March 27, 2021

Amy-Jill Levine on "Satan"

Many of my friends believe in a literal Satan, a supernatural figure who, although already defeated, still is fighting a cosmic war with the earth and the bodies of people as the battlefield. I respect their view, even though I do not share it. I also worry when, on occasion, someone claims that Satan is the primary cause of temptation, or of evil, and so seeks an excuse for inappropriate action.  "The devil made me do it" can be theological jargon for abdicating person responsibility. Perhaps the reason I do not believe in Satan in the sense of a supernatural being is that I have seen the evil people do. I do not want people to use Satan as an excuse.
Amy-Jill Levine, Toward the Kingdom of Heaven, p. 77