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the study of demons or demonic beliefs



in a number of religions a teaching concerning evil spirits that originated historically from a primitive belief in spirits.

Demonology is most important in religions with a dualistic division of the universe into a world of good and evil (for example, Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism). In later religions that experienced the influence of Zoroastrianism (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) demonology also became an important part of doctrinal belief.

References in periodicals archive ?
Part of the importance of Les Visions d'Ermine de Reims, in which references to the devil abound, is that it demonstrates the inconvenience of a rigid opposition between the demonologies of the first and the second Christian millennia.
Histoire de la demonologie (1280-1330) (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2004).
34) Alain Boureau: "Un seul diable en plusiers personnes," preface a Houdard, Les sciences du diable, 13: "la demonologie positive n'est pas inscrite virtuellement dans le discours religieux medieval; elle surgit brusquement dans la discontinuite la plus etrange.
204; Christensen, Essai sur la demonologie iranienne (above, n.
Professor Williams begins with Jean d'Arras's prose history of the fairy nymph Melusine (1393) and moves from there to the magical works of Paracelsus and the demonologies of Heinrich Kramer, Johann Weyer, Jean Bodin (as translated into German by Johann Fischart), and Pierre de Lancre.
Antony, Ammonas, and Paul constructed their monastic demonologies by adapting these earlier views on the demonic role in philosophical self-cultivation to the new monastic projects of the fourth century.
66) Antony adapts previous demonologies to create a philosophical ideology, in a cosmological or mythological mode, for monastic withdrawal; as principles of differentiation, the demons render problematic individuality and difference, the symptoms of society as a collection of selves.
Their varied demonologies may reflect a gradual trend over the course of the fourth century, in which some eremetical monks increasingly emphasized the cell as the locus of solitude: an original emphasis on the desert as providing isolation from "the world" narrowed to an emphasis on the cell as providing isolation from even the monastic community.