The Lost Devil and Human Evil: The Divorce of the Devil from the Concept of Evil in the Modern World
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This will not be a theodicy, theology of evil, or even a history of the Devil. Rather, I hope to trace the progression of the Devil, as the anthropomorphic personification of evil, through the Western Judeo-Christian tradition, and to demonstrate that the Devil has lost much of this traditional role. From the dark angel of Jewish lore, to the tempter of Christ, and later humanity, the Devil has seen some dramatic changes in persona. However, I believe the modern world has lost this connection of the Devil and evil. The Devil exists today as mere allegory, little more than an imp that reminds us of our own inherently evil natures. For example, psychology attributes evil not to some fallen angel, but to bestial and anti-social tendencies found in the darker recesses of the mind. This change is by no means dramatic or well defined, and it is only when one steps back and looks at the totality of the history of the Devil that this change is readily apparent. In the following analysis, I hope to convey a sense of this change to the reader, in the hopes that they will better understand the process of divorce that occurred to bring about this change in the idea of the Devil our understanding of evil.
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