The concept of Satan is anything but straight-forward: in Kabbalistic traditions, Satan is seen as an agent of God; in the Old Testament his functions include being God’s messenger or acting as a (sometimes salutary) obstruction. The identification of Satan as a purely evil opponent of God only came into focus around the time of Jesus’ life. Since then, the image of Satan has remained in flux. While he is the embodiment of evil and sin in traditional Christian lore, in some Western literary traditions, notably in Romanticism, Satan appears as a political liberator and a culture hero. The reception of Satan includes these as well as many other aspects across the ages.

These texts explore the Satanic concept in multiple ways:

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

La-Bas (Down There) by Joris K. Huysmans

The Temptation of Christ: Matthew 4:1-11

The Book of Job

Baudelaire, “The Litany of Satan” or “Flowers of Evil”

Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger

R.L. Stevenson, “Markheim”

Anatole France, Revolt of the Angels 

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God

James Morrow, Blameless in Abaddon

Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern Age by Jeffrey B. Russell 

Satan: The Early Christian Tradition by Jeffrey Burton Russell

 Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton Russell

Elaine Pagels, The Origins of Satan

“Character Profile;” from Harold Bloom’s Major Literary Characters: Satan

“The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis

Chris Mathews, Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture

T.J. Wray and Mobley, The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil’s Biblical Roots

Per Faxneld, The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity

Jeffrey S. Victor, Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend

Philosophy and other texts 

Why I am not a Christian by Bertrand Russell

Parable of the Madman” in The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche 

The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

God and the State by Mikhail Bakunin

Madness and Civilization by Michael Foucault

Naming the Witch: Magic, Ideology and Stereotype in the Ancient World by K. Stratton

American Fascists: The Christain Right and the War on American by Chris Hedges

Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

Stir it Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy by Rinku Sen

Bridging the Class Divide and other lessons for Grassroots Organizing by Linda Stout