Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Demon Dictionary by Kimberly Daniels

With its dramatic title, I can imagine many readers will be drawn to read Kimberly Daniels' new book, The Demon Dictionary: Know your enemy. Learn his strategies. DEFEAT HIM.  This new quasi- reference work is volume 1 of an upcoming series to include a total of three volumes.  The title implies that it is a reference book, nevertheless, the chapters are organized topically rather than alphabetically. 

This small 216 page book is a lot smaller than what would be expected for a reference volume. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of information on the subject of demonology- so much so, that this book can not simply be read cover to cover in one sitting.   Although exhaustive and complete in its content, I would have preferred to see all three volumes combined into one larger, single volume.  This is like a field guide to identify all things related to demonology and evil.

This book contains probably much more information about demons than any Christian really needs to ever know.  On occasion I wondered how much is simply conjecture or theatrical, based on native tradition, folklore, occult and witchcraft, rather than biblically based ideas of demonology.   Although the commentary is strongly grounded in scripture as a whole, the lengthy chapter titled "Esoteric definitions" is largely based on folklore and other historical and literature sources, rather than the bible.  This gives the book a wider appeal and would provide a lot of indepth information for a research paper on demonology or even background information for a docudrama or film on possession. The Christian seeking to build his or her faith might be side tracked by this excessive information which is not grounded in the biblical text.  For example, the entries abracadabra, devil's baton, familiar, Lilith, Papaloi  and Succubus have little to do with Christianity and more to do with literature, folklore and even video gaming.  The "General terms" chapter has such entries such as bugaboo, cancer, catatonic, cloven foot, centering, equinox, poltergeist and masturbation.  This eclectic mix of terms related to occult and new age practices is nice to know, but the reader may not directly see how to apply these concepts in any meaningful way.  Chapter six is an exhaustive compendium of every "mancy" term ranging fromaeromancy, axinomancy, botanomancy cubomancy  to xylomancy.  A quick, simple definition is provided for each, yet I am sure the reader may find himself questioning the relevancy.  For many readers, these three chapters may seem like trivia- intriguing- but not essential information. Overall this is not a book to be read in a linear cover to cover fashion, but basically a reference word.  terms are alphabetically grouped within the specific chapters but the chapters are organized by topics.

The most pertinent chapter for bible believing Christians is chapter three which contains a thorough listing of scripture verses having to do with the devil, and demons.

Overall, this book is a reference work- basically containing everything anyone could ever want to know about demons.  The bible is a spring board as it is written from the spiritual point of view acknowledging the authority of Christ.  Yet, most of the book is filled with folklorish or sociological  information when it comes to glossary or dictionary portion.  This book is best suited for the researcher, filmmaker or writer or anyone exploring or researching demonology for the purpose of writing a report, or filming a documentary.  The author really put a lot of work and research into this book.  For its niche audience -it is the perfect resource. As a blogger for the Booketeria I received this book published by Charisma House for the purpose of writing this review. 

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