Lilith—The First Eve

Renee Rosen-Wakeford reviews Lilith—The First Eve: Historical and Psychological Aspects of the Dark Feminine by Siegmund Hurwitz in the Bkwyrm archive.

Unlike many Jungians, such as Barbara Black Koltuv (author of “The Book of Lilith”), Hurwitz can clearly separate the historical from the archetypal, and he divides this book accordingly into two separate sections: a historical overview of Lilith and a Jungian interpretation of the archetype she represents. His historical section is very good for the most part, but the psychological section is marred by both his anti-feminist stance and the typical Jungian essentialist approach to gender. Hurwitz seems sincerely afraid that women might identify with or draw strength from Lilith, and he goes to great pains to disparage those women who attempt to do so. For instance, he rightly criticizes many feminist writers for their lack of historical accuracy when discussing Lilith yet does not call to task the many non-feminist writers who do the exact same thing. Fortunately, the historical overview leaves out much of his anti-feminism and gender essentialism and serves as a decent survey of previous research on Lilith and her origins.

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