Jinn, Genie, Genius: Greek philosophy to modern religion
It's so easy to make us laugh at foreigners, especially those of different ethnicity and religion:
17 October 2014
UAE: Man divorces wife 'possessed by genie'
A court in Dubai has granted a divorce to a man who says his wife is possessed by spirits and refuses to have sex with him, reports suggest.
After persistently denying him sex, the woman finally told her husband to discuss the issue with her parents, the Gulf News daily reports, without naming the couple.
They told the man that his wife was, in fact, possessed by a jinn, and that several religious scholars had unsuccessfully tried to exorcise the spirit, the paper says.
Who believes in Aladdin and his magic lamp, huh?
Christians have the same, basic belief, as we see in the name and its history:
Jinn or djinn (singular: jinnī, djinni, or genie; Arabic: الجن al-jinn, singular الجني al-jinnī) are supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology as well as pre-Islamic Arabian mythology. They are mentioned frequently in the Quran (the 72nd sura is titled Sūrat al-Jinn) and other Islamic texts and inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. The Quran says that thejinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", but are also physical in nature, being able to interfere physically with people and objects and likewise be acted upon. The jinn, humans and angelsmake up the three sapient creations of God. Like human beings, the jinn can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent and hence have free will like humans and unlike angels. The shaytan jinn are the analogue of demons in Christian tradition, but the jinn are not angels and the Quran draws a clear distinction between the two creations.
The word genie in English is derived from Latin genius, meaning a sort of tutelary or guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth.
And this "genius" is straight out of Greek religion, which we now term mythology, or philosophy:
The words "dæmon" and "daimōn" are Latinized versions of the Greek "δαίμων" ("godlike power, fate, god"), a reference to the daemons of ancient Greek religion and mythology, as well as later Hellenistic religion and philosophy.
The comparable Roman concept is the genius who accompanies and protects a person or presides over a place (see genius loci).
And so we see the influence of imperial Rome, which is how this idea becomes Christian.
Catacombs of San Callisto: baptism in a 3rd-century painting
Christianity starts with baptism, which calls on the Lord to remove and replace a person's daemon, or spirit, with that of the divinity (rather like exorcism); it is how Christianity resurrects.
Genii, or spirit, it's all the same and it's all done by magic.