Another Way of Looking at the Data- A Reaction to Phillips Stevens

Volume 20
Fall 1992
Another Way of Looking at the Data- A Reaction to Phillips Stevens

Shaw reacts to Stevens'€™ (1992) article, "€œUniversal Cultural Elements in the Satanic Demonology,"€ in the Journal of Psychology and Theology (1992, Vol. 20, No. 3) special issue on SRA. While agreeing that Stevens adequately explains the data on demonology from a social scientific standpoint, Shaw holds that the same data can be explained equally well by applying Christian theological assumptions. Fear of "€œsatanic demonology"€ may be universal, but it can also be understood theologically as implanted by God, and its manifestations can be perceived as emanating from the conflict between a recognition of, and rejection of, divine standards. Despite the ability of the social sciences to identify the mechanisms that stimulate the creation of new legends, in the final analysis these sciences do not provide an answer to the underlying causes. Christianity therefore can fill the spiritual void where social scientific understanding leaves off. It does so by freeing people from common human fears, restoring them to wholeness, and by establishing ritual as a medium for worshiping a God with whom they can have relationship and fellowship through the once-for-all sacrificial death of Christ.

Dr. R.D. Shaw
245 - 247
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