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The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  121 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
s/t: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day
This intriguing, informative volume carries on where the Time and Newsweek stories left off: serving up a tantalizing trove of facts and lore on the philosophy and practice of evil down through the ages and around the world. Featuring bewitching black and white illustrations throughout.
Paperback, 520 pages
Published February 1st 1991 by Open Court Publishing Company (first published 1900)
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Skylar Burris
The author of this history is an avid proponent of what he regards to be "true religion": in this case, "the religion of science," in which the devil and his legions are regarded as mere symbols and in which belief in literal demons is labeled a base superstition, a sort of primitive dualism, and the springboard for all manner of evil. The author seems to regard himself as the herald of a new age of scientific objectivism. The book outlines the history of man's perception of evil, presenting it ...more
This weekend I picked up The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil by Paul Carus. The book was originally written in 1900 and had 300 illustrations of gorgeous old images of the devil, demons and deities from around the world. Typically I like books that were written at the turn of the century with late Victorian scholarship so I was very happy to find this reproduction. There was only one problem with it, the author. He was president of the American Monists. Which he summed up in his last c ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 26, 2014 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carus fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
I picked this one up at the old Kroch's and Brentano's Bargain Book Center several years before getting around to reading the thing. I was with, I think, Michael Miley, another one as incapable as I was myself back then to avoid entering a bookstore and, when there, buying at least one book. This time, however, I believe I bought both Carus and Graves' Laurosse Encyclopedia of Religion--also on the sale table. While standing in the checkout line with Mike, in the midst of an argument about wheth ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informational. It was cool to see the demons of different cultures and religions throughout history, and how they compared to one another. Highly suggest for those interested in history and/or theology.
Apr 23, 2015 Emma-Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Arch Angel to evil deity, this fascinating read talks about the conception of the devil, the development of dualism and the evolution of religion from ancient times to the book's present day. Highly recommended for anyone who seeks to learn NOT about barbarism gory rituals, but about the Devil's origins and 'personality' as it were. My personal highlights were the Egyptian and Greek passages.
May 20, 2012 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the material in the chapters was unfocused, but the information I got out of it on medieval demonology and the Inquisition was quite good. I ended up skipping some chapters out of boredom, while others I found totally absorbing.
Jul 23, 2009 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book spans a very long period of time, from Mesopotamia to the 19th century. It definitely has interesting parts, but is a bit dry.
Oct 30, 2009 Michaeldelicio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about the concept of evil throughout history and other cultures.
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Paul Carus, Ph.D. (18 July 1852 – 11 February 1919) was a German-American author, editor, a student of comparative religion, and professor of philosophy.

Carus considered himself a theologian rather than philosopher. He is proposed to be a pioneer in the promotion of interfaith dialogue. He explored the relationship of science and religion, and was instrumental in introducing Eastern traditions and
More about Paul Carus...

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