Throughout the Christian Middle Ages the
external systems of demonology among the uncultured races or in
the ancient civilizations of the East continued their course, and
may still be found flourishing in the home of their origin or in
other lands. Within the Catholic fold there was less scope for
the worse form of the old errors. The early heresies had been
cast out, and theological speculation had been directed in the
true way by the decision of the Fifth Ecumenical Council (545),
which condemned certain Originis errors on the subject of demons.
But while the theologians of the great scholastic period were
setting forth and elucidating the Catholic doctrine concerning
angels and devils there was withal a darker side in the popular
superstitions, and in the men who at all times continued to
practise the black arts of magic, and witchcraft, and dealing
with the devil.
In the troubled period of the Renaissance and the Reformation there appears to have been a fresh outbreak of old superstitions and evil practices, and for a time both Catholic and Protestant countries were disturbed by the strange beliefs and the strange doings of real or supposed professors of the black arts and by the credulous and cruel persecutors who sought to suppress them. In the new age of the Revolution and the spread of practical ideas and exact methods of science it was at first thought by many that these medieval superstitions would speedily pass away.
When men, materialized by the growth of wealth and the comforts of civilization, and enlightened by science and new philosophies, could scarce find faith to believe in the pure truths of revealed religion, there could be little room for any belief in the doctrines of demons. The whole thing was now rudely rejected as a dream and a delusion. Learned men marvelled at the credulity of their fathers, with their faith in ghosts, and demons, and black magic, but felt it impossible to take any serious interest in the subject in their age of enlightenment.
Yet in fact there was still stranger delusion in the naive faith of the early Rationalists, who fondly fancied that they had found the key to all knowledge and that there were no things in heaven or earth beyond the reach of their science and philosophy. And much of the history of the last hundred years forms a curious comment on these proud pretensions. For far from disappearing from the face of the earth, much of the old occultism has been revived with a new vigour, and has taken new form in modern Spiritism At the same time, philosophers, historians, and men of science have been led to make a serious study of the story of demonology and occultism in past ages or in other lands, in order to understand its true significance.
Assyrian and Akkadian Demonology
Early Christian Demonology
Medieval to Modern Demonology
The Book of Enoch