Daemons Are Forever

Contacts and Exchanges in the Eurasian Pandemonium

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David Gordon White
  • Chicago: 
    University of Chicago Press
    , January
     2021.
     360 pages.
     $35.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780226714905.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

A richly illustrated tapestry of interwoven studies spanning some six thousand years of history, Dæmons Are Forever is at once a record of archaic contacts and transactions between humans and protean spirit beings—dæmons—and an account of exchanges, among human populations, of the science of spirit beings: dæmonology. Since the time of the Indo-European migrations, and especially following the opening of the Silk Road, a common dæmonological vernacular has been shared among populations ranging from East and South Asia to Northern Europe. In this virtuoso work of historical sleuthing, David Gordon White recovers the trajectories of both the “inner demons” cohabiting the bodies of their human hosts and the “outer dæmons” that those same humans recognized each time they encountered them in their enchanted haunts: sylvan pools, sites of geothermal eruptions, and dark forest groves. Along the way, he invites his readers to reconsider the potential and promise of the historical method in religious studies, suggesting that a “connected histories” approach to Eurasian dæmonology may serve as a model for restoring history to its proper place at the heart of the discipline of the history of religions.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

David Gordon White is Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books, including The Alchemical BodyKiss of the Yogini, and Sinister Yogis.

Keywords: 

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