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Satanism is the belief in Satan based on ideological and philosophical theories. Present-day religious convention of Satanism began with the creation of the Church of Satan in 1966. There is little evidence, if any, to show any historical precedents.
The numerous books published on Satanism and concepts of Satan through the centuries were all used to control society and to defame anyone who was not regarded to be Christian. It was also used by artists and performers for symbolic expression.
The Church of Satan which was established by Anton LaVey, had a definite location and maintained a record of who operated as it’s priesthood. It provided us with actual books on philosophy of satanism and records of its rituals. This is what ascertained Satanism in society as an approved religion.
Satanism as religion
If we look at the past of the Church of Satan to see how, in the initial period Satanism was denoted as a religion, displaying opposition to Catholic Christianity. There are ceremonies and practices in the book that propose to raise demons for definite purposes, and a black mass is administered for authentic worship of Satan.
Many Satanists don’t like the word “worship”, but they may still have a distinct classification of faith, of rituals and may indeed follow that with excessive commitment. Most of the Satanists just don’t believe in any external mystical force that controls us. They highlight the power of the self. In these ways’ Satanism can be categorized as a religion in more general terms.
Satanism as philosophy
A bit later, other associates of the Church decided that the Atheistic Satanism provided by LaVey’s church wasn’t enough. Some members desired a spiritual side to it as well. A group formed the Temple of Set where members may well express their theistic interpretations on Satanism freely.
Thus, although LaVey at some points declared that Satan as represented by our natural needs and desires, he denied the conventionalism of worship and religion. In its place he presented viewpoint, morals, ethics and a process of rationality, over the ambiguity of religious faith.
Satanism as a mix of religion and philosophy
This rift between theism and atheism became even more pronounced during the Satanic Panic of the 1980’s. In several discussions and television talk shows, it was announced by their priesthood that the church of Satan was purely figurative and philosophical.
Subsequently after the culmination of the Satanic Panic in the early 90’s various sets and churches had formed, creating their concepts on religious beliefs. Today’s Satanism is an assortment of atheist, theistic religious, and spiritual groups and peoples all practicing what they believe best epitomizes Satanism for them.
Satanism currently is a collective term where one is free to elect to practice Satanism as a religion or as a symbolic philosophy. One must look at the bigger picture of what is offered to one today to understand that Satanists, finally have alternatives in this subject.