Lilith – From Demon to Feminist Icon
The talk follows Lilith’s trajectory from her origins as an evil entity in Jewish folklore and demonology, to being a feminist icon today. We get to meet the Pre-Raphaelite poets, romantic painters, and lesbian Luciferians who all helped shape the image of her. We delve into the work of 19th-century occultists like Eliphas Lévi and Madame Blavatsky. We encounter the early feminists who saw a kindred spirit in rebellious Lilith. We examine her role in present-day political activism, Jewish feminist theology, Satanism and esoteric groups. Drawing on this multitude of voices, the talk also discusses broader mechanisms of counter-reading, mythical reinvention, and cultural subversion.
Per Faxneld is Associate Professor in History of Religions at Södertörn University (Stockholm), author of “Satanic Feminism Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth Century Culture” and a devotee of weird antiques, ominous music, and sinister sartorialism. He is the author of three monographs, two edited volumes, and numerous articles on Satanism, occultism, and esoteric art. In 2020, Faxneld made his literary debut with “Offerträdet” (“The Tree of Sacrifice”), an illustrated collection of folk horror tales set in 19th-century northern Sweden.