Categorizing Modern Satanism

Amina Olander Lap

in The Devil’s Party

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199779239
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979646 | DOI:
Categorizing Modern Satanism

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This chapter is a thematic reading of several core texts authored by the Church of Satan's high priest, Anton LaVey. By looking closely at the anthropology found in The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Witch and The Satanic Rituals, the analysis substantiates the prevalent categorization of modern Satanism as a self-spirituality. The constitution of “damaged” and “satanic” selves, respectively, and how one is liberated from one to the other leads to the conclusion that LaVey indeed should be included in the company of humanistic psychology, self-religion and human potential groups; on the other hand he also differs in his materialistic and ego-driven interpretation of human potential. LaVey's Satanism is thus related more to the secularized “prosperity wing” of New Age thought than the varieties of spirituality found in the cultic milieu today, and should be considered a distinct discourse of world-affirmation.

Keywords: Satanism; Anton LaVey; The Satanic Bible; The Satanic Witch; The Satanic Rituals; human potential; self-spirituality; satanic magic; liberation; Paul Heelas

Chapter.  8683 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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