Christian demonology is the study of demons from a Christian point of view. It is primarily based on the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament), the exegesis of these scriptures, the scriptures of early Christian philosophers and hermits, tradition, and legends incorporated from other beliefs.
A number of authors throughout Christian history have written about demons for a variety of purposes. Theologians like Thomas Aquinas wrote concerning the behaviors Christians should be aware of, while witchhunters like Heinrich Kramer wrote about how to find and what to do with people they believed were involved with demons. Some texts are written with instructions on how to summon demons in the name of God and often were claimed to have been written by individuals respected within the Church, such as the Lesser Key of Solomon or The Grimoire of Pope Honorius (although these the earliest manuscripts were from well after these individuals had died). These latter texts were usually more detailed, giving names, ranks, and descriptions of demons individually and categorically. Most Christians commonly reject these texts as either diabolical or fictitious.
In modern times, some demonological texts have been written by Christians, usually in a similar vein of Thomas Aquinas, explaining their effects in the world and how faith may lessen or eliminate damage by them. A few Christian authors, such as Jack Chick and John Todd, write with intentions similar to Kramer, proclaiming that demons and their human agents are active in the world. These claims can stray from mainstream ideology, and may include such beliefs as that Christian rock is a means through which demons influence people.
Not all Christians believe that demons exist in the literal sense. There is the view that the language of exorcism in the New Testament is an example of what was once employed to describe the healings of what would be classified in modern days as epilepsy, mental illness etc.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011