Unclean spirit  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
This article deals with Biblical and patristic terminology pertaining to the Greek pneuma akatharton and related phrases. See Pneuma for other uses of the word. For related beliefs and practices, see Demonic possession and Exorcism.

Unclean spirit is a common English translation of pneuma akatharton (plural pneumata akatharta), a term appearing in the Greek New Testament 21 times in the context of demonic possession. It is also translated into English as spirit of impurity or more loosely as "evil spirit." The Latin equivalent is spiritus immundus. The expression pneuma akatharton is found also in the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible.

The phrase pneuma ponĂªron, "evil spirit," also occurs in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. The word daimonion (but not daimon) is considered a synonym, but some scholarship seeks to differentiate "unclean spirit" from both "evil spirit" and "demon." The association of physical and spiritual cleanliness is, if not universal, widespread and continues into the 21st century: "To be virtuous is to be physically clean and free from the impurity that is sin," notes an article in Scientific American published 10 March 2009.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Unclean spirit" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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