Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Alternate Activity 4: Satan

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Handout 5, Names of Satan
  • Art supplies such as modeling clay, crayons, paper, color pencils, and pipe cleaners

Preparation for Activity

  • Print several copies of Handout 5, Names of Satan.

Description of Activity

Participants learn the evangelical view of the devil and consider the usefulness of a personification of evil.

Share, in these words or your own:

Most evangelical Christians believe in a literal devil. The devil as it appears in traditional Christian doctrine is a being of pure evil that takes various physical forms. The devil's purpose is to lure or trick people into transgressing so they will fall out of grace with God and be eternally damned. This belief is held not only by evangelicals; people of many faiths believe in a powerful, conscious being of malicious intent that they would call the devil.

Distribute Handout 5, Names of Satan. Explain that all these names for the devil, and more, appear in various translations of the Bible. Ask for initial impressions. Then ask:

  • What do these names for Satan tell us about what Satan is and does?
  • Could there be a devil? Have you ever thought there might be a devil, one entity responsible for all the evil in the world?
  • What do you believe causes evil in the world?

Remind youth that most UUs believe all people are capable of both good and evil behavior. We are most concerned with developing the human capacity for doing what is good and right.

Distribute art supplies and invite youth to create an image of the source of evil, as they perceive it. While they work, continue discussion with these questions:

  • Why is it useful to some people to have a devil-a powerful, malevolent being whose purpose it is to create chaos and evil? [Could it help explain why bad things happen? Could it explain why people do immoral or hurtful things?]
  • Does it make God more accessible, more human, if God has an arch enemy?

When youth have finished their artwork, invite them to share their work.

Involve everyone in clean-up.