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Crowley and Satan redux

To: alt.magick,alt.satanism
From: (George Leake)
Subject: Re: Crowley and Satan redux (was Accept Satan!)
Date: 4 Jan 1996 21:18:37 GMT

btw--I thought it might be helpful to post this rather neutral online
encyclopedia entry on the subject--the bibliography includes a book on
this subject I meant to bring up last posting--Elaine Pagel's The Origin
of Satan; 

this entry does raise food for further thought--whether Set really was
much of a model for Satan--and if he was originally, doesn't some of the
foreign nature of that figure as the Devil just point out how skewed our
modern Western p.o.v. is vis a vis the representation of The Devil in the
early Christian world, i.e. 2000 years ago at the easternmost reaches of
the Mediterannean

   In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Satan, from the Hebrew word
   for "adversary," is the principal figure of the demonic world
   that is hostile to God and his will. In the Old Testament (for
   example, the Book of Job), Satan is presented as a distinct
   personality of darkness and accusation--the heavenly
   prosecutor. A fuller expression of his role is presented in the
   New Testament, where he is called "the tempter," "the
   slanderer," "the enemy," "the liar," and "the angel of the
   bottomless pit." Collectively, these titles present Satan as
   the one who has the power of death, rules with lies and
   deception, accuses humankind before God, and opposes the
   purpose of God in the world (while remaining obedient to God).
The Bible nowhere explains Satan's origin, but in both
   testaments he is presented as a part of the created order
   rather than as an eternal entity. Although no explanation is
   given in the Bible for God's allowing Satan to exist, it does
   indicate that his time is short (only for this age of time and
   history) and his end is certain--ultimately he will be banished
   by the Messiah.
   This concept of a temporal dualism in which Satan has influence
   is brought to expression most clearly in apocalyptic
   literature, such as the Book of Revelation. Two ages are
   reflected in apocalyptic cosmology: "this age" and "the age to
   come." Satan appears to be prevailing in this age, but in the
   age to come God will clearly display his sovereignty. In later
   Christian tradition Satan was described as a fallen angel.

The concept of a leader of the powers of darkness found
   expression in cultures outside the Hebrew tradition. The
   Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Persians believed in a dualism
   between the forces of darkness and light. Ahriman, in
   ZOROASTRIANISM, and SET, in Egyptian mythology, manifest
   characteristics similar to Satan's.
   Douglas Ezell
   Bibliography:  Forsyth, Neil, The Old Enemy (1989); Ling, T. O.,
   The Significance of Satan (1961; repr. 1985); Pagels, Elaine,
   The Origin of Satan (1995); Russell, Jeffrey Burton, The Devil
   in the Middle Ages (1984), Mephistopheles: The Devil in the
   Modern World (1986; repr. 1990), and Satan (1987).

George Leake  512-471-9117
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."-George Washington
"For we are instinctively all too greedy for praise, and there is no sound or song that comes sweeter to our ears; praise, like Sirens' voices, is the kind of music that causes shipwreck to the man who does not stop his ears to its deceptive harmony."-B.Castiglione, "The Courtier"

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