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Apr 09, 2016 Andrew Marr rated it it was amazing
It's not possible to adequately summarize this book. Forsythe traces the myths of the origin of evil from Assyrian and Babylonian myth up to the theological synthesis of St. Augustine of Hippo. The whole concept of an "adversary" is shown to be ambiguous. When is a person or a deity and adversary? The Sumerian myth of Huwawa that starts us off is a far cry from the cosmic adversary of Zoroastrian and Christian myth. Huwawa seems to be a forest spirit who is defending the forest from the destruct ...more
Dense, erudite and well worth the read, this is a definitive study of the ambiguous adversary archetype and its development from the combat myths of Sumeria and Canaan to the Satan of the early medieval christian church. Forsyth seems as comfortable exploring the figure of Humbaba in the Epic of Gilgamesh as he does probing the complex relationship between Augustine and Manichean dualism. The most interesting part of the book for me dealt with Origen's imaginative development of 'Satan' as a fal ...more
Neil Forsyth was born in Scotland in 1978 and grew up in the much admired city of Dundee. His writing career began in books (a largely forgotten form of communication made famous by Jesus and, separately, Agatha Christie). He has written two novels, Let Them Come Through and San Carlos while Other People’s Money, the true story of the Scottish credit card fraudster Elliot Castro was released in se ...moreMore about Neil Forsyth...