers a wide-ranging evaluation of the function of the satan, spanning the Hebrew Bible, the hot testomony, and patristic literature. The contributions that stick to handle texts at the satan, demons, and evil, and are drawn from old philosophy, the hot testomony, early Christian apologetics, hagiography, and background. overlaying essentially the patristic interval, the amount additionally comprises articles on medieval assets. The creation discusses the several angles of technique present in the articles with the intention to shed clean mild in this known but additionally uniquely troubling subject matter.

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It opens with the same pericope from Acts 19. If Van Oyen’s goal was to state that Jesus was an exorcist and Amirav’s to emphasize the exorcistic activities of highly regarded Jewish leaders, Bastiaensen here underlines Paul’s role as an exorcist. Discussing the passage from Acts 19, he concludes—like Amirav— that Acts 19 presents an example of Jewish exorcists, and—also like Amirav—mentions various patristic exegetes who commented on this text: Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Origen. ’ Next, he defines exorcism in terms of ‘battle’, referring to both the gospels and the Book of Acts.

Eriugena claims that evil has no cause and therefore does not truly belong to the realm of created natures. He relies on Origen when he distinguishes between the substance of a demon, created by God and thus intrinsically good, and the evil present in their wills. Following another Greek-Platonic author, Dionysius the Areopagite, Eriugena states that the demons are considered evil on the basis of ‘what they are not’. Otten emphasizes that in the eyes of Eriugena, ‘evil has no substantial existence’.

Forsyth, The Old Enemy. Satan and the Combat Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987). Religionswissenschaftlich ist: A. di Nola, Der Teufel. Wesen, Wirkung und Geschichte (ital. 1987; München: Diederichs Verlag, 1990). Sozialgeschichtlich argumentiert E. Pagels, Satans Ursprung (engl. 1995; Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1996). Allgemeinverständlich, aber manchmal populistisch ist: K. Berger, Wozu ist der Teufel da? (Stuttgart: Quell Verlag, 1998). Von den wissenschaftlichen Handbuchartikeln seien genannt: A.

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