Sources, Sects, and Scripture

Eugene V. Gallagher

in The Devil’s Party

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199779239
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979646 | DOI:
Sources, Sects, and Scripture

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This chapter examines the contexts of production and reception related to the most popular and recognized book on Satanism today, Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible. Through a thorough compositional analysis of the first part, called The Book of Satan, the chapter redefines both The Satanic Bible and the category of scripture to explain the form and function of LaVey's book. First, a particular attention is given the appropriations, exclusions, and revisions undertaken by LaVey to compose the work. This analysis is subsequently used to discuss both satanic and scholarly engagements with The Satanic Bible as well as the specific schismatic claims to authority furthered by criticizing LaVey's strategy of appropriation. As such, the analysis questions both the scholarly (mis-)uses of the term scripture and the various intentions of charging LaVey with plagiarism, hence opening up modern Satanism to broader comparative studies.

Keywords: Satanism; Anton LaVey; The Satanic Bible; The Book of Satan; redaction criticism; scripture; Michael A. Aquino; Might Is Right

Chapter.  8997 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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