This work is concerned primarily with the treatment of the demonic within early Christian literature, but also incorporates evidence from various other world religions, especially early Judaism and paganism.
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Composed of a series of journal articles by the author,
Christian Demonology addresses itself to the treatment of the devil and demons within early Christian literature. Thus the first chapter begins with a critical systematic discussion of the demonology of the books of the New Testament, the works of Terullian and an apology of Minucius Felix. In the second chapter Alexandrian authors Origen and Cyril receive special attention, as does early Jewish literature, where the likes of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus are considered alongside the Jewish Scriptures, and apocryphal as well as Rabbinic literature. Chapter two is rounded out with an examination of references to the demonic in Greco-Roman pagan sources. A survey of the evidence from Assyrian monuments heads up the third chapter and is followed by a digest of folkloric references to devils and demons drawn from nearly every corner of the ancient world. The final chapter focuses on four problems raised by the preceding discussion. The first two are the use of the name, Jesus, and of early Christian creeds in relation to demonic encounters. The third problem is the dualism found in the New Testament, especially in the works attributed to Paul and John. The fact that the divine and the demonic appear to be of similar composition in the literature considered in this volume is the fourth problem addressed in the concluding chapter.
Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (1856-1924) was a British orientalist who wrote extensively on religious themes from biblical and Christian literature with special emphasis on Armenian Christian literature. He taught at Oxford University and authored such notable books as Myth, Magic, and Morals, History of New Testament Criticism, and The Life of Apollonius of Tyana.