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Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages
Evil is an intrinsically fascinating topic. In Lucifer, Jeffrey Burton Russell continues his compelling study of the personification of evil in the figure of the Devil. The previous two volumes in this remarkable tertalogy The Devil and Satan trace the history of the concept of the devil comparatively as it emerged in diverse cultures and followed its development in Wester ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published August 8th 1986 by Cornell University Press
(first published December 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 332)
Easy to breeze through some parts here and there, and some topics/texts seem to get a fuller treatment than others. Definately has an Anglo-bend to it, but he accepts and accounts for that fairly early on. An important book in the history of the devil, and as a scholar Russell was highly attuned to problems of historical periodization that scholarship has 'somewhat' resolved in the following decades.
Russell's third book concerning the continual development of the Devil concept. Here the author leaves behind antiquity and moves into the middle ages. Starting around 500AD, and ending with the eve of the Reformation, he examines Lucifer in light of Islam, folklore, legend, theatre, literature and of course, the twisting, turning, brain-frying pathways of theology, philosophy and theodicy. Another fascinating volume.
A tad bit redundant as the same theological frames are employed to examine differing types of evidence, and the title is a bit misleading, but over all a solid read. This is not really a book about Lucifer, so much as slog through the evolution of the concept evil in christian monotheism.
An interesting survey of it's topic, but a bit too dry. Also, it it gets really tedious when Russell begins listing examples of artwork that do not appear in the book. It's difficult to digest any his points when I literally have no idea what he's describing.
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 ...moreMore about Jeffrey Burton Russell...