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The Birth of Satan

Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots

T. J. Wray and Gregory Mobley

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Of all the demons, monsters, fiends, and ogres to preoccupy the western imagination in literature, art, and film, no figure has been more feared—or misunderstood--than Satan. But how accurate are the popular images of Satan? How--and why--did this rather minor biblical character morph into the very embodiment of evil? T.J. Wray and Gregory Mobley guide readers on a journey to retrace Satan's biblical roots. Engaging and informative, The Birth of Satan is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered about the origins of the Devil.
Of all the demons, monsters, fiends, and ogres to preoccupy the western imagination in literature, art, and film, no figure has been more feared—or misunderstood--than Satan. But how accurate are the popular images of Satan? How--and why--did this rather minor biblical character morph into the very embodiment of evil? T.J. Wray and Gregory Mobley guide readers on a journey to retrace Satan's biblical roots. Engaging and informative, The Birth of Satan is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered about the origins of the Devil.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Birth of Satan

"An informative study of the biblical origins of Satan…With resourceful though never excessive citation, Mobley and Wray make a good job of pinning down the roots of a notoriously protean character."--The Times Literary Supplement

"Let's admit it. Even in a secular age we are all still fascinated by Old Harry. Even though the devil appears only rarely in the Bible, he is a recurrent presence in the religious and literary imagination. Why? The authors skillfully and humorously trace the origin and history of Satan and explain why we would miss him if he were gone."--Harvey Cox, author of When Jesus Came to Harvard
 
"Making sense out of evil is part of humanity's endless quest to discover the meaning of life. This book illuminates that quest by tracing the history of Satan through the lens of the Judeo/Christian faith story. In an engaging manner, it forces us to realize that either by making Satan a literal being or by dismissing the devil as pre-modern mythology we are still shaped by its ever present shadow."--John Shelby Spong, author of The Sins of Scripture
 

"What a delightful recipe for an interesting and informative reading experience: an inherently interesting topic, sound scholarship, and an utterly engaging style sprinkled with humor! The end result is an engrossing journey through the diverse origins and complex development of the notion of Satan as arch-fiend, concluding with a thoughtful essay on the function and significance of devil-language in human experience. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the topic, about which both religious and non-religious folk tend to be oh, so knowledgeable, yet oh, so ignorant."--Russell Pregeant, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Emeritus, Curry College, Visiting Professor in New Testament, Andover Newton Theological School

"As intriguing, complicated, and pervasive as the devil himself, this volume tells it all. Essentially a biblical tale, it locates the biblical stories in the tribal cultures from which they arose, intersecting them with classics of Western literature. It's a must read for those who are interested in, or troubled by, Satan."--Raymond F. Collins, Warren-Blanding Professor of Religion, Professor of New Testament, The Catholic University of America
"An informative study of the biblical origins of Satan…With resourceful though never excessive citation, Mobley and Wray make a good job of pinning down the roots of a notoriously protean character."--The Times Literary Supplement

"Let's admit it. Even in a secular age we are all still fascinated by Old Harry. Even though the devil appears only rarely in the Bible, he is a recurrent presence in the religious and literary imagination. Why? The authors skillfully and humorously trace the origin and history of Satan and explain why we would miss him if he were gone."--Harvey Cox, author of When Jesus Came to Harvard
 
"Making sense out of evil is part of humanity's endless quest to discover the meaning of life. This book illuminates that quest by tracing the history of Satan through the lens of the Judeo/Christian faith story. In an engaging manner, it forces us to realize that either by making Satan a literal being or by dismissing the devil as pre-modern mythology we are still shaped by its ever present shadow."--John Shelby Spong, author of The Sins of Scripture
 

"What a delightful recipe for an interesting and informative reading experience: an inherently interesting topic, sound scholarship, and an utterly engaging style sprinkled with humor! The end result is an engrossing journey through the diverse origins and complex development of the notion of Satan as arch-fiend, concluding with a thoughtful essay on the function and significance of devil-language in human experience. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the topic, about which both religious and non-religious folk tend to be oh, so knowledgeable, yet oh, so ignorant."--Russell Pregeant, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Emeritus, Curry College, Visiting Professor in New Testament, Andover Newton Theological School

"As intriguing, complicated, and pervasive as the devil himself, this volume tells it all. Essentially a biblical tale, it locates the biblical stories in the tribal cultures from which they arose, intersecting them with classics of Western literature. It's a must read for those who are interested in, or troubled by, Satan."--Raymond F. Collins, Warren-Blanding Professor of Religion, Professor of New Testament, The Catholic University of America

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • T. J. Wray and Gregory Mobley

  • T. J. Wray is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Salve Regina University. She is the author of Surviving the Death of a Sibling and Grief Dreams. Gregory Mobley is Associate Professor, Andover Newton Theological School.
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Birth of Satan

Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots

T. J. Wray and Gregory Mobley

  • Hardcover

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