From Milton to Modern Satanism: The History of the Devil and the Dynamics between Religion and Literature

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author: Bernd Schipper
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Abstract

The article explores the dynamics between literature and religion with the examples of Lucifer and modern Satanism. With John Milton's poem Paradise Lost (1667), the originally Christian myth of Lucifer evolved in a positive direction. Having been adopted by so-called 'literary Satanism,' this character became the basis for a new non-Christian religion, the 'Temple of Set' (founded by Michael Aquino in 1975). The article also argues for a remodelling of the conception of the dynamics between religion and other systems of meaning in the 'European history of religion': not only do religious traditions affect the medium of literature; literature can also affect the religious tradition.

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