Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture

ISBN : 9780190664473

Per Faxneld
592 ページ
156 x 235 mm

According to the Bible, Eve was the first to heed Satan's advice to eat the forbidden fruit and thus responsible for all of humanity's subsequent miseries. The notion of woman as the Devil's accomplice is prominent throughout Christian history and has been used to legitimize the subordination of wives and daughters. In the nineteenth century, rebellious females performed counter-readings of this misogynist tradition. Lucifer was reconceptualized as a feminist liberator of womankind, and Eve became a heroine. In these reimaginings, Satan is an ally in the struggle against a tyrannical patriarchy supported by God the Father and his male priests. Per Faxneld shows how this Satanic feminism was expressed in a wide variety of nineteenth-century literary texts, autobiographies, pamphlets, newspaper articles, paintings, sculptures, and even artifacts of consumer culture like jewelry. He details how colorful figures like the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, gender-bending Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky, author Aino Kallas, actress Sarah Bernhardt, anti-clerical witch enthusiast Matilda Joslyn Gage, decadent marchioness Luisa Casati, and the Luciferian lesbian poetess Renee Vivien embraced these reimaginings. By exploring the connections between esotericism, literature, art and the political realm, Satanic Feminism sheds new light on neglected aspects of the intellectual history of feminism, Satanism, and revisionary mythmaking.


I: Introduction
II: Woman and the Devil: Some Recurring Motifs
III: Romantic and Socialist Satanism
IV: Theosophical Luciferianism and Feminist Celebrations of Eve
V: Satan as the Emancipator of Woman in Gothic Literature
VI: Witches as Rebels Against Patriarchy
VII: Subversive Satanic Women in Decadent Literature and Art
VIII: Lucifer and the Lesbians: Sapphic Satanism
IX: Becoming the Demon Woman: Rebellious Role-play
X: Mary MacLane's Autobiographic Satanic Feminism
XI: Sylvia Townsend Warner's Liberating Devil
XII: Conclusions


Per Faxneld obtained his PhD in the History of Religions at Stockholm University in 2014. He was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in 2015, and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Mid-Sweden University. He is the author of two monographs on the history of Satanism and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on various matters related to Western esotericism.