Raising the Devil by Bill EllisRaising the Devil by Bill Ellis

Raising the Devil

byBill Ellis

Paperback | October 1, 2000

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Raising the Devil reveals how the Christian Pentecostal movement, right-wing conspiracy theories, and an opportunistic media turned grassroots folk traditions into the Satanism scare of the 1980s.

During the mid-twentieth century, devil worship was seen as merely an isolated survivor of medieval times. But by the early 1980s, many influential experts in clinical medicine and in law enforcement were proclaiming that Satanic cults were widespread and dangerous. By examining the broader context for alleged "cult" activity, Bill Ellis demonstrates how the image of contemporary Satanism emerged during the 1970s.

In some of the cases Ellis considers, common folk beliefs and rituals were misunderstood as evidence of devil worship. In others, narratives and rituals themselves were used to combat Satanic forces. As the media found such stories more and more attractive, any activity with even remotely occult overtones was demonized in order to fit a model of good confronting absolute evil.

Ellis's wide-ranging investigation covers ouija boards, cattle mutilation, graveyard desecration, and "diabolical medicine" -- the psychiatric community's response to the Satanism scares. He offers a balanced view of contentious issues such as demonic possession, Satanic ritual abuse, and the testimonies of confessing "ex-Satanists". A trained folklorist, Ellis offers insights into informal religious traditions that clarify how the image of Satanism both explained and created deviant behavior.

Title:Raising the DevilFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.36 × 6.38 × 0.68 inPublished:October 1, 2000Publisher:University Press of KentuckyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813121701

ISBN - 13:9780813121703

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