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12 A Brief History of the Black Mass

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Chapter Summary

The black Mass is an understudied form of liturgy. This article sketches its history in five tableaus, including medieval rumours, seventeenth-century magical operations, eighteenth-and nineteenth century literary fiction, and culminating in the establishment of a ‘canonical’ black Mass liturgy in the modern Church of Satan. In addition, it discusses academic efforts to define its substance and tries to discover what place we can give the black Mass in the history of religion by applying the theories of Roy A. Rappaport.


10.1163/9789004347083_014
/content/books/b9789004347083_014
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