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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Undeniably, evil exists in our world; we ourselves commit evil acts. How can one account for evil's ageless presence, its attraction, and its fruits? The question is one that Jeffrey Burton Russell addresses in his history of the concept of the Devil the personification of evil itself. In the predecessor to this book, The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primit ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published August 25th 1987 by Cornell University Press (first published December 12th 1981)
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Feb 23, 2016 Nick rated it liked it
Jeffery Burton Russell's "Satan: The Early Christian Tradition" is, like Elaine Pagels' later "The Origin of Satan", in part a meditation on the nature of evil, using the various early Christian schools as a framework. While Pagels focused largely but not exclusively on the Gospels, Russell concerns himself with the early writers, famous and forgotten, concluding with Augustine. These writers faced the problem of developing the intellectual framework of their still-developing faith, and they lai ...more
Nov 25, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
In this second book in the series that began with The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, Jeffrey Burton Russell picks up the story of the Devil where the New Testament left it and carries it on to the time of St. Augustine in the 5th century.

The "story" he's telling is actually that of the development of the "concept" of the Devil, a term that he is at pains to distinguish from that of "idea". For Russell, while an idea "is intellectual and closely defined, a co
Mehmet Dönmez
Jun 19, 2016 Mehmet Dönmez rated it liked it
Shelves: din-felsefe
4 kitaplı bir serinin ikinci kitabı, erken Hristiyanlık zamanlarında Şeytan kavramına nasıl bakıldığını irdeliyor. Konusu ve konsepti son derece cazip olsa da, gerek dilinin ağırlığı, gerek Hristiyan ekastolojisine olan göndermeleri itibarıyla benim çok zor okuduğum ve yazılanların çoğunu anlamadığım bir eser oldu.

Kitabın temel tartışma eksenlerinden bazılarının, örneğin Hristiyanlıkta kötülüğün kaynağı (yani kötülük Tanrının bünyesinde mi vardır, yoksa ondan bağımsız olarak mı yaratılmıştır), ö
Jeff McCormack
In Russell's first volume, The Devil: Personifications of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, he dealt with an era of time that was much more diverse, covering ancient history of all kinds of religious views. This time around, he sticks with Christian history, and focuses on only the first few hundred years of church history. A much easier read than the first volume, and covering an era already somewhat familiar to me, this volume was easier to digest overall.

I found it very interesti
Joseph F.
Aug 04, 2013 Joseph F. rated it it was amazing
Part 2 of Russell's monumental study of history's baddest dude. The author gives us the many opinions that the early church fathers had of who Satan was, when and why he fell from grace, and the problems of reconciling evil with the existence of a loving God. The book is heavy on philosophy and history as well as theology, so be prepared for a cerebral workout. I did not know so much could be written about Satan in such a small slice of history (1st to 6th Centuries AD).
But he is more complicate
Oct 07, 2011 Steven rated it liked it
Jeffrey Burton Russell is the author of (at least) five books on Satan, mostly biographies, so I think it's safe to say that we need to give the devil his due, he knows his Lucifer. This particular volume is a study of the Christian Devil up to the time of St. Augustine. Your enjoyment of the book depends on how much detail you want to know about what people thought of Satan during that time period. I won't say that you'll have a devil of a good time, but at least there won't be hell to pay.
A b
May 17, 2016 Adam rated it really liked it
I just picked this book up again after years. I have read excerpts in the past. I decided to sit down with it an plow through. I really appreciate what Jeffrey Burton Russell contributes to theology and philosophy. He is really good about taking a survey of the historical development of a concept and giving it to his readers in a way that is thorough, and yet approachable, deep, but not daunting. Satan: The Early Christian Tradition, is no exception. An invaluable perspective.
Jun 01, 2015 Burcu added it
Kitabin degerlendirmesi icin, bkz.
Jan 29, 2009 Walt rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Focusing largely on late Medieval European interpretations, this is a good book describing the literary development of Satan from obscure Zoroastrian Persia to the present day.
Dan Bee
Sep 06, 2013 Dan Bee rated it liked it
An interesting and informative look at the concept of Evil from a purely historiological perspective. Good read.
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Jeffrey Burton Russell is Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Besides UCSB, he has taught History and Religious Studies at Berkeley, Riverside, Harvard, New Mexico, and Notre Dame. He has published seventeen books and many articles, most of them in his special field, history of theology. He is most noted for his five-volume history of the concept of the ...more
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