THE DEVIL’S SHARE
Author DENIS DE ROUGEMONT
Publisher PANTHEON BOOKS
Out of print for a number of years but available second hand both in paperback and hardback as well as on line editions. Books written by serious thinkers, especially those written during or after the second world war have a power and quality that challenges and alarms, especially when they are written from a Christian perspective. The purpose of the various sections lies not in seeking to prove the existence of the devil but to identify where he has been and is at work and to gauge some idea of his extent and power and inevitably the reader will perceive how successful he has been in duping the western world since the so-called enlightenment.
You cannot call this book a theological or even a doctrinal one, the writer was a Swiss philosopher and succeeds in his object. Thoughtful readers will be enlightened and possibly alarmed if they allow the power of his reasoning to penetrate the worldly blindness of many who name themselves as Christians. Unfortunately the devil has been identified by some Christian literature almost as a caricature. In these pages we are told that his first trick is to move incognito, if possible make as though he does not exist. The opposite extreme is the caricature. His insinuations into the structures of being and of life are laid bare extensively, and the inability of the psychiatric profession to handle the reality of his existence and work somewhat humorously dealt with. All that and more is part one of the book and then part two launches into Hitler as an example of the devil’s trick to fix peoples attention on a personification as long as that is outside ourselves.
A chapter on the devil as democrat must be avoided at all costs by those leaning to the left in their politics. Then the devil in our gods is looked at, religious gods, materialistic gods and so the list goes on. As you would expect, all these chapters lead up to a consideration of how the devil is to be fought. The answer subtly alluded to in these pages is simply based around a true return to God’s order in personal life, family life, social and national life, taking proper responsibility for being human under God. It is not easy to find a copy of this book but those who have gained some help and insight from C.S.Lewis and his Screwtape letters could also find themselves greatly challenged by taking time to obtain and read Denis De Rougemont.