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 consider it 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 new religious 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 folklore and 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 organized phenomenon, 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 and often-feared movement, Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen demonstrate that the invention of Satanism is an ongoing, ever-evolving process.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 524 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 21 mm
The Invention of Satanism is a useful text for those wanting a detailed, if brief, history of the Church of Satan, its development, and the demographic of its believers. The text is straightforward and information rich, a credit to the detailed knowledge of the compilers. * Tara Blue Moon Smith, University of Sydney, The Journal of Religious History *
Well worth a read, representing perhaps the best place for students to begin their exploration of this subject. * Ethan Doyle White, Correspondences *
The Invention of Satanism provides an accessible and highly informative introduction to contemporary Satanism as a religious movement. Succinctly covering a number of important themes in the history of Satanism, it will be especially useful to students and scholars interested in contemporary Western esotericism, Paganism, and New Religious Movements (NRMs). It also suggests many fruitful venues for future research. * Manon Hedenborg-White, Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism *
An important contribution to the field of Satanism studies... This volume functions as an excellent introduction to the subject in addition to establishing central research avenues in the field, supplemented by illuminating discussions of work that remains to be done. The Invention of Satanism will be a good first reference for both specialists and lay readers interested in Satanism, along with those investigating the various and overlapping fields of new
religious movements, Paganism, occultism, the subjects of religious rhetoric, and other alternative religious currents and antinomian discourses. * Nova Religio *