The Devil and humankind

in The Devil

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580996
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777776 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

The Devil and humankind

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What is the relationship between ‘The Devil and humankind’? In the 16th and 17th centuries, Satan's kingdom is described as the demonic inversion of goodness. He is an anti-God and his son is Antichrist, whose appearance will presage the Last Judgement. A central theme of Jesus' ministry in the New Testament is exorcism — the expulsion of demons. Christians struggle against demonic temptation and suffer punishment if they fail. Sin is the Devil within. In the pre-modern world, the Devil can take control of a person's body. From the 18th century onwards, scientific naturalism and an insulated concept of self gradually diminish belief in the power of demons.

Keywords: Antichrist; St Thomas Aquinas; Demons; devil; exorcism

Chapter.  8053 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Spirituality and Religious Experience

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