The Devil: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | May 16, 2012

byDarren Oldridge

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Why do the innocent suffer in a world created by a loving God? Does this mean that God cannot prevent this suffering, despite His supposed omnipotence? Or is God not loving after all? This in brief is '"he problem of evil". The Devil provides one solution to this problem: his rebellionagainst God and hatred of His works is responsible for evil. The Christian Devil has fascinated writers and theologians since the time of the New Testament, and inspired many dramatic and haunting works of art. Today he remains a potent image in popular culture. The Devil: A Very Short Introduction presents an introduction to the Devil in the history ofideas and the lives of real people. Darren Oldridge shows us that he is a more important figure in western history than is often appreciated, and also a richly complex and contradictory one. Oldridge focuses on three main themes: the idea of the Devil being integral to western thought from the early Middle Ages to the beginnings of modernity; the principle of "demonic inversion" (the idea that as the eternal leader of the opposition, the Devil represents the mirror image of goodness);and the multiplicity and instability of ideas about the Devil.While belief in the Devil has declined, the idea of an abstract force of evil is still remarkably strong. Oldridge concludes by exploring 'demonological' ways of thinking in our own time, including allegations of "satanic ritual abuse" and the on-going "war on terror".

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Why do the innocent suffer in a world created by a loving God? Does this mean that God cannot prevent this suffering, despite His supposed omnipotence? Or is God not loving after all? This in brief is '"he problem of evil". The Devil provides one solution to this problem: his rebellionagainst God and hatred of His works is responsib...

Darren Oldridge is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Worcester. For ten years his research and teaching has focused on the Devil, witchcraft and the concept of evil. He is the author the expanded second edition of The Witchcraft Reader (Routledge 2008), and Strange Histories (Routledge 2005).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.07 inPublished:May 16, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199580995

ISBN - 13:9780199580996

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. A short history of the Devil2. The Devil and humankind3. Depicting the Devil4. Satan in a secular ageConclusion