Origins of the Devil

Old Lucifer has had quite a workout in the headlines lately.

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez called the president of the United States the devil in the well of the United Nations two weeks ago. Jerry Falwell brought the house down in Washington, comparing Hillary Clinton unfavorably to Lucifer. Iran never tires of whacking the US as Satan. The Vatican’s top exorcist says Harry Potter is the devil.

Ever since George Bush rolled out his “axis of evil” and before, the devil has seemed to be on the comeback trail in modern conversation, popping up all over, with pitchfork and cloven hoof and the smell — we’re reminded — of sulfur.

We look back on the origins of the idea of the Devil, and how they’re playing in our global politics today.

Quotes from the Show:

“The story of Satan is the story of the battle between good and evil … It has given a competitive edge to virtue.” Gregory Mobley

“This seems common throughout history — to demonize one’s enemies.” T.J. Wray


T.J. Wray, Assisant Professor of Religious Studies at Salve Regina University and co-author of “The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil’s Biblical Roots”

Gregory Mobley, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Andover Newton Theological School and co-author of “The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil’s Biblical Roots.”

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