Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism

ISBN : 9780190275105

Ruben van Luijk
632 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2016
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Children of Lucifer explores the historical origins of Satanism, the "anti-religion" that adopts Satan, the Judeo-Christian representative of evil, as an object of veneration. Ruben van Luijk traces its development from a concept invented by the Christian church to demonize its internal and external competitors, to a positive (anti-)religious identity embraced to varying degrees by groups in the modern West. Van Luijk offers a comprehensive intellectual history of this long and unpredictable trajectory; a story that involves Romantic poets, radical anarchists, eccentric esotericists, Decadent writers, and schismatic exorcists, among others, culminating in the establishment of the Church of Satan by carnival entertainer Anton Szandor LaVey. Yet, he argues, this story is more than just a collection of colorful characters and unlikely historical episodes. The emergence of new attitudes towards Satan proves to be intimately linked to the Western Revolution-the ideological struggle for emancipation that transformed the West and is epitomized by the American and French Revolutions. It is also closely connected to secularization, that other exceptional historical process during which western culture spontaneously renounced its traditional gods in order to enter into a self-imposed state of religious indecision. Children of Lucifer, thus, makes the case that the emergence of Satanism presents a shadow history of the evolution of modern civilization as we know it.


Practical Indications for the Reader
Chapter 1. The Christian Invention of Satanism
Intermezzo 1. The Eighteenth Century: Death of Satan?
Chapter 2. The Romantic Rehabilitation of Satan
Chapter 3. Satan in Nineteenth-Century Counterculture
Intermezzo 2. Charles Baudelaire: Litanies to Satan
Chapter 4. Huysmans & Consorts
Chapter 5. Unmasking the Synagogue of Satan
Chapter 6. Unmasking the Synagogue of Satan (continued and concluded)
Intermezzo 3. Nineteenth-Century Religious Satanism: Fact or Fiction?
Chapter 7. Paths into the Twentieth Century
Chapter 8. Tribulations of the Early Church
Intermezzo 4. Adolescent Satanism, Metal Satanism, Cyber-Satanism

About the author: 

Ruben van Luijk was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Children of Lucifer is based on his research as a PhD student at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, Tilburg University and as a research fellow at Radboud University, Nijmegen. Van Luijk is also active as a photographer, novelist and artist.

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