From Swedenborg to Strindberg : esotericism in Swedish art and literature

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, so-called esoteric movements became increasingly popular in cultural and intellectual circles in Europe, not least in Sweden. Secret teachings, rituals and practices in alchemy, astrology, occultism and theosophy were predominant, with a belief in correspondences in the cosmos, living nature and transmutations. But esotericism goes back much further in time in Swedish history. Although such esoteric ideas were long considered heresy by the Church and thus driven underground, they have had a significant impact on Swedish culture.

In this anthology, we bring together some of Sweden s foremost experts on the subject to explore the history of esotericism in Sweden and how its rituals, practices and traditions came to influence writers and artists such as August Strindberg, Selma Lagerlöf, Viktor Rydberg, Hilma af Klint, Tyra Kleen and Carl Milles.