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Monday, June 19, 2006

The History of the Devil

You'll never get any respect with that fake plastic pitchfork, dude.

This massive work on the history of evil, particularly as symbolized by the Christian devil, was written on the cusp of the 20th century by Paul Carus, who wrote such other books as 'Buddha, the Gospel'.

At that point in history it seemed apparent that evil would soon be eliminated by the onrushing forces of rationalism and modernism. The devil had been reduced to a literary character, always ready to make a silly bargain for a soul. This trivialized image is perpetuated to this day. Satan in the cinema is either represented as a hideous special effect or a comic, bumbling trickster. Long gone is the noble adversary of Jehovah, as portrayed in the Bible, Milton or Dante.

However, the 20th century brought total war; genocide; death camps; nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; mind control; double-speak; ecological destruction; and finally indiscriminant mass terror. Evil was back and it was unmistakable. No wonder that opinion polls in the United States show that a large proportion of the population believe in the existence of the devil. (more)

The History of the Devil Index

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