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ISBN: PB: 9780226714905

ISBN: HB: 9780226692401

University of Chicago Press

July 2020

360 pp.

22.8x15.2 cm

30 colour plates, 38 halftones


Daemons are Forever

Contacts and Exchanges in the Eurasian Pandemonium

A richly illustrated tapestry of interwoven studies spanning some six thousand years of history, "Daemons Are Forever" is at once a record of archaic contacts and transactions between humans and protean spirit beings – daemons – and an account of exchanges, among human populations, of the science of spirit beings: daemon-ology.  Since the time of the Indo-European migrations, and especially following the opening of the Silk Road, a common daemonological 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 daemons" 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 daemonology may serve as a model for restoring history to its proper place, at the heart of the history of religions discipline.

About the Author

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 Body", "Kiss of the Yogini", and "Sinister Yogis", all published by the University of Chicago Press.