A DEMON (from
Koine Greek δαιμόνιον daimónion) is a
supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion ,
occultism , literature , fiction , mythology and folklore .
The original Greek word daimon does not carry the negative
connotation initially understood by implementation of the Koine
δαιμόνιον (daimonion), and later ascribed to any cognate
words sharing the root.
Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic
traditions , including ancient and medieval
Christian demonology , a
demon is considered an unclean spirit , a fallen angel , or a spirit
of unknown type which may cause demonic possession , calling for an
exorcism . In Western occultism and
Renaissance magic , which grew out
of an amalgamation of
Greco-Roman magic , Jewish
Aggadah and Christian
demonology , a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be
conjured and controlled.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Ancient Near East
* 2.1 Mesopotamia
* 3.1 Tanach
* 3.2 Talmudic tradition
Second Temple period texts
* 4.1.1 Old Testament
* 6 Hinduism
* 6.2 Evil spirits
* 7 Bahá\'í Faith
* 8 Ceremonial magic
* 10 Modern interpretations
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 Citations
* 14 Further reading
* 15 External links
Daemon (classical mythology) ,
Daimonic , and
Eudaimonia Buer , the 10th spirit,
who teaches "Moral and Natural Philosophy" (from a 1995 Mathers
edition. Illustration by Louis Breton from
Dictionnaire Infernal ).
The Ancient Greek word δαίμων daimōn denotes a spirit or
divine power, much like the
Latin genius or numen . Daimōn most
likely came from the Greek verb daiesthai (to divide, distribute).
The Greek conception of a daimōn notably appears in the works of
Plato , where it describes the divine inspiration of
Socrates . To
distinguish the classical Greek concept from its later Christian
interpretation, the former is anglicized as either daemon or daimon
rather than demon.
The Greek terms do not have any connotations of evil or malevolence.
In fact, εὐδαιμονία eudaimonia , (literally
good-spiritedness) means happiness . By the early
Roman Empire , cult
statues were seen, by pagans and their
Christian neighbors alike, as
inhabited by the numinous presence of the gods: "Like pagans,
Christians still sensed and saw the gods and their power, and as
something, they had to assume, lay behind it, by an easy traditional
shift of opinion they turned these pagan daimones into malevolent
'demons', the troupe of
Satan ..... Far into the Byzantine period
Christians eyed their cities' old pagan statuary as a seat of the
demons' presence. It was no longer beautiful, it was infested." The
term had first acquired its negative connotations in the Septuagint
translation of the
Hebrew Bible into Greek, which drew on the
mythology of ancient Semitic religions . This was then inherited by
the Koine text of the
New Testament . The Western medieval and
neo-medieval conception of a demon derives seamlessly from the
ambient popular culture of
Late Antiquity . The Hellenistic "daemon"
eventually came to include many Semitic and Near Eastern gods as
evaluated by Christianity.
The supposed existence of demons remains an important concept in many
modern religions and occultist traditions. Demons are still feared
largely due to their alleged power to possess living creatures. In the
contemporary Western occultist tradition (perhaps epitomized by the
Aleister Crowley ), a demon (such as
Choronzon , which is
Crowley's interpretation of the so-called '
Demon of the Abyss') is a
useful metaphor for certain inner psychological processes (inner
demons), though some may also regard it as an objectively real
phenomenon. Some scholars believe that large portions of the
Asmodai ) of
Judaism , a key influence on Christianity
Islam , originated from a later form of
Zoroastrianism , and were
Judaism during the Persian era .
ANCIENT NEAR EAST
Human-headed winged bull, otherwise known as a
According to the
Jewish Encyclopedia , "In Chaldean mythology the
seven evil deities were known as shedu , storm-demons, represented in
ox-like form." They were represented as winged bulls , derived from
the colossal bulls used as protective jinn of royal palaces.
From Chaldea, the term shedu traveled to the Israelites. The writers
of the Tanach applied the word as a dialogism to Canaanite deities.
There are indications that demons in popular Hebrew mythology were
believed to come from the nether world. Various diseases and ailments
were ascribed to them, particularly those affecting the brain and
those of internal nature. Examples include catalepsy, headache,
epilepsy and nightmares. There also existed a demon of blindness,
"Shabriri" (lit. "dazzling glare") who rested on uncovered water at
night and blinded those who drank from it.
Demons supposedly entered the body and caused the disease while
overwhelming or "seizing" the victim. To cure such diseases, it was
necessary to draw out the evil demons by certain incantations and
talismanic performances, at which the
Josephus , who
spoke of demons as "spirits of the wicked which enter into men that
are alive and kill them", but which could be driven out by a certain
root, witnessed such a performance in the presence of the Emperor
Vespasian and ascribed its origin to
King Solomon . In mythology,
there were few defences against Babylonian demons. The mythical mace
Sharur had the power to slay demons such as
Asag , a legendary gallu
or edimmu of hideous strength.
Shedim The female demon
Lilith under the appearance
of a snake cavorting with herself as personified within the Garden of
Eden , by John Collier , 1892
As referring to the existence or non-existence of shedim (Hebr. for
"demons", "spirits") there are converse opinions in Judaism. There
are "practically nil" roles assigned to demons in the
Jewish Bible .
Judaism today, beliefs in shedim ("demons" or "evil spirits") are
either midot hasidut (Hebr. for "customs of the pious"), and therefore
not halachah , or notions based on a superstition that are
non-essential, non-binding parts of Judaism, and therefore not
normative Jewish practice. In conclusion, Jews are not obligated to
believe in the existence of shedim , as posek rabbi David Bar-Hayim
The word shedim (Hebr. for "demons" or "spirits") appears only in two
places in the
Tanakh (Psalm 106:37, Deuteronomy 32:17). In both
places, the term appears in a scriptural context of animal or child
sacrifice to non-existent false gods that are called shedim.
Talmud and Jerusalem
In the Jerusalem
Talmud notions of shedim ("demons" or "evil
spirits") are almost unknown or occur only very rarely, whereas in the
Talmud there are many references to shedim and magical
incantations. The existence of shedim in general was not questioned by
most of the Babylonian Talmudists . As a consequence of the rise of
influence of the Babylonian
Talmud over that of the Jerusalem Talmud,
late rabbis in general took as fact the existence of shedim, nor did
most of the medieval thinkers question their reality. However,
Saadia Gaon and
Abraham ibn Ezra
Abraham ibn Ezra and
others explicitly denied their existence, and completely rejected
concepts of demons, evil spirits, negative spiritual influences,
attaching and possessing spirits. Their point of view eventually
became mainstream Jewish understanding.
Some benevolent shedim were used in kabbalistic ceremonies (as with
the golem of Rabbi Yehuda Loevy) and malevolent shedim (mazikin, from
the root meaning "to damage") were often credited with possession.
Aggadah and Angels in
Aggadic tales from the Persian tradition describe the shedim, the
mazziḳim ("harmers"), and the ruḥin ("spirits"). There were also
lilin ("night spirits"), ṭelane ("shade", or "evening spirits"),
ṭiharire ("midday spirits"), and ẓafrire ("morning spirits"), as
well as the "demons that bring famine" and "such as cause storm and
earthquake". According to some aggadic stories about demons is told
that they were under the dominion of a king or chief, either
or, in the older Aggadah,
Samael ("the angel of death"), who killed
via poison. Stories in the fashion of this kind of folklore never
became an essential feature of Jewish theology. Although occasionally
an angel is called satan in the Babylon Talmud, this does not refer to
a demon: "Stand not in the way of an ox when coming from the pasture,
Satan dances between his horns".
SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD TEXTS
Apotropaic magic and Angels in
Qumran community during the
Second Temple period this
apotropaic prayer was assigned, stating: "And, I the Sage, declare the
grandeur of his radiance in order to frighten and terri all the
spirits of the ravaging angels and the bastard spirits, demons,
Liliths, owls" (Dead Sea Scrolls, "Songs of the Sage," Lines 4–5).
Dead Sea Scrolls , there exists a fragment entitled "Curses of
Belial" (Curses of
Belial (Dead Sea Scrolls, 394, 4Q286(4Q287, fr.
6)=4QBerakhot)). This fragment holds much rich language that reflects
the sentiment shared between the
Belial . In many ways
this text shows how these people thought
Belial influenced sin through
the way they address him and speak of him. By addressing "
all his guilty lot," (4Q286:2) they make it clear that he is not only
impious, but also guilty of sins. Informing this state of
uncleanliness are both his "hostile" and "wicked design" (4Q286:3,4).
Through this design,
Belial poisons the thoughts of those who are not
necessarily sinners. Thus a dualism is born from those inclined to be
wicked and those who aren't. It is clear that
influences sin by the mention of "abominable plots" and "guilty
inclination" (4Q286:8,9). These are both mechanisms by which Belial
advances his evil agenda that the
Qumran have exposed and are calling
upon God to protect them from. There is a deep sense of fear that
Belial will "establish in their heart their evil devices"
(4Q286:11,12). This sense of fear is the stimulus for this prayer in
the first place. Without the worry and potential of falling victim to
Belial's demonic sway, the
Qumran people would never feel impelled to
craft a curse. This very fact illuminates the power
believed to hold over mortals, and the fact that sin proved to be a
temptation that must stem from an impure origin.
Jubilees 1:20, Belial's appearance continues to support the notion
that sin is a direct product of his influence. Moreover, Belial's
presence acts as a placeholder for all negative influences or those
that would potentially interfere with God's will and a pious
existence. Similarly to the "gentiles ... cause them to sin against
Belial is associated with a force that drives
one away from God. Coupled in this plea for protection against foreign
rule, in this case the Egyptians, is a plea for protection from "the
spirit of Belial" (
Jubilees 1:19). Belial's tendency is to "ensnare
from every path of righteousness" (
Jubilees 1:19). This phrase is
intentionally vague, allowing room for interpretation. Everyone, in
one way or another, finds themselves straying from the path of
righteousness and by pawning this transgression off on Belial, he
becomes a scapegoat for all misguidance, no matter what the cause. By
Belial with all sorts of misfortune and negative external
Qumran people are henceforth allowed to be let off for
the sins they commit.
Belial's presence is found throughout the War Scrolls, located in the
Dead Sea Scrolls, and is established as the force occupying the
opposite end of the spectrum of God. In Col. I, verse 1, the very
first line of the document, it is stated that "the first attack of the
Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of
Darkness, the army of Belial" (1Q33;1:1). This dichotomy sheds light
on the negative connotations that
Belial held at the time. Where God
and his Sons of Light are forces that protect and promote piety,
Belial and his Sons of Darkness cater to the opposite, instilling the
desire to sin and encouraging destruction. This opposition is only
reinforced later in the document; it continues to read that the "holy
ones" will "strike a blow at wickedness", ultimately resulting in the
"annihilation of the Sons of Darkness" (1Q33:1:13). This epic battle
between good and evil described in such abstract terms, however it is
also applicable to everyday life and serves as a lens through which
Qumran see the world. Every day is the Sons of Light battle evil
and call upon God to help them overcome evil in ways small and large.
Belial's influence is not taken lightly. In Col. XI, verse 8, the
text depicts God conquering the "hordes of Belial" (1Q33;11:8). This
defeat is indicative of God's power over
Belial and his forces of
temptation. However the fact that
Belial is the leader of hordes is a
testament to how persuasive he can be. If
Belial was obviously an
arbiter of wrongdoing and was blatantly in the wrong, he wouldn’t be
able to amass an army. This fact serves as a warning message,
reasserting God’s strength, while also making it extremely clear the
breadth of Belial's prowess. Belial's "council is to condemn and
convict", so the
Qumran feel strongly that their people are not only
aware of his purpose, but also equipped to combat his influence
Damascus Document ,
Belial also makes a prominent appearance,
being established as a source of evil and an origin of several types
of sin. In Column 4, the first mention of
Belial reads: "
be unleashed against Israel" (4Q266). This phrase is able to be
interpreted myriad different ways.
Belial is characterized in a wild
and uncontrollable fashion, making him seem more dangerous and
unpredictable. The notion of being unleashed is such that once he is
free to roam; he is unstoppable and able to carry out his agenda
uninhibited. The passage then goes to enumerate the "three nets"
(4Q266;4:16) by which
Belial captures his prey and forces them to sin.
"Fornication ..., riches ..., the profanation of the temple"
(4Q266;4:17,18) make up the three nets. These three temptations were
three agents by which people were driven to sin, so subsequently, the
Qumran people crafted the nets of
Belial to rationalize why these
specific temptations were so toxic. Later in Column 5,
mentioned again as one of "the removers of bound who led Israel
astray" (4Q266;5:20). This statement is a clear display of Belial's
influence over man regarding sin. The passage goes on to state: "they
preached rebellion against ... God" (4Q266;5:21,22). Belial's purpose
is to undermine the teachings of God, and he achieves this by
imparting his nets on humans, or the incentive to sin.
War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness , Belial
controls scores of demons, which are specifically allotted to him by
God for the purpose of performing evil. Belial, despite his
malevolent disposition, is considered an angel .
Demons in the Old Testament of the
Christian Bible are of two
classes: the "satyrs" or "shaggy goats" (from Hebr. se'irim "hairy
Greek Old Testament σάτυρος satyros, "satyr ";
Isaiah 13:21, 34:14) and the "demons" (from Hebr. shedim , and Koine
Greek δαιμόνιον daimonion; 106:35–39, 32:17).
Medieval illumination from the Ottheinrich Folio depicting Jesus
exorcizing the Gerasene demoniac
The term "demon" (from the Greek
New Testament δαιμόνιον
daimonion) appears 63 times in the
New Testament of the Christian
Pseudepigrapha And Deuterocanonical Books
Deuterocanonical books See also:
Book of Tobit ,
Book of Enoch
Book of Enoch , and Book of
Demons are sometimes included into biblical interpretation. In the
story of Passover, the Bible tells the story as "the Lord struck down
all the firstborn in Egypt" (Exodus 12:21–29). In the Book of
Jubilees , which is considered canonical only by the Ethiopian
Orthodox Church , this same event is told slightly differently: "All
the powers of
Mastema had been let loose to slay all the first-born
in the land of Egypt...And the powers of the Lord did everything
according as the Lord commanded them" (
Genesis flood narrative the author explains how God was
noticing "how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on
earth had corrupted their ways" (Genesis 6:12). In
Jubilees the sins
of man are attributed to "the unclean demons began to lead astray the
children of the sons of Noah, and to make to err and destroy them"
Jubilees 10:1). In
Mastema questions the loyalty of Abraham
and tells God to "bid him offer him as a burnt offering on the altar,
and Thou wilt see if he will do this command" (
Jubilees 17:16). The
discrepancy between the story in
Jubilees and the story in Genesis 22
exists with the presence of
Mastema . In Genesis, God tests the will
of Abraham merely to determine whether he is a true follower, however;
Mastema has an agenda behind promoting the sacrifice of
Abraham's son, "an even more demonic act than that of the
Job." In Jubilees, where Mastema, an angel tasked with the tempting
of mortals into sin and iniquity, requests that God give him a tenth
of the spirits of the children of the watchers, demons, in order to
aid the process. These demons are passed into Mastema’s authority,
where once again, an angel is in charge of demonic spirits. Demon
Mikhail Vrubel (1890), an illustration to the Russian
romantic poem demon by
Mikhail Lermontov . Vrubel views this demon as
"a spirit, not so much evil as suffering and sorrowing, but in all
that a powerful spirit... a majestic spirit".
The sources of demonic influence were thought to originate from the
Nephilim , who are first mentioned in Genesis 6 and are
the focus of 1 Enoch Chapters 1–16, and also in
Jubilees 10. The
Nephilim were seen as the source of the sin and evil on earth because
they are referenced in Genesis 6:4 before the story of the Flood. In
Genesis 6:5, God sees evil in the hearts of men. The passage states,
"the wickedness of humankind on earth was great", and that "Every
inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only continually evil"
(Genesis 5). The mention of the
Nephilim in the preceding sentence
connects the spread of evil to the Nephilim. Enoch is a very similar
story to Genesis 6:4–5, and provides further description of the
story connecting the
Nephilim to the corruption of humans. In Enoch,
sin originates when angels descend from heaven and fornicate with
women, birthing giants as tall as 300 cubits. The giants and the
angels' departure of Heaven and mating with human women are also seen
as the source of sorrow and sadness on Earth. The book of Enoch shows
that these fallen angels can lead humans to sin through direct
interaction or through providing forbidden knowledge. In Enoch, Semyaz
leads the angels to mate with women. Angels mating with humans is
against God's commands and is a cursed action, resulting in the wrath
of God coming upon Earth. Azazel indirectly influences humans to sin
by teaching them divine knowledge not meant for humans. Asael brings
down the "stolen mysteries" (Enoch 16:3). Asael gives the humans
weapons, which they use to kill each other. Humans are also taught
other sinful actions such as beautification techniques, alchemy,
astrology and how to make medicine (considered forbidden knowledge at
the time). Demons originate from the evil spirits of the giants that
are cursed by God to wander the earth. These spirits are stated in
Enoch to "corrupt, fall, be excited, and fall upon the earth, and
cause sorrow" (Enoch 15:11).
The Book of
Jubilees conveys that sin occurs when Cainan accidentally
transcribes astrological knowledge used by the Watchers (
This differs from Enoch in that it does not place blame on the Angels.
Jubilees 10:4 the evil spirits of the Watchers are
discussed as evil and still remain on earth to corrupt the humans. God
binds only 90 percent of the Watchers and destroys them, leaving 10
percent to be ruled by Mastema. Because the evil in humans is great,
only 10 percent would be needed to corrupt and lead humans astray.
These spirits of the giants also referred to as "the bastards" in the
Apotropaic prayer Songs of the Sage, which lists the names of demons
the narrator hopes to expel.
Christian demonology ,
Exorcism in the Catholic Church , and
Demonic possession §
Death and the Miser (detail), a Hieronymus Bosch
National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art ,
Christian Bible, the deities of other religions are sometimes
interpreted or created as "demons" (from the Greek Old Testament
δαιμόνιον daimonion). The evolution of the
and pentagram are examples of early rituals and images that showcase
evil qualities, as seen by the
Christianity , demonology has developed from a simple
acceptance of demons to a complex study that has grown from the
original ideas taken from Jewish demonology and
Christian demonology is studied in depth within the Roman Catholic
Church , although many other
Christian churches affirm and discuss
the existence of demons.
Building upon the few references to daemons in the New Testament,
especially the poetry of the Book of Revelation,
Christian writers of
apocrypha from the 2nd century onwards created a more complicated
tapestry of beliefs about "demons" that was largely independent of
Christian scripture. St. Anthony plagued by demons, engraving by
Martin Schongauer in the 1480s.
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that
angels and demons are real beings rather than just symbolic devices.
The Catholic Church has a cadre of officially sanctioned exorcists
which perform many exorcisms each year. The exorcists of the Catholic
Church teach that demons attack humans continually but that afflicted
persons can be effectively healed and protected either by the formal
rite of exorcism, authorized to be performed only by bishops and those
they designate, or by prayers of deliverance, which any
offer for themselves or others.
At various times in
Christian history, attempts have been made to
classify demons according to various proposed demonic hierarchies .
In the Gospels, particularly the
Gospel of Mark ,
Jesus cast out many
demons from those afflicted with various ailments. He also lent this
power to some of his disciples (Luke 10:17).
Apuleius , by
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , is ambiguous as to whether daemons
had become "demonized" by the early 5th century:
He also states that the blessed are called in Greek eudaimones,
because they are good souls, that is to say, good demons, confirming
his opinion that the souls of men are demons.
Demons depicted in the
Book of Wonders , a late 14th century
Arabic manuscript Main articles:
Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia ,
Devil (Islam) , and
The numerous mentions of jinn in the Quran and testimony of both
pre-Islamic and Islamic literature indicate that the belief in spirits
was prominent in pre-Islamic
Bedouin religion. There is evidence that
the word jinn is derived from Aramaic, where it was used by Christians
to designate pagan gods reduced to the status of demons, and was
introduced into Arabic folklore only late in the pre-Islamic era.
Julius Wellhausen has observed that such spirits were thought to
inhabit desolate, dingy and dark places and that they were feared.
Islam and Islamic folklore, DEMONS or supernatural creatures on
earth are called
Jinn . They include different kinds and appearances
of supernatural beings:
Jinn , ordinary jinn, living along with humans and animals on
earth with their own societies and can be both good and infidels. They
resemble to the shedim from Jewish lore.
* Shaitan , whisperers, tempters or evil forces, can also refer to
an unbeliever among the ordinary jinn. The shayātīn jinn are akin
Christian concept of demons.
* Si\'la , a jinn appearing in shape of a women, who seduces men and
tries to capture them and make them dance.
Arwah , spirits which can be seen by children.
Iblis , former inhabitant of heaven, who leads humans and jinn
astray from God .
Ifrit , an infernal class of jinn, often a death spirit taking
revenge for murder and summoned by the blood of the victims.
Islam offers different possible origins of the jinn. One account
considers them offspring of Iblis, after he was cast down to earth.
Other accounts claim the jinn already lived on earth, before humans
and before the fall of Iblis, but were once almost extinct or banished
into the invisible realm.
Hindu beliefs include numerous varieties of spirits that might be
classified as demons, including Vetalas , Bhutas and
Asuras are often also taken as demons.
The Army of Super Creatures – from The Saugandhika Parinaya
Manuscript (1821 CE)
Originally, Asura, in the earliest hymns of the
Rig Veda , meant any
supernatural spirit, either good or bad. Since the /s/ of the Indic
linguistic branch is cognate with the /h/ of the Early Iranian
languages, the word Asura, representing a category of celestial
beings, became the word Ahura (Mazda), the Supreme God of the
monotheistic Zoroastrians . Ancient Hinduism tells that Devas (also
called suras) and
Asuras are half-brothers, sons of the same father
Kashyapa ; although some of the Devas, such as
Varuna , are also
called Asuras. Later, during
Rakshasa came to
exclusively mean any of a race of anthropomorphic, powerful, possibly
evil beings. Daitya (lit. sons of the mother "Diti"),
from "harm to be guarded against"), and
Asura are incorrectly
translated into English as "demon".
Post Vedic, Hindu scriptures, pious, highly enlightened Asuras, such
Vibhishana , are not uncommon. The
Asura are not
fundamentally against the gods, nor do they tempt humans to fall. Many
people metaphorically interpret the
Asura as manifestations of the
ignoble passions in the human mind and as a symbolic devices. There
were also cases of power-hungry
Asuras challenging various aspects of
the Gods, but only to be defeated eventually and seek
Hinduism advocates the reincarnation and transmigration of souls
according to one's karma . Souls (Atman ) of the dead are adjudged by
Yama and are accorded various purging punishments before being
reborn. Humans that have committed extraordinary wrongs are condemned
to roam as lonely, often evil, spirits for a length of time before
being reborn. Many kinds of such spirits (Vetalas ,
Pishachas , Bhūta
) are recognized in the later Hindu texts. These beings, in a limited
sense, can be called demons.
In the Bahá\'í Faith , demons are not regarded as independent evil
spirits as they are in some faiths. Rather, evil spirits described in
various faiths' traditions, such as Satan, fallen angels, demons and
jinns, are metaphors for the base character traits a human being may
acquire and manifest when he turns away from God and follows his lower
nature. Belief in the existence of ghosts and earthbound spirits is
rejected and considered to be the product of superstition.
While some people fear demons, or attempt to exorcise them, others
willfully attempt to summon them for knowledge, assistance, or power.
The ceremonial magician usually consults a grimoire , which gives the
names and abilities of demons as well as detailed instructions for
conjuring and controlling them. Grimoires aren't limited to demons –
some give the names of angels or spirits which can be called, a
process called theurgy . The use of ceremonial magic to call demons is
also known as goetia , the name taken from a section in the famous
Lesser Key of Solomon .
Rosemary Ellen Guiley , "Demons are not courted or
worshipped in contemporary
Paganism . The existence of
negative energies is acknowledged."
The classic Japanese demon , an ogre-like creature which often
Wilhelm Wundt remarked that "among the activities
attributed by myths all over the world to demons, the harmful
predominate, so that in popular belief bad demons are clearly older
than good ones."
Sigmund Freud developed this idea and claimed that
the concept of demons was derived from the important relation of the
living to the dead: "The fact that demons are always regarded as the
spirits of those who have died recently shows better than anything the
influence of mourning on the origin of the belief in demons."
M. Scott Peck , an American psychiatrist, wrote two books on the
subject, People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil and
Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of
Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption. Peck describes in some detail
several cases involving his patients. In People of the Lie he provides
identifying characteristics of an evil person, whom he classified as
having a character disorder. In Glimpses of the Devil Peck goes into
significant detail describing how he became interested in exorcism in
order to debunk the myth of possession by evil spirits – only to be
convinced otherwise after encountering two cases which did not fit
into any category known to psychology or psychiatry . Peck came to the
conclusion that possession was a rare phenomenon related to evil, and
that possessed people are not actually evil; rather, they are doing
battle with the forces of evil.
Although Peck's earlier work was met with widespread popular
acceptance, his work on the topics of evil and possession has
generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his
association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin
Roman Catholic priest and a former
Jesuit , despite the fact that
Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator. Richard
Roman Catholic priest and theologian, has claimed that Dr.
Peck misdiagnosed patients based upon a lack of knowledge regarding
dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality
disorder), and had apparently transgressed the boundaries of
professional ethics by attempting to persuade his patients into
accepting Christianity. Father Woods admitted that he has never
witnessed a genuine case of demonic possession in all his years.
According to S. N. Chiu, God is shown sending a demon against Saul in
1 Samuel 16 and 18 in order to punish him for the failure to follow
God's instructions, showing God as having the power to use demons for
his own purposes, putting the demon under his divine authority.
According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, demons, despite
being typically associated with evil, are often shown to be under
divine control, and not acting of their own devices.
Classification of demons
Classification of demons
Daemon (classical mythology)
List of theological demons
List of theological demons
List of fictional demons
Holy water#Protection against evil
* ^ Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott. "δαιμόνιον".
Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus.
* ^ See, for example, the course synopsis and bibliography for
"Magic, Science, Religion: The Development of the Western Esoteric
Traditions" Archived November 29, 2014, at the
Wayback Machine ., at
Central European University, Budapest
* ^ "Demon". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Encyclopædia Britannica.
Retrieved 12 April 2012.
* ^ Fox, Robin Lane (1989). Pagans and Christians. p. 137.
* ^ See the Medieval grimoire called the Ars
* ^ Boyce, 1987; Black and Rowley, 1987; Duchesne-Guillemin, 1988.
* ^ A B C D E Hirsch, Emil G.; Gottheil, Richard; Kohler, Kaufmann;
Broydé, Isaac (1906). "Demonology". Jewish Encyclopedia.
* ^ See Delitzsch, Assyrisches Handwörterbuch. pp. 60, 253, 261,
646; Jensen, Assyr.-Babyl. Mythen und Epen, 1900, p. 453; Archibald
Sayce , l.c. pp. 441, 450, 463; Lenormant , l.c. pp. 48–51.
* ^ compare Isaiah 38:11 with Job 14:13; Psalms 16:10, 49:16, and
* ^ Isaacs, Ronald H. (1998). Ascending Jacob\'s Ladder: Jewish
Views of Angels, Demons, and Evil Spirits. Jason Aronson. p. 96. ISBN
978-0-7657-5965-8 . Retrieved 10 September 2014.
* ^ Bellum Judaeorum vii. 6, § 3
* ^ "Antiquities" viii. 2, § 5
* ^ A B "Demons & Demonology". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. The Gale
Group. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
* ^ Bar-Hayim, David. "Do Jews Believe in Demons and Evil
Spirits?-Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim". www.youtube.com. Tora
Nation Machon Shilo. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
* ^ Plaut, W. Gunther (2005). The Torah: A Modern Commentary. Union
for Reform Judaism. p. 1403.
* ^ A B Bar-Hayim, David (HaRav). "Do Jews Believe in Demons and
Evil Spirits?". Machon Shilo. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
* ^ Pettigrove, Cedrick (2017-01-16). The Esoteric Codex:
Supernatural Legends. Lulu.com. ISBN 9781329053090 .
* ^ (Targ. Yer. to Deuteronomy xxxii. 24 and Numbers vi. 24; Targ.
to Cant. iii. 8, iv. 6; Eccl. ii. 5; Ps. xci. 5, 6.)
* ^ Targ. to Eccl. i. 13; Pes. 110a; Yer. Shek. 49b
* ^ Pes. 112b; compare B. Ḳ. 21a
* ^ García, Martínez Florentino. The
Dead Sea Scrolls Translated:
Qumran Texts in English. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994. Print.
* ^ Florentino Martinez Garcia, Magic in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The
Metamorphosis of Magic: From
Late Antiquity to the Early Modern
Period, compilers Jan Bremmer and Jan R. Veenstra (Leuven: Peeters,
* ^ Frey, J. (1984). "Different patterns of dualistic thought in
Qumran library". Legal Texts And Legal Issues. p. 287.
* ^ Nickelsburg, George. Jewish
Literature between the Bible and
* ^ Frey (1984) , p. 278.
* ^ Nickelsburg , p. 147.
Dead Sea Scrolls 1QS III 20–25
* ^ Martin, Dale Basil (2010). "When did Angels Become Demons?".
Journal of Biblical
Literature . 129 (4): 657–677.
JSTOR 25765960 .
doi :10.2307/25765960 .
* ^ "Hebrew Concordance: ū·śə·‘î·rîm – 1 Occurrence".
Biblesuite.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
* ^ "1140. daimonion". Biblos.com. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
* ^ Dan Burton and David Grandy, Magic, Mystery, and Science: The
Occult in Western Civilization (Indiana University Press, 2003), p.
* ^ Illes, Judika (2009). Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate
Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods &
Goddesses. HarperCollins. p. 902.
* ^ Harris, Stephen L. , Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto:
Mayfield. 1985. It is considered one of the pseudepigrapha by
Roman Catholic , and
Eastern Orthodox Churches
* ^ Moshe Berstein, Angels at the Aqedah: A Study in the
Development of a Midrashic Motif, (Dead Sea Discoveries, 7, 2000),
* ^ Sara Elizabeth Hecker. Dueling Demons: Mikhail Vrubel’s Demon
Demon Downcast. Art in Russia, the School of Russian and
Asian Studies, 2012
* ^ Hanneken Henoch,, T. R. (2006). ANGELS AND DEMONS IN THE BOOK
OF JUBILEES AND CONTEMPORARY APOCALYPSES. pp. 11–25.
* ^ VanderKam, James C. (1999). THE ANGEL STORY IN THE BOOK OF
JUBILEES IN: Pseudepigraphic Perspectives : The
Pseudepigrapha In Light Of The Dead Sea Scrolls. pp. 151–170.
* ^ Vermes, Geza (2011). The complete Dead Sea scrolls in English.
London: Penguin. p. 375.
* ^ van der Toorn, Becking, van der Horst (1999), Dictionary of
Deities and Demons in The Bible, Second Extensively Revised Edition,
Entry: DEMON, pp. 235–240, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
* ^ Exorcism, Sancta Missa – Rituale Romanum, 1962, at
sanctamissa.org, Copyright 2007. Canons Regular of St. John Cantius
* ^ Hansen, Chadwick (1970), Witchcraft at Salem, p. 132, Signet
Classics, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 69-15825
* ^ Modica, Terry Ann (1996), Overcoming The Power of The Occult,
p. 31, Faith Publishing Company, ISBN 1-880033-24-0
* ^ Corapi, John (February 9, 2004). "Angels and Demons – Facts
not Fiction". fathercorapi.com. Archived from the original on
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo . "Chapter 11: Of the Opinion of the
Platonists, that the Souls of Men Become Demons When Disembodied".
City of God.
* ^ A B C Zeitlin, Irving M. (2007). The Historical Muhammad.
Polity. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7456-3999-4 .
* ^ Ibn Taymiyah's Essay on the
Jinn (Demons), abridged, annotated
and translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, International Islamic
Publishing House: Riyadh, p. 19 (note 4).
* ^ Charles Mathewes Understanding Religious Ethics John Wiley
Amira El-Zein Islam, Arabs, and Intelligent World of the
University Press 2009 ISBN 978-0-815-65070-6 . p. xvi
* ^ Smith, Peter (2008). An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-521-86251-6
* ^ A. E. Waite, The Book of Black Magic, (Weiser Books, 2004).
* ^ Guiley, Rosemary (2008). The Encyclopedia of Witches,
Witchcraft and Wicca. p. 95.
* ^ Freud (1950 , p. 65), quoting Wundt (1906, 129).
* ^ Freud (1950)
* ^ Peck, M. S. (1983). People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing
* ^ Peck, M. S. (2005). Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's
Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption.
* ^ The exorcist, an interview with
M. Scott Peck by Rebecca
Traister published in Salon
* ^ A B The devil you know, National Catholic Reporter, April 29,
2005, a commentary on Glimpses of the Devil by Richard Woods
* ^ The Patient Is the Exorcist, an interview with
M. Scott Peck by
* ^ Dominican Newsroom Archived August 29, 2012, at the Wayback
* ^ "RichardWoodsOP.net". RichardWoodsOP.net. Archived from the
original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
* ^ Haarman, Susan (2005-10-25). "BustedHalo.com". BustedHalo.com.
* ^ Chiu, S. N. (2000). "Historical, Religious, and Medical
Perspectives of Possession Phenomenon". Hong Kong Journal of
Psychiatry. 10 (1).
* ^ "Demon" in Britannica Concise Encyclopedia,
* Freud, Sigmund (1950). Totem and Taboo:Some Points of Agreement
between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics . Translated by
Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-00143-3 .
* Wundt, W. (1906). Mythus und Religion, Teil II
(Völkerpsychologie, Band II). Leipzig.
* Castaneda, Carlos (1998). The Active Side of Infinity.
HarperCollins NY ISBN 978-0-06-019220-4
* Hughes, Thomas Patrick (1995). Dictionary of Islam. Asian
Educational Services. ISBN 978-8-120-60672-2 .
* Oppenheimer, Paul (1996). Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of
Monstrous Behavior. New York: New York University Press. ISBN
* Baglio, Matt (2009). The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist.
Doubleday Religion. ISBN 0-385-52270-3 .
* Amorth, Gabriele (1999). An Exorcist Tells His Story. Ignatius
Press. ISBN 0-89870-710-2 .
Look up δαίμων in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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