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In the power of demons

Isn't it nice to have someone to hate? Dragons and demons have been doing the job of archetypal evil for over 5000 years.


[Imaginary] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is absolutely right in calling the United States and President George W. Bush "the great Satan." At least in terms of idea and language history, for as religious scientist Asbjørn Dyrendal shows in his book on demons, devils and other nasty creatures, "satan" originally means "adversary".

In the Bible, a Satan exposes Job to trials in the book of Job, while one of God's angels is described as Satan when he closes the road for Balaam's ass. IN

Demons show Dyrendal how the Jewish notions of the prince of the mighty evil – Lucifer, Satan, Belial, the Devil – emerged as a result of political strife and social and theological changes, before it was cultivated and further developed by early Christianity, influenced by apocalyptic Judaism and Hellenistic surroundings.

Devilish propaganda

In early religions there were both evil and good gods, but after a few detours to Mesopotomia and Persia, Dyrendal concentrates on Judaism and Christianity – with a good and almighty God and a personified and less powerful devil. He shows how important it has been for humanity to have – as Raga Rockers sings – someone to hate, someone to blame all their misfortunes on.

Demonstration developed in line with the surrounding society, and the stronger Christianity was in Europe, the stronger the Devil. Already in the year 200, Church Father Tertullian believed that horse racing, bathing and serving places were devilish, female makeup was a demonic distortion of truth and that theaters were Satan's congregations.

In the early Middle Ages, the Devil was portrayed as ugly and stupid among most people, but from the 1400th century, hell became a stronger tool in politics. . .

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