The Church of Satan was founded by Anton LaVey on April 30, 1966. In his hands, Satan became a provocative symbol for indulgence, vital existence, natural wisdom and the human being's true animal nature. At present, religious Satanism exists primarily as a decentralized subculture with a strong internet presence within a larger Satanic milieu in Western culture. Though most are inspired by LaVey, the majority of contemporary Satanists are not members of the Church of Satan. The various expressions of modern Satanism all navigate in today's detraditionalized religious market through the creative appropriation of popular culture, philosophy, literature and religion. The concrete solutions are varied; but they all understand the power of transgression allying oneself with a most powerful symbol of resistance, namely Satan. Thus, contemporary religious Satanism could be understood as a complex negotiation of atheism, secularism, esotericism and self: A "self-religion" in the modern age. Despite the fascinating nature of religious Satanism, it has attracted little scholarship until relatively recently. This book brings together a group of international scholars to produce the first serious book-length study of religious Satanism, presenting a collection that will have wide appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike. The first part contains broader studies of influential groups and important aspects of the Satanic milieu, especially regarding historical developments, the construction of tradition and issues of legitimacy. The second part narrows the view to regional variations, especially with studies on Northern and Eastern Europe. The third part consists of primary documents selected for their representational and informational value.
Decades after its publication, Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses remains much talked about and little understood. The Unknown Satanic Verses Controversy on Race and Religion now responds to this critical gap through painstakingly detailed attention to the totality of Rushdie's text.--Steven J. Michels, Sacred Heart University
Satanism is a complex and controversial phenomenon co-existing in many social and rhetorical contexts. Some consider it the root of all evil in the world. Others see it as a juvenile proxy for rebellion or as a misapplication of serious esoteric beliefs and practices. Then again, some considerit a specific religious or philosophical position serving as a personal and collective identity. This book, written by three experts in the field of Satanism studies, examines Satanism as a contemporary movement in continuous dialogue with popular culture, aiding as a breeding ground for other newreligious movements. Shifting the focus from mythology to meaning-making, this is a book about the invention of Satanism among self-declared religious Satanists. Like all ideologists and believers, Satanists incorporate, borrow, and modify elements from other traditions, and this book explores how traditional folkloreand prior strands of occultism were synthesized by Anton LaVey in his founding of the Church of Satan and the creation of the Satanic Bible. Later chapters examine contemporary Satanist subcultures from various perspectives, also demonstrating how Satanism, despite its brief history as an organizedphenomenon, continues to reinvent itself. There are now numerous Satanisms with distinctive interpretations of what being a Satanist entails, with some of these new versions deviating more from the historical "mainstream" than others. In this fascinating account of a seemingly abstruse andoften-feared movement, Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen demonstrate that the invention of Satanism is an ongoing, ever-evolving process.
Twelve scholars present cutting-edge research from the emerging field of Satanism studies. The topics covered range from early literary Satanists like Blake and Shelley, to the Californian Church of Satan of the 1960s, to the radical developments within the Satanic milieu in recent decades. The book will be an invaluable resource for everyone interested in Satanism as a philosophical or religious position of alterity rather than as an imagined other.
The study of contemporary esoteric discourse has hitherto been a largely neglected part of the new academic field of Western esotericism. Contemporary Esotericism provides a broad overview and assessment of the complex world of Western esoteric thought today. Combining historiographical analysis with theories and methodologies from the social sciences, the volume explores new problems and offers new possibilities for the study of esoterica. Contemporary Esotericism studies the period since the 1950s but focuses on the last two decades. The wide range of essays are divided into four thematic sections: the intricacies of esoteric appeals to tradition; the role of popular culture, modern communication technologies, and new media in contemporary esotericism; the impact and influence of esotericism on both religious and secular arenas; and the recent 'de-marginalization' of the esoteric in both scholarship and society.
Children of Lucifer The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism By Ruben Van Luijk
For the first time, Massimo Introvigne proposes a general social history of Satanism and anti-Satanism, from the French Court of Louis XIV to the Satanic scares of the late 20th century, satanic themes in Black Metal music, the Church of Satan, and beyond.
Covers contemporary religious groups and movements in a three-fold approach, for students or scholars of religion. Section I contains a series of orienting essays by scholars in the field, which allow the reader to contextualize particular group entries within the framework of their religious tradition. Section II supplies an alphabetical gazetteer of currently active religious groups and movements, with cross-references to related articles. The final section presents a country-by-country guide to religions and religious groups. The volume also contains a glossary and an index of personal names. Distributed in the US and Canada by Gale. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR