DEMETRIUS of Antioch

Coptic literary tradition and the Ethiopian tradition dependent on it know a Demetrius, bishop of Antioch, said to have ordained John Chrysostom as priest. This Demetrius is named in a Coptic Encomium of St. Victor, attributed to Chrysostom a patent falsehood. Directly attributed to him are a homily on Christmas Coptic; ed. Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, one on Penitence Coptic; ed. De Vis, Homlies coptes I, Miracula S. Philothei Coptic, fragmentary and Miracula S. Victoris Ethiopic. It is certain that the figure of Demetrius was invented at a later date, when the memory of Chrysostom’s true consecrator, Flavian I of Antioch, had been forgotten in Egypt. The reasons for the invention are unknown.

H. De Vis, Homlies coptes de la Vaticane, Copenhagen 1922- 1929, I, 127-197; T. Orlandi, Demetrio di Antiochia e Giovanni Crisostomo: Acme 23 1970 175-178; K. Modras, Omelia copta attribuita a Demetrio di Antiochia Sul Natale e Maria Vergine, Rome 1994; Coptic Encyclopedia 2, 893-894. T. Orlandi DEMON. The NT writings often mention Satan also called the devil, his angels as distinct from good angels and demons, following the LXX daimo,nia and pneu,mata RAC 9,692. The synoptic gospels and esp.

Acts emphasize Jesus’ superiority to demons, esp. manifested in exorcisms RAC 9,693f.; the fourth gospel, on the other hand, does not go into this problem, though it does present the unbelieving Jews as children of the devil Jn 8:44 and opposes Christ to the prince of this world Jn 12:31; 14:30. Paul’s epistles hardly mention spirits and demons see 1 Cor 12:3, but reserve an important place for principalities, dominations and powers, characterizing them as wicked beings 1 Cor 15:24, 27; Col 1:15-20; Eph 1:20 2:2 but subjecting them completely to Christ, victorious over them in the parousia and indeed already in the resurrection cf.

RAC 9,695f., with Phil 2:9-11 and other texts. The Apocalypse gives a detailed account of the struggle of Christ and his church against the devil and his angels cf. DSp 3,150f., with Rev 12. All of this rather ample NT demonology undoubtedly goes back to biblical see esp. Job 1 2; Zech 3:1f.; Wisd 2:24 and Jewish traditions esp. the Qumran writings. Besides its distant Eastern roots, we can certainly detect resemblances to the demonology of the Hellenistic world, distinguished by its religious syncretism but sharing the biblical world’s fear and anguish before the many hostile and harmful forces of everyday life. Judeo-Christian and pagan demonologies, however, were separated by a wide gulf, since the former considers demons and evil spirits to be creatures of God who at one point rebelled against the Creator. This biblically based general judgment of Christian demonology is also true of its later developments, which are essentially a continual reinterpretation of the primitive heritage.

Evaluation is more difficult and complex regarding details, however, since from the 2nd c. external influences were undoubtedly greater: this is attested by the very Christian authors who had to oppose pagan opinion on this matter. Thus Clement of Alexandria who, discussing biblical doctrines taken up by the Greeks, likens their demons to the angels of the Bible Strom. VI,3; cf. Paed. III, 2,14; so also Augustine, who mentions that the negative sense that Scripture always gives to the word demons would also have been accepted by the pagans cf.

DEMETRIUS of Antioch Gallery Photos

DEMETRIUS of Antioch


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