Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

Research, Reviews, Conferences




Call for papers
The International Society for Neoplatonic Studies Conference

Krakow, Poland, June 18 – 21, 2009.

The conference and the panel may be of interest to you. Conference registration is open to all; papers may only be submitted by ISNS members, however. Further information on the conference can be found at:

If you wish to submit a proposal to be considered for the panel and you are not yet an ISNS member, membership information can be found at:

“Ecstatic Experience in the Platonic Tradition”
“The greatest of blessings come to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods” (Phaedrus 244A). Plato’s discussion of mania opened the door to a role for ecstatic experience in the Platonic quest for wisdom. Late Antiquity saw a rising emphasis on ecstatic experience, reflected in aspects of the ‘Platonic underworld’ of Hermetism, Gnosticism, Magic and Theurgy. And in Ficino’s Florence, mania was central to the praxis of the Platonic world view in Natural Magic. I invite papers on ecstatic experience within a broadly Platonic framework from a variety of angles, which might include: interpretations of Platonic mania; ritual and contemplative inductions of ecstatic experience; ancient terminologies for altered states of consciousness; Neoplatonic epiphanies; philosophical vision and ecstatic vision; the fate and legacy of the ‘shamanism’ concept in classical studies; initiatic and oracular experience in Platonism; modern psychological perspectives on ancient ecstatic experience.”

Please submit proposals directly to me: . The submission deadline is Feb 23, 2009.

Leonard George


The CAMBRIDGE CENTRE for the study of WESTERN ESOTERICISM is independent of any academic or esoteric communities, the directors share an interest in the need for a wider dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the field of Western Esotericism and in the establishment of a secular space in which an interdisciplinary network can thrive.. From 2009 CCWE has operated within Lighthouse editions Limited, a small publishing company Directors: Dr Sophia Wellbeloved, Jeremy Cranswick – see


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