Apocryphal Literature, the Characterization of Satan, and the Descensus ad Inferos Tradition in England in the Middle Ages

In: Religion and Theology
Colleen Donnelly University of Colorado at Denver

Search for other papers by Colleen Donnelly in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


This article discusses the role of apocrypha, specifically, the Gospel of Nicodemus in transmitting theological concepts that are not developed in Scripture and considers how such texts were transmitted across the centuries. In particular, this article examines the contribution of the Gospel of Nicodemus and other apocryphal sources to the characterization of Satan, as developed in the descensus ad inferos tradition in England throughout the Middle Ages and also considers how authors’ varying intents, the needs of audiences, and modes of presentation may have impacted the manner in which characters were portrayed and the event was structured.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1171 199 0
Full Text Views 617 4 1
PDF Views & Downloads 317 9 2