Satan's Rhetoric: A Study of Renaissance Demonology by Armando Maggi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cast out from the Heavens with no chance of redemption nor is there any chance of them returning to paradise. The Devil and his demons are obscecced with humans. Mankind has a chance at redemption; Satan wants to prevent that from happening. That is his goal. Mankind was ejected from the Garden of Eden, yet by they can gain entrance into Heaven. What is the exact nature of these demons? Demonoglogy is the study of Demons while angelogology is the study of angels. Pulling from five treatises on Demonology the author puts together an interesting picture of what Demons really are supposed to be according to the Catholic Church.
In the work “DeStrigmasis” by Priero the author asserts that the demons or devils who have no physical bodies can only exist in our mind. They are a syllogism or a phoneme of language. Yet they have no language of their own as they have n0o memory of their own. Of course neither do angels. Angels are mere messengers of God. Demons are phonemes of the natural world and they sometimes influence the world and give predictions which they make sure will happen. Demons are linguistic figments that exist within the confines of the mind.
The work “De Ensalmis” talks about using prayers from the Bible and other implements and directing them towards the Devil and his Demons. There were certain rituals that were sanctioned by the Catholic Church and reading the psalms independently was not one of them. Sometimes people got their wishes granted but not all the time.
In Thesauraus Excorsmorum the author talks about expelling demons from someone is possessed. Once again language is the key here. Finding the demons name and location in the body was crucial. If the name could not be found then the demon was given a name. Biblical stories were used and the demon was vomited out.
St, Maria Maddelena would receive vision from the Holy Trinity but for a while she was possessed by the devil ans was not receiving the visions. Finally we discuss dreams and faces in reading a person’s character.
The book itself was on the scholarly side and was a challenge to read and fully comprehend. As much as it teaches us about Demons that their nature the book also tells about the Catholic church and it’s prejudices. Witches, Jews, and Sodomites are lumped together. The Church never approved of Jews and some of the author’s in the books believe that Jews should be wiped out. Antissemitism may not be that big a deal and witches either don’t exist or they are harmless Wiccans. Sodomites or homosexuals are still targeted in the Church. Countless church leader have made public stances against Gay Parades and what not. The hatred never dies.
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