A History of the Devil by Gerald Messadié

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The biggest ruse of the devil is making us believe that he doesn't exist, claimed Baudelaire. On the contrary, argues bestselling French historian and critic Gerald Messadie, it is devilish that we believe in him at all.A History of the Devil is a vivacious and provocative exploration of the personification of evil through the ages and across cultures. Messadie reveals that our Satan -- the antithesis of God and good -- was a concept unknown to the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Hindus, and Chinese. In fact, the devil was probably invented six centuries before the Common Era by Persian clergy eager to aid their political allies. Ever since, the image of evil has been a useful tool of the powerful, from the proponents of the Spanish Inquisition to the Cold Warriors of our own time. Meticulously researched and eloquently argued, this unorthodox history of religion from its seamy underside explores a fascinating and diverse strand of cultures everywhere.

About Gerald Messadié

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Gerald Messadie studied at Ecole des Langues Orientales in Paris, and is the author of fifteen books in French. His works have been widely translated in Europe.
Published June 3, 1996 by Macmillan. 383 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Now that God's biography has been written, by Jack Miles, it's time to give the Devil his due. Messadie's book is the finest of the legion of recent books released about the archfiend and his cohorts.

Jun 03 1996 | Read Full Review of A History of the Devil

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