THE DEVIL, DEMONOLOGY AND WITCHCRAFT by Henry Ansgar Kelly

THE DEVIL, DEMONOLOGY AND WITCHCRAFT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a blatant attempt to refute tenets basic to most Christian and Catholic theologies. Dr. Kelly revivifies passages from both the Old and New Testaments noting the ""disparity of source material and concepts"" with special attention to The Book of Enoch, the work of Justin Martyr, Augustine and such examples as the story of Simon Magus (Simon the Magician who opposed Peter before his conversion). He includes the arguments of the Dutch Jesuit Peter Schoonenberg who pointed up ""erroneous doctrinal decisions"" along with contemporary theologians who feel that ""the personal nature of demons"" stems from an ""over literal interpretation"" of the scriptures and poke an accusing finger at such misjudgments as the Catholic Church's ban on Galileo and the Copernican theory. There is a long discussion of the rites of baptism and exorcism and a brief history of European witchcraft. Too short a book for such a large-scale condemnation, it does offer some stimulating arguments: ""Given the evils that belief in demonology has caused in the past, and given also the uncertainty of its claim to a place in Christian revelation and theology, it would seem best to act as though evil spirits did not exist, until such time as their existence is forced upon us."" Amen?

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday