What is Demonology
The study of demons and their beliefs is known as Demonology. Revolving around the hierarchy of demons, this study elaborates on details about these demons, such as that they are maybe nonhuman, separable souls, or discarnate spirits.
These demons may contain both forms, those who have inhabited a body or those who have never inhabited a body.
There are some distinguishing features in these distinctive classes, which have been notably given by the Melanesians, several African groups, and others. For example, the Islamic jinn, as understood, is an entity that cannot be reduced to human souls. At the same time, both these classes have similarities as well, such as both of them have been frequently conceived to produce identical consequences such as diseases.
Prevalence of Demons
Some societies have understood the universe’s affairs as something that should always be under the control of the spirits. These spirits are supposed to rule a specific “element” or even object, and they should act as subjects to a higher order of spirits according to the hierarchy. For instance, the Inuit have been known to believe in spirits of the sea, earth, and sky, the winds, the clouds, and everything else in nature. Everything available to the world as nature, every cove of the seashore, every point, every island, and prominent rock has been blessed with the presence of its guardian angel, who is known to protect and support them.
The difference here is that all these spirits have an inherent tendency or potential to perform as the malignant type. They appeal for the knowledge of the supernatural, which has been forbidden for ages.
According to the conventional Korean belief system, numerous demons have been said to inhabit the natural world. They are said to be present in various household objects, filling almost every location. Many demons have been known to travel along with travelers to seek them out from their places. Greek philosophers like Porphyry of Tyre claimed influence from Platonism and the fathers of the Christian Church and postulated that the world was filled with spirits of all kinds.
Demons as a character of the Spiritual world
The association between the word evil and the word demon is in no way universal. Malevolence as an attribute is not something that has been ascribed to them forever. Notably, in Central Africa, the Mpongwe believed in local spirits, just like the Inuits. However, these spirits were regarded as inoffensive and neutral. People passing by their shrines were supposed to make some affectionate token as offerings to please them. All these neutral spirits did were considerably small mischiefs, such as the throwing down a tree on a passer-by. These occasional mischievous acts were perpetrated by the class of spirits known as Ombuiri.
Numerous spirits concerned with the orchestration of law and order operations in nature are understood as benevolent. These neutral spirits are neither good nor bad. The European peasant has feared the existence of a corn-spirit only because they have irritated him by trenching on his domain and taking control over his property by cutting the corn. In a similar way, insignificant personages of the pantheon should not be conceived as vicious, or the Petara of the Dyaks is far from being indiscriminate or malignant. These spirits have been viewed as guardians of humankind even after being invisible.
Types of Demons
The demons as an entity have been classified as spirits that connect with the human race. These spirits include certain kinds of demons, which are as follows -
- angels belonging to the Christian tradition that fell from grace
- evil or malevolent spirits
- a cult-like the ancestor worship
- ghosts or other evils
The souls that are thought to exist in a different plane of existence are not conceived as inhabiting this world. For example, just like gods are not always spiritual, demons can also be referred to as corporeal. Vampires are an entity that can be described as human heads with appended entrails. These attack the living during the night watches.
Other examples are the incubi and succubi of the Middle Ages, who are regarded as spiritual beings. Yet, they were asked to give evidence of their bodily presence by birthing offsprings. This belief in demons can be dated back many centuries. According to the Zoroastrian faith and its teachings, there are 3,333 Demons. Some of these demons come with their specific dark and evil responsibilities, such as war, starvation, sickness, etc.