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Are the Expressions 'Unclean Spirit' and 'Demon' Used as Technical Terms in the New Testament?
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper (KV).
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: Society of Biblical Literature, International Meeting / Society for Pentecostal Studies: Berlin, August 10, 2017, 2017Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

I begin by explaining the relevance of this question, noting how in Pentecostal and Charismatic writings (I focus especially on spiritual warfare literature) the words ‘unclean spirit’ and ‘demon’ are often treated as technical terms, with fixed well-defined meanings (incorporeal, malevolent supernatural agents that assail people in specific ways). Next I summarize some good reasons for treating them as technical terms. I note how other early texts treat ’demon’ as a discrete category. For example the Book of the Watchers traces all demons back to the antediluvian giants, suggesting that all demons are ultimately of the same kind, and the Testament of Solomon provides a catalogue of demons, also indicative of the fact that demons were considered a clearly defined category. There are also reasons to not consider ‘unclean spirit’ and ‘demon’ to be technical terms, however.  For example, New Testament authors do not share the interest in the nature of demons or their classification with later Christian and Jewish texts. NT texts do not explain on what basis demons and diseases were distinguished; on the contrary, references to demons and disease often co-occur in NT texts, suggesting that the expressions reflect perceived symptoms rather than being attempts at etiology. By way of conclusion I argue that we should be careful and not read too much into various references to demons and unclean spirits in the New Testament. Healings and exorcisms are performed in the New Testament either by Jesus or in his name and with his authority, rather than being based on the correct identification of demons.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2017.
Nyckelord [en]
New Testament, demon, healing, theology, Gospel
Nationell ämneskategori
Religionsvetenskap Idé- och lärdomshistoria
Forskningsämne
Humaniora, Religionsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67245OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67245DiVA, id: diva2:1131620
Konferens
Society of Biblical Literature, International Meeting/ Society for Pentecostal Studies, Berlin, 10 August 2017
Tillgänglig från: 2017-08-15 Skapad: 2017-08-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-08-16Bibliografiskt granskad

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