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Demon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Demon (disambiguation).

Lilith, by John Collier, 1892

A demon, daemon (from Koine Greek daimonion), or fiend is a supernatural, often


malevolent being prevalent in religion,occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. The
original Greek word daimon does not carry the negative connotation initially understood by
implementation of the Koine (daimonion),[1] and later ascribed to any cognate words
sharing the root.
In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and
medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an unclean spirit, a fallen angel, or a spirit of
unknown type which may cause demonic possession, calling for anexorcism. In
Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman
magic, JewishAggadah and Christian demonology,[2] a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that
may be conjured and controlled.

Contents

1 Etymology

2 Psychological archetype

3 Ancient Near East


o

3.1 Mesopotamia

3.2 Ancient Arabia

4 Judaism
o

4.1 Tanach

4.2 Talmudic tradition

4.3 Kabbalah

4.4 Folklore and Aggadah

5 Hinduism
o

5.1 Asuras

5.2 Evil spirits

6 Second Temple-period texts

7 Christianity
7.1 Christian Bible

7.1.1 Old Testament

7.1.2 New Testament

7.1.3 Pseudepigrapha and Deuterocanonical books


7.2 Christian demonology

8 Islam

9 Bah' Faith

10 Modern interpretations

11 Ceremonial magic

12 Wicca

13 See also

14 References

15 Citations

16 Further reading

17 External links

Etymology[edit]
Further information: Daemon (classical
mythology), Agathodaemon, Cacodemon, Daimonic and Eudaimonia

Buer, the 10th spirit, who teaches "Moral and Natural Philosophy" (from a 1995 Mathers edition. Illustration by
Louis Breton from Dictionnaire Infernal).

The Ancient Greek word daimn denotes a spirit or divine power, much like
the Latin genius or numen. Daimn most likely came from the Greek verb daiesthai (to divide,
distribute).[3] The Greek conception of a daimns notably appears in the works of Plato, where it
describes the divine inspiration of Socrates. To distinguish the classical Greek concept from its
later Christian interpretation, the former is anglicized as either daemon or daimon rather
than demon.
The Greek terms do not have any connotations of evil or malevolence. In fact,
eudaimonia, (literally good-spiritedness) means happiness. By the early Roman
Empire, cult statues were seen, by pagans and their Christian neighbors alike, as inhabited by the
numinous presence of the gods: "Like pagans, Christians still sensed and saw the gods and their
power, and as something, they had to assume, lay behind it, by an easy traditional shift of opinion
they turned these pagan daimones into malevolent 'demons', the troupe ofSatan..... Far into the
Byzantine period Christians eyed their cities' old pagan statuary as a seat of the demons' presence.
It was no longer beautiful, it was infested."[4] The term had first acquired its negative connotations in

the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, which drew on the mythology of ancient
Semitic religions. This was then inherited by the Koine text of the New Testament. The Western
medieval and neo-medieval conception of a demon[5] derives seamlessly from the ambient popular
culture of Late (Roman) Antiquity. The Hellenistic "daemon" eventually came to include many Semitic
and Near Eastern gods as evaluated by Christianity.
The supposed existence of demons remains an important concept in many modern religions and
occultist traditions. Demons are still feared largely due to their alleged power to possess living
creatures. In the contemporary Western occultist tradition (perhaps epitomized by the work
of Aleister Crowley), a demon (such as Choronzon, the Demon of the Abyss) is a useful metaphor
for certain inner psychological processes (inner demons), though some may also regard it as an
objectively real phenomenon. Some scholars[6] believe that large portions of
the demonology(see Asmodai) of Judaism, a key influence on Christianity and Islam, originated from
a later form of Zoroastrianism, and were transferred to Judaism during the Persian era.

Psychological archetype[edit]

The classicJapanese demon, an ogre-like creature which often has horns.

Psychologist Wilhelm Wundt remarked that "among the activities attributed by myths all over the
world to demons, the harmful predominate, so that in popular belief bad demons are clearly older
than good ones."[7] Sigmund Freud developed this idea and claimed that the concept of demons was
derived from the important relation of the living to the dead: "The fact that demons are always
regarded as the spirits of those who have died recently shows better than anything the influence of
mourning on the origin of the belief in demons."[8]
M. Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist, wrote two books on the subject, People of the Lie: The
Hope For Healing Human Evil[9] and Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of
Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption.[10] Peck describes in some detail several cases involving his
patients. InPeople of the Lie he provides identifying characteristics of an evil person, whom he
classified as having a character disorder. In Glimpses of the Devil Peck goes into significant detail
describing how he became interested in exorcism in order to debunk the myth of possession by evil
spirits only to be convinced otherwise after encountering two cases which did not fit into any
category known to psychology or psychiatry. Peck came to the conclusion that possession was a
rare phenomenon related to evil, and that possessed people are not actually evil; rather, they are
doing battle with the forces of evil.[11]
Although Peck's earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the topics of
evil and possession has generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his
association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin, a Roman Catholic priest and a

former Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator.[12][13] Richard
Woods, a Roman Catholic priest and theologian, has claimed that Dr. Peck misdiagnosed patients
based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple
personality disorder), and had apparently transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics by
attempting to persuade his patients into accepting Christianity.[12] Father Woods admitted that he has
never witnessed a genuine case of demonic possession in all his years. [14][15][16]

Ancient Near East[edit]


Mesopotamia[edit]

Human-headed winged bull, otherwise known as a Lamassu

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "In Chaldean mythology the seven evil deities were known
as shedu, storm-demons, represented in ox-like form."[17] They were represented as winged bulls,
derived from the colossal bulls used as protective jinn of royal palaces. [18]
From Chaldea, the term shedu traveled to the Israelites. The writers of the Tanach applied the word
as a dialogism to Canaanite deities.
There are indications that demons in popular Hebrew mythology were believed to come from the
nether world.[19] Various diseases and ailments were ascribed to them, particularly those affecting the
brain and those of internal nature. Examples include the catalepsy, headache, epilepsy and
nightmares. There also existed a demon of blindness, "Shabriri" (lit. "dazzling glare") who rested on
uncovered water at night and blinded those who drank from it. [20]
Demons supposedly entered the body and caused the disease while overwhelming or "seizing" the
victim. To cure such diseases, it was necessary to draw out the evil demons by certain incantations
and talismanic performances, which the Essenes excelled at. Josephus, who spoke of demons as
"spirits of the wicked which enter into men that are alive and kill them", but which could be driven out
by a certain root,[21] witnessed such a performance in the presence of the Emperor Vespasian [22] and
ascribed its origin to King Solomon. In mythology, there were few defences against Babylonian
demons. The mythical mace Sharur had the power to slay demons such as Asag, a
legendary gallu or edimmu of hideous strength.

Ancient Arabia[edit]
Pre-Islamic mythology did not differentiate between gods and demons. Jinn were considered
divinities of inferior rank and had many human abilities, such as eating, drinking and procreating.
While most jinn were considered peaceful and well-disposed towards humans, there also existed evil
jinn who contrived to injure people.

Judaism[edit]
See also: Shedim

As referring to the existence or non-existence of shedim (Hebr. for "demons", "spirits") there are
converse opinions in Judaism.[23] There are "practically nil" roles assigned to demons in the Jewish
Bible.[24] In Judaism today, beliefs in shedim ("demons" or "evil spirits") are either midot hasidut (Hebr.
for "customs of the pious"), and therefore nothalachah, or notions based on a superstition that are
non-essential, non-binding parts of Judaism, and therefore not normative Jewish practice. In
conclusion, Jews are not obligated to belief in the existence of shedim, as posek rabbi David BarHayim points out.[25][26][27]

Tanach[edit]
See also: Tanach
The word shedim (Hebr. for "demons" or "spirits") appears only in two places in the Tanakh (Psalm
106:37, Deuteronomy 32:17). In both places, the term appears in ascriptural context of animal
or child sacrifice to non-existent false gods that are called shedim.[23][28][24]

Talmudic tradition[edit]
See also: Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi
In the Jerusalem Talmud notions of shedim ("demons" or "evil spirits") are almost unknown or occur
only very rarely. As opposed to this, in the Babylon Talmud there are many references
to shedim ("demons" or "evil spirits") and magical incantations. The existence of shedim ("demons")
in general was not questioned by most of the BabylonianTalmudists. As a consequence of the rise of
influence of the Babylonian Talmud over that of the Talmud Yerushalmi, late rabbis in general took as
fact the existence of shedim, nor did most of the medieval thinkers question their reality. However,
rationalists like Maimonides, Saadia Gaon and Abraham ibn Ezra and othersahead of their time
explicitly denied their existence, and completely rejected concepts of demons, evil spirits, negative
spiritual influences, attaching and possessing spirits. Their point of view eventually became
mainstream Jewish understanding.[23][25]

Kabbalah[edit]
See also: Kabbalah
Some benevolent shedim were used in kabbalistic ceremonies (as with the golem of Rabbi Yehuda
Loevy) and malevolent shedim (mazikin, from the root meaning "to damage") were often credited
with possession (see: Dybbuk).

Folklore and Aggadah[edit]


See also: Angels in Judaism
Aggadic tales from the Persian tradition describe the shedim, the mazzik im ("harmers"), and
the ruh in ("spirits"). There were also lilin ("night spirits"), telane
("shade", or "evening

spirits"), tiharire
("midday spirits"), and z afrire ("morning spirits"), as well as the "demons that bring

famine" and "such as cause storm and earthquake".[29][30] According to someaggadic stories about
demons is told that they were under the dominion of a king or chief, either Asmodai[31] or, in the older
Aggadah, Samael ("the angel of death"), who killed via poison. Stories in the fashion of this kind of
folklore never became an essential feature of Jewish theology.[25] Although occasionally an angel is
called satan in the Babylon Talmud, this does not refer to a demon: "Stand not in the way of an ox
when coming from the pasture, for Satan dances between his horns". [32]

Hinduism[edit]
Hinduism includes numerous varieties of spirits that might be classified as demons,
including Vetalas, Bhutas and Pishachas. Rakshasas and Asuras are often also taken as demons.

Asuras[edit]

The Army of Super Creatures from The Sougandhika Parinaya Manuscript (1821 CE)

Originally, Asura, in the earliest hymns of the Rig Veda, meant any supernatural spirit, either good or
bad. Since the /s/ of the Indic linguistic branch is cognate with the /h/ of the Early Iranian languages,
the word Asura, representing a category of celestial beings, became the word Ahura (Mazda), the
Supreme God of the monotheistic Zoroastrians. Ancient Hinduism tells that Devas (also calledsuras)
and Asuras are half-brothers, sons of the same father Kasyapa; although some of the Devas, such
as Varuna, are also called Asuras. Later, during Puranic age, Asura and Rakshasa came to
exclusively mean any of a race of anthropomorphic, powerful, possibly evil beings. Daitya (lit. sons
of the mother "Diti"), Rakshasa (lit. from "harm to be guarded against"), and Asura are incorrectly
translated into English as "demon".
In Hindu scriptures, pious, highly enlightened Asuras, such as Prahlada and Vibheeshana, are not
uncommon. The Asura are not fundamentally against the gods, nor do they tempt humans to fall.
This is markedly different from the traditional Western notions of demons as a rival army of God but
comparable with the concept of the jinns in Islam.[contradiction] Many people metaphorically interpret the
Asura as manifestations of the ignoble passions in the human mind and as a symbolic devices.
There were also cases of power-hungry Asuras challenging various aspects of the Gods, but only to
be defeated eventually and seek forgivenesssee Surapadman and Narakasura.

Evil spirits[edit]
Hinduism advocates the reincarnation and transmigration of souls according to one's karma. Souls
(Atman) of the dead are adjudged by the Yama and are accorded various purging punishments
before being reborn. Humans that have committed extraordinary wrongs are condemned to roam as
lonely, often evil, spirits for a length of time before being reborn. Many kinds of such spirits
(Vetalas, Pishachas, Bhta) are recognized in the later Hindu texts. These beings, in a limited sense,
can be called demons.

Second Temple-period texts[edit]


See also: Apotropaic magic and Angels in Judaism
To the Qumran community during the Second Temple Period this apotropaic prayer was assigned,
stating: "And, I the Sage, declare the grandeur of his radiance in order to frighten and terri[fy] all the
spirits of the ravaging angels and the bastard spirits, demons, Liliths, owls" (Dead Sea Scrolls,
"Songs of the Sage," Lines 45).[33][34]
In the Dead Sea Scrolls, there exists a fragment entitled Curses of Belial (Curses of Belial (Dead
Sea Scrolls, 394, 4Q286(4Q287, fr. 6)=4QBerakhot)). This fragment holds much rich language that
reflects the sentiment shared between the Qumran towards Belial. In many ways this text shows
how these people thought Belial influenced sin through the way they address him and speak of him.
By addressing Belial and all his guilty lot, (4Q286:2) they make it clear that he is not only impious,
but also guilty of sins. Informing this state of uncleanliness are both his hostile and wicked design
(4Q286:3,4). Through this design, Belial poisons the thoughts of those who are not necessarily
sinners. Thus a dualism is born from those inclined to be wicked and those who arent. [35] It is clear
that Belial directly influences sin by the mention of abominable plots and guilty inclination

(4Q286:8,9). These are both mechanisms by which Belial advances his evil agenda that the Qumran
have exposed and are calling upon God to protect them from. There is a deep sense of fear that
Belial will establish in their heart their evil devices (4Q286:11,12). This sense of fear is the stimulus
for this prayer in the first place. Without the worry and potential of falling victim to Belials demonic
sway, the Qumran people would never feel impelled to craft a curse. This very fact illuminates the
power Belial was believed to hold over mortals, and the fact that sin proved to be a temptation that
must stem from an impure origin.
In Jubilees 1:20, Belials appearance continues to support the notion that sin is a direct product of his
influence. Moreover, Belials presence acts as a placeholder for all negative influences or those that
would potentially interfere with Gods will and a pious existence. Similarly to the gentiles[who]
cause them to sin against you (Jubilees 1:19), Belial is associated with a force that drives one away
from God. Coupled in this plea for protection against foreign rule, in this case the Egyptians, is a
plea for protection from the spirit of Belial (Jubilees 1:19). Belials tendency is to ensnare [you]
from every path of righteousness (Jubilees 1:19). This phrase is intentionally vague, allowing room
for interpretation. Everyone, in one way or another, finds themselves straying from the path of
righteousness and by pawning this transgression off on Belial, he becomes a scapegoat for all
misguidance, no matter what the cause. By associating Belial with all sorts of misfortune and
negative external influence, the Qumran people are henceforth allowed to be let off for the sins they
commit.
Belials presence is found throughout the War Scrolls, located in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and is
established as the force occupying the opposite end of the spectrum of God. In Col. I, verse 1, the
very first line of the document, it is stated that the first attack of the Sons of Light shall be
undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial (1Q33;1:1). [36] This
dichotomy sheds light on the negative connotations that Belial held at the time. [37] Where God and his
Sons of Light are forces that protect and promote piety, Belial and his Sons of Darkness cater to the
opposite, instilling the desire to sin and encouraging destruction. This opposition is only reinforced
later in the document; it continues to read that the holy ones will strike a blow at wickedness,
ultimately resulting in the annihilation of the Sons of Darkness (1Q33:1:13). This epic battle
between good and evil described in such abstract terms, however it is also applicable to everyday
life and serves as a lens through which the Qumran see the world. Every day is the Sons of Light
battle evil and call upon God to help them overcome evil in ways small and large.
Belials influence is not taken lightly. In Col. XI, verse 8, the text depicts God conquering the hordes
of Belial (1Q33;11:8). This defeat is indicative of Gods power over Belial and his forces of
temptation. However the fact that Belial is the leader of hordes is a testament to how persuasive he
can be. If Belial was obviously an arbiter of wrongdoing and was blatantly in the wrong, he wouldnt
be able to amass an army. This fact serves as a warning message, reasserting Gods strength, while
also making it extremely clear the breadth of Belials prowess. Belials council is to condemn and
convict, so the Qumran feel strongly that their people are not only aware of his purpose, but also
equipped to combat his influence (1Q33;13:11).
In the Damascus Document, Belial also makes a prominent appearance, being established as a
source of evil and an origin of several types of sin. In Column 4, the first mention of Belial reads:
Belial shall be unleashed against Israel (4Q266). This phrase is able to be interpreted myriad
different ways. Belial is characterized in a wild and uncontrollable fashion, making him seem more
dangerous and unpredictable. The notion of being unleashed is such that once he is free to roam; he
is unstoppable and able to carry out his agenda uninhibited. The passage then goes to enumerate
the three nets (4Q266;4:16) by which Belial captures his prey and forces them to sin.
Fornication, riches, [and] the profanation of the temple (4Q266;4:17,18) make up the three
nets. These three temptations were three agents by which people were driven to sin, so
subsequently, the Qumran people crafted the nets of Belial to rationalize why these specific
temptations were so toxic. Later in Column 5, Belial is mentioned again as one of the removers of
bound who led Israel astray (4Q266;5:20). This statement is a clear display of Belials influence over

man regarding sin. The passage goes on to state: they preached rebellion againstGod
(4Q266;5:21,22). Belials purpose is to undermine the teachings of God, and he achieves this by
imparting his nets on humans, or the incentive to sin.[38]
In the War Scrolls, Belial controls scores of demons, which are specifically allotted to him by God for
the purpose of performing evil.[39] Belial, despite his malevolent disposition, is considered an angel.[40]

Christianity[edit]

St. Anthony plagued by demons,engraving by Martin Schongauer in the 1480s.

Christian Bible[edit]
Old Testament[edit]
Demons in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible are of two classes: the "satyrs" or "shaggy
goats" (from Hebr. se'irim "hairy beings" and Greek Old Testament satyros, "satyr"; Isaiah
13:21, 34:14)[41] and the "demons" (from Hebr. shedim, and Koine
Greek daimonion; 106:35-39, 32:17).
New Testament[edit]
The term "demon" (from the Greek New Testament daimonion) appears 63 times in the
New Testament of the Christian Bible.[42][43][44]
Pseudepigrapha and Deuterocanonical books[edit]
Main articles: Pseudepigrapha and Deuterocanonical books
See also: Book of Tobit, Book of Enoch, Book of Jubilees and Daimon (Greek Mythology)
Demons are sometimes included into biblical interpretation. In the story of Passover, the Bible tells
the story as "the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt" (Exodus 12:2129). In Jubilees, which is
considered canonical only by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church,[45] this same event is told slightly
differently: "All the powers of [the demon] Mastema had been let loose to slay all the first-born in the
land of Egypt...And the powers of the Lord did everything according as the Lord commanded them"
(Jubilees 49:24).
In Genesis in the story of the flood, the author explains how God was noticing "how corrupt the earth
had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways" (Genesis 6:12). In Jubilees the

sins of man are attributed to "the unclean demons [who] began to lead astray the children of the
sons of Noah, and to make to err and destroy them" (Jubilees 10:1). In Jubilees Mastema questions
the loyalty of Abraham and tells God to "bid him offer him as a burnt offering on the altar, and Thou
wilt see if he will do this command" (Jubilees 17:16). The discrepancy between the story in Jubilees
and the story in Genesis 22 exists with the presence of Mastema. In Genesis, God tests the will of
Abraham merely to determine whether he is a true follower, however; in Jubilees Mastema has an
agenda behind promoting the sacrifice of Abrahams son, "an even more demonic act than that of
the Satan in Job."[46] In Jubilees, where Mastema, an angel tasked with the tempting of mortals into
sin and iniquity, requests that God give him a tenth of the spirits of the children of the watchers,
demons, in order to aid the process.[47] These demons are passed into Mastemas authority, where
once again, an angel is in charge of demonic spirits.

Demon Seated by Mikhail Vrubel (1890), an illustration to the Russian romantic poem demon byMikhail
Lermontov. Vrubel views this demon as "a spirit, not so much evil as suffering and sorrowing, but in all that a
powerful spirit a majestic spirit".[48]

The sources of demonic influence were thought to originate from the Watchers or Nephilim, who are
first mentioned in Genesis 6 and are the focus of 1 Enoch Chapters 116, and also in Jubilees 10.
The Nephilim were seen as the source of the sin and evil on earth because they are referenced in
Genesis 6:4 before the story of the Flood.[49] In Genesis 6:5, God sees evil in the hearts of men. The
passage states, the wickedness of humankind on earth was great, and that Every inclination of the
thoughts of their hearts was only continually evil (Genesis 5). The mention of the Nephilim in the
preceding sentence connects the spread of evil to the Nephilim. Enoch is a very similar story to
Genesis 6:45, and provides further description of the story connecting the Nephilim to the
corruption of humans. In Enoch, sin originates when angels descend from heaven and fornicate
women, birthing giants as tall as 300 cubits. The giants and the angels departure of Heaven and
mating with human women are also seen as the source of sorrow and sadness on Earth. The book
of Enoch shows that these fallen angels can lead humans to sin through direct interaction or through
providing forbidden knowledge. In Enoch, Semyaz leads the angels to mate with women. Angels
mating with humans is against Gods commands and is a cursed action, resulting in the wrath of God
coming upon Earth. Azazel indirectly influences humans to sin by teaching them divine knowledge
not meant for humans. Asael brings down the stolen mysteries (Enoch 16:3). Asael gives the
humans weapons, which they use to kill each other. Humans are also taught other sinful actions
such as beautification techniques, alchemy, astrology and how to make medicine (considered
forbidden knowledge at the time). Demons originate from the evil spirits of the giants that are cursed
by God to wander the earth. These spirits are stated in Enoch to corrupt, fall, be excited, and fall
upon the earth, and cause sorrow (Enoch 15:11).[50] The Book of Jubilees conveys that sin occurs
when Cainan accidentally transcribes astrological knowledge used by the Watchers (Jubilees 8).
This differs from Enoch in that it does not place blame on the Angels. However in Jubilees 10:4 the
evil spirits of the Watchers are discussed as evil and still remain on earth to corrupt the humans.
God binds only 90 percent of the Watchers and destroys them, leaving 10 percent to be ruled by
Mastema. Because the evil in humans is great, only 10 percent would be needed to corrupt and lead

humans astray. These spirits of the giants also referred to as the bastards in the Apotropaic prayer
Songs of the Sage, which lists the names of demons the narrator hopes to expel. [51]

Christian demonology[edit]
Main articles: Christian demonology and Exorcism in Christianity

Death and the Miser (detail), aHieronymus Bosch painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In the Christian Bible, the deities of other religions are sometimes interpreted or created as
"demons" (from the Greek Old Testament daimonion).[52] The evolution of the Christian
Devil and pentagram are examples of early rituals and images that showcase evil qualities, as seen
by the Christian churches.
Since Early Christianity, demonology has developed from a simple acceptance of demons to a
complex study that has grown from the original ideas taken from Jewish demonology [citation needed] and
Christian scriptures. Christian demonology is studied in depth within theRoman Catholic Church,
[53]
although many other Christian churches affirm and discuss the existence of demons. [54][55]
Building upon the few references to daemons in the New Testament, especially the poetry of the
Book of Revelation, Christian writers ofapocrypha from the 2nd century onwards created a more
complicated tapestry of beliefs about "demons" that was largely independent of Christian scripture.
The contemporary Roman Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that angels and demons are real
beings rather than just symbolic devices. The Catholic Church has a cadre of officially sanctioned
exorcists which perform many exorcisms each year. The exorcists of the Catholic Church teach that
demons attack humans continually but that afflicted persons can be effectively healed and protected
either by the formal rite of exorcism, authorized to be performed only by bishops and those they
designate, or by prayers of deliverance, which any Christian can offer for themselves or others. [56]
At various times in Christian history, attempts have been made to classify demons according to
various proposed demonic hierarchies.
In the Gospels, particularly the Gospel of Mark, Jesus cast out many demons from those afflicted
with various ailments. He also lent this power to some of his disciples (Luke 10:17).
Apuleius, by Augustine of Hippo, is ambiguous as to whether daemons had become 'demonized' by
the early 5th century:
He [Apulieus] also states that the blessed are called in Greek eudaimones, because they are
good souls, that is to say, good demons, confirming his opinion that the souls of men are
demons.[57]

Islam[edit]

The Majlis al Jinn cave inOman, literally "Meeting place of the Jinn".

Demons depicted in the Book of Wonders, a late 14th century Arabic manuscript

See also: Devil (Islam) and Jinn Jinn in Islam


Islam recognizes the existence of jinn, which are sentient beings with free will that can co-exist
with humans (though not the genies of modern lore). In Islam, evil jinn are referred to as
the shaytn or demons/devils, with Iblis (Satan) as their chief. Iblis was one of the first jinn; he
disobeyedAllah and did not bow down before Adam refusing to acknowledge a creature made of
"clay". Thus, Iblis was condemned to jahannam (hell). He asked for respite until the Last
Day (Judgement Day), when he vowed to make mankind fall and deny the existence of their
creator, to which Allah replied that Iblis would only be able to mislead those who were not
righteous believers, warning that Iblis and all who followed him in evil would be punished in Hell.

Bah' Faith[edit]
In the Bah' Faith, demons are not regarded as independent evil spirits as they are in some
faiths. Rather, evil spirits described in various faiths' traditions, such as Satan, fallen angels,

demons and jinns, are metaphors for the base character traits a human being may acquire and
manifest when he turns away from God and follows his lower nature. Belief in the existence of
ghosts and earthbound spirits is rejected and considered to be the product of superstition. [58]

Modern interpretations[edit]
According to the 'Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry' God is shown sending a demon against Saul
in 1 Samuel 16 and 18 in order to punish him for the failure to follow Gods instructions, showing
God as having the power to use demons for his own purposes, putting the demon under his
divine authority.[59] According to the 'Britannica Concise Encyclopedia', demons, despite being
typically associated with evil, are often shown to be under divine control, and not acting of their
own devices.[60]

Ceremonial magic[edit]
While some people fear demons, or attempt to exorcise them, others willfully attempt to summon
them for knowledge, assistance, or power. The ceremonial magician usually consults a grimoire,
which gives the names and abilities of demons as well as detailed instructions for conjuring and
controlling them. Grimoires aren't limited to demons - some give the names of angels or spirits
which can be called, a process called theurgy. The use of ceremonial magic to call demons is
also known as goetia, the name taken from a section within the famous grimoire "The Lesser
Key of Solomon".[61]

Wicca[edit]
According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley, "Demons are not courted or worshipped in contemporary
Wicca and Paganism. The existence of negative energies is acknowledged." [62]

See also[edit]

Acheri

Archdemon

Classification of demons

Daeva

Demonic possession

Demonolatry

Devil

Empusa

Erinyes

Fiend

Folk devil

Ghoul

Imp

List of theological demons

List of fictional demons

Oni

Pre-Vatican II Holy water

Saint Michael

Spiritual warfare

Theistic Satanism

Yaoguai

References[edit]
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Citations[edit]

Freud, Sigmund (1950). Totem and Taboo:Some Points of Agreement between the Mental
Lives of Savages and Neurotics. trans. Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton &
Company. ISBN 978-0-393-00143-3.

Wundt, W. (1906). Mythus und Religion, Teil II (Vlkerpsychologie, Band II). Leipzig.

Castaneda, Carlos (1998). The Active Side of Infinity. HarperCollins NY ISBN 978-0-06019220-4

Further reading[edit]

Oppenheimer, Paul (1996). Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior.
New York: New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-6193-9.
Catholic

Baglio, Matt (2009). The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. Doubleday
Religion. ISBN 0385522703.

Amorth, Fr. Gabriele (1999). An Exorcist Tells His Story. Ignatius Press. ISBN 0898707102.