When were Satan's good old days?

stetsonstetson Shipmate
edited October 31 in Purgatory
Continued from here. The previous exchange....

Stetson wrote:

In the movie Little Nicky, Satan(played by Rodney Dangerfield) is told by one of his demonic flunkies that he need not worry about some particular matter, and replies "The last time you told me not to worry, the Renaissance happened." The idea being that Satan hated the Renaissance, presumably because of all the ostensibly Christian art that it's remebered for.

Whereas to the extent that Satan is the guy he's generally assumed to be, and that he would have any preference among historical epochs, he would LIKE the Renaissance, because as any Social Studies textbook will tell you, it represented a movement away from a God-centred view of things toward a man-centred view. And the Popes of that era have gone down in history as some of the most debauched party animals who ever lived.

The Reformation would have been a better example of something Satan would have bad memories of, but had that been the reference, even a lot of protestants would probably need it explained to them. Way more people recognize The Last Supper than the 95 Theses.


lilbuddha repllied:

The reformation? The one with all the schisms, persecutions, shaming and witch burnings? Being saved more important than helping the poor? Pretty sure the big S would love that.


Well, first off, I think Satan is generally regarded as being very much in favour of witchcraft. So I don't really see him getting on board with witch burnings.

Which leads into my larger overall point: Taking my cue from the screenwriters, I was referencing the popular, folkloric image of Satan. He's generally thought of as someone who knowingly hates God, gets off on his own pride, and revels in evil as an end in itself. I think that makes him closer to, say, the Borgias than it does to Luther and Calvin. (Not that the Borgias hated God, so much as they were just totally indifferent to the Christian ethos and concerned with worldly glory, as opposed to the Reformers, who are usually viewed as at least sincerely Christian.)

And, again, that's all assuming that Satan would have preferences between historical epochs. On the other hand, if it's just that he likes any period of time where Christians are fucking up and failing miserably to honour the teachings of Jesus, yeah, he'd probably like the Reformation. And the Renaissance, and the Middle Ages before that.

In fact, going by that criterion, his lowest point would have been the Enlightenment, when the churches began to lose a lot of temporal power, and with it the ability to wreak the same kind of carnage they'd been wallowing in for centuries.

But I really can't see a guy who also went by a name meaning "bringer of light" coming out against the Enlightenment.





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Comments

  • Being the father of lies, Satan must be having a great time now, when so many don't even pretend to tell the truth, and ears can be freely tickled throughout the world thanks to the Internet.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 31
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Being the father of lies, Satan must be having a great time now, when so many don't even pretend to tell the truth, and ears can be freely tickled throughout the world thanks to the Internet.

    Indeed, though I wouldn't want to overstate the extent to which most of human history has been one long epoch of truth and honesty.

    Anyway, according to this classic number, he pretty much goes in for anything bloody and violent, though does seem to have a special fondness for things that involve Christians getting it hard from the pagans and infidels.
  • I'd say his biggest setback was when Jack Chick finally exposed the truth about Dungeons and Dragons.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Since the "witches" burnt or hanged were mostly harmless eccentric old women, any putative architect of evil would probably love it.

    Anyway, surely we're better than thinking witchcraft has anything to do with Satan?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Since the "witches" burnt or hanged were mostly harmless eccentric old women, any putative architect of evil would probably love it.

    Anyway, surely we're better than thinking witchcraft has anything to do with Satan?

    I would hope so. But this started from a discussion on the original thread that had veered into the topic of writers and artists mangling source material. In this case, the source material was the popular image of Satan and what he believes in, as misrepresented(in my view) by Hollywood screenwriters.



  • stetson wrote: »
    Continued from here. The previous exchange....

    Stetson wrote:

    In the movie Little Nicky, Satan(played by Rodney Dangerfield) is told by one of his demonic flunkies that he need not worry about some particular matter, and replies "The last time you told me not to worry, the Renaissance happened." The idea being that Satan hated the Renaissance, presumably because of all the ostensibly Christian art that it's remebered for.

    Whereas to the extent that Satan is the guy he's generally assumed to be, and that he would have any preference among historical epochs, he would LIKE the Renaissance, because as any Social Studies textbook will tell you, it represented a movement away from a God-centred view of things toward a man-centred view. And the Popes of that era have gone down in history as some of the most debauched party animals who ever lived.

    The Reformation would have been a better example of something Satan would have bad memories of, but had that been the reference, even a lot of protestants would probably need it explained to them. Way more people recognize The Last Supper than the 95 Theses.


    lilbuddha repllied:

    The reformation? The one with all the schisms, persecutions, shaming and witch burnings? Being saved more important than helping the poor? Pretty sure the big S would love that.


    Well, first off, I think Satan is generally regarded as being very much in favour of witchcraft. So I don't really see him getting on board with witch burnings.
    Witch burnings didn't burn people in league with the devil. They were about fear, revenge, paranoia, scapegoats, etc. So big thumbs up from Mr. S.
    stetson wrote: »
    Which leads into my larger overall point: Taking my cue from the screenwriters, I was referencing the popular, folkloric image of Satan. He's generally thought of as someone who knowingly hates God, gets off on his own pride, and revels in evil as an end in itself. I think that makes him closer to, say, the Borgias than it does to Luther and Calvin. (Not that the Borgias hated God, so much as they were just totally indifferent to the Christian ethos and concerned with worldly glory, as opposed to the Reformers, who are usually viewed as at least sincerely Christian.)
    Many of the people involved in the Defenestrations, Sectarian persecutors, the people who stripped Native cultures in the Americas and Africa were likely sincere Christians. Calvin when he had Servetus burned at the stake would definitively have been.
    It is persistent myth that the Reformation made Christianity a better thing, at least in regards to behaviour.
    Not defending the undeniable problems in the RCC, just calling rubbish on the wonderfulness of the reformation.
    If there is a devil, at no point would Christianity in any form cause him consternation. I am not denigrating the beliefs, but people will find a way to do evil despite any system. And, further, they will find a way to use that system to justify evil.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Anyway, according to this classic number . . . .
    Ah yes, though I have to admit that when I clicked on the link, I was expecting this.

  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    If I was an evil genius, I'd probably find people experiencing pain extremely funny.

    If they are the poor muppets who believed something I once said, that's even funnier.

    If they are poor muppets mistaken by an angry mob for someone who once believed something I once said, that's roll on the floor and laugh my arse off funny.

    Because Satan is a teenager.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    I don't believe in Satan, in case it needs saying.

    A universe which doesn't give a shit is many times scarier than a cackling red mischief maker.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    I'd say his biggest setback was when Jack Chick finally exposed the truth about Dungeons and Dragons.

    I thought that was ironic until the end, where I learned it was being serious. How delightful.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 31
    lilbuddha wrote:

    Witch burnings didn't burn people in league with the devil. They were about fear, revenge, paranoia, scapegoats, etc.

    I dunno. The women in that Goya painting certainly seemed to be in league with the devil.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 31
    lilbuddha wrote:

    It is persistent myth that the Reformation made Christianity a better thing, at least in regards to behaviour.

    Well, I think there's a difference between saying that the Reformers were sincere Christians(compared to, say, the Borgias) and saying that they made Christianity a better thing. Arguably, a sincere fanatic can do more damage than a cynical poser.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 31
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Anyway, according to this classic number . . . .
    Ah yes, though I have to admit that when I clicked on the link, I was expecting this.

    Actually, the only reason I know that old show-tune is that my high school did the play as a performance one year. Prior to tonight, the only line I could remember was about "the glorious morn, Jack The Ripper was born".

    And to be honest, the stuff about scalpings and cooking missionaries is kind of offensive, but pretty typical for the times.

    I like the line(and the shot) about suicides during the '29 crash.

  • stetson wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote:

    Witch burnings didn't burn people in league with the devil. They were about fear, revenge, paranoia, scapegoats, etc.

    I dunno. The women in that Goya painting certainly seemed to be in league with the devil.
    You brought this discussion to Purgatory, so I though you wanted a real discussion rather than a goof.

  • Tying in with the bad/ historically illiterate movie theme that sparked this discussion, a few years ago there was a gloriously terrible film starring Nicholas Cage called Season of the Witch. The basic theme of the film seems to be, "The Catholic Church was very mean and intolerant to burn all those people... except it wasn't."
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 31
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote:

    Witch burnings didn't burn people in league with the devil. They were about fear, revenge, paranoia, scapegoats, etc.

    I dunno. The women in that Goya painting certainly seemed to be in league with the devil.
    You brought this discussion to Purgatory, so I though you wanted a real discussion rather than a goof.

    Okay, maybe my literary conceit got a bit ahead of me there. I'll lay it out straight here...

    The screenwriters of Little Nicky were appropriating essentially the same worldview that Goya was appropriating in The Witch's Sabbath. Except that, in my opinion, going by the statements they put into Satan's mouth, they don't understand that worldview as much as they might think.

    And, certainly, I am NOT saying the worldview is correct. Just that if you're going to use it as a motif, you should strive to get it right. I'm pretty sure those writers just figured that since the Renaissance produced the only religious art that Joe Blow can name these days, it must have been some high point of religioisty.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Tying in with the bad/ historically illiterate movie theme that sparked this discussion, a few years ago there was a gloriously terrible film starring Nicholas Cage called Season of the Witch. The basic theme of the film seems to be, "The Catholic Church was very mean and intolerant to burn all those people... except it wasn't."

    Yeah, that was, umm, pretty reactionary.

    Though honestly, no worse, really, than The Exorcist, which was basically saying "You know, maybe some sick people really DO need to be treated with prayers and holy water", all the while taking itself VERY seriously.

    Though, unlike Season Of The Witch, Friedkin's film at least did steer clear of villifying an entire class of innocent people.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    Other interesting "evil at home" portrayals include:
    "Old Harry's Game" BBC radio (in which the explicit in story answer is 'pre-fall')
    "Good Omens" (in which case the big diabolical successes are the M25 road and Milton Keynes town)
  • I suspect that there has been a common theme through history that Satan's Good Days are now. There are current worries about the tone of nationalist politics around the globe, but going back you've got all sorts of examples of People Being Very Nasty to Each Other, up to and including killing lots of People We Think Are Wrong.

    Arguably the first real flourishing of the idea that 'the past was better' in extant literature was Savonarola, who was reacting to changes in people's intellectual interests and outlook, and the first challenging of 'we're the Catholic Church ergo we are RIGHT'
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I was expecting this.

    To some extent, Jagger in that song aligns himself with the traditional, reactionary view of evil, for example, he has Satan cheering as the Russian royal family(good Christians, natch) get slaughtered by the Bolsheviks(infidels, of course). But then he has the line about kings and queens fighting "for the gods they made", which seems to put him into the rationalist camp, thus calling into question the whole intellectual structure that allows us to talk about Satan in the first place.

    Which might work, if he had saved the rationalist epiphany for the very end, thus smashing the whole worldview that we've been singing along with throughout the song. But the last line is "I'll lay your soul to waste", which doesn't really fit with the idea that Satan is an imaginary construct.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    jay_emm wrote: »
    "Good Omens" (in which case the big diabolical successes are the M25 road and Milton Keynes town)
    The M25, yes; but both Aziraphael and Crowley claim responsibility for Milton Keynes.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Pendragon wrote: »
    I suspect that there has been a common theme through history that Satan's Good Days are now. There are current worries about the tone of nationalist politics around the globe, but going back you've got all sorts of examples of People Being Very Nasty to Each Other, up to and including killing lots of People We Think Are Wrong.

    Yeah, the idea that "This is the time of Darkness Triumphant" is sort of the flip side of "Golden Age" theory.

  • I'm amazed he didn't try and claim telephone call centres, especially IVRs as his invention.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Clearly, the Devil and his Angels have ceased to carry the threat they once did since the Enlightenment in Western Europe. Might I, however, remind the present company of Beaudelaire's comment: 'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.'

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Clearly, the Devil and his Angels have ceased to carry the threat they once did since the Enlightenment in Western Europe. Might I, however, remind the present company of Beaudelaire's comment: 'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.'

    If Baudelaire really believed that Satan existed, and was the guy that Christians said he was, he was taking a pretty big risk by writing stuff like this. Because if there really is a guy so evil that his admirers will be sent to hell for all eternity, you probably don't want to be praying to him.

    I've also heard that line attributed to C.S. Lewis, who it is pretty clear really did believe in Satan.
  • From the perspective of eternity, past and future don't mean the same things. The "good old days" can easily be in the future.

    This noted, I'm one of those who has spent some time in non-European, non-Judeo-Christian- culture. Time is an arrow, and time is a cycle. It's a sine curve, which CS Lewis described as "the law of undulation", also reflected in the seasons of the year, night and day cycles. Thus: the bad old days and good old days are in the past and also to come. Also, one group's good old days may be another's bad old days. Because humans exploit each other, individually and as groups & nations.

    Satan? while there is personified evil in the world, just like there is personified good, they exist at the same time. It turns out we don't need Satan to be bad. We do appear to need God to be good.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    I have difficulty imagining the epitome of evil making anything useful or beautiful.

    The Enlightenment was clearly flawed and messed up, and yet almost everyone sees it as a period of human flourishing and intellectual achievement, don't they?

  • Speaking neoplatonically, evil can have no epitome, it can only be a corruption of good things.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    I've also heard that line attributed to C.S. Lewis, who it is pretty clear really did believe in Satan.
    Baudelaire is responsible for the line, though he put it in the mouth of an addicted gambler in a prose poem so it probably isn't a literal expression of his own beliefs.

    (C.S.Lewis says something similar in the preface to The Screwtape Letters, but IIRC he doesn't quote Baudelaire.)

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    Clearly, the Devil and his Angels have ceased to carry the threat they once did since the Enlightenment in Western Europe. Might I, however, remind the present company of Beaudelaire's comment: 'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.'
    Except no. An effect of the enlightenment was the beginning of pulling religion out of the state. When religion has too much pull, it does more harm. Removing the devil from the equation removes power from the religion and reduces harm.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Blahblah wrote: »

    The Enlightenment was clearly flawed and messed up, and yet almost everyone sees it as a period of human flourishing and intellectual achievement, don't they?

    Might depend how you regard things like the French Revolution and later Napoleon, plus what connection you see between them and Enlightenment thinking.

    And there's also a relatively recent left-wing critique that says the Enlightenment was rooted in racist assumptions. Like a lot of such critiques, I think it enters some useful information into the record, eg. Voltaire, the supposed champion of human dignity, was in fact an anti-semite and anti-Muslim, but also gets a little carried away with itself, eg. I don't think "light" was used as a symbol of reason simply for the purpose of vilifying dark-skinned people.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Speaking neoplatonically, evil can have no epitome, it can only be a corruption of good things.

    True. But under that schematum, you could still have a guy like Satan who is just a thoroughly and utterly corrupted individual. He's just not part of any evil "force" existing apart from and in challenge to goodness.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I've also heard that line attributed to C.S. Lewis, who it is pretty clear really did believe in Satan.
    Baudelaire is responsible for the line, though he put it in the mouth of an addicted gambler in a prose poem so it probably isn't a literal expression of his own beliefs.

    Thanks for the info.

  • asherasher Shipmate
    I was put in mind of Jacques brew by way of marc almond....https://youtu.be/Deh2xMCIzUs
  • I do in fact think he exists, though not at all as portrayed in the popular media. So to answer the OP seriously, I suspect "the good old days" for him are the days pre-Incarnation, when Jesus had not yet been born into the world and he was, ah, able to cherish more illusions about his final fate.

    I don't in fact think that the devil needs to spend all his time obsessing about us--once upon a time he had a life that involved plenty of other stuff--though he may do so, in much the same manner as a gameplayer gets obsessed with a particular game he is playing (and losing). But I'm sure that in his eyes we are incidental to the real conflict, which is his conflict with God. We're just a handy vulnerability for him to make use of in that conflict--much as certain assholes will attack the family pets if they're easier to get at than the head of the family.
  • Pendragon wrote: »
    I suspect that there has been a common theme through history that Satan's Good Days are now.

    Carly Simon said as much. Sort of.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I was expecting this.

    To some extent, Jagger in that song aligns himself with the traditional, reactionary view of evil, for example, he has Satan cheering as the Russian royal family(good Christians, natch) get slaughtered by the Bolsheviks(infidels, of course). But then he has the line about kings and queens fighting "for the gods they made", which seems to put him into the rationalist camp, thus calling into question the whole intellectual structure that allows us to talk about Satan in the first place.

    Which might work, if he had saved the rationalist epiphany for the very end, thus smashing the whole worldview that we've been singing along with throughout the song. But the last line is "I'll lay your soul to waste", which doesn't really fit with the idea that Satan is an imaginary construct.

    One can think the kings and queens made gods for themselves without being a rationalist or atheist. Moses thought his brother made a god. He was right. Anything one puts above God is a god, according to some ways of thinking.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Clearly, the Devil and his Angels have ceased to carry the threat they once did since the Enlightenment in Western Europe. Might I, however, remind the present company of Beaudelaire's comment: 'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.'
    Except no. An effect of the enlightenment was the beginning of pulling religion out of the state. When religion has too much pull, it does more harm. Removing the devil from the equation removes power from the religion and reduces harm.

    Does it? Do religions without a devil cause less harm? Does the harm of the bedeviled religions (you will excuse the expression) have anything to do with their bedevilment? Is the harm increased as the strength of the belief of the devil increases?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Tying in with the bad/ historically illiterate movie theme that sparked this discussion, a few years ago there was a gloriously terrible film starring Nicholas Cage called Season of the Witch. The basic theme of the film seems to be, "The Catholic Church was very mean and intolerant to burn all those people... except it wasn't."

    A guilty pleasure. Black Death is 'orribly gratifyingly similar. The antithesis is the excellent The Last Valley.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Clearly, the Devil and his Angels have ceased to carry the threat they once did since the Enlightenment in Western Europe. Might I, however, remind the present company of Beaudelaire's comment: 'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.'
    Except no. An effect of the enlightenment was the beginning of pulling religion out of the state. When religion has too much pull, it does more harm. Removing the devil from the equation removes power from the religion and reduces harm.

    Does it? Do religions without a devil cause less harm? Does the harm of the bedeviled religions (you will excuse the expression) have anything to do with their bedevilment? Is the harm increased as the strength of the belief of the devil increases?
    It is about power. Presenting a religion as being the salvation from the devil/hell gives a religion power.
    Power tends to corrupt.
  • So, no data, only a priori theory.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited October 31
    .
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I do in fact think he exists, though not at all as portrayed in the popular media. So to answer the OP seriously, I suspect "the good old days" for him are the days pre-Incarnation, when Jesus had not yet been born into the world and he was, ah, able to cherish more illusions about his final fate.

    Right. But then, if the screenwriters had had him say "The last time you told me not to worry, we had the Nativity nine months later", it would have reminded the audience that Satan's main role, theologically speaking, is as the chief adversary of God. Which wouldn't fit with the cutesy image popular media likes to present.

    And I know you weren't commenting directly on the film, but it's an interesting example of the gap between theological and popular understandings of the diabolical.

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    edited November 1

    lilbuddha repllied:

    The reformation? The one with all the schisms, persecutions, shaming and witch burnings? Being saved more important than helping the poor? Pretty sure the big S would love that.



    Yes. The Christian or cultic persecution of those thought to be 'in league with Satan' is one of those transhistorical, transdenomenational persecutions that moves across medieval Catholic cultures (the paranoid misogynist thinking behind the Malleus Malleficarum of the Inquisition), then intensifies during and after the Reformation in the period associated with the witch trials in Europe and elsewhere from 1550 to approximately 1700, as Catholic and Protestant authorities competed to demonise (mostly) women and instituted a form of persecutory terror to subdue 'heretical' or colonised populations.

    Then we have Puritanism in New England and the extensively documented Salem trials. And one of the most revealing literary comments on this comes from Nathaniel Hawthorne, grandson of a witch-burning judge, who wrote the extraordinary fiction Young Goodman Brown in which he argues that the demonic identification was not out there but in here, that those with the most persecutory zeal and righteousness were those most susceptible to the 'satanic.'

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I was expecting this.

    To some extent, Jagger in that song aligns himself with the traditional, reactionary view of evil, for example, he has Satan cheering as the Russian royal family(good Christians, natch) get slaughtered by the Bolsheviks(infidels, of course). But then he has the line about kings and queens fighting "for the gods they made", which seems to put him into the rationalist camp, thus calling into question the whole intellectual structure that allows us to talk about Satan in the first place.

    Which might work, if he had saved the rationalist epiphany for the very end, thus smashing the whole worldview that we've been singing along with throughout the song. But the last line is "I'll lay your soul to waste", which doesn't really fit with the idea that Satan is an imaginary construct.

    One can think the kings and queens made gods for themselves without being a rationalist or atheist. Moses thought his brother made a god. He was right. Anything one puts above God is a god, according to some ways of thinking.

    "The gods they made" being a reference to political power is, I will admit, a plausible interpretation of the line.

    Personally, I still think the smoother reading is that Satan is laughing because Christians always blame him for all the rotten stuff in the world, but here they are, murdering each other over their various interpretations of Christianity, which they fabricated anyway.

    Mind you, for that to work, the Hundred Years War would have to be about religion, which I don't think they really were, even in a nominal way. Though Jagger could just have latched onto the lazy assumption that all the wars in those days were about God.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »

    But I really can't see a guy who also went by a name meaning "bringer of light" coming out against the Enlightenment.

    I always understood that 'Bringer of Light' was his job title before he got sacked, rather than his name.

    Although on the popular level I'll admit he still gets called Lucifer, probably because it sounds cool.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Then we have Puritanism in New England and the extensively documented Salem trials. And one of the most revealing literary comments on this comes from Nathaniel Hawthorne, grandson of a witch-burning judge, who wrote the extraordinary fiction Young Goodman Brown in which he argues that the demonic identification was not out there but in here, that those with the most persecutory zeal and righteousness were those most susceptible to the 'satanic.'

    Though the story DOES state that "Indian priests" were in attendance at the forest ritual, and that they had "more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft." So Hawthorne might have been a bit more tainted by puritan chauvinism than he cared to admit.

    The paragraph beginning "In truth they were such."

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »

    But I really can't see a guy who also went by a name meaning "bringer of light" coming out against the Enlightenment.

    I always understood that 'Bringer of Light' was his job title before he got sacked, rather than his name.

    Although on the popular level I'll admit he still gets called Lucifer, probably because it sounds cool.

    Yeah, but Paul also associates Satan with light, albeit of a counterfeit nature. Maybe we can assume that Paul was familiar with the tradition of Lucifer being Satan before he got drummed out of Heaven?

  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Around 1665 - when John Milton was writing Paradise Lost:
    "His countenance, as the morning star that guides
    The starry flock, allured them ..."

    [Book V, lines 708-9)]

    Pure erotica, In My Opinion
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    stetson wrote: »
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Then we have Puritanism in New England and the extensively documented Salem trials. And one of the most revealing literary comments on this comes from Nathaniel Hawthorne, grandson of a witch-burning judge, who wrote the extraordinary fiction Young Goodman Brown in which he argues that the demonic identification was not out there but in here, that those with the most persecutory zeal and righteousness were those most susceptible to the 'satanic.'

    Though the story DOES state that "Indian priests" were in attendance at the forest ritual, and that they had "more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft." So Hawthorne might have been a bit more tainted by puritan chauvinism than he cared to admit.

    The paragraph beginning "In truth they were such."

    It's a deeply ambiguous allegory, not unlike the Scarlet Letter. I'd agree that Hawthorne was as racist as any other New Englander of his times and shared the settler ignorance about powwows.
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