Here’s a fascinating essay by Ed Simon titled “A History of Demonology is a History of the World.” Yep. Here’s one tasty excerpt:
“Between the correspondence theory of truth and the metaphorical theory of truth, I propose a third option—that our demonology conforms to some type of reality, but an ineffable one, a hidden one, an inexpressible one that can neither be measured nor understood but that is somehow closer to us than the atoms of our very breath. In such a schema it is held that the postulates of demonology are always poetic, that they are not to be verified or disproven, and that the signifier and signified of the word “demon” is forever deferred. Holding that words like “demonic” or “satanic” are metaphorical terms for evil, that they carry within them all the overloaded cultural connotations that they imply, is an obvious truism—but they’re more than metaphors as well. What is the reality to which they refer, endlessly contingent and always shifting, filtered through centuries and a multitude of cultures and faiths? I have no idea, having never seen behind the veil.”
But y’all really need to read the whole magilla!