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the study of demons or demonic beliefs
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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." Nevertheless, on later works Boureau adopted a different perspective, stressing that radical demonology arose naturally from the scholastic reflection on the human being; see Boureau, "Le sabbat et la question scolastique de la personne," 38, 43-45; Boureau, Satan heretique, 262: "La construction d'une science de l'homme, veritable innovation de la scolastique, se payait a ce prix."
For a similar perspective, see Christine Pigne, "Du De Malo au Malleus Maleficarum: les consequences de la demonologie thomiste sur le corps de la sorciere," Cahiers de recherches medievales 13 (2006): 195-220.
204; Christensen, Essai sur la demonologie iranienne (above, n.
And in fact, the symbolic outlines of the Satanist rumor-panic stories closely match those of the Puritan captivity narratives and other earlier demonologies, that children are "kidnapped and murdered" and their blood and body parts are used in cannibalistic rituals.
And it is the internalized nature of these motifs which has made them such powerful tools for the creation of demonologies, not just in reference to the "scapegoating" of Native Americans via the Indian captivity narrative, but for a vast number of marginalized groups over the centuries.
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.
to accede to the universality of reason within the confines of space and time."(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.(149)