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Phenomenon Of Satanism In Contemporary Society

And are there truly some grounds for people to feel fear at the ever growing phenomenon of contemporary Satanism? As a priest in the Church of Satan and media representative, I can candidly say, "Yes!" However, what the general populace has decided to fear is a ludicrous portrait that has been painted in lurid technicolor by media hypesters intent on titillation, evangelists struggling to fill their coffers and keep their mistresses in jewelry, and most distressingly, by a segment of the therapeutic community who have found a gold-mine in the treatment of so-called "ritual abuse survivors" who provide no evidence of their tales of terror (remarkably similar to stories told by women labeled by Freud as hysterics), save for their fervent belief that they were victimized. I shall not waste time in refuting the absurd claim that there is an international conspiracy of generational Satanists bent on enslaving the world through drug use and sacrifice of babies bred for that purpose by emotionally unstable women. That has been adequately dealt with in other sources (CSER Report Satanism in America). Let us instead look at contemporary Satanism for what it really is: a brutal religion of elitism and social Darwinism that seeks to re-establish the reign of the able over the idiotic, of swift justice over injustice, and for a wholesale rejection of egalitarianism as a myth that has crippled the advancement of the human species for the last two thousand years. Is that something to fear? If you're one of the majority of human mediocrities merely existing as a media-besotted drone, you bet it is!

phenomenon of satanism in contemporary society


This sociological view, then, suggests that a satanic subversion ideology gives shape to contemporary anxieties and fears that arise from rapid social change. It functions, as all other subversion ideologies have historically, to create a metaphor for this diffuse cultural anxiety by naming the problem, giving it a human cause, and locating it outside of mainstream society. In doing so, this subversion ideology might very well have a curiously stabilizing effect on the culture: by drawing attention to evil subversives, it allows the culture a temporary respite from recognizing and dealing with the more widespread, albeit prosaic, forms of child maltreatment that are so deeply embedded in the routinized and culturally sanctioned patterns of interaction between males and females, and parents and children.

Like both a subversion ideology and a rumor panic, a contemporary or urban legend, as it often is referred to, tends to arise during periods of social strain when traditional and sacred values and customs are in such jeopardy that the future seems uncertain. Functioning as a collective metaphor, a contemporary legend is a tale that expresses a group's or a society's anxiety about the future.

Asbjørn Dyrendal is associate professor of Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He has published extensively and broadly, with recent research projects focusing on contemporary religious Satanism, religion and popular culture, occulture, alternative medicine, and conspiracy theories. Recent publications include articles on Satanism, conspiracy theories, and apocalypticism, the monograph Demoner ("Demons", Humanist, 2006), and co-edited volumes like Dommedag! ("Apocalypse!", Humanist, 2008) and Fundamentalism in the Modern World (2.vols., I.B. Tauris 2011).Per Faxneld is a research fellow at the department of the History of Religions at Stockholm University, Sweden. He has written several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Satanism and Western Esotericism, co-edited Förborgade Tecken ("Hidden Signs" H:Ströms, 2010) - a book on Esotericism in literature - and is the author of Mörkrets apostlar ("Apostles of Darkness", Ouroboros, 2006), a study of early Satanism. His research focuses on gender issues in Satanism, and the literary roots of contemporary religious constructions of the Devil as a hero and helper.Eugene V. Gallagher is the Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies at Connecticut College, New London, CT, USA. He is the author of Expectation and Experience: Explaining Religious Conversion (Scholars Press, 1990); The New Religious Movements Experience in America (Greenwood, 2004), and with James D. Tabor Why Waco? Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America (University of California, 1995). With W. Michael Ashcraft he edited the five volumes of Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America (Greenwood, 2006). He is currently working on the uses and interpretations of scripture in new religions.Kennet Granholm is docent (adjunct professor) at the Department of Comparative Religion at Åbo Akademi University (Finland), and assistant professor in the history of religions at Stockholm University (Sweden). In his research he has focused on contemporary esotericism and new religiosity. He is author of the book Embracing the Dark: The Magic Order of Dragon Rouge (Åbo Akademi University Press, 2005), numerous articles in collected volumes and journals, and co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Contemporary Esotericism (Equinox Publishing, 2012).Fredrik Gregorius has a Ph.D. from the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Lund. His previous work includes the monograph Satanismen i Sverige ("Satanism in Sweden", Sitra Ahra, 2006) and articles dealing with neo-paganism, modern esoteric movements and nationalist movements. He is currently positioned at IMER (Integration, Migration and Ethnic Studies) at Malmö University, Sweden.Mikael Häll is a research fellow at the Department of History, Lund University, Sweden. He is currently working on his Ph.D.-thesis, examining erotic nature-spirits and sexual demons in early modern Sweden. His recent publications include the essay Näckens dödliga dop: Manliga vattenväsen, död och förbjuden sexualitet i det tidigmoderna Sverige ("The deadly touch of the waterman: Male water-spirits, death and forbidden sexuality in early modern Sweden", 2011). He has also studied the phenomenon of modern Satanism in his M.A.-thesis in the History of Religions.Amina Olander Lap has a Master's degree in the Study of Religion and The Humanities from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. She has co-written a comparative study on Satanism in the News Media in Norway and Denmark with Asbjørn Dyrendal, published in The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of Satanism (Prometheus, 2008).James R. Lewis is associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromsø and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wales Lampeter. His publications include the Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Controversial New Religions (co-edited with Jesper Aagaard Petersen, Oxford, 2008), Scientology (Oxford, 2009), The Children of Jesus and Mary (Oxford, 2009, co-authored with Nick Levine), and Violence and New Religious Movements (Oxford, 2011). He edits Brill's Handbooks on Contemporary Religion series, and co-edits Ashgate's New Religions series.Ruben van Luijk is a research fellow at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Tilburg, the Netherlands. He is preparing a Ph.D. thesis on the history of Satanism, predominantly during the nineteenth century, provisionally entitled Children of Lucifer. The Origins of Modern Satanism.Jesper Aagaard Petersen is associate professor at the Programme for Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He has published extensively on modern Satanism, is the editor of Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology (Ashgate, 2009) and the co-editor of Controversial New Religions (Oxford, 2005) and The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of Satanism (Prometheus, 2008). He has a Ph.D. from the Department of Archaeology and Religious Studies at NTNU with the thesis Between Darwin and the Devil: Modern Satanism as Discourse, Milieu, and Self (2011).Jacob Christiansen Senholt is a research fellow at the University of Aarhus, pursuing a Ph.D. with a thesis on anti-modern thought and religious identity of the European New Right. He finished his MA in Mysticism and Western Esotericism from the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on the Order of the Nine Angles, and has for the last few years dealt extensively with the field of western esotericism and politics with articles on ariosophy, political neo-paganism, radical traditionalism and the New Right. Rafal Smoczynski is an assistant professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences. His interests include social control studies, discourse theory and sociology of religion. In 2008-2009 he has been researching new religious movements within the EU's REVACERN project funded under the Sixth Framework Programme. Recently he authored a piece for the final REVACERN publication (Walter de Gruyter, 2011) and he is co-editor of New Religious Movements and Conflict in Central Europe, (PAN Publishers, 2010). 076b4e4f54


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