Original Research - Special Collection: NWU Africa Conference: Evil spirits in Africa

The relevance of Reformed perspectives on demonology for Africa

P.J. Buys
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 4 | a2426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i4.2426 | © 2019 P.J. Buys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2018 | Published: 31 July 2019

About the author(s)

P.J. Buys, School for Ecclesiastical Science, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


In the debates about lacunas in Western theological education and the need to decolonise Reformed theological education in South Africa, the necessity of understanding demonology has been pointed out as an important area for more research and contextualisation by several researchers. Witchcraft still causes major social problems in South Africa and Africa. On the other hand, there are Reformed theologians in South Africa who expressed opinions and even Reformed denominations that have made synodical decisions that the Devil does not exist as a person and that the existence of demons are myths. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider the subject of demonology that deals with Satan and his fallen angels from the perspective of traditional Reformed systematic theology and hermeneutics. This article wants to point out that a Reformed hermeneutical study and interpretation of relevant biblical perspectives may enrich the lives of Christians and bring some balance between current extremes in the understanding and application of biblical data on demonology.


Demonology; Witchcraft; Satan; Devil; Occult; Demonic Influences; Spiritual warfare; Strategic level spiritual warfare


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