Chapter

The Left-Hand Path and Post-Satanism

Kennet Granholm

in The Devil’s Party

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199779239
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979646 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779239.003.0010
The Left-Hand Path and Post-Satanism

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This chapter argues against the use of the label Satanism to categorize groups like Dragon Rouge or the Temple of Set, which, though they may display a fairly prominent use of satanic symbolism, are also highly eclectic and do not self-designate as Satanists. The term Satanism, the chapter suggests, might be of limited analytical usefulness in research even when it comes to groups who themselves profess to such an ideology, since it has such strong pejorative connotations. Using a different name, like the less known “Left-Hand Path” (originally an emic term, derived from Indian Tantra, which is not defined by the inclusion of Satan, but takes an antinomian “adversarial stance” similar to that in Satanism), makes it easier to start from a clean slate, thus dodging the prejudices of both professors and the public. Further, shifting the focus away from the figure of Satan makes visible a wider field of structurally and functionally similar movements. Another term this chapter suggests is “post-Satanism”, to designate groups which include elements of Satanism, but do not self-designate as such, as well as those who regards themselves as Satanists but have chosen to promote mythological figures and traditions other than the Christian one.

Keywords: Satanism; post-Satanism; Left-Hand Path; categorization; Temple of Set; Michael A. Aquino

Chapter.  8840 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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