Philosophical Approaches to the Devil
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This collection brings together new papers addressing the philosophical challenges that the concept of a Devil presents, bringing philosophical rigor to treatments of the Devil. Contributors approach the idea of the Devil from a variety of philosophical traditions, methodologies, and styles, providing a comprehensive philosophical overview that contemplates the existence, nature, and purpose of the Devil. While some papers take a classical approach to the Devil, drawing on biblical exegesis, other contributors approach the topic of the Devil from epistemological, metaphysical, phenomenological, and ethical perspectives. This volume will be relevant to researchers and scholars interested in philosophical conceptions of the Devil and related areas, such as philosophers of religion, theologians, and scholars working in philosophical theology and demonology.
Table of Contents
Introduction Benjamin W. McCraw and Robert Arp Part I: Divergent Conceptions of the Devil 1. Devil in the Details: Tracing the Biblical Genealogy and Origin of the Satan-Lucifer Myths Adam D. Neal 2. Nietzsche, Satan, and the Romantics: The Devil as "Tragic Hero" in Romanticism Siobhan Lyons 3. Satan, Romantic Hero or Just Another Asshole: The Desire to be God, the Devil, and the Demonic James M. McLachlan 4. Wormwood Gets Promoted: A Devilish Look at Higher Education J. Aaron Simmons Part II: The Devil in Medieval and Modern Philosophy 5. The Devil and St. Anselm Katherin A. Rogers 6. The Secret Joke of Satan’s Soul Kevin Carnahan 7. "Behold, It is Cast into the Fire for Fuel": Jonathan Edwards on the Usefulness of the Wicked David Reiter 8. Descartes’ Demon: More Powerful and Virtuous than God? Joshua M. Hall Part III: The Devil and Epistemology 9. A Theist’s Nightmare Paul McNamara 10. "Now, Who Could it Be?": Satan and the Argument from Natural Evil James F. Sennett 11. Reformed Demonology Benjamin W. McCraw Part IV: The Devil in Moral and Social Philosophy 12. What’s Wrong with Satanic Temptation? T. Ryan Byerly 13. The Devil’s Philosophy of Law: Obedience and Disobedience Andre Santos Campos 14. If the Devil Did Not Exist, It May Be Necessary to Invent Him in Certain Contexts Robert Arp
Benjamin W. McCraw is instructor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina Upstate, USA. His research focuses on epistemology and philosophy of religion.
Robert Arp works as a research analyst for the US Army. He has published in many philosophical areas, including philosophy of religion, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of mind.
"Belief in the devil plays a significant role in the religious lives of many people, but this belief has been largely ignored in philosophy. The essays in this engaging collection begin to restore the balance by pursuing some of the philosophical challenges that emerge from the idea of an individual who is the embodiment of absolute evil." —William Hasker, Professor Emeritus, Huntington University, USA
"In this volume we see classical, modern and contemporary questions about the devil—his existence, nature and purpose(s)—being subjected to careful scrutiny and analysis. The treatment throughout is balanced and fair, in the spirit of C. S. Lewis who recommended squarely the avoidance of two errors: paying not enough attention, and paying far too much attention, to the Devil and matters diabolical. If angelic balance there be, the editors and contributors seem to have achieved a suitable (and we might add, timely) weighing of arguments and evidence regarding what many take to be the undeniable personification of evil in the midst of our world and our history." —Edward Martin, Liberty University, USA