May 17 Of Demons and Evil Spirits
presented by Matthias Henze
In the Gospels we read that Jesus confronts various demons and drives them out. They immediately recognize Jesus before anybody else knows who he is. The Evangelists take for granted that the reader is familiar with these evil forces, but when we turn to the Hebrew Bible for help we find that ancient Israelite authors have little to say about them.
This talk explores the origins of the beliefs in demons and evil spirits. The rich literature of the late Second Temple period attests to a wide array of speculations about the origin, nature, and function of demons and evil forces. We find incantations against demons and liturgies for exorcism among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Demons had a major impact on Christianity and continue to be live and well in some Christian circles today.
May 24: Congregational Meeting, no Sunday Forum
There will be a special congregational meeting May 24 between the early and late worship services. We will present the capital campaign totals and the council’s plan for use of the funds. The congregation will be asked to approve a construction financing plan.
May 31: Summer Book Reviews begin