By Ruben van Luijk
If we're to think sensationalist media assurance, Satanism is, at its so much benign, the purview of people that gown 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 via exploring the ancient origins of contemporary Satanism. Ruben van Luijk strains the movement's improvement from an idea invented via a Christian church desirous to demonize its inner and exterior opponents to a good (anti-)religious id embraced by means of quite a few teams within the smooth West.
Van Luijk bargains a complete highbrow historical past of this lengthy and unpredictable trajectory. This tale contains 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 truly is greater than a suite of colourful characters and not likely ancient episodes. The emergence of latest attitudes towards devil proves to be in detail associated with the ideological fight for emancipation that remodeled the West and is epitomized via the yank and French Revolutions. it's also heavily attached to secularization, that different unparalleled historic technique which observed Western tradition spontaneously surrender its conventional gods and input right into a self-imposed nation of non secular indecision.
Children of Lucifer makes the case that the emergence of Satanism offers a shadow historical past of the evolution of recent civilization as we all know it. providing the main complete 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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Additional info for Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism
This myth of origin was inspired by a prophecy in the biblical book of Isaiah, where it was said about the king of Babel that he had sought to set himself up as an equal to “the Most High,” but instead had been humbled by Yahweh (Isaiah 14:12). From the first century ce, this oracle about the “morning star” (“Lucifer,” in Latin) was associated with the devil. 33 By the third or fourth century ce, something resembling an official biography of Satan had evolved within Christianity. Certainly, enough problems and loose ends remained to keep Christian theologians busy for many centuries to come.
45 The demonizing of the pagan gods and of their worship also influenced the popular conception of Satan. 46 In other parts of Europe, the devil sometimes assimilated traits of native gods from other traditions. 47 Demon-inspired as the worship of the pagans might have been according to the interpretatio Christiana, the pagans were not thought of as intentionally worshipping the devil. The Fathers of the Church did not suggest that they were aware of the true identity of their gods and persisted in venerating them nevertheless.
72 Medieval thought was ambiguous about the exact status of the Jewish minority. Officially, they could not be considered heretics from Christianity, because their faith clearly antedated that of the Church. But had they not repudiated Christ, although he had been so clearly foretold as the coming Messiah in their own scriptures? And had they not been responsible for his crucifixion? In many cases, views about the Jews during the Middle Ages mirrored those about heretics, and vice versa. 75 The attribution of Satanism thus became part of a complex of allegations serving to demonize the religious other.