It was late night—or possibly early morning—during one of the socials for the local Satanic group I participate with, deep in the dog days of summer, 2017. One of the leaders of the group approached me with an idea: why didn’t I see about preparing a presentation of some sort about something having to do with “Satan and language?”
I must have stared back at him unspeaking for a moment.
“…Or something like that,” he continued, a little uneasy now. “Whatever you think would be of interest to the group and within your area of expertise.”
True—my area of expertise lies principally in language and literature, Biblical language and literature in particular. And there’s certainly a lot to say about Satan, language, and the Biblical tradition. But—I mean—come on! How in the world would I chip away at that mountain of a “topic” until it began to take some kind of clear and defined shape for a thirty-minute presentation?
Still, within about twenty-four hours of the idea mill running hard and heavy, I did manage to come up with something. I sat down to write up an outline and, a little while later, shot off a message with a four-page document and sketch of what would be a series of three long talks starting from the basic idea of Satan as an attorney advocating for different sides of disputes in a courtroom.
Well today, a full year after that initial discussion, the Satan at the Crossroads series of lectures is complete and up on YouTube for all the world to see. There’s maybe a few things I would change about these presentations if I could, but overall I’m very pleased with the way they turned out and the trajectory of the ideas they chart.
Below, you’ll find links to the five videos in the series, along with a brief description of the ideas presented in each. I hope you enjoy watching these as much as I enjoyed making them. Be sure to share your feedback in one of the many online spaces available.
Many, many thanks to the local chapter of The Satanic Temple—Dallas for sponsoring these talks and to Mr. Greg Stevens, who capably filmed all the videos and edited them, with the exception of the third, for which Mr. Oliver Spires stepped in as pinch editor. Couldn’t have done it without you guys…literally!
Lecture 1: Temptation or Testing?
This first lecture of the series introduces the role of the Biblical Satan as one who puts to the test and addresses the confusion in word and concept between Satan as tester and tempter. The presentation concentrates principally on Satan and rebellious action in the New Testament.
This second lecture of the series takes an in-depth look at Satan in the Hebrew Bible and the figure’s principal role as God’s agent and enforcer in the mold of the Persian administrative figure known as the King’s Eye. This talk begins to question the transition from agent to adversary. The video for this lecture was cut into three chunks for ease of viewing. Special extras in this presentation include treatment of such topics as: How did Satan become the Devil? and Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus to be a separate divine being from God the Father?
Lecture 3: Return of the Just Eye
This third lecture of the series revisits the idea of Satan and his ambiguous role of agent and adversary in an effort to answer the question of what Satan has to do with the concept and workings of social justice. This talk ties together the many threads developed over the course of the previous two. This presentation also deals with such topics as: What’s the deal with St. Peter’s/The Inverted Cross? and What’s the Satan-Lucifer connection?
***IMPORTANT EDIT: AS OF 5:35AM, SEPTEMBER 2, 2018, THESE VIDEOS HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFFLINE AND ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. I’M WORKING TO SEE ABOUT GETTING THEM BACK UP, BUT THAT IS NOT ENTIRELY WITHIN MY CONTROL. I HAVE DECIDED TO LEAVE THIS POST UP FOR POSTERITY AT ANY RATE. MAYBE I’LL JUST REDO THEM MYSELF, MINUS THE TST SPECIFIC COMMENTS, AND REPOST. SATANISM DOES HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT AND TO DO WITH JUSTICE. THAT’S A POINT WORTH MAKING…OVER AND OVER AGAIN. HAIL SATAN!***