The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day

The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day

The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day

The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day

Synopsis

In The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, Paul Carus shows that the idea of Evil developed parallel to the idea of God. Like God, the Devil was symbolic of a real part of human experience. This classic sourcebook in demonology, a reprint of the work first published in 1900, assembles 350 images of the Devil in comparing the personification of evil that is common to many cultures.

Excerpt

Before you turn to the wealth of pictures Paul Carus assembled for this book, consider the strange case of an atheist who believed in the Devil.

Writing at the turn of the century, a time when scientists preached against religion with evangelical fervor, Paul Carus (1852-1911) devoted his energies to paving a middle road on which both science and religion could progress. As a youth he fled from an intolerant Germany to be free to publish his liberal thoughts—thoughts which developed into his philosophy of Monism. He found the perfect position for his life's work as head of Open Court Publishing Company. There he wrote dozens of books, edited two magazines dedicated to science and religion, and published an impressive list of titles by the most advanced scientists and theologians from around the world. Indeed, a worldwide view of science and religion was the hallmark of Open Court's publications and the hallmark of Carus' Monism.

Paul Carus was above all a philosopher of science. Monism comes from the Greek word mono, meaning “one.” Its tenets, as Carus held them, prepare a foundation for science; this foundation underlies a method of investigation applicable to all facets of life, including religion. Monism views nature as one and indivisible; it affirms that nature can be explained by one method, the method of reason. Human experience is also one and indivisible; human experience may be explained through reason. Carus' Monism did not rule out intangible facets of human experience, like feelings, ideas, moral convictions—even visions and religious beliefs were considered part of the world's reality.

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