Kirsten's Reviews > Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture

Lucifer Ascending by Bill Ellis
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's review
Feb 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-pre-12-07, own, non-fiction, re-reads
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 2

Bill Ellis is one of my all-time favorite folklorists. His excellent Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media both debunked the media frenzy surrounding the "Satanic Panics" of the 80s and early 90s and explored why such things occur, as well as illustrating the historical precedent. Now in Lucifer Ascending, Ellis takes a wider view of our fascination with the occult. Why is it that practices like using the Ouija board, visiting haunted houses, or playing "Bloody Mary" persist? Using the fundamentalist Christian flap over Harry Potter as a jumping off point, Ellis explores both society's fear and fascination with the occult. He strikes a neatly balanced view; he clearly (even as a practicing Lutheran) has no use for Fundamentalist fears of worldwide Satanic cults who use Harry Potter as a recruitment tool, but he also is aware that fascination with the occult can have serious consequences, not due to demons or malign forces, but due to the belief in such... He writes with lucidity and humor, and this book is equally accessible to the dedicated folklorist or the mere dabbler.
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07/03/2016 marked as: read

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