Demon

Demon

Overview
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In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology
Christian demonology
Christian demonology is the study of demons from a Christian point of view. It is primarily based on the Bible , the exegesis of these scriptures, the scriptures of early Christian philosophers and hermits, tradition, and legends incorporated from other beliefs.-Development:In monotheistic...

, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit
Unclean spirit
In English translations of the Bible, unclean spirit is a common rendering of Greek pneuma akatharton , which in its single occurrence in the Septuagint translates Hebrew ....

" which may cause demonic possession
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

, to be addressed with an act of exorcism
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic
Renaissance magic
Renaissance humanism saw a resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic.The Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, saw the rise of scientism, in such forms as the substitution of chemistry for alchemy, the dethronement of the Ptolemaic theory of...

, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish demonology and Christian tradition, a demon is a spiritual entity that may be conjured
Conjuration
Conjuration is used in many video games, mainly RPGs, where it is usually referred to as summoning.* A notable example is the Final Fantasy franchise which incorporates summoning of monsters to fight alongside the characters....

 and controlled.
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In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology
Christian demonology
Christian demonology is the study of demons from a Christian point of view. It is primarily based on the Bible , the exegesis of these scriptures, the scriptures of early Christian philosophers and hermits, tradition, and legends incorporated from other beliefs.-Development:In monotheistic...

, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit
Unclean spirit
In English translations of the Bible, unclean spirit is a common rendering of Greek pneuma akatharton , which in its single occurrence in the Septuagint translates Hebrew ....

" which may cause demonic possession
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

, to be addressed with an act of exorcism
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic
Renaissance magic
Renaissance humanism saw a resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic.The Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, saw the rise of scientism, in such forms as the substitution of chemistry for alchemy, the dethronement of the Ptolemaic theory of...

, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish demonology and Christian tradition, a demon is a spiritual entity that may be conjured
Conjuration
Conjuration is used in many video games, mainly RPGs, where it is usually referred to as summoning.* A notable example is the Final Fantasy franchise which incorporates summoning of monsters to fight alongside the characters....

 and controlled. M Sharon Davidoff is another demon far worst than Jesus's other evil twin Hananiel Gadayev. She's a livings hell walking on two she is believed to have a very very sharp horn on her head that she kills people with or "drags them 100 ft. under ". She successfully killed about 10 million people in 1989 and 30 million in 2007 (or daemon, from Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, δαίμων), is a supernatural being from various religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, occultisms, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

s, and folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

s that is described as something that is not human and, in ordinary (almost universal) usage, malevolent. The original neutral Greek word "daimon" does not carry the negative connotation initially understood by implementation of the Koine
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 (Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 and New Testament Greek) δαιμόνιον (daimonion), and later ascribed to any cognate words sharing the root, originally intended to denote a spirit or spiritual being.
any of the demons in literature were once fallen angel
Fallen angel
Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

s.

Terminology



Ancient Greek  daimōn is a word for "spirit" or "divine power", much like the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 genius
Genius (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion, the genius was the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place or thing.-Nature of the genius:...

 or numen
Numen
Numen is a Latin term for a potential, guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought...

. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the etymology of the Greek word as from the verb daiesthai "to divide, distribute." The Greek conception of a δαίμων notably appears in the works of Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, where it describes the divine inspiration of Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

. To distinguish the classical Greek concept from its later Christian interpretation, it is usually anglicized as either daemon or daimon rather than demon.

The Greek term does not have any connotations of evil or malevolence. In fact, εὐδαιμονία
Eudaimonia
Eudaimonia or eudaemonia , sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia , is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, "human flourishing" has been proposed as a more accurate translation...

, literally "good-spiritedness", is a term for "happiness". The term first acquired its now-current evil connotations in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, informed by the mythology of the ancient Semitic religions. This connotation was inherited by the Koine text of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. The medieval and neo-medieval conception of a "demon" in Western civilization (see the Medieval grimoire
Grimoire
A grimoire is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons...

 called the Ars Goetia) derives seamlessly from the ambient popular culture of Late (Roman) Antiquity. Greco-Roman concepts of daemons that passed into Christian culture are discussed in the entry daemon
Daemon (mythology)
The words dæmon and daimôn are Latinized spellings of the Greek "δαίμων", a reference to the daemons of Ancient Greek religion and mythology, as well as later Hellenistic religion and philosophy...

, though it should be duly noted that the term referred only to a spiritual force, not a malevolent supernatural being. The Hellenistic "daemon" eventually came to include many Semitic and Near Eastern gods as evaluated by Christianity.

The supposed existence of demons is an important concept in many modern religions and occultist traditions. In some present-day cultures, demons are still feared in popular superstition
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

, largely due to their alleged power to possess
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

 living creatures. In the contemporary Western occultist tradition (perhaps epitomized by the work of Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley , born Edward Alexander Crowley, and also known as both Frater Perdurabo and The Great Beast, was an influential English occultist, astrologer, mystic and ceremonial magician, responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. He was also successful in various other...

), a demon, such as Choronzon
Choronzon
Choronzon is a demon or devil that originated in writing with the 16th century occultists Edward Kelley and John Dee within the latter's occult system of Enochian magic...

, the "Demon of the Abyss", is a useful metaphor for certain inner psychological processes ("inner demons"), though some may also regard it as an objectively real phenomenon. Some scholars believe that large portions of the demonology
Demonology
Demonology is the systematic study of demons or beliefs about demons. It is the branch of theology relating to superhuman beings who are not gods. It deals both with benevolent beings that have no circle of worshippers or so limited a circle as to be below the rank of gods, and with malevolent...

 (see Asmodai
Asmodai
Asmodeus or Asmodai is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist. The demon is also mentioned in some Talmudic legends, for instance, in the story of the construction of the Temple of Solomon. He was supposed by some Renaissance...

) of Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, a key influence on Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, originated from a later form of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

, and were transferred to Judaism during the Persian era.

Psychological archetype


Psychologist Wilhelm Wundt
Wilhelm Wundt
Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was a German physician, psychologist, physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the founding figures of modern psychology. He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology"...

 remarks that "among the activities attributed by myths all over the world to demons, the harmful predominate, so that in popular belief bad demons are clearly older than good ones." Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 develops on this idea and claims that the concept of demons was derived from the important relation of the living to the dead: "The fact that demons are always regarded as the spirits of those who have died recently shows better than anything the influence of mourning on the origin of the belief in demons."

M. Scott Peck
M. Scott Peck
Morgan Scott Peck was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.-Biography:...

, an American psychiatrist, wrote two books on the subject, People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil and Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption.

Sharon Davidoff is another demon far worst than Jesus's other evil twin Hananiel Gadayev. She's a livings hell walking on two she is believed to have a very very sharp horn on her head that she kills people with or "drags them 100 ft. under ". She successfully killed about 10 million people in 1989 and 30 million in 2007 (or daemon, from Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, δαίμων), is a supernatural being from various religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, occultisms, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

s, and folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

s that is described as something that is not human and, in ordinary (almost universal) usage, malevolent. The original neutral Greek word "daimon" does not carry the negative connotation initially understood by implementation of the Koine
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 (Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 and New Testament Greek) δαιμόνιον (daimonion), and later ascribed to any cognate words sharing the root, originally intended to denote a spirit or spiritual being.

Peck describes in some detail several cases involving his patients. In People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil he gives some identifying characteristics for evil persons whom he classifies as having a character disorder. In Glimpses of the Devil, A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption Peck goes into significant detail describing how he became interested in exorcism
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

 in order to debunk the "myth" of possession
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

 by evil spirits–only to be convinced otherwise after encountering two cases which did not fit into any category known to psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 or psychiatry
Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

. Peck came to the conclusion that possession was a rare phenomenon related to evil. Possessed people are not actually evil; they are doing battle with the forces of evil. His observations on these cases are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders...

 (IV) of the American Psychiatric Association
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the most influential worldwide. Its some 38,000 members are mainly American but some are international...

.

Although Peck's earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the topics of evil and possession has generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin
Malachi Martin
Malachi Brendan Martin Ph.D. was a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He held three doctorates and was the sole author of sixteen books covering religious and geopolitical topics, which were published in eight...

, a Roman Catholic priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 and a former Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator. Other criticisms leveled against Peck include misdiagnoses based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

 (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), and a claim that he had transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics
Professional ethics
Professional ethics encompass the personal and corporate standards of behaviour expected of professionals.- Professional ethics :Professional people and those working in acknowledged professions exercise specialist knowledge and skill...

 by attempting to persuade his patients into accepting Christianity.

Mesopotamia



In Chaldea
Chaldea
Chaldea or Chaldaea , from Greek , Chaldaia; Akkadian ; Hebrew כשדים, Kaśdim; Aramaic: ܟܐܠܕܘ, Kaldo) was a marshy land located in modern-day southern Iraq which came to briefly rule Babylon...

n mythology the seven evil deities were known as shedu, meaning storm-demons. They were represented in winged bull form
Bull (mythology)
The worship of the Sacred Bull throughout the ancient world is most familiar to the Western world in the biblical episode of the idol of the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf after being made by the Hebrew people in the wilderness of Sinai, were rejected and destroyed by Moses and his tribe after his...

, derived from the colossal bulls used as protective genii of royal palaces, the name "shed" assumed also the meaning of a propitious genius in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

ian magic literature.

It was from Chaldea that the name "shedu" came to the Israelites, and so the writers of the Tanach applied the word as a dylogism to the Canaanite deities in the two passages quoted. They also spoke of "the destroyer" (Exodus xii. 23) as a Lord who will "strike down the Egyptians." In II Samuel xxiv; 16 and II Chronicles xxi. 15 the pestilence-dealing angel, that is spirit, called "the destroying angel" (compare "the angel of the Lord" in II Kings xix. 35; Isaiah xxxvii. 36), because, although they are angels, these "messengers" (Psalms lxxviii. 49; A. V. "angels") do only the bidding of God; they are the agents of His divine wrath.

There are indications that popular Hebrew mythology ascribed to the demons a certain independence, a malevolent character of their own, because they are believed to come forth, not from the heavenly abode of God, but from the nether world.

In the Hebrew tradition demons were workers of harm. To them were ascribed the various diseases, particularly such as affect the brain and the inner parts. Hence there was a fear of "Shabriri" (lit. "dazzling glare"), the demon of blindness, who rests on uncovered water at night and strikes those with blindness who drink of it; also mentioned were the spirit of catalepsy and the spirit of headache, the demon of epilepsy, and the spirit of nightmare.

These demons were supposed to enter the body and cause the disease while overwhelming or "seizing" the victim (hence "seizure"). To cure such diseases it was necessary to draw out the evil demons by certain incantations and talismanic performances, in which the Essenes
Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

 excelled. Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, who speaks of demons as "spirits of the wicked which enter into men that are alive and kill them", but which can be driven out by a certain root, witnessed such a performance in the presence of the Emperor Vespasian, and ascribed its origin to King Solomon.

Ancient Arabia


Pre-Islamic mythology
Arabian mythology
Arabian mythology comprises the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia...

 does not discriminate between gods and demons. The jinn
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

 are considered as divinities of inferior rank, having many human attributes: they eat, drink, and procreate their kind, sometimes in conjunction with human beings. The jinn smell and lick things, and have a liking for remnants of food. In eating they use the left hand. Usually they haunt waste and deserted places, especially the thickets where wild beasts gather. Cemeteries and dirty places are also favorite abodes. When appearing to man, jinn sometimes assume the forms of beasts and sometimes those of men.

Generally, jinn are peaceable and well disposed toward men. Many a pre-Islamic poet was believed to have been inspired by good jinn, but there are also evil jinn, who contrive to injure men.

Hebrew Bible


Those in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 are of two classes, the se'irim and the shedim. The se'irim ("hairy beings"), to which some Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

s offered sacrifices in the open fields, are satyr
Satyr
In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing....

-like creatures, described as dancing in the wilderness, and which are identical with the jinn
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

, such as Dantalion
Dantalion
In demonology, Dantalion is a powerful Great Duke of Hell, with thirty-six legions of demons under his command; a Jinn, he is the 71st of 72 spirits of Solomon. He teaches all arts and sciences, and also declares the secret counsel of anyone, given that he knows the thoughts of all people and can...

, the 71st spirit of Solomon.
Some benevolent shedim were used in kabbalistic ceremonies (as with the golem
Golem
In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing....

 of Rabbi Yehuda Loevy), and malevolent shedim (mazikin, from the root meaning "to damage") were often credited with possession. Similarly, a shed might inhabit an otherwise inanimate statue.

Judaism



In some rabbinic sources, the demons were believed to be under the dominion of a king or chief, either Asmodai
Asmodai
Asmodeus or Asmodai is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist. The demon is also mentioned in some Talmudic legends, for instance, in the story of the construction of the Temple of Solomon. He was supposed by some Renaissance...

 or, in the older Haggadah, Samael
Samael
Samael is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is accuser, seducer and destroyer, and has been regarded as both good and evil...

 ("the angel of death"), who kills by his deadly poison, and is called "chief of the devils". Occasionally a demon is called "satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

": "Stand not in the way of an ox when coming from the pasture, for Satan dances between his horns".

Demonology never became an essential feature of Jewish theology. The reality of demons was never questioned by the Talmudists and late rabbis; most accepted their existence as a fact. Nor did most of the medieval thinkers question their reality. Only rationalists like Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 and Abraham ibn Ezra
Abraham ibn Ezra
Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra was born at Tudela, Navarre in 1089, and died c. 1167, apparently in Calahorra....

, clearly denied their existence. Their point of view eventually became the mainstream Jewish understanding.

Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

nical demonology has three classes of demons, though they are scarcely separable one from another. There were the shedim, the ("harmers"), and the ("spirits"). Besides these there were lilin ("night spirits"), ("shade", or "evening spirits"), ("midday spirits"), and ("morning spirits"), as well as the "demons that bring famine" and "such as cause storm and earthquake" (Targ. Yer. to Deuteronomy xxxii. 24 and Numbers vi. 24; Targ. to Cant. iii. 8, iv. 6; Eccl. ii. 5; Ps. xci. 5, 6.)

Christian demonology


"Demon" has a number of meanings, all related to the idea of a spirit that inhabited a place, or that accompanied a person. Whether such a daemon was benevolent or malevolent, the Greek word meant something different from the later medieval notions of 'demon', and scholars debate the time in which first century usage by Jews and Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in its original Greek sense became transformed to the later medieval sense. Some denominations asserting Christian faith also include, exclusively or otherwise, fallen angel
Fallen angel
Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

s as de facto demons; this definition also covers the "sons of God" described in Genesis who abandoned their posts in heaven to mate with human women on Earth before the Deluge.

In the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

, Jesus casts out many demons, or evil spirits, from those who are afflicted with various ailments. Jesus is far superior to the power of demons over the beings that they inhabit, and he is able to free these victims by commanding and casting out the demons, by binding them, and forbidding them to return. Jesus also lends this power to some of his disciples, who rejoice at their new found ability to cast out all demons. The demons are cast out by the pronunciation of a name according to , some groups insisting the original pronunciation of the name Jesus and pure form of worship be used i.e. Yahshua
Yahshua
Yahshua is an argued transliteration of the original Hebrew or Aramaic name of Jesus commonly used by individuals in the Sacred Name Movement....

 / Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

 meaning "Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 is salvation".

By way of contrast, in the book of Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 a group of Judaistic exorcists known as the sons of Sceva try to cast out a very powerful spirit without believing in or knowing Jesus, but fail with disastrous consequences. However Jesus himself never fails to vanquish a demon, no matter how powerful (see the account of the demon-possessed man at Gerasim), and even defeats Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 in the wilderness (see Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

).

There is a description in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 12:7-17 of a battle between God's army and Satan's followers, and their subsequent expulsion from Heaven to Earth to persecute humans — although this event is related as being foretold and taking place in the future. In Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 10:18 it is mentioned that a power granted by Jesus to cast out demons made Satan "fall like lightning from heaven."

Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

's reading of Apuleius
Apuleius
Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

, in City of God (Bk. IX, ch.11) is ambiguous as to whether daemons had become 'demonized' by the early 5th century:
"He [Apulieus] also states that the blessed are called in Greek eudaimones, because they are good souls, that is to say, good demons, confirming his opinion that the souls of men are demons.


The contemporary Roman Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that angels and demons are real personal beings, not just symbolic devices. The Catholic Church has a cadre of officially sanctioned exorcists which perform many exorcism
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

s each year. The exorcists of the Catholic Church teach that demons attack humans continually but that afflicted persons can be effectively healed and protected either by the formal rite of exorcism, authorized to be performed only by bishops and those they designate, or by prayers of deliverance which any Christian can offer for themselves or others.

Building upon the few references to daemons in the New Testament, especially the visionary poetry of the Apocalypse of John
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 writers of apocrypha
Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

 from the 2nd century onwards created a more complicated tapestry of beliefs about "demons" that was largely independent of Christian scripture.

At various times in Christian history, attempts have been made to classify these beings according to various proposed demonic hierarchies.

According to most Christian demonology
Christian demonology
Christian demonology is the study of demons from a Christian point of view. It is primarily based on the Bible , the exegesis of these scriptures, the scriptures of early Christian philosophers and hermits, tradition, and legends incorporated from other beliefs.-Development:In monotheistic...

 demons will be eternally punished and never reconcile with God. Other theories postulate a Universal reconciliation
Universal reconciliation
In Christian theology, universal reconciliation is the doctrine that all sinful and alienated human souls—because of divine love and mercy—will ultimately be reconciled to God.Universal salvation may be related to the perception of a problem of Hell, standing opposed to ideas...

, in which Satan, the fallen angels, and the souls of the dead that were condemned to Hell are reconciled with God. This doctrine is today often associated with the Unification Church
Unification Church
The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

. Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

, Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 and Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa
St. Gregory of Nyssa was a Christian bishop and saint. He was a younger brother of Basil the Great and a good friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. His significance has long been recognized in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity...

 also mentioned this possibility.

In contemporary Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, demons are generally considered to be angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s who fell from grace by rebelling against God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

. However, other schools of thought in Christianity or Judaism teach that demons, or evil spirits, are a result of the sexual relationships between fallen angels and human women. When these hybrids (Nephilim
Nephilim
The Nephilim are the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6:4, or giants who inhabit Canaan in Numbers 13:33. A similar word with different vowel-sounds is used in Ezekiel 32:27 to refer to dead Philistine warriors....

) died they left behind disembodied spirits that "roam the earth in search of rest" (Luke 11:24). Many non-canonical historical texts describe in detail these unions and the consequences thereof. This belief is repeated in other major ancient religions and mythologies. Christians who reject this view do so by ascribing the description of "Sons of God" in Genesis 6 to be the sons of Seth (one of Adam's sons).
There are some who say that the sin of the angels was pride and disobedience, these being the sins that caused Satan's downfall (Ezek. 28). If this be the true view, then we are to understand the words, "estate" or "principality" in Deuteronomy 32:8 and Jude 6 ("And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.") as indicating that instead of being satisfied with the dignity once for all assigned to them under the Son of God, they aspired higher.

Renaissance demonology


Although no canon of Renaissance demonology exist, the interest in classic Greco-Roman culture, philosophy
Ancient philosophy
This page lists some links to ancient philosophy. In Western philosophy, the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire marked the ending of Hellenistic philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of Medieval philosophy, whereas in Eastern philosophy, the spread of Islam through the Arab Empire...

, science
History of science in Classical Antiquity
The history of science in classical antiquity encompasses both those inquiries into the workings of the universe aimed at such practical goals as establishing a reliable calendar or determining how to cure a variety of illnesses and those abstract investigations known as natural philosophy...

 and Greek
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 and Roman
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 mythology also created a playground for experience with, what was supposed to be a Pre-Christian religious practice. Most notably found in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

 like the legend of Faust
Faust
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical...

.

Islam



Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 recognizes the existence of the jinn
Jinn
Jinn are supernatural beings in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings.Jinn may also refer to:* Jinn , a Japanese band* Qui-Gon Jinn, a character in the Star Wars universe...

, which are sentient beings with free will that can co-exist with humans and are not all evil as demons are described in Christianity. The creation of Jinnkind preceded that of mankind. They exist in what is known as the Al-Ghaib (unseen or unknown) realm or world, they have the ability to see us but we can not see them. Angels also exist in this realm, as well as the human soul (hence why it can not be seen leaving the human body in death). The Jinns are made from the smokeless flame of fire and both angels and the human soul are made from light, whilst the human body is made from clay. Though this "fire" and "light" is beyond matter, whatever exists in this realm is made from matter. In Islam, the evil Jinns are referred to as the shayātīn, or devils, and Iblis
Devil (Islam)
In Islam, the Devil is known as or . According to the Qurʾān, God created Iblis out of "smokeless fire or from the pure flame of fire" and created man out of clay...

 (Satan) is their chief. Iblis was one of the first Jinn (he is not considered an Angel in Islamic Cultures) who disobeyed Allah (God) and did not bow down before Adam.

Angels are servants of Allah (God) who do not possess any freewill, whilst Jinnkind and mankind do. It was because Adam possessed freewill and the ability to choose (to do either good or bad) but instead chose to submit his will to the will of Allah (God), Allah (God) loved him so; so much so that mankind's status was elevated higher than that of Angelkind because the Angels have no choice but to serve Allah (God). According to the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, when Allah (God) created Adam from clay, all the angels and Iblis himself were ordered to bow before Adam. Iblis became very jealous and disobeyed Allah (God), holding that jinns were the superior creation, as they were made of fire, while humans were made of clay.

Adam was the first prophet and deputy of the human race, and as such was the greatest creation of Allah (God). Iblis could not stand this, and refused to acknowledge a creature made of "clay" (matter). Allah (God), thus, condemned Iblis to be punished in the hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

fire. But Iblis asked for respite until the last day (judgement day) and this is when the devil and God made a pact and the devil claimed that if he was given the chance, he could make mankind fall and vowed that one day he would even have Allah's (God's) beloved creation (mankind) denying the very existence of their creator, to which Allah's (God) agreed, but warned that he and all who would follow him in evil would be punished in hell. Allah (God) also stated that Iblis would only be able to mislead those who have forsaken Allah (God) and not the righteous believers.

Adam and Eve
Eve (Bible)
Eve was, according to the creation of Abrahamic religions, the first woman created by God...

 (Hawwa in Arabic) were both together misled by Iblis into eating the forbidden fruit
Forbidden fruit
Forbidden fruit is any object of desire whose appeal is a direct result of knowledge that cannot or should not be obtained or something that someone may want but is forbidden to have....

, and consequently fell from the garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 (allegorical) into a state of degeneration.

Jinns are not the "genies" of modern lore. Like man, there are good and bad, believers and non-believers amongst them. The evil Jinns have been known to possess human beings or enter a humans life in order to hinder it. Their actions are similar to that of a poltergeist in Western understanding. Contrary to the evil Jinns, the good Jinns (servants of good) and can enter a human life in order to help them in numerous ways. The entry to our realm is forbidden without Allah (God's) permission. Both the Angels and Jinns can enter in the form of a human being or an animal. As Angels do not posses free will and the good Jinn are obedient, they never enter without Allah's (God's) permission. However, the same cannot be said for the evil Jinn who enter as they will and have been known to take the form of many animals (especially black Dogs and Snakes) and human beings.

Hinduism


Hindu mythology includes numerous varieties of spirits that might be classified as demons, including Vetala
Vetala
A vetala is a ghost-like being from Hindu mythology. The vetala are defined as spirits inhabiting corpses and charnel grounds...

s, Bhuta
Bhuta
Bhūta is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings:* true, matter of fact, reality, existing, present, being or being like anything, consisting of, mixed or joined with...

s and Pishacha
Pishacha
Pishachas are flesh eating demons, according to Hindu mythology. Their origin is obscure, although some believe that they were created by Brahma. Another legend describes them as the sons of either Krodh or of Daksha’s daughter Pishach. They have been described to have a dark complexion with...

s. Often Rakshasa
Rakshasa
A Rakshasa or alternatively rakshas, is a race of mythological humanoid beings or unrighteous spirit in Hindu and Buddhist religion...

s and Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s are taken to mean demons.

Asuras


Originally, Asura, in the earliest hymns of the Rig Veda, meant any supernatural spirit, both good and bad. Since the /s/ of the Indic linguistic branch is cognate with the /h/ of the Early Iranian languages, the word Asura, representing a category of celestial beings, became the word Ahura (Mazda), the Supreme God of the monotheistic Zoroastrians
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

. Ancient Hinduism tells that Deva
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

s and Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s are half-brothers, sons of the same father Kasyapa; but some of the devas, like Varuna
Varuna
In Vedic religion, Varuna is a god of the sky, of water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld...

, are also named Asuras. But much later at puranic age Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

 (also Rakshasa
Rakshasa
A Rakshasa or alternatively rakshas, is a race of mythological humanoid beings or unrighteous spirit in Hindu and Buddhist religion...

) came to exclusively mean any of a race of anthropomorphic, powerful, possibly evil beings. All words such as Asura, Daitya (lit., sons of the mother "Diti"), Rakshasa (lit. from "harm to be guarded against") are incorrectly translated into English as demon.

Asuras do accept and worship the Gods, particularly the Hindu triumvirate; some of the rakshasas like Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

 and Mahabali
Mahabali
Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

 are exemplary devotees. Often the strife between the asuras and the devas is simply a political one: devas are the ordained maintainers of the realms with power (and immortality) accorded to them by the gods and asuras ever strive to attain both. Asuras usually attain or enhance their supernatural powers through penance to gods and waging war on devas using powers thus attained. Unlike Christian notion of demons, asuras are not the cause of the evil and unhappiness in mankind (unhappiness in humans, according to Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 is by one's own actions (Karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

) and/or due to the continued ignorance of Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

, the unchanging reality. Asuras, if any, are cogs in the wheel of Karma); they are not fundamentally against the Gods, nor do they tempt humans to fall. In fact, asuras, much like devas, do worship the Gods of Hinduism: many Asuras are said to have been granted boons from one of the members of the Hindu trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, viz., Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 and Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 when the latter had been appeased from their penances. This is markedly different from the traditional Western notions of demons as a rival army of God. In Hindu mythology, pious, highly enlightened asuras, like Prahlada
Prahlada
Prahlada is a character from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, wherein he is famed for his exclusive devotion to Vishnu, despite attempts in the story by his father, Hiranyakashipu, to turn him to the contrary...

 and Vibheeshana, are not at all uncommon. Prahlada even said to have secured enlightenment to his entire lineage (of asuras). All Asuras, unlike the devas, are said to have born mortals (though they ever strive to become immortal). Many people metaphorically interpret asuras as manifestations of the ignoble passions in human mind and as a symbolic device. There were also cases of power-hungry asuras challenging various aspects of Gods, but only to be defeated eventually and seek forgiveness—see Surapadman
Surapadman
Surapadman is a demon of Sri Lanka who was almost slain by Lord Muruga in Hindu mythology....

, Narakasura
Narakasura
In Hindu beliefs, Narakasura or Naraka is the asura son of the earth goddess Bhudevi and Lord Vishnu in his Varaha Avatar . In other sources, he is the son of the asura Hiranyaksha. He is said to have established the kingdom of Pragjyotisha in Assam after overthrowing the last of the Danava king...

.

Evil spirits


Hinduism advocates the theory of reincarnation and transmigration of souls according to one's Karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

. Souls (Atman
Atman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

) of the dead are adjudged by the Yama
Yama
Yama , also known as Yamarāja in India and Nepal, Shinje in Tibet, Yanluowang or simply Yan in China, Yeomla Daewang in South Korea and Enma Dai-Ō in Japan, is the lord of death, in Hinduism and then adopted into Buddhism and then further into Chinese mythology and Japanese mythology. First...

 and are accorded various purging punishments before being reborn. Humans that have committed extraordinary wrongs are condemned to roam as lonely, often evil, spirits for a length of time before being reborn. Many kinds of such spirits (Vetala
Vetala
A vetala is a ghost-like being from Hindu mythology. The vetala are defined as spirits inhabiting corpses and charnel grounds...

s, Pishacha
Pishacha
Pishachas are flesh eating demons, according to Hindu mythology. Their origin is obscure, although some believe that they were created by Brahma. Another legend describes them as the sons of either Krodh or of Daksha’s daughter Pishach. They have been described to have a dark complexion with...

s, Bhūta
Bhuta
Bhūta is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings:* true, matter of fact, reality, existing, present, being or being like anything, consisting of, mixed or joined with...

) are recognized in the later Hindu texts. These beings, in a limited sense, can be called demons.

Bahá'í Faith


In the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, demons are not regarded as independent evil spirits as they are in some faiths. All evil spirits described in various faith traditions such as Satan, fallen angels, demons and jinns are metaphors for the base character traits a human being may acquire and manifest when he turns away from God and follows his lower nature. Belief in the existence of ghosts and earthbound spirits is rejected and considered to be the product of superstition.

See also


  • Daemon (classical mythology)
  • Archdemon
    Archdemon
    In Biblical tradition, an archdemon is a spiritual entity, prominent in the infernal hierarchy. Essentially, an archdemon is the counterpart of an archangel. Archdemons are described as the leaders of demonic hosts, just as archangels lead choirs of angels....

  • Classification of demons
    Classification of demons
    There have been various demonologies in Christian demonology and classical occultism and Renaissance magic. Classification systems are based on the nature of the demon, the sin with which they tempt people, the month in which their power was strongest, the saints that were their adversaries, or...

  • Christian demonology
    Christian demonology
    Christian demonology is the study of demons from a Christian point of view. It is primarily based on the Bible , the exegesis of these scriptures, the scriptures of early Christian philosophers and hermits, tradition, and legends incorporated from other beliefs.-Development:In monotheistic...

  • Demonic possession
    Demonic possession
    Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

  • Demonolatry

  • Fiend
  • Folk devil
    Folk devil
    A folk devil is a person or group of people who are portrayed in folklore or the media as outsiders and deviant, and who are blamed for crimes or other sorts of social problems ....

  • Imp
    Imp
    An imp is a mythological being similar to a fairy or demon, frequently described in folklore and superstition. The word may perhaps derive from the term ympe, used to denote a young grafted tree.-Folklore:...

  • List of theological demons
  • List of fictional demons
  • Names of the demons
    Names of the demons
    According to some Christian theology, many Pagan deities are demons. So, when names of demons are spoken, one must consider that they were incorporated to Christian demonology, as were Jewish demons, Pagan deities, folkloric supernatural beings, and sometimes imaginary names given by people...


  • Oni
  • Saint Michael
  • Satanism
    Satanism
    Satanism is a group of religions that is composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared feature include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and...

  • Spiritual warfare
    Spiritual warfare
    Spiritual warfare is a range of activity by various Christian groups whereby Satanic demons are combatted, using a variety of methods depending on the group, but typically through prayer.-Range of practice, history, and methodology:...

  • Vampire
    Vampire
    Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

  • Yaoguai
    Yaoguai
    Yaoguai or yaomo or yaojing is a Chinese term that generally means "demon". Yaoguai are mostly malevolent animal spirits or fallen celestial beings that have acquired magical powers through the practice of Taoism...



External links