By Ruben van Luijk
If we're to think sensationalist media insurance, Satanism is, at its such a lot benign, the purview of people that costume in black, embellish themselves with cranium and pentagram paraphernalia, and hear heavy steel. At its such a lot sinister, its adherents are worshippers of evil incarnate and have interaction in violent and perverse mystery rituals, the main points of which mainstream society imagines with a fascination verging at the obscene. Children of Lucifer debunks those facile characterizations by means of exploring the historic origins of contemporary Satanism. Ruben van Luijk strains the movement's improvement from an idea invented by means of a Christian church desirous to demonize its inner and exterior rivals to a good (anti-)religious identification embraced via numerous teams within the glossy West.
Van Luijk deals a complete highbrow heritage of this lengthy and unpredictable trajectory. This tale consists of Romantic poets, radical anarchists, eccentric esotericists, Decadent writers, and schismatic exorcists, between others, and culminates within the institution of the Church of devil via carnival entertainer Anton Szandor LaVey. but it's greater than a set of colourful characters and not likely old episodes. The emergence of recent attitudes towards devil proves to be in detail associated with the ideological fight for emancipation that reworked the West and is epitomized through the yankee and French Revolutions. it's also heavily hooked up to secularization, that different remarkable ancient method which observed Western tradition spontaneously resign its conventional gods and input right into a self-imposed kingdom of spiritual indecision.
Children of Lucifer makes the case that the emergence of Satanism offers a shadow heritage of the evolution of recent civilization as we all know it. delivering the main accomplished account of this historical past but written, van Luijk proves that, in terms of Satanism, the evidence are even more fascinating than the fiction.
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Extra resources for Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism
97 History is about myths of origins— mostly about our own myths of origin. History also allows us to connect with other human beings—most ostentatiously with the unrecoverable estranged other from the past, but just as well with the present-day other around us, with whom we can discover a shared humanity and construct a shared history. Both these elements are important, if not essential, constituents of our humanity. Mircea Eliade once wrote in this respect that reading (or writing) a good history of religion should be something of a religious experience itself.
If we define Satanism as the intentional, religious veneration of Satan, it is a phenomenon that can occur only in societies that are part of or have been in contact with the Judeo- Christian heritage. Within this spectrum, my focus is essentially directed toward Western civilization. 94 In c hapters 2 and 3, which deal with the Romantic Satan and his influences, English and French literatures are the principal works discussed, with some extensions into other European literatures. 95 Chapter 4, about Huysmans, is naturally focused on France, while c hapters 5 and 6 predominantly deal with France as well, with important ramifications, however, for the wider Roman Catholic world.
They fluctuated according to place, time, ethnic identity, and profession. In formulas of exorcism and protection, the spiritual beings that are warded off include entities personifying the chaotic, classes of beings preying 16 The Christian Invention of Satanism j 17 on men, gods of neighboring peoples, and local gods that could be beseeched by enemies to do one harm. 4 The same divine or superhuman entities might thus fulfill both “malign” and “benign” roles, depending on the circumstances. Ancient Greek religion provides a well-known illustration of this phenomenon.
Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism by Ruben van Luijk