A History of the Devil

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Kodansha International, 1996 - Religion - 377 pages
8 Reviews
The biggest ruse of the devil is making us believe that he doesn't exist, claimed Baudelaire. On the contrary, argues bestselling French historian and critic Gerald Messadie, it is devilish that we believe in him at all.A History of the Devil is a vivacious and provocative exploration of the personification of evil through the ages and across cultures. Messadie reveals that our Satan -- the antithesis of God and good -- was a concept unknown to the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Hindus, and Chinese. In fact, the devil was probably invented six centuries before the Common Era by Persian clergy eager to aid their political allies. Ever since, the image of evil has been a useful tool of the powerful, from the proponents of the Spanish Inquisition to the Cold Warriors of our own time. Meticulously researched and eloquently argued, this unorthodox history of religion from its seamy underside explores a fascinating and diverse strand of cultures everywhere.

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Review: A History of the Devil

User Review  - Natalia - Goodreads

It started great...great idea. But then the mistakes arise.. (translation mistakes, I hope). It states that Snorri Sturluson was Irish (someone please inform the Icelanders of this) and he refers to ... Read full review

Review: A History of the Devil

User Review  - Sam Thurman - Goodreads

What makes this work stand out from other literature on the devil is that it isn't limited by a focus on Israel or devil figures alone, but rather branches out to other civilizations and the evolution ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Gerald Messadie est essayiste, romancier, erudit. Il se confronte de livre en livre aux grands mythes et a l'histoire biblique, construisant une 1/2uvre a la fois forte et originale. Ses ouvrages sont traduits dans plusieurs pays.

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