Satan The Heretic: The Birth Of Demonology In The Medieval West

Paperback | October 15, 2013

byAlain BoureauTranslated byTeresa Lavender Fagan

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Before the end of the thirteenth century, theologians had little interest in demons, but with Thomas Aquinas and his formidable “Treatise on Evil” in 1272, everything changed. In Satan the Heretic, Alain Boureau trains his skeptical eye not on Satan or Satanism, but on the birth of demonology and the sudden belief in the power of demons who inhabited Satan’s Court, setting out to understand not why people believed in demons, but why theologians—especially Pope John XXII—became so interested in the subject.

Depicting this new demonology, Satan the Heretic considers the period between the mid-thirteenth and mid-fourteenth centuries when demons, in the eyes of Church authorities, suddenly burst forth, more real and more terrifying than ever before in the history of Christianity. Boureau argues that the rise in this obsession with demons occurs at the crossroads of the rise of sovereignties and of the individual, a rise that, tellingly, also coincides with the emergence of the modern legal system in the European West.

Teeming with original insights and lively anecdotes, Satan the Heretic is a significant contribution to the history of Christian demonology from one of the most original minds in the field of medieval studies today. 

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Before the end of the thirteenth century, theologians had little interest in demons, but with Thomas Aquinas and his formidable “Treatise on Evil” in 1272, everything changed. In Satan the Heretic, Alain Boureau trains his skeptical eye not on Satan or Satanism, but on the birth of demonology and the sudden belief in the power of demon...

Alain Boureau is director of studies at l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and the author of The Lord’s First Night and The Myth of Pope Joan, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated more than a dozen books, including Ghosts in the Middle Ages by Jean-Claude Schmitt an...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:270 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022610026X

ISBN - 13:9780226100265

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface to the English-Language Edition
Acknowledgments


Introduction

1. Satan the Heretic: The Judicial Institution of Demonology under John XXII

2. Satanic Sacraments? Enrico del Carreto's Discovery

3. The Pact: An Overview

4. The Liberation of Demons: The Birth of Scholastic Demonology

5. The New Possessed: Saints and Demons in Canonization Trials at the Beginning of the Fourteenth Century

6. The Openness of the Subject: A Scholastic Anthropology of Possession

7. Supernatural Invasions: Mystical Models of Possession

Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent account of the swift development of Scholastic demonology during the thirteenth century."