Various movements are referred to as Satanism that relate positively to Satan or to what is socially regarded as evil . They are not necessarily related to each other. Satanism has been documented as a literary movement since the 17th century, and as a religious movement since the early 18th century. As a rule, a distinction is made between two directions of Satanism. "Traditional" (theistic) Satanism involves worshiping deities. The criterion is that the figure of Satan is more or less the focus. With "modern" Satanism, however, an atheistic and rationalistic point of view is represented. The lowest common denominator of numerous trends in modern Satanism is anthropocentrism , in particular the emphasis on human freedom . Thus, Satanism is above all in opposition to religious currents, which emphasize the predestination and imperfection of man. A mixture of traditional Satanism and modern Satanism is possible despite all of this. The public perceives Satanism primarily as the subject of horror stories , sensational journalism , and conspiracy theories .
The term behind Satanism refers etymologically to " Satan " - in the sense of the Enlightenment or also the Bringer of Light , especially in the religious ( or religious ) environment also called Lucifer or Archangel / Fallen Angel - and thus to the cultural area of the monotheistic religions Judaism , Christianity and Islam . However, the idea of going dualistic or ambivalent ( ambivalent ) created world in which a very highly simplified struggle between good and evil is fought, older religions such as the Zoroastrianism back. At the center of this belief is the creator god Ahura Mazda against Ahriman . Gnostic currents adopted this dualism. A motif of modern Satanism - the deification of man (" Deus est homo ") - can also be found in the gnostic snake cults of antiquity ( ophites ). It shimmers through in the sentence "You will be like God and know what is good and what is bad" ( Gen 3,5 LUT ).
Satan ( Hebrew שטן) means 'enemy', 'adversary' and 'adversary'. His role in the Book of Job is similar to that of a public prosecutor. Satan can certainly play a positive role. His theologically subordinate function becomes visible: He always acts on behalf of YHWH , the Jewish God.
In Judaism, Satan is the one who takes the side of the prosecution at the judgment seat of God ( Sach 3 EU ). This view lives on in the person of the Advocatus Diaboli , who performs this function in negotiations at the chair of Peter. In the book of Job, Satan is called one of the sons of God, in the hierarchy of angels so far stood up that he had access to God's court ( Hi 1.6 et seq. EU ). A polarizing interpretation of the world as a fight between good and evil emerged later from other religious currents (Persian and Babylonian religions) in Jewish culture and was initially of little importance. It became theologically relevant with the emergence of Christianity.
Satan only became known in later Jewish mythologies, such as that according to Otto Eißfeldt before 63 BC. The apocryphal book of Enoch , dated to the 4th century BC, is described as a fallen angel who, together with his followers, rebelled against God's will and was banished to earth as punishment (1 Enoch 52.3; 53.6).
The concept of the devil in the New Testament is originally Greek Διάβολος, Diàbolos , 'the slanderer', 'confounder', 'confounder', which is derived from Διά-βαλλειν, dia-balläin , ' confuse ', less often the Greek transcription of the Hebrew Word Satan with Σατανας, Satanás . The word personifies evil in its religious function of the tempter , as exemplified by the image of the snake in paradise ( Gen 3,1–15 LUT ). In Christianity the devil is seen as an opponent and adversary (Hebrew: Satan ) of the Christian God . While all non-Christian (“ pagan ”) religions in Europe were ousted by Christians over the centuries , the devil was given a multitude of surnames and new faces because the old deities were declared enemies of God: one of the better-known depictions is that of the goat-legged Shepherd God Pan .
In some neo-Gnostic currents, Satan is equated with the Roman god Lucifer ('light bearer' from lux, lucis "light" and ferre "bear").
The idea of Iblis , a Shaitan ( Arabic : الشيطن ), i.e. a being turned away from Allah , as an adversary of God or a kind of antipole of forces is alien to Islam . The principle of good versus evil as opposing forces is not applicable here. Because only Allah is absolutely mighty, Iblis is the only tempter of people, for whom Allah has set a time limit. Iblis is not omnipotent, but dangerous for people as long as they shake and do not turn to Allah with trust: “Satan incites between them (to malice and spite). He is an outright enemy to man. ”( Sura 17 : 53) As a result, there are generally no sects or beliefs in Islam that deal with Satan. According to Sura 7:12 , Satan was created from fire, Adam from clay. The sura assigns several satans to the unbelievers , who are supposed to protect them and lead them to error. (Sura 7:27) The death penalty imposed on Satan for seducing Adam and Eve in Paradise was suspended and, according to Islamic belief, will only take place at the Last Judgment . (Sura 7: 24-25) The symbolic stoning of Satan after his return from Mount Arafat in Mina east of Mecca is one of the traditional rituals of Islamic pilgrimage .
Satanism in Literature
Initially Satanism was emanating from England literary movement, dedicated to evil integrative dealt. John Milton (1608–1674) is considered to be the founder . His poem Paradise Lost (1667), in which a Satan is described for the first time in literary history, who is supposed to make people aware of his potential to attain knowledge and divinity, contains the sentence: Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven ( "Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven"). The best-known representatives are the English poet William Blake (1757–1827) and the French poets Marquis Donatien Alphonse François de Sade (1740–1814) and Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867). After the fall of man, Baudelaire saw “no more direct connection upwards” and salvation in a hyperconscience dans le mal (“overconsciousness in evil”) “above all with regard to sexuality”; his Manichean attitude to evil with his aesthetic of the ugly was expressed in 1857 in the volume of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal (Eng. The flowers of evil ). Marquis de Sades main work in this direction Les 120 Journées de Sodome ou l'École du Libertinage (Eng. The 120 days of Sodom ) was published in 1904, but was already written in 1785. In England, Lord Byron (1788-1824) took up these ideas with Childe Harold's Pilgrimage in 1812 and The Corsair in 1814; his 1821 drama Cain, inspired by Milton's Satan, is considered the first satanic work in world literature. ETA Hoffmann (1776–1822), the main representative of the so-called Black Romanticism in Germany, is the author of the fantastic novel The Elixirs of the Devil published in 1815/16 . In 1865 Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907), who later won the Italian Nobel Prize for Literature in 1906, caused a sensation with his Inno a Satana (hymn to Satan).
In his novel Demian , Hermann Hesse addresses Satanism and lets a protagonist say, among other things: “So you either have to have a God who is also the devil, or you have to set up a service for the devil in addition to the service.” And: “I have Committed cults for which I would have to serve years from prison if one knew about them. "
Satanism in the media representation
Media depictions of Satanism are often based on widespread clichés such as animal and human sacrifices or ritual murders in connection with black masses , without being able to present concrete evidence. Occultist groups without reference to Satanism, such as the Ordo Templi Orientis , are also mentioned in these reports . Sometimes criminal cases such as the Sondershausen murder are also portrayed as satanically motivated.
Often "sexual debauchery" and "perverse" sexual practices are also viewed as part of Satanism and satanic masses. The black mass in The Black Book of Satan des Order of Nine Angles (ONA), for example, includes host sacrilege through ejaculation on the host and an orgy. In The Black Book of Satan III , an additional version can be found for homosexuals. Tolerance towards homosexuality is also shown by statements by Peter H. Gilmore and Anton Szandor LaVey from the Church of Satan , for whom the sex life of the individual is exclusively his private affair and the membership of homosexuals such as Oliver Fehn and Marc Almond . This contrasts with the homophobic views of Kerry Bolton and the corresponding statements of numerous black metal musicians.
From 1885, the Frenchman Léo Taxil published the conspiracy theory that the Freemasons were in truth Satanists. In their lodge houses they would regularly celebrate sex-magical orgies and black masses, their top boss receives his instructions from Lucifer personally. He spread these and other wild assertions in several books and in the series of brochures Le Diable au XIXe siècle (“The Devil in the 19th Century”), of which 240 titles were published. In 1897 Taxil publicly admitted that he had just made up the whole hoax.
During the 1980s and 1990s in the United States, it was believed that large numbers of children were ritually abused by members of satanic sects . It was triggered in 1980 by the bestseller Michelle Remembers , in which the author claimed to have used hypnotherapy to regain memories of rape and torture that she had suffered from members of the Church of Satan since she was five. In 1987, a trial shocked the American public over a Satanist ring of 100 teachers and educators alleged to have molested 360 children at McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach , California. In the second half of the 1980s, more and more cases of ritual violence in childcare facilities were on record: teachers, social workers, therapists and police officers who had been trained in ritual violence in advanced training seminars discovered more and more cases using suggestive questioning methods. The result was an anti-satanist “ moral panic ”, a mass hysteria, comparable to the belief in witches of the European Middle Ages. The assumption that there is a large network of satanist groups who practice ritual violence against children and kill up to 60,000 people annually was supported by a broad coalition of fundamentalist Christians , feminists , doctors, police officers and social workers. Since the defendants in the McMartin Trial were acquitted of proven innocence and the truthfulness of Michelle Remembers was called into question, belief in mass satanic child abuse quickly declined in the mid-1990s. Today the reports about it are traced back to falsified memories , conspiracy theories and the influence of movies like Rosemary's Baby or The Exorcist .
Satanism is also portrayed as a far-right ideology. The anti-Christian ideology is anti-Semitic at the same time and the social Darwinist position offers “extreme proximity” to a religiously based “fascist view of man and the world”. In contrast, Fehn describes Satanists as rational free thinkers. The Church of Satan of which he is a member is officially apolitical; Its text Church of Satan Policy on Politics states:
“Our members span an amazing political spectrum, which includes but is not limited to: Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Independents, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists, Stalinists, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Zionists, Monarchists , Fascists, Anarchists, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. "
However, right-wing extremist and right-wing esoteric ideas have been linked by individual groups with satanic content since the 1990s. The forerunner here was the ONA, which calls on Adolf Hitler in his Mass of Heresy and describes National Socialism as “(besides traditional Satanism) the only true heresy ” that follows a “revolution of the soul, a triumph of will and a return of racial pride and [racial] duty ”shout. In its tradition stand among others the groups The Black Order and Order of the Left Hand Path / Ordo Sinistra Vivendi by Kerry Bolton, who was an adept of the ONA, the Fraternitas Loki , The Joy of Satan and the White Order of Thule . The Black Order of Lucifer by the Swiss Sartorius, which, in contrast to the ONA, has its roots in the “modern” Satanism of LaVey and Aquino, in turn invokes the views of Karl Maria Wiligut .
Satanism as philosophy and religion
The beginnings of Satanism are seen in the Manichaean-Gnostic dualism, which assumed a principle of “equality between God and the devil”. Some Gnostic groups are said to have worshiped Satan so that he would not harm them. At the present time, there is no evidence whatsoever for a really existing Satanism in the Middle Ages and early modern times against the background of the persecution of heretics and the numerous witch burnings of this epoch. The assumption of a witch cult organized in the sense of Satanism is mostly rejected by historians. However, there are indications of genuine Satanism in the trial against Gilles de Rais , in which "the destructive nature of Satanism has been concentrated in an extreme manner [...], even if the sources do not report extensive devil rituals about it".
One of the first manifestations of Satanism is the Hellfire Club in England in the 18th century. Satanistic tendencies can be found “[undeniably […] in occultism of the 19th century, apparently as a reaction to the materialism of this epoch, which was perceived as banal and believing in progress , which largely rejected orthodox belief but nevertheless demanded ' dark mysteries '”. France, which had a pioneering role for occultism with individuals like Éliphas Lévi , is seen as the "breeding ground of modern Satanism" and the poet Baudelaire as an important figure of this modern Satanism and "perhaps [...] the first fully conscious personality in the history of the Satan cult" referred to, whereby the term "modern Satanism" has a different meaning here than in LaVey's later interpretation. Numerous other associations were founded in the 20th century. The British magician Aleister Crowley is often classified as a Satanist, but was an important pioneer of modern Satanism. The connection between Satanism and the new religious movement Thelema , which can be traced back to Crowley, was shaped by the British writer Dennis Wheatley .
A really practiced satanic cult can only be proven in the second half of the 20th century. Until the 1960s there was no satanic tradition of its own to which followers of this worldview could refer. According to the American religious scholar J. Gordon Melton, all publications on the subject had come exclusively from resolute opponents of Satanism, mainly from conservative Christians. Although they had never participated in black masses, they still described them repeatedly in great detail. All attempts to constitute satanic communities for over two centuries were based on these non-satanist sources. That changed in 1966 when Anton Szandor LaVey founded the Church of Satan and was the first to publicly make Satanism an independent Christian religious system. He combined religious rituals with burlesque religious parody . His Satanic Bible (1968) was largely anticipated in terms of content by Crowley and the social Darwinist book Might is Right (1896), the unknown author of which operates under the pseudonym Ragnar Redbeard. Satan “is not the medieval godfather with the pitchfork, but the principle of 'lust' and 'unconditional freedom' - the turned inside out 'peace, love and happiness' of LaVey's hippie neighbors in San Francisco in the sixties” instead represents them Church adopts an atheistic philosophy and denies the "reality of any spiritual existence"; the aspects of ritual magic that she takes up are accordingly explained as “self-changing psychodrama [...] to free oneself from pent-up feelings” and “almost a substitute for psychotherapy” that does not contain any elements of belief. He "wanted Satanism to be a tool to improve the life of every Satanist" and the Church of Satan "should be the means to spread this philosophy as faithfully as possible". Other currents within Satanism reject LaVey's interpretation because it is "very human", says that "the simplest housewife can be a Satanist" and that it is very easy for most people to agree with the content that it is "almost universally readable" , and do not recognize them as satanic. LaVey never practically experienced the dark side of life or tried to practice evil. Instead, the CoS is spreading “nothing more than magically disguised hedonism . She turns Crowley's profound 'Do what thou wilt' into a flat 'Do as you like'. The Church of Satan turns against puritanism in every form, but also against mysticism and drug use (very different from Crowley). Their social morality is Machiavellian , their worldview is Cynical - Epicurean . Their magic is a cleverly put together arsenal of behavioral therapy techniques that LaVey unabashedly markets at top prices. ”The Church of Satan found numerous prominent supporters and supporters and has“ long since become pop ”. Accordingly, it is considered "'merit' of the Church of Satan to have taken the aura of the elitist from Satanism and anchored it in godless capitalism , which is why the magical competition likes to smile at it as an occult drive-in". The Temple of Set split off from the Church of Satan in 1975 after an internal dispute , which is also not recognized by traditional Satanists. Although it turned out that "legend and reality do not match in LaVey's colorful biography", the myth about his person was "hardly scratched". After LaVey's death in 1997, there were four years of disputes over his successor; Lawrence Wright, a journalist, said the Church of Satan had no future "unless a character with a similar charisma came along." In 2001, Peter H. Gilmore became the Church's new High Priest .
The Order of Nine Angles is said to have been founded in the 1970s . This group was the first to describe itself in his writings as a representative of traditional Satanism. This designation does not stand for Satanism in the traditional sense of worshiping a real Satan , but for a secret tradition claimed by the ONA over several generations; however, this assertion is questioned. For the ONA, traditional Satanism goes far beyond the satisfaction of the pleasure principle and includes self-control, self-conquest and cosmic wisdom. His idea of Satanism is pragmatic with an emphasis on the evolution of the individual through dangerous situations. The term “traditional Satanism” is also used independently of the ONA by numerous theistic Satanists; others prefer the term “theistic Satanism”, also to distinguish it from the ONA.
Satanism in Music and Subcultures
Many subcultures and styles of music are said to be indulging in Satanism, accusing the musicians of either making a pact with the devil or using backward messages , or of unknowingly imagining youth satanism. However, in the vast majority of cases this is completely wrong.
The Gothic subculture is most likely to be confronted with this prejudice. The flirtation of Goths with satanic and dark aesthetics - Petrus crosses (the upside down cross is not necessarily anti-Christian), pentagrams and other occult symbols as jewelry, black robes, gloomy music - is overrated as an expression of a state of mind or even confirmation of cultic activities . The evangelical information center Relinfo judges in connection with the Goths, a fragmented culture of the Gothic scene: “It is true that some 'Goths' continued their satanic training and / or were recruited by satanist circles, but most of the 'Goths' were Satan no concern. Rather, their outfit and their practices arose from a morbid mood that represented the unifying element of the 'Goth' scene. In the meantime, in contrast to youth satanism, the goths have practically disappeared, which clearly shows that the connection between the two phenomena could not have been that close. ”The lyrics of the music of Gothic culture give more information about an introverted emotional world of melancholy and World Pain.
The metal subculture also uses satanic symbols in places. The frequency and severity with which it is played depends very much on which sub-scene of Metal you are in. In most sub-scenes, contrary to all prejudices, satanic symbols are actually only very rarely used, and corresponding ideas are sometimes not even present. Most satanic symbolism in metal serves exclusively for provocation and rebellion and to emphasize one's own freedom. In the sub-scene of Death Metal , an anti-Christian to satanic symbolism can be found sporadically, which is primarily done with the aim of an artistically inspired (sometimes also commercially calculated) provocation. The black metal scene, on the other hand, is defined by Satanism. Here bands like Gorgoroth try to outdo each other in their use of violent, demonic and aggressive anti-Christian themes. Not only the music and the lyrics play a role, but also an extremely exaggerated, dramatic stage performance, in which, among other things, sheep carcasses and tied up naked women were used.
Satanism can also be found in the industrial subculture, where individual musicians deal with occultism and Satanism; some musicians such as Reverend Thomas Thorn ( The Electric Hellfire Club ) and Boyd Rice are members of the Church of Satan.
There is also evidence of a so-called youth satanism. This is a phenomenon of not or only loosely organized young people in the protest and self-discovery phase, who are not interested in a closed meaning. Rather, they try to put together beliefs and practices from set pieces found in the media (so-called “meaning bricolage ”), which reflects the loss of significance of the religious in the modern world. Individual cases of this youthful satanism, such as the desecration of a cemetery, get attention through often sensationally exaggerated representations in the media, and in some cases they are even staged for media use.
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