Universal Cultural Elements in the Satanic Demonology

Volume 20
Fall 1992
Universal Cultural Elements in the Satanic Demonology

The "€œBlack"€ or "€œSatanic Mass"€ is the western Christian variant of a complex scenario that expresses people'€™s most basic and terrible fears. Many elements in the scenario, called a demonology, are found universally and throughout history. Anthropological examination of them suggests that they represent sub-cultural, innate fears deeply rooted in our evolutionary biology. This paper briefly discusses certain motifs prominent in the satanic demonology, including: nocturnal activity, ritual murder and the ritual use of blood, cannibalism and vampirism, incest and other forms of illicit sexuality, general fears of danger to children, and death, all of which represent universal cultural fears. Also considered are certain elements which seem specific to Western variants of the demonology, e.g., torment with snakes and spiders, and urine and feces. The possibilities of primate parallels to some of these features of the demonology is also considered. Cultural bases for these elements and the significance of their distribution may help to explain the widespread allegations of horrible deeds by satanic cults, and the testimonies of "€œsurvivors"€ of satanic rituals.

Dr. P., Jr. Stevens
240 - 244
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