The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(1,012 words)

1. It is the property of the mechanisms of psychic release in all cultures to project vague fears and unfulfilled aggressions on nonhuman beings. In tribal religions—as in the medieval popular belief of Europe—the dead (and various animals), as dangerous revenants, in manifold versions, become hostile demons of this kind. Devils (Gk., diáboloi, ‘pell-mell throwers’) appear in collective myths or in the ‘theologized’ form of such ( Demon/Demonolog…

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Dinzelbacher, Peter, “Devil”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 28 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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