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  • 1.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    30 Years of Black Metal Satanism (1981-2011): An Overview2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Assuming the Role of the Demon Woman: Sarah Bernhardt, Luisa Casati, Theda Bara, Rebellious Roleplay and Satanic Feminism2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper treats three individuals (Sarah Bernhardt, the Italian marchioness Luisa Casati and silent film actress Theda Bara) during the years 1880–193. Both onstage and offstage they actively assumed the role of the demon woman, an endavour which to a varying extent also incorporated satanic motifs. They chose—or, in one case, were chosen—to embody the (more or less supernatural) femme fatale, constructed by male authors and artists, and seemingly felt this was enjoyable, empowering or useful for commercial purposes. My analysis attempts to tease out some of the implications this enacting of a sinister stereotype had on an individual level as well as in a broader cultural context.

    Bernhardt wore a bat hat and serpent jewelry, at times derided Christianity and even sculpted a self-portrait of herself as Satan or a demon. Casati practiced magic and threw curses, dressed up as Satan in the Garden of Eden, commissioned a mural of herself as Eve consorting with Lucifer, and organized parties with staff in devil costumes. Bara was presented by the Fox publicity department as a real-life demon woman, and in her films played vampiric femme fatales who punished and tormented males. Many of the films had titles where Satan was mentioned, and in one of them she even turned out to literally be the Devil in disguise.

    The choice of demonic imagery for these identity games tells us something about exactly what the taboos and limits these women consciously transgressed and mocked were tied up with: conservative Christian values. Embracing demons, satanic serpent motifs, and the macabre thus functioned as a critique of such values, and was one of the registers of symbolic resistance available for rebellious women to draw on at the time. In Bara’s case, the demonic persona was not devised by herself, but is an example which is of more interest because of the audience response to it and what it says about shifts in use of Satan as a marker of female rebellion. Satanism, or flirting with the satanic, is always a language of resistance to conventions, which may be more or less articulate when it comes to specific cultural criticism. The use of Gothic and Satanic symbolism by fiercly independent women would accordingly have resonated with notions in the wider culture, and, with figures as highly public as these using it, must have created echoes far beyond their intimate sphere. It thus strengthened the ties between such symbolism and female emancipation. Taking all this into account, it is reasonable to see these women as participants in the amorphous fin-de-siècle discourse of satanic feminism.

  • 3.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Baron Jacques och Markisinnan Luisa: dekadenta satanister på Capri i 1900-talets början2013Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Blavatsky the Satanist: Luciferianism in Theosophy2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
    Blavatsky the Satanist: Luciferianism in Theosophy, and its Feminist Implications2012In: Temenos, ISSN 0497-1817, E-ISSN 2342-7256, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 203-230Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    H. P. Blavatsky’s influential The Secret Doctrine (1888), one of the foundation texts of Theosophy, contains chapters propagating an unembarrassed Satanism. Theosophical sympathy for the Devil also extended to the name of their journal Lucifer, and discussions conducted in it. To Blavatsky, Satan is a cultural hero akin to Prometheus. According to her reinterpretation of the Christian myth of the Fall in Genesis 3, Satan in the shape of the serpent brings gnosis and liberates mankind. The present article situates these ideas in a wider nineteenth-century context, where some poets and Socialist thinkers held similar ideas and a counter-hegemonic reading of the Fall had far-reaching feminist implications. Additionally, influences on Blavatsky from French occultism and research on Gnosticism are discussed, and the instrumental value of Satanist shock tactics is considered. The article concludes that esoteric ideas cannot be viewed in isolation from politics and the world at large. Rather, they should be analyzed both as part of a religious cosmology and as having strategic polemical and didactic functions related to political debates, or, at the very least, carrying potential entailments for the latter.

  • 6.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Blod, sæd og astrale energisugere: Edvard Munchs Vampyr2011In: eMunch.no – Tekst og bilde / [ed] Mai Britt Guleng, Oslo: Munch Museum , 2011, p. 186-199Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Blood, Sperm and Astral Energy-Suckers: Edvard Munch's Vampire2011In: eMunch.no – Text and Image / [ed] Mai Britt Guleng, Oslo: Munch Museum , 2011, p. 187-198Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Den djävulska vampyren: En tolkning av filmen Nosferatu2004In: I nattens korridorer: Artiklar om skräck och mörk fantasy, Saltsjö-Boo: Aleph , 2004, p. 76-79Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 9.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Den politiska satanismens tidiga historia2009Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Detta paper belyser hur brittiska romantiker nyttjade Satan som en positiv symbol i politiska syften, och hur denna strategi vidareutvecklades av anarkister som Proudhon och Bakunin samt även inom den tidiga svenska socialdemokratin. Ett resonemang förs även om vilka orsakerna kan vara till att i övrigt benhårda ateister uppfattar Satan som en användbar och tilltalande symbol.

  • 10.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Djävulen är en kvinna: Inledning2010In: Den förälskade djävulen: Ockult roman från 1772 / [ed] Faxneld, Per, Stockholm: Malört Förlag , 2010Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    En Lucifer för vår tid: Esoterism och postmodernitet i Arturo Pérez-Revertes Dumasklubben2010In: Förborgade tecken: Esoterism i västerländsk litteratur / [ed] Faxneld, Per och Fyhr, Mattias, Umeå: H:Ström Text & Kultur , 2010Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Ett vilddjur vars namn är 666: Om den verklige Aleister Crowley2004In: Minotauren, no 24Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 13.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Feminist Vampires and the Romantic Satanist Tradition of Counter-readings2012In: Woman as Angel, Woman as Evil: Interrogating Boundaries / [ed] Andrea Ruthven, Gabriela Mádlo, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012, p. 55-75Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Feminist Vampires and the Romantic Satanist Tradition of Counter-readings2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Hysteria, gender and Satanism: The pathologization of devil-worship in nineteenth-century culture2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In turn-of-the-century France, the ongoing battle between the Catholic Church (which had traditionally been in charge of caring for the insane) and the developing discipline of psychiatry gave rise to lively debates concerning the nature of demonic possession and witchcraft. Psychiatrists claimed such phenomena, in past eras as well as in contemporary times, could be explained as expressions of hysterical conditions. Some Catholics, on the other hand, saw hysteria as a sign of demonic activity. Hysteria and the demonic were in turn used all over Europe to stigmatize feminists, who in conservative discourses were frequently metaphorically described as shrieking, hysterical witches or even, literally or implicitly, in league with Satan.

    The sulfurous connotations of feminism were given support by some feminists, like Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826–1898), describing medieval witchcraft as a form of laudably anti- patriarchal Satanism – but fiercely denying witches were hysterics, in order to reject the negative stereotyping of feminists as mentally ill or aberrant. When a woman expressed sympathy for the Devil, as for example the radical individualist feminist Mary MacLane (1881–1929) did in an autobiographical book in 1902, male reviewers predictably held her up as hysterical and mentally ill, thus attempting to dismiss her subversive ideas and Satanic cultural critique as proof of a pathological condition.

    Other men, like the Berlin-based Decadent Satanist Stanislaw Przybyszewski (1868–1927), took a different stance, and celebrated what others called degeneration, evil and hysteria. To him, all this was essential for the evolution of the species. He affirmed the connection between Satan, women and hysterical, ecstatic states of mind, but elevated Satan to a patron of progress in science and art.

    The paper explores the conflation of Satanism and the medical diagnosis of hysteria in nineteenth century culture, and attempts to tease out some of the gendered implications the bringing together of the two had at the time.

  • 16.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Imitatio satanae: The Devil as a role model in Symbolist art, literature and art criticism2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As is well known, Symbolism showed a considerable overlap with Western esotericism, and artists often genuinely considered themselves occult mystics pursuing an esoteric quest in their art. Many also displayed a special fascination for darkly tinged occultism, a fact that is too often discussed only in a very superficial manner. Aiming to rectify this negligence somewhat, this paper explores a practice in Symbolist literature and art that can be termed imitatio satanae. This etiquette paraphrases the term for the Christian practice of trying to emulate Christ’s example (imitatio christi), but instead seeks to capture the sympathy for the Devil evinced by some Symbolists.Symbolists and Decadents like Stanislaw Przybyszewski and Félicien Rops depicted themselves with demonic attributes, and hereby “followed the example of Satan”, viewed through the lens of the old Romantic re-interpretation of Milton’s Lucifer. This also fits in with a general tendency to sacralize symbols of sinfulness, typically in a manner part playful and part serious, that we find in artists as diverse as Franz von Stuck and Edvard Munch. None of these artists were, of course, Satanists in any strict sense. There is, however, one exception: the Pole Przybyszewski, who openly confessed such an allegiance. The paper therefore pays special attention to his philosophy of art, which both embraces typical Symbolist ideas and points forward to Expressionism. In Przybysewski’s texts from the 1890’s, the artist-superman is celebrated as a symbolic Satan, who critiques bourgeoisie values and rises above the “mediocre lambs of God”. Artists like Gustav Vigeland are portrayed in Przybyszewski’s art criticism as Promethean, demonic figures who practice imitatio satanae, something that is to a great extent a projection of the Pole’s own endeavors.The paper connects these ideas to practices in non-Satanist esoteric groups during the time period, such as The Golden Dawn in England and their assuming of “god-forms” in a ritual context. It also relates imitatio satanae, as a specifically Symbolist artistic concept, to the re-molding of the universe from a subjective position that the Romantics identified as a core theme in Milton’s Paradise Lost.

  • 17.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    "In Communication With the Powers of Darkness": Satanism in Turn-of-the-century Denmark, and Its Use as a Legitimating Device in Present-day Esotericism2013In: Occultism in a Global Perspective / [ed] Henrik Bogdan and Gordan Djurdjevic, Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Infernal Madonna and Patron Saint of Abortions: Lilith in Satanism and the Western Left Hand Path2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Inledning: Esoterism, litteratur och definitioner2010In: Förborgade tecken: Esoterism i västerländsk litteratur / [ed] Faxneld, Per och Fyhr, Mattias, Umeå: H:Ström Text & Kultur , 2010Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    "Intuitive, receptive, dark": Negotiations of femininity in the contemporary Satanic and Left-hand Path milieu2013In: International Journal for the Study of New Religions, ISSN 2041-9511, E-ISSN 2041-952X, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 201-230Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses some of the debates over the construction of gender taking place in the satanic and Left-hand Path (LHP) milieu, in particular the different varieties of upvaluing of “the feminine.” This includes disputes over what the term feminism entails, what the best strategies for women to gain more power are, and if “feminine” is an essence that can be contrasted with a fixed “masculine.”

    Notions of gender polarity as necessary for magical practice or cosmic balance are given special attention, as are borrowings from feminist terminology (e.g. “patriar- chy”) by figures that are far from feminist in orientation. Aside from tex- tual sources, the article draws on communication with 44 informants.    

    Three basic approaches to gender can be discerned in the milieu:  1) Gender as an insignificant category, 2) Gender as a natural polarity, 3) Gender as false consciousness. Of these, number two is the most common, while number one is quite seldom seen—gender is a major issue, one way or another. Femininity is frequently discussed by both men and women, while masculinity is a less popular topic. Femininity, then, is a particularly contested matter in the milieu.

    Overall, the dominant view of gender is that the two sexes should be strictly dichotomized. The article concludes that with some exceptions most organizations in the milieu are numerically dominated by men. However, some important groups have periodically been led by women, and there are several female key producers of ideology. The partly reactionary views concerning gender issues held by some female leaders indicate that female leadership does not necessitate that a conventional feminism would permeate the organization. Further, it is difficult to see any absolute correlation between female leadership and upvaluing of the feminine in mythology. Moreover, the article demonstrates, such upvaluing does not in itself always signify an underlying ideology of political feminism.

  • 21.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Lilith as patron saint of abortion in Satanist and New Age discourse: a comparison2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Mona Lisa's Satanic Smile: Occulture, Esoterization and Anti-Madonnas2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Mörkrets apostlar: satanism i äldre tid2006Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A study of which types of Satanism were present before the founding of the Church of Satan in 1966. The conclusion is that very few individuals or organisations prior to 1966 could reasonably be labelled Satanists, but that a few examples can in fact be found, and that some of these should be considered important for the development of the forms of Satanism that we can observe today.

  • 24.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Post-Satanism, Left-Hand Paths and Beyond: Visiting the Margins2012In: The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity / [ed] Faxneld, Per & Petersen, Jesper Aa., Oxford, New York, etc: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 205-208Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Problematiskt med Satan som god förebild2006In: Svenska dagbladetArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 26.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Recension: Kennet Granholm (red.) Perspektiv på esoterisk nyandlighet: Åbo Akademi 2008.2009In: Aura. Tidskrift för akademiska studier av nyreligiositet, ISSN 2000-4419, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 118-123Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Replik Religionskritik: Ibland är generaliseringar rimliga2011In: Svenska Dagbladet (onlineupplagan), no 19 aprilArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 28.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Review of Christopher Partridge & Eric Christianson (eds.) The Lure of the Dark Side. Satan and Western Demonology in Popular Culture (2009)2011In: Numen, ISSN 0029-5973, E-ISSN 1568-5276, Vol. 58, no 2-3, p. 408-413Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Review: Jesper Aagaard Petersen (ed.), Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology2012In: Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, ISSN 1567-9896, E-ISSN 1570-0593, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 170-177Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Satan as the Liberator of Woman in Contemporary “Dark Spirituality”2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Satan as the liberator of woman in four gothic novels, 1786-18202009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some scholars have been keen to emphasize the gothic novel as a predominately female genre, created by a woman, Ann Radcliffe, and throughout the ages read mostly by women. Gothic literature is frequently centred on an ambivalent discourse concering transgression, where the transgressive is often portrayed in a fashion not strictly condemning. The paper examines four major Gothic novels - William Beckford’s Vathek (1786), Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796), Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya, or The Moor (1806), and Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) - where females are given agency and power by colluding with Satan, something which is depicted in an ambivalent manner. The mostly female readership surely did not consist only of conservative individuals fully satisfied with traditional roles for women. The readers who had a more rebellious nature might have identified to some extent with the demonic females in the novels, since these are typically the only females in the narratives who have any agency and power to speak of. The paper attempts readings showing in what way the texts facilitate such identification.

  • 32.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Satanic Feminism from the Nineteenth Century to Present Times2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
    Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture2014Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    According to the Bible, Eve was the first to heed Satan’s advice to eat of the forbidden fruit. The notion of woman as the Devil’s accomplice is prominent throughout the history of Christianity. During the nineteenth century, rebellious females performed counter-readings of this misogynist tradition. Hereby, Lucifer was reconceptualised as a feminist liberator of womankind, and Eve became a heroine. In these reimaginings, Satan is an ally in the struggle against a patriarchy supported by God the Father and his male priests.

    This study delineates how such Satanic feminism is expressed in a number of nineteenth-century esoteric works, literary texts, autobiographies, pamphlets and journals, newspaper articles, paintings, sculptures and even artefacts of consumer culture such as jewellery.

    In the material, four motifs in particular are prominent: 1) interpretations of Eve’s role in the fall of man as something positive, 2) the witch as a proto-feminist figure, 3) the demon lover as an emancipator, 4) a feminised Satan contrasted with an oppressive male God. A fifth and less central motif is conceptions of Lilith, according to Jewish lore the unruly first wife of Adam, as the first feminist.

    The analysis focuses on interfaces between esotericism and the political realm, as well as the interdependence of literature and the occult. New light is thus shed on neglected aspects of the intellectual history of feminism, Satanism and revisionary mythmaking. The study is informed by theories concerning counter-readings, counter-discourses and counter-myths, and in particular highlights the complex interplay of such phenomena and the hegemonic discourses that demonised feminism. A key theme in this context is the limits and paradoxes of inversion as a subversive strategy.

  • 34.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Satanism som feministisk strategi inom samtida esoterism2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Secret Lineages and De Facto Satanists: Anton LaVey's Use of Esoteric Tradition2013In: Contemporary Esotericism / [ed] Asprem, Egil & Granholm, Kennet, Sheffield, UK & Bristol, US: Equinox Publishing, 2013, p. 72-90Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapter investigates how Anton LaVey constructs a Satanic tradition in his texts, and to what use he puts it. It presents an interpretation of this based on LaVey’s overall ontology and view of religious and esoteric phenomena. LaVey both utilizes historical predecessors in a way that is common within Western esotercism in general, and breaks with this common usage. Discarding most of the old esoteric and Satanic material as ineffectual and outdated, he paradoxically still emerges as dependent on it. The chapter argues that the prime function of tradition for LaVey is not legitimization, as perhaps would be expected. Rather, he seems to deem tradition most useful for bringing about certain psychological effects in a framework where one practises the ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ in a limited context, playfully creating the right atmosphere for Satanic activities. The mechanics of tradition are thus openly displayed and consciously utilized as mood‐creating spectacle for purely instrumental purposes. Hence, LaVey’s references to secret lineages should not be considered a counterfeiting of tradition, since he is quite openly playing with the psychological effects of (a more or less fictitious) tradition, and inviting others to take part in this game.

  • 36.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Snökvinnor och djävulska spiralmönster: Skräckfilmens historia i Japan2004In: I nattens korridorer: Artiklar om skräck och mörk fantasy, Saltsjö-Boo: Aleph , 2004, p. 179-188Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 37.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    The Devil is Red: Socialist Satanism in the Nineteenth Century2013In: Numen, ISSN 0029-5973, E-ISSN 1568-5276, Vol. 60, no 5-6, p. 528-558Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the nineteenth century, socialists all over the Western world employed Satan as a symbol of the workers’ emancipation from capitalist tyranny and the toppling of the Christian Church, which they perceived as a protector of this oppressive system. Starting with the English Romantics at the end of the eighteenth century, European radicals developed a discourse of symbolic Satanism, which was put to use by major names in socialism like Godwin, Proudhon, and Bakunin. This shock tactic became especially widespread in turn-of-the-century Sweden, and accordingly the article focuses on the many examples of explicit socialist Satanism in that country. They are contextualized by showing the parallels to, among other things, use of Lucifer as a positive symbol in the realm of alternative spirituality, specifically the Theosophical Society. A number of reasons for why Satan gained such popularity among socialists are suggested, and the sometimes blurry line separating the rhetoric of symbolic Satanism from actual religious writing is scrutinized.

  • 38.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    The Hermaphrodite Satanist: Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Subversion of Gender Categories and Christian Misogynist Mythology2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    The pentagram-spangled banner: Satanism i USA2005In: Subaltern: Amerika, Umeå: H:Ström , 2005, p. 192-201Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 40.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    The Question of History: Precursors and Currents2012In: The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity / [ed] Faxneld, Per & Petersen, Jesper Aa., Oxford, New York, etc: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 19-22Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 41.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Section for History of Religions.
    The strange case of Ben Kadosh: A Luciferian pamphlet from 1906, and its current renaissance2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 42.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    The Strange Case of Ben Kadosh: A Luciferian Pamphlet from 1906 and its Current Renaissance2011In: Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, ISSN 1567-9896, E-ISSN 1570-0593, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 1-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [de]

    In diesem Aufsatz wird ein früher und ziemlich unbekannter Satanist namens Ben Kadosh behandelt (Carl William Hansen 1872-1936), der in Dänemark am Anfang des 20en Jahrhunderts tätig war. Kadosh hat in der Gründung mehreren Freimauerlogen teilgenommen und stand mit einer Reihe von wohlbekannten esoterischen und literarischen Persönlischkeiten in Verbindung. Als sein System eine eklektische Mischung darstellte, wo der griechische Gott Pan beispielsweise mit Gnostizismus, Freimauermystizismus und Lobpreisungen von Luzifer verbunden wird, können verschiedene möglische Influenzen auf seine Lehre angeführt werden. Es ist ganz unwahrscheinlich, daß Kadosch in seiner Zeit mehrere Anhänger gewonnen hat. Heutzutage sind aber seine Idéen von einer Gruppe rehabilitiert worden, die hauptsätzlich in Dänemark und Schweden aktiv ist. Wichtiger für die Anhänger dieser Gruppe erscheint die Verwendung von Kadosh als ein Werkzeug um ihre eigene Wirksamkeit Legitimität und historische Würzeln zu geben, als für die eigentliche Fortsetzung seiner Gedanken zu sorgen.

  • 43.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    "They won't stay dead!": Zombiefilmens utveckling2004In: I nattens korridorer: Artiklar om skräck och mörk fantasy, Saltsjö-Boo: Aleph , 2004, p. 80-87Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 44.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Witches, Anarchism and Evolutionism: Stanislaw Przybyszewski’s fin-de-siècle Satanism and the Demonic Feminine2012In: The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity / [ed] Per Faxneld, Jesper Aa. Petersen, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 53-77Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter presents the Satanism propagated by the Decadent author Stanislaw Przybyszewski (1868–1927), and interprets the role women play in it. Unlike other literary Satanists, Przybyszewski's sympathy for the Devil was sustained through many works, he publicly declared himself a Satanist and the ideas were well-developed enough to be called a system. Przybyszewski, the chapter argues, was therefore “the first Satanist” in a strict sense. The core themes in his thinking are a celebration of evolution (anchored in social Darwinism) and sexual lust, a pessimist view of human existence, and lastly a nihilist anarchist will to destruction, all presented using a shock tactic of semantic inversion typical of the Decadent movement, turning “evil”, “degeneration” and other usually obviously negative words into designations for something positive. Reading Przybyszewski's seemingly misogynist texts about witches within this framework, a plausible interpretation is that he is not at all slandering her but rather pays homage to her as a vitally necessary representative of the evolutionary “good evil” his system is centered around.

  • 45.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Witches, Nihilist Anarchism and Social Darwinism: Przybyszewski’s Satanism and the Demonic Feminine2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A discussion of Stanislaw Przybyszewski's (1868-1927) Satanism and ideas about demonic women, situating them in the context of fin-de-siécle use of Satanic symbolism in connection with Anarchism and Feminism. My focus is primarily on two texts, Przybyszewski’s essay Auf den Wegen der Seele (“On the Paths of the Soul”, 1897) and his small historical monograph Die Synagoge des Satan (“The Synagogue of Satan”, 1897), but with sideward glances on several other texts as well, such as his novel Satans Kinder (“Satan’s Children”, 1897), the Homo Sapiens trilogy (1895-1896) and various short stories and essays.  

  • 46.
    Faxneld, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Woman Liberated by the Devil in Four Gothic Novels: William Beckford’s Vathek (1786), Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796), Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya or The Moor (1806) and Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)2010In: Grotesque Femininities: Evil, women and the Feminine / [ed] Barrett, M., Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2010Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 47.
    Faxneld, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Aa. Petersen, Jesper
    The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity2013Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent years have seen a significant shift in the study of new religious movements. In Satanism studies, interest has moved to anthropological and historical work on groups and inviduals. Self-declared Satanism, especially as a religion with cultural production and consumption, history, and organization, has largely been neglected by academia. This volume, focused on modern Satanism as a practiced religion of life-style, attempts to reverse that trend with 12 cutting-edge essays from the emerging field of Satanism studies. Topics covered range from early literary Satanists like Blake and Shelley, to the Californian Church of Satan of the 1960s, to the radical developments that have taken place in the Satanic milieu in recent decades. The contributors analyze such phenomena as conversion to Satanism, connections between Satanism and political violence, 19th-century decadent Satanism, transgression, conspiracy theory, and the construction of Satanic scripture. A wide array of methods are employed to shed light on the Devil's disciples: statistical surveys, anthropological field studies, philological examination of The Satanic Bible, contextual analysis of literary texts, careful scrutiny of obscure historical records, and close readings of key Satanic writings. The book will be an invaluable resource for everyone interested in Satanism as a philosophical or religious position of alterity rather than as an imagined other. 

  • 48.
    Faxneld, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Fyhr, Mattias
    Förborgade tecken: Esoterism i västerländsk litteratur2010Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 49.
    Faxneld, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Petersen, Jesper Aa.
    NTNU, Norge.
    Introduction: At the Devil’s Crossroads2012In: The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity / [ed] Faxneld, Per & Petersen, Jesper Aa., Oxford, New York, etc: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 3-18Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 50.
    Faxneld, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
    Petersen, Jesper Aagaard
    The Devil's Party: Satanism in Modernity2011Book (Other academic)
12 1 - 50 of 54
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