Evil Category

A devil is the personification of evil as it is conceived in various cultures and religious traditions. It is seen as the objectification of a hostile and destructive force. It is difficult to specify a particular definition of any complexity that will cover all of the traditions, beyond that it is a manifestation of evil. It is meaningful to consider the devil through the lens of each of the cultures and religions that have the devil as part of their mythos. The history of this concept intertwines with theology, mythology, psychiatry, art and literature, maintaining a validity, and developing independently within each of the traditions. It occurs historically in many contexts and cultures, and is given many different namesSatan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Iblisand attributes: It is portrayed as blue, black, or red, it is portrayed as having horns on its head, and without horns, and so on. The idea of the devil has been taken seriously often, but not always, for example when devil figures are used in advertising and on candy wrappers. Etymology The Modern English word devil derives from the Middle English devel, from the Old English dofol, that in turn represents an early Germanic borrowing of the Latin diabolus. This in turn was borrowed from the Greek dibolos, 'slanderer', from diabllein, 'to slander' from di, 'across, through' and bllein, 'to hurl', probably akin to the Sanskrit gurate, 'he lifts up'. Definitions In his book The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, Jeffrey Burton Russell discusses various meanings and difficulties that are encountered when using the term devil. He does not claim to define the word in a general sense, but he describes the limited use that he intends for the word in his booklimited in order to 'minimize this difficulty' and 'for the sake of clarity'. In this book Russell uses the word devil as 'the personification of evil found in a variety of cultures', as opposed to the word Satan, which he reserves specifically for the figure in the Abrahamic religions. In the Introduction to his book Satan: A Biography, Henry Ansgar Kelly discusses various considerations and meanings that he has encountered in using terms such as devil and Satan, etc.

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