Demonology: Demons

[Demonic Possession]    [Exorcism]    [Demonologists]    [Historical Connections] [Works Cited]


One of the most confusing aspects of Demonology is the distinction between the terms Devil and Demon. For the sake of clarification, when someone is referred to as having sex with the devil, it is safe to assume that it was with a demon, most likely with an incubus (a demon in the shape of a human male for the expressed purpose of fornication) or succubus (the female alternate of an incubus).

Witch praying to a demon. Sebastian Muns. Cosmographia Universalis 1544.

The term "demon" is derived from the Greek word daimon meaning divine power, fat, or god. The actual translation of demon means "replete with wisdom" connoting that the demons were highly knowledgeable creatures, evident in their knowledge of an individual's secretive sins. Demons were fallen angels who followed Lucifer from his expulsion from heaven by God to hell. The demonologists heavily believed that the sole purpose of a demon is "to tempt humankind into immoral acts and come between humans and God (Guiley 91)."
 "Demons are usually associated with evil, but in pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures, demons were, and are, not necessarily good or evil (Guiley 91)." This is an important distinction to make, especially concerning demonic possession and exorcism. One of the initial steps in those cases is to identify if the demon is "good" or "bad". If the demon is not evil, it still is necessary to exorcism him, however, it does not become a matter of life or death for the victim. In addition, the exorcist does not place himself in the tremendous amount of danger typically associated with the performing of an exorcism.


 Hierarchy of Demons

List of Demons

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