The Devil

The Devil

Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity

"Evil—the infliction of pain upon sentient beings—is one of the most long-standing and serious problems of human existence. Frequently and in many cultures evil has been personified. This book is a history of the personification of evil, which for the sake of clarity I have called 'the Devil.' I am a medievalist, but when I began some years ago to work with the concept of the Devil in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, I came to see that I could not understand the medieval Devil except in terms of its historical antecedents. More important, I realized that I could not understand the Devil at all except in the context of the problem of evil. I needed to face the issue of evil squarely, both as a historian and as a human being."—from the Preface

This lively and learned book traces the history of the concept of evil from its beginnings in ancient times to the period of the New Testament. A remarkable work of synthesis, it draws upon a vast number of sources in addressing a major historical and philosophical problem over a broad span of time and in a number of diverse cultures, East and West. Jeffrey Burton Russell probes the roots of the idea of evil, treats the development of the idea in the Ancient Near East, and then examines the concept of the Devil as it was formed in late Judaism and early Christianity.

Generously illustrated with fifty black-and-white photographs, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers, from specialists in religion, theology, sociology, history, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy to anyone with an interest in the demonic, the supernatural, and the question of good and evil.

Jeffrey Burton Russell

Jeffrey Burton Russell is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


The Prince of Darkness
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While recounting how past generations have personified evil, Jeffrey Burton Russell deepens our understanding of the ways in which people have dealt with the enduring problem of radical evil.



Mephistopheles
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Mephistopheles is the fourth and final volume of Jeffrey Burton Russell's critically acclaimed history of the concept of the Devil, continuing in this volume the story from the Reformation to the present.



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Drawing on an impressive array of sources from popular religion, art, literature, and drama, as well as from scholastic philosophy, mystical theology, homiletics, and hagiography, Russell provides a detailed treatment of Christian diabology in the Middle Ages.



Satan
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Satan is both a revealing study of the compelling figure of the Devil and an imaginative and persuasive inquiry into the forces that shape a concept and ensure its...



Satan
The Early Christian Tradition
Jeffrey Burton Russell
Satan is both a revealing study of the compelling figure of the Devil and an imaginative and persuasive inquiry into the forces that shape a concept and ensure its...



The Devil
Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity
Jeffrey Burton Russell
This lively and learned book traces the history of the concept of evil and its personification as the Devil from ancient times to the period of the New Testament and across cultures and...



Witchcraft in the Middle Ages
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Building on a foundation of newly discovered primary sources and recent secondary interpretations, Jeffrey Burton Russell first establishes the facts and then explains the phenomenon of witchcraft in terms of its social and religious environment, particularly in relation to medieval heresies.



The Prince of Darkness
Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History
Jeffrey Burton Russell
While recounting how past generations have personified evil, Jeffrey Burton Russell deepens our understanding of the ways in which people have dealt with the enduring problem of radical...











Also of interest

The Devil
Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity
Jeffrey Burton Russell
The Devil
A New Biography
Philip C. Almond

Subjects

Religion : Christianity
Interdisciplinary Studies : Classics
History : History / Ancient and Classical
Interdisciplinary Studies : Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Religion : Mythology & Folklore
Philosophy : Philosophy / Ethics

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