Satanism and Satanic Mythology

jean La Fontaine

Satanism, also referred to as devil-worship, describes both a set of ideas about evil th^t are part of the theology of already established religious systems, particularly Christianity, and also some reactions against them. The concept of Satan, that is, of a force representing evil that may sometimes be represented as a personified being, is not unique to Chnsa-amty, being found m both the other religions that originated in the Middle East: Judaism and Islam. However, the idea has been most powerful within Christianity and, after falling into abeyance in the early years of the twentieth century, has come into prominence again as the end of the second millennium approaches. Religious developments in the second half of the century have also included the formation of groups of people calling themselves satamsts. While they cannot be understood apart from the Christian culture that provided the context for their foundation, they must be distinguished from the devil-worshippers that some Christians believe exist. One aim of this article is to demonstrate the difference between these two fundamentally opposed meanings of the term satamsm; the other is to describe the international mythology concerning satamsm in the first sense.

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