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The Devil’s PartySatanism in Modernity$
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Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779239.001.0001

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Sources, Sects, and Scripture

Sources, Sects, and Scripture

The Book of Satan in The Satanic Bible

(p.103) Chapter 5 Sources, Sects, and Scripture
The Devil’s Party

Eugene V. Gallagher

Oxford University Press

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

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