JOSHUA CASPER. South Park Satan: Sympathetic Character and Critical Cultural Mirror. (Under the Direction of DR. SEAN MCCLOUD) In this thesis, I argue that Satan in South Park is portrayed as a sympathetic character who acts as both a role model of individuality and responsibility in a manner that supports what religious studies scholar David Feltmate refers to as the "unseen order" proffered by the show's creators. I will support this argument through three case studies that compares Satan to other prominent South Park characters: Jesus, Saddam Hussein, and Mr. Garrison. This thesis engages with several different fields of scholarly work, including religious studies, media studies, and popular culture studies. While this work is influenced by such scholarship, the main subject, South Park’s Satan, has not been the focus of any work on religion, media, and popular culture broadly, or scholarship on South Park specifically. In this manner, I hope to add to the existing literature on South Park and religion and popular culture studies. I will discuss Lisle Dalton, Eric Greene, Jane Iwamura, David Feltmate, and Scott Poole and show how they will help me set up the main arguments of my analysis. The academic study of religion and popular media is a massive subfield within religious studies. My thesis will strive to explore how South Park’s Satan represents many of the show’s writers’ most sacred ideals. While South Park has been one of the longest running, most influential, and perhaps most divisive pieces of animation to be produced in America, this show holds some interesting beliefs and, thus, raises several talking points with each episode involving Satan. The character of Satan has changed and morphed in some interesting ways from biblical stories to a background or lead character in several contemporary television shows and films. One might suggest that from his inception as a religious and literary figure, Satan has always been a popular culture icon. But the way in which this character has appeared in American television is something that has been under analyzed and could offer some new insight to how the stereotypical Satan may continue to change.