Is Satan a Transactions Attorney? An Account of Satanic Imagery in Law and Literature
44 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018 Last revised: 5 Jul 2018
Date Written: April 10, 2018
What can the history of satanic imagery in law and literature teach us about the development of humanity’s understanding of its relationship with evil? This wide-ranging account of Satan’s presence across textual mediums uncovers the secret genealogy of contracts with Satan, from the Gospel of Matthew to Mayo v. Satan and His Staff (1971). This ironic lineage recounts how a Christian clergyman was the first to consummate a contract with Satan, how Martin Luther was the first to link Johann Faust to Satan, and how the poet who inspired Charlie Daniel’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” was the first to imagine an attorney litigating against Satan. Yet these ironies are not so significant as the moral innovations that each stage in the evolution of the diabolical contract motif represents.
Keywords: law and literature, law and humanities, law and religion
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