Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

Research, Reviews, Conferences

Archive for the ‘ACADEMIC STUDIES’ Category


The Programme, based in the Department of Anthropology, and supported by the LSE Annual Fund, aims to bring together staff and research students from across LSE, and within the wider academic and policy communities, working on issues to do with religion, secularism, and “non-religious” practices, beliefs, and traditions.

The Forum on Religion is becoming part of the new Programme for the Study of Religion and Non-Religion and will continue to host public lectures and an interdisciplinary seminar series.

For more information on the Programme, visit

or contact Dr Matthew Engelke at

We will continue to advertise Forum on Religion events through this mailing list.




9 May 2012, 16.30-18.00

Religion and Non-Religion: A Roundtable Discussion

With Dr Amanda van Eck (INFORM), Dr Matthew Engelke (LSE Anthropology), Dr Simon Glendinning (LSE, European Institute), Dr John Madeley (LSE Government), Rev James Walters (LSE Chaplaincy)

Seligman Library, Department of Anthropology, Old Building, LSE


Public lectures

6 June 2012, 18.30-20.00

At the Origins of Modern Atheism

Speaker: Rev Dr Giles Fraser 

Discussant: Prof John Gray (London School of Economics)

Chair: Dr Matthew Engelke (London School of Economics)

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

This event will be followed by a reception and marks the public launch of the Programme for the Study of Religion and Non-Religion


27 June 2012, 18.00-19.30

Ethics as Piety

Speaker: Prof Webb Keane (University of Michigan)

Discussant: Dr Faisal Devji (Oxford University)

New Academic Building LG.09, LSE





Image, place, source: unknown

Image from Reflections: Sixties Counterculture in Cambridge. Filmmaker: Kameron Stroud, Alexandros Papathanasiou

The Counterculture Research Group is an interdisciplinary series of seminars, lectures and associated events that focuses the multiple artistic, historical and social manifestations of the countercultural impetus.

 for more information please contact: 

Yvonne Salmon FRSA



Josie Gill (University of Cambridge)

Francis Crick, Race, and The Poetry of Richard Nixon


Francis Crick 1954

Amongst the hundreds of files which make up the Francis Crick archive is a file dedicated to Crick’s correspondence with Arthur Jensen, an American educational psychologist whose work focuses on proving a link between race and intelligence. The letters, which date from the early 1970s, provide an insight into Crick’s views on this controversial topic, and his role in galvanising support for a statement on academic freedom in the face of calls for the study of racial differences to be halted. However the file also contains two literary documents; a photocopy of The Poetry of Richard Nixon, a satirical collection of found poetry based on the Watergate tapes, and an essay on feminism by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. What do these documents tell us about Crick’s thinking about race and why are they included in a file of his professional correspondence on the matter? In this paper I will suggest that the poems and essay reflect Crick’s ambivalent relationship to the political culture of the early 1970s which his participation in the debate over race exposes. Crick felt threatened by the questioning of traditional sources of authority such as science, yet embraced the more liberal movements of the time through an interest in beat poetry and drugs. Examining the authorship, production and content of the texts reveals a complex web of connections between Crick and the politically conservative, as well as countercultural, figures of the period, providing an alternative view of the relationship between literature and science in the second half of the twentieth century.

Josie Gill is a PhD student in the Faculty of English. Her thesis is on race, genetics and contemporary British fiction.


James Purdon (University of Cambridge)

‘A Nation-Wide Intelligence Service’: Mass-Observation, Hermeneutic Paranoia and the Invasion of Cambridge


Mass -observation (1943)

In the summer of 1940, a loose-knit coterie of Cambridge fellows submitted a file to Mass-Observation, the well-known social research organisation which since the spring of that year had been preparing reports for the Ministry of Information. The file consisted of a spectacularly paranoid collection of readings of graffiti, chalk-marks and ‘litter trails’ in the Cambridge countryside, pointing, it was suggested, to German invasion targets. Taking the Cambridge invasion file as a starting point, this paper explores English paranoia at the beginning of the Second World War, beginning with a survey of public reactions to Mass-Observation before and after its annexation by the wartime government, and moving on to consider literary responses both to the information-gathering methods of Mass-Observation itself, and to the wider wartime matters of surveillance and information restriction.

James Purdon is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on British writing from Joseph Conrad to Elizabeth Bowen and the rise of the information society.

For further information contact:

 Yvonne Salmon FRSA

Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto: Call for Papers for ‘Symposia’.



Symposia: The Graduate Student Journal of the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto

Symposia is an online, peer-reviewed journal for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences who identity religion as an important consideration in their research. Past issues of the journal can be viewed at


The editorial team extends a cordial call for original, unpublished papers investigating the link between religion and time. Ours has been described as a society suffering from space-time compression, a state in which ‘time passes us by’ and we are forever ‘running out of time’ as global capitalism speeds up the pace of life. Closely related to this, some might argue, time plays a key role in many of our anxieties – in the ‘panicked nature’ of reactions to perceived emergencies, in which action is constantly required now, lest delay bring disaster, or in the nervous approach of December 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar. As a cultural element, religion is not immune to these influences, as we observe with the eschatological guessing-game of some Christian groups. But how are religion and time related in a given context, and how can we extend our analysis beyond the modern day?

We welcome articles that address the relation between religion and time in the contexts of geography, psychology, history, anthropology, gender studies, philosophy, political science, cultural studies and sociology, as well as those which extend the subject across historical and geographical boundaries.


The following sub-fields have been designed to allow for a flexible interpretation of this volume’s theme, as well as to encourage submissions reflecting a broad spectrum of interests and disciplines. The editorial team gladly welcomes applications which fall outside of these parameters:

Religious seasons, calendars, liturgical time and holy days

Ritual and time

Time in literature, scripture, narrative and oral histories

Foundational, mythic and eschatological discourses

The ‘end times’

Eternity and afterlife; time cycles

Philosophies of time and temporalities

Telescoping and collapsing time

Prophetic time and constructions of the future

Articles written in clear, grammatical, and fluent English or French will be considered. Articles should not exceed 25 pages in length. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 28 October, 2011.

Articles should be submitted by email to Rebekka King (

Rebekka King

PhD Candidate

Centre for the Study of Religion

University of Toronto

Recent Academic Research on Astrology: THE 9TH HOUSE


Recent Academic Research

on Astrology

Recent years have seen a flowering of academic research on astrology, or topics related to astrology, unprecedented in the last three hundred years. This website exists in order to make as much as possible of this work available.

It will be limited to:

Ph.D. or M.Phil. theses from accredited universities.

Selected M.A. dissertations from accredited universities.

Work in English.

Work in either the humanities or social sciences. (Research attempting to locate astrology as effects with causes determinable by the physical sciences is a sufficiently different enterprise to belong somewhere else.)

Short notices about forthcoming books based on, or incorporating, theses or dissertations.

All Ph.D./ M.Phil. theses and short notices that are offered by their authors will be accepted that conform, in the Editor’s opinion, to the above criteria. Regarding M.A. dissertations, the final decision of what to include rests with myself, as the site’s editor.

Notices of Forthcoming Work by

Nicholas Campion

Geoffrey Cornelius

Patrick Curry

Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum

Liz Greene

Angela Voss

Finally, although it has no direct involvement with this website, the Sophia Trust deserves thanks for making much of this research possible through its generous institutional support at various British universities.

(Dr) Patrick Curry

© The 9th House | email:

University College Cork: New MA in Contemporary Religions

Cork – Ireland – University College Cork

A new MA Contemporary Religions programme will be offered by the Study of Religions department at UCC Cork from September 2011. This is the first programme of its kind in Ireland.

The MA may be taken full-time (12 months) or part time (over 2 or 3 years) and will be taught in the evenings. The closing date for applications this year is July 1st. Applications received after this date will be considered if places are still available.

Details of the new MA programme can be accessed from the MA Contemporary Religions link on the dept website at or at

For queries about the programme content and delivery or an informal discussion about study options at MA or other levels please contact

Professor Brian Bocking or any member of SoR staff 

(details at

You may be interested to know that a further member of staff specialising in Contemporary South Asian Religions is due to be appointed in the coming weeks.

Enquiries about the MA application process (online, via PAC, the Postgraduate Applications Centre) should be directed to the UCC Graduate Studies Office – details of the new MA Contemporary Religions and of the PAC application procedure are at the GSO website


June 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Theology & Religious Studies Groningen University

International Programmes in Theology and Religious Studies

“I enjoyed the learn climate at the faculty. The topics were interesting and the teachers great. They taught in an interesting and intelligent way. They were sympathetic and tolerant and never gave the impression to stand above the students.”

“The faculty is open-minded, small and has a good name. I can only recommend it.”

Erasmus Exchange Students 2008

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen focuses on the academic, open and critical study of religion in its historical and current context. Students can choose a social-scientific (anthropological and sociological), cultural-historical, philological, religious-psychological or systematic perspective. The faculty is reknowned for the quality of its education programmes and its research.

Furthermore, the faculty hosts institutes for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran), Christian Cultural Heritage and the Institute of Indian Studies. Teaching takes place in a historic building in the centre of the city, close to the University Library and town facilities. The faculty has a very active student society which organises many social activities.

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies offers the following programmes

Although the BA pogrammes of the Faculty Theology and Religious Studies are almost completely taught in Dutch, the 3rd BA Minor is given in English.

Please check the various programmes. If you do have any questions contact us via


September 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm

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