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Satan and Demons in the Apostolic Fathers: A Minority Report
Monash University, Melbourne.
2016 (English)In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 81, p. 127-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The writers of Didache, 1 Clement, Shepherd of Hermas, Martyrdom of Polycarp, and 2 Clement consistently identify humans as the origin and cause of evil, rather than Satan or demons. Showing no interest in demons, possession, or exorcism, they exhibit a strong concern with ethical and psychological dualism. They recommend that evil impulses be overcome with internal self-control supplemented by prayer and good thoughts. These texts show a distinct marginalization or even demythologization of satanological terminology. This study makes three particular contributions. One is a synthesis of the evidence for a strong trend of Adamic etiology of sin (as opposed to an Enochic etiology) within the Apostolic Fathers. A second is the evidence it presents for a first century demythologizing Christianity which survived into the second century, but only as a minority report. A third is a systematic application of lexicographical analysis to early Christian satanology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska exegetiska sällskapet , 2016. Vol. 81, p. 127-168
Keywords [en]
Satan, demons, exorcism, sin, Paul, Adam, etiology, Didache, First Clement, Second Clement, Shepherd of Hermas, Martyrdom of Polycarp
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-313818OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-313818DiVA, id: diva2:1068244
Available from: 2017-01-24 Created: 2017-01-24 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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