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9780745628158

A History of the Devil

Hardback By Robert Muchembled
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Product Description

This highly original and engaging book by French historian Robert Muchembled, is a journey through time and space in search of the changing perception and significance of the devil in Western culture. An outstanding book about the changing perception and significance of the devil in Western culture. Robert Muchembled is a well-known historian and an expert on witchcraft, whose work has already been translated into many languages. The author highlights the way that the changing notion of evil is connected to other changes in society at large. Draws on a wealth of examples, from the witch-hunts of the 15th and 16th centuries, to the films of Stanley Kubrick.

Product Details

Format: Hardback, 360 pages Language: English
Dimension: 23.62cm x 15.75cm x 3.2cm ISBN10: 074562815X
Weight: 644g ISBN13: 9780745628158
Publication Date: 31 Oct 2003 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Robert Muchembled is a professor of history at the University of Paris XIII.

Product Reviews

Review

"Only on one level a history of the Devil; on a deeper level it is a history of the shifting and fluctuating status the Devil has occupied in Western culture .

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. a valuable book, once one has recognized its unusual intentions." Richard Kieckhefer, Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

From the Inside Flap

This highly original and engaging book by French historian Robert Muchembled, is a journey through time and space in search of the changing perception and significance of the devil in Western culture. The author takes the story back to the 13th century, when visual images of Satan first started to appear, and forward to the 20th Century, dealing with, among others, the place of the diabolical in the films of Stanley Kubrick, including Eyes Wide Shut. The changing figures of Evil over time are shown to correlate with the way in which men conceive of their destinies and the future of their civilisation. Fascination with the diabolical having reached its height in the witch-hunts of the 15th and 16th centuries, by the enlightenment, begins to show signs of decline, a process which has continued up to today. The result of this process, for modern western society, is a subtle metamorphosis of the notion of the devil from fear of Satan, into an internal demon, “the demon within” characterised by a distrust of oneself and ones desires. It is this conception of the diabolical that is visible today in our interest in the supernatural, exorcism, and for example, in the role of the “devlish good” in advertising. A rich, vivid history of a topic that never ceases to intrigue.

From the Back Cover

This highly original and engaging book by French historian Robert Muchembled, is a journey through time and space in search of the changing perception and significance of the devil in Western culture. The author takes the story back to the 13th century, when visual images of Satan first started to appear, and forward to the 20th Century, dealing with, among others, the place of the diabolical in the films of Stanley Kubrick, including Eyes Wide Shut. The changing figures of Evil over time are shown to correlate with the way in which men conceive of their destinies and the future of their civilisation. Fascination with the diabolical having reached its height in the witch-hunts of the 15th and 16th centuries, by the enlightenment, begins to show signs of decline, a process which has continued up to today. The result of this process, for modern western society, is a subtle metamorphosis of the notion of the devil from fear of Satan, into an internal demon, “the demon within” characterised by a distrust of oneself and ones desires. It is this conception of the diabolical that is visible today in our interest in the supernatural, exorcism, and for example, in the role of the “devlish good” in advertising. A rich, vivid history of a topic that never ceases to intrigue.

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