Matthias Henze on the Origins of Belief in Demons and Evil Spirits

On March 30, 2015, at The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, University of Arizona, Professor Matthias Henze (Rice University) delivered a talk on “Demons and Evil Spirits in Early Judaism and Christianity”.

Dr. Matthias Henze talk will explore the origins of the beliefs in demons and evil spirits. The rich literature of the late Second Temple period attests to a wide array of speculations about the origin, nature, and function of demons and evil forces. There are incantations against demons and liturgies for exorcism among the Dead Sea Scrolls. While rabbinic Judaism later on dismissed such beliefs and practices, demons had a major impact on Christianity and continue to be alive and well in some Christian circles today.