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Bleed for the Devil: Ritualized Self-Harm as Transgressive Practice in Contemporary Satanism, and the Re-enchantement of Late Modernity
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. (Religionsvetenskap)
2015 (English)In: Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review, ISSN 1946-0538, E-ISSN 1946-0538, Vol. 6, no 2, 165-196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using ethnographic method combined with analysis of primary sources like mass media appearances, song lyrics and websites, the article ex-amines ritualized self-injury in the Black Metal milieu. It is shown that this type of ascetic mortification is no aberration in the history of religions, but diverges from older forms of Satanism. Self-injury functions in Black Metal Satanism as a symbol of transgression and virile bravado, and as a means to display allegiance to the Satanic cause by permanently marking the body. It is typically described by practitioners as a blood sacrifice to Satan. This ritualization of self-injury, where it is explicitly framed as a practice completely different from anything occurring in a secular context, is part of a broader endeavor in the milieu, which seeks to re-enchant a late modernity perceived to be devoid of spiritual values. Increasing mass media attention to self-injury, there postulated as a (secular) mental health problem among adolescent girls, has therefore lessened its usefulness as a sacralized and masculine transgressive symbol. This, it is argued, explains the declining emphasis on it in the Satanic milieu in recent years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6, no 2, 165-196 p.
Keyword [en]
blood, re-enchantment, late modernity, Satanism, self-injury, self- harm, self-mutilation
National Category
History of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26521DOI: 10.5840/asrr2015112316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-26521DiVA: diva2:882970
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Post-doc
Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-16 Last updated: 2015-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.pdcnet.org/pdc/bvdb.nsf/purchase?openform&fp=asrr&id=asrr_2015_0006_0002_0165_0196

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf