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Record Type: Review   ID: 411

The Satanism Scare

Richardson, James T., Best, Joel, & Bromley, David G. (Eds.)

 This is a collection of scholarly articles on contemporary Satanism compiled by three sociologists. The contributors to the volume represent not only sociology but anthropology, folklore, and history. The editors point out that their general approach to satanism is constructionist. in which all social problems are viewed as socially constructed, and therefore the current stories about covens and ritual abuse are looked at as claims, and the aim of research is to discover who is making the claims, and why, and how do others respond to them? They say: "Constructionist analysts look carefully at the claims makers’ interests—what do they stand to gain by making claims and having those claims taken seriously? Part I is the editors’ introduction, which reviews Satanism as a Social Problem. Part II, Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on Satanism, contains three selections by Phillips Stevens, Jr., Jeffrey Burton Russell, and David G. Bromley. Part III, The Satanic Threat to Children, also consists of three selections, by Debbie Nathan, Joel Best, and Daniel Martin and Gary Alan Fine. Psychiatry and Occult Survivors is the subject of Part IV, and has two selections, "Occult Survivors: The Making of a Myth, by Philip Jenkins and Daniel Maier-Katkin and Satanism and Psychotherapy: A Rumor in Search of an Inquisition, by Sherrill Mulhern. Part V is about Satanism and the Law and contains three selections, by Robert D. Hicks, Ben Crouch and Kelly Damphouse, and James T. Richardson. Part VI, Rumors and News About Satanism, consists of four selections by Jeffrey S. Victor, Thomas A. Green, Robert W. Balch and Margaret Gilliam, and Laurel Roue and Gray Cavender. The final part, The Satanists, contains two pieces, one by Bill Ellis and one by William Sims Bainbridge.
Publisher Information:New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1991. 320p. Chap. bibl; 1 fig; 1 illus; Index: 315-320; 4 tables
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