Demonology and Devil-Lore

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 13.02.2017 - 292 Seiten
Both volumes of Moncure Daniel Conway's excellent treatise on demons and devilry are presented here complete.

Written in the 19th century, this lengthy and thorough text documents the various manifestations of demons and devils in the Christian religion. The forms they take, and the means by which they appear in the physical world, are cataloged. How demons correspond to actual phenomena, such as death and pestilence, is likewise noted. Conway draws upon various writings within the Biblical scriptures, together with later works published in the Middle Ages and subsequent centuries, to arrive at his own comprehensive treatment of the subject.

The second volume of the work concerns devils. Various figures such as Ahriman and Viswámitra receive chapters, in which the writings about them are quoted to form a complete image of their behavior and meanings. Appearances of devils in later works, such as the diabolical Mephistopheles in Goethe's Faust, are also cataloged.

The overarching aim of Conway's thesis is to draw parallels between the various demonic and devilish phenomena, while noting their overall influence across the history of Christianity. The text is informative in tone and does not stray to dogmatism; Conway instead provides sourced information in a factual, studied tone.

For his part, Conway was not a believer in the lore of demons. Although he served variously as a Methodist, Unitarian and Freethought minister in life, he had little time for the supernatural elements of Christianity. It is thus that Demonology and Devil-lore is an effort toward debunking and discounting what Conway viewed as the fantastical elements of a faith he otherwise identified with spiritually and morally.

Today, Demonology and Devil-lore is somewhat archaic in terms of tone owing to its age. However, it still counts among the most thorough, in-depth and wide-ranging treatments of a subject which has fascinated religious and non-religious persons alike for centuries.

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Über den Autor (2017)

Moncure Daniel Conway was born on March 17, 1832 in Falmouth, Stafford County. He was an American abolitionist, Unitarian clergyman, and author. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1849, studied law for a year, and then became a Methodist minister in his native state. In 1852, thanks largely to the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson, his religious and political views underwent a radical change, and he entered the Harvard University school of divinity, where he graduated in 1854. Here he fell under the influence of "transcendentalism", and became an outspoken abolitionist. After graduation from Harvard University, Conway accepted a call to the First Unitarian Church of Washington, D.C., where he was ordained in 1855, but his anti-slavery views brought about his dismissal in 1856. From 1856 to 1861 he was a Unitarian minister in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he also edited a short-lived liberal periodical called The Dial. Subsequently he became editor of the Commonwealth in Boston, and wrote The Rejected Stone (1861) and The Golden Hour (1862), both powerful pleas for emancipation. In 1864, he became the minister of the South Place Chapel and leader of the then named South Place Religious Society in Finsbury, London. His thinking continued to move from Emersonian transcendentalism toward a more humanistic "freethought". Moncure Conway's title's include: Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph, The Life of Thomas Paine with an unpublished sketch of Pain, Solomon and Solomonic Literature and My Pilgrimage to the Wise Men of the East. He passed away on November 5, 1907.

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