“The origins of the Faust legend are of very great

“The origins of the Faust legend are of very great antiquity. The essentials underlying the story are the pact with Satan, and the supposed vicious character of purely human learning. The idea of the pact with Satan belongs to both Jewish and Christian magico-religious belief, but is probably more truly Kabalistic than anything else, and can scarcely be traced further back; unless it resides in the savage idea that a sacrificed person takes the place of the deity, to which he is immolated during the period of life remaining to him before his execution, and afterwards becomes one with the god. The wickedness of believing in the al-sufficiency of human knowledge is a favourite theme with the early Lutherans, whose beliefs strongly coloured the Faust legend; but vivid hues and wondrously carven outlines are also afforded its edifice by the thought of the age in which it finally took shape; and in the ancient Faust- books we find tortuous passages of thought and quaintnesses of conception which recall to our minds the artistry of the Renaissance.”

“The Encyclopedia of the Occult” (Faust) by Lewis Spence

The Encyclopedia of the Occult: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Occult Personalities, Psychic Science, Magic, Spiritism and Mysticism. Lewis Spence.
Bracken Books, 1988

Pasted from <http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Encyclopedia_of_the_Occult.html?id=jRJ7QgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y>

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