Satanism Today

An Encyclopedia of Religion, Folklore, and Popular Culture

by James R. Lewis


The first encyclopedia on contemporary Satanism, entries cover popular music and films, contemporary organized Satanic groups, ritual abuse cases, and practices and beliefs. This volume takes a cross-cultural approach to surveying the role of demons, and includes entries on fallen angels, devils, and other literary and theological residents of Hell.

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December 2001


Pages 371
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/General
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    Hardcover: £73.00/79,00€/A$121.00

This authoritative reference work presents a full image of the Prince of Darkness as he appears throughout traditional theology, mythology, art and literature, and popular culture.

This nonsensationalist encyclopedia examines contemporary images of the devil and sorts out the many different forms these images take. Although much of the myths relating to Satan derive directly or indirectly from the Christian tradition, the key sources of diabolical images today are horror movies, heavy metal music, and conservative Christian literature.

This encyclopedia gives a brief overview depicting the history and transformation of the meaning of the Prince of Darkness, and 300 entries cover subjects like the angel of death, backward masking (messages revealed when songs are played backward), neopagan witchcraft, UFOs, and The Satanic Bible. Extensive appendixes include the l992 FBI study of satanic ritual abuse, the most influential document ever written on the subject, as well as sample satanic scriptures and a satanic wedding ceremony. Satanism Today also includes a chronology, bibliographies, and references.


  • Nearly 300 entries ranging from the anticult movement to Zoroastrianism
  • A chronology of information on earlier manifestations of the Western occult tradition that provided the background for the creation of modern religious Satanism in the 1960s
  • 66 photos, illustrations, and drawings including depictions of satanic rituals and ingredients used for casting evil spells
  • Three appendixes including a Satanist survey conducted by the author in August 2000 on basic demographic data on contemporary Satanists


  • Information on literary figures who influenced our image of the Devil
  • Includes a copy of the l992 FBI study of satanic ritual abuse
Author Info

James R. Lewis is a professional writer and academic specializing in new religions and the New Age.



"Reading Lewis' Satanism Today brings home the fascination with Satanic imagery in human culture, particularly Western culture, and points out its diversity and pervasiveness. Public libraries with an interest in the occult will find it a popular and useful addition to their reference collections . . . academic libraries may opt for adding it to either reference or circulation."Against the Grain

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