The Quest for the Historical Satan

Article excerpt

The Quest for the Historical Satan. By Miguel A. De La Torre and Albert Hernandez. ISBN 978-0-8006-6324-7. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011. xii and 248 pages. Paper. $15.80.

This co-authored work, lucid and well-written, addresses the large cluster of topics associated with "Satan." The authors bring their differing theological perspectives to this work: "historian, Albert Hernandez ... [is] interested in how evil has been manifested throughout the centuries; the ethicist ... [Miguel A. De La Torrre is] interested in how moral agency is constructed in response to how evil is defined and which people-group signifies said definition" (ix). Together they offer an overview of fascinating topics: "Satan in the Modern World," "The Birth of Satan: A Textual History," "Satan Through the Ages," "Satan Comes of Age," and "The Devil Made Me Do It."

The authors are not only well-grounded in their thorough-going discussions of the Bible, theology, culture, ethics, and history but they surface questions which continue to need attention. …