Introducing the Academic Study of Satanism
Keywords:Satanism, Satanism studies, discourse, boundary-work, research methods
What Satanism is and is not occupies both scholars and informants. Through a discussion of three stages of academic reinterpretation, the boundary-work of the academic study of Satanism is uncovered. The first stage of de-demonization is dividing the cultural narratives of evil from self-ascribed Satanism. The second stage of sanitization is positing the organized and non-threatening aspects of Satanism adopted from specific satanic groups as Satanism as such. The third stage of heterogenization is returning to an understanding of the subject based on plurality and fluidity to better examine the polyvocality of Satanism today. By showing the blind spots of Satanism studies, we can address the field in novel ways.
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