Christian demonology, also known as biblical demonology, is the name for the research and study of demons and other spiritual entities based on Christianity. Usually, in Christian demonology, such demons and spiritual entities are studied based on religious texts within Christianity, such as the Bible, texts written by ancient Christian writers, philosophers, and travelers as well as myths and legends from other religions and beliefs.
Interestingly enough, in many religions, including Christianity, gods from other religions and beliefs are seen as demons. However, this demonology, over the years, has developed from a simple belief that other gods are demons to a very in-depth, extensive, field of religion. Now, Christian demonology incorporates many ideas from various cultures and religions, including Jewish demonology.
In Christianity, demons are quite similar to angels in terms of their characteristics. For example, demons are spiritual, immortal, and immutable. However, demons are almost the exact opposite of angels in some ways. Demons, in some ways, represent evil in Christianity, while angels represent good.
In Christianity, the mission or common goal of all demons is to try to influence humans to sin. Many times, demons do this by testing the humans’ belief in God. Demons, and Christian demonology, also use the three temptations in Christian tradition to try to influence humans to sin; these are the world, the flesh, and the devil.
In Christian demonology, what do demons look like? Unlike today’s modern pop culture, in Christian beliefs demons are actually able to take any desired form. In fact demons are even able to take the form of an angel, according to 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. However, demons are still usually seen as ugly and monstrous entities by most demonologists. For example, the devil is often represented by “ugly” animals in Christian beliefs, including the serpent, goat, and dragon.
Further reading and bibliography
- Christian Demonology And Popular Mythology (Demons, Spirits, Witches, vol. 2) (v. 2)
- Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Second Edition