Speak of the Devil
In 2013, when the state of Oklahoma erected a statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol, a group calling themselves The Satanic Temple applied to erect a statue of Baphomet alongside the Judeo-Christian tablets. Since that time, The Satanic Temple has become a regular voice in national conversations about religious freedom, disestablishment, and government overreach. In addition to petitioning for Baphomet to appear alongside another monument of the Ten Commandments in Arkansas, the group has launched campaigns to include Satanic "nativity scenes" on government property in Florida, Michigan, and Indiana, offer Satanic prayers at a high school football game in Seattle, and create "After School Satan" programs in elementary schools that host Christian extracurricular programs. Since their 2012 founding, The Satanic Temple has established 19 chapters and now claims 100,000 supporters. Is this just a political group perpetuating a series of stunts? Or is it a sincere religious movement?Speak of the Devil is the first book-length study of The Satanic Temple. Joseph Laycock, a scholar of new religious movements, contends that the emergence of "political Satanism" marks a significant moment in American religious history that will have a lasting impact on how Americans frame debates about religious freedom. Though the group gained attention for its strategic deployment of outrage, it claims to have developed beyond politics into a genuine religious movement. Equal parts history and ethnography, Speak of the Devil is Laycock's attempt to take seriously The Satanic Temple's work to redefine religion, the nature of pluralism and religious tolerance, and what "religious freedom" means in America.

Speak of the Devil Details

TitleSpeak of the Devil
Author
ReleaseFeb 17th, 2020
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
ISBN-139780190948498
Rating
GenreReligion, Nonfiction, History

Speak of the Devil Review

  • Damien
    January 1, 1970
    It isnt often that a rising religious movement is able to be documented so thoroughly while still in its infancy. Penny Lane's documentary Hail Satan? was released in 2019 and gave outside audiences a glimpse into The Satanic Temple (TST) while also providing a certain nostalgia to TST members. As good a film as it is, something was lacking - which is understandable as it's difficult to summarize an entire religious movement in 90 minutes. Speak of the Devil beautifully highlights both the It isn’t often that a rising religious movement is able to be documented so thoroughly while still in its infancy. Penny Lane's documentary Hail Satan? was released in 2019 and gave outside audiences a glimpse into The Satanic Temple (TST) while also providing a certain nostalgia to TST members. As good a film as it is, something was lacking - which is understandable as it's difficult to summarize an entire religious movement in 90 minutes. Speak of the Devil beautifully highlights both the activism and religious nature of TST, touching on Grey Faction, the place/purpose of rituals, and the challenging of theocratic laws.Prof. Laycock does an incredible job mapping out the beginnings of TST and following the evolution from a small group to a Federally recognized religion. This book is also unique in that it isn’t a “love letter” to, or a censored look at, TST. Laycock does his due diligence as a researcher as he speaks with former members, critics, and those in opposition to TST throughout the book. Speak of the Devil isn’t afraid (nor should it be) to display TST openly for everyone to see. As a student of religions, a Satanist, and member of TST, this book provides an amazing insight into The Satanic Temple. If you are at all interested in TST or Satanism, I would highly recommend reading this book. I'd go so far as to say, if you are a member of TST - do yourself a favor and read Speak of the Devil.
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  • Forrest Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    Truly thought provoking and worthwhile reading.
  • Maggie May
    January 1, 1970
    Speak of the Devil is an eye-opening book balanced on solid scholarship. I recommend it for absolutely everyone. Whether you are a Satanist (TST member or not), curious or confused about The Satanic Temple, or a devout member of a non- Satanic religion, you will find much here to think about.
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