Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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Wouter J. Hanegraaff: Esotericism and the Academy – Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture

Esotericism and the Academy

Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture

Wouter J. Hanegraaff, University of Amsterdam

Hardback

ISBN:9780521196215

Cambridge University Press

Publication date:January 2012

478pages

4 tables

Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm

Weight: 0.88kg

Academics tend to look on ‘esoteric’, ‘occult’ or ‘magical’ beliefs with contempt, but are usually ignorant about the religious and philosophical traditions to which these terms refer, or their relevance to intellectual history. Wouter Hanegraaff tells the neglected story of how intellectuals since the Renaissance have tried to come to terms with a cluster of ‘pagan’ ideas from late antiquity that challenged the foundations of biblical religion and Greek rationality. Expelled from the academy on the basis of Protestant and Enlightenment polemics, these traditions have come to be perceived as the Other by which academics define their identity to the present day. Hanegraaff grounds his discussion in a meticulous study of primary and secondary sources, taking the reader on an exciting intellectual voyage from the fifteenth century to the present day and asking what implications the forgotten history of exclusion has for established textbook narratives of religion, philosophy and science.

Table of Contents

Introduction: hic sunt dracones

1. The history of truth: recovering ancient wisdom

2. The history of error: exorcizing Paganism

3. The error of history: imagining the Occult

4. The truth of history: entering the Academy

Conclusions: restoring memory.

Features

The argument is presented as a historical narrative, taking the reader on an intellectual voyage from the early Renaissance to the present day

Discusses currents of thought which have played an important role in intellectual history, but have never before been sufficiently identified

Demonstrates patterns of intellectual prejudice that have distorted views of the history of religion, philosophy and science

see:

http://www.cambridge.org/se/knowledge/isbn/item6577534/?site_locale=sv_SE

Wouter Jacobus Hanegraaff (born 1961) is full professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is also President of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).  

(Above info thanks to Wikipedia Hanegraaff page)

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