Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Science and the Occult in the Near and Middle East

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The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

Graduate Students’Association presents

The 17th Annual Graduate Symposium

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March 14-15, 2013 

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Open Call for Papers

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Deadline for Submissions: January 13, 2013 

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The Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Graduate Students Association of the University of Toronto invites proposals for the 17th Annual Graduate Symposium to be held on March 14-15, 2013. Since 1997, the NMCGSA Symposium has provided the opportunity for promising graduate students to share their original research with the broader scholarly community in a conference-like forum, and to publish their presentations as proceedings. By annually bringing together specialists in archaeology, history, anthropology, comparative literature, religion, art, philosophy, and political science, the symposium provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary discourse focused on the study of the Near and Middle East. The 2013 symposium aims to highlight this diversity in order to foster communication and exchange across disciplinary boundaries. While we encourage submissions that are related to the topics of science and the occult, we are nevertheless open to any variety of topics that pertain to the realm of Near and Middle Eastern Studies. kkk Submitting a Paper: Presenters are asked to submit an abstract of 250 words by e-mail attachment no later than January 13, 2013. Submissions should also include the following information in the body of the email: presenters name, program (M.A, Ph.D.), year of study, research focus, university and department, complete address, telephone number, email address, title of paper, and audio-visual requirements. We highly encourage the submission of panel proposals as it will increase the chances of acceptance. kkk Presentations must not exceed 20 minutes. The abstracts will be reviewed by committee and presenters will be informed of their acceptance no later than January 27, 2013. For purposes of anonymous adjudication, please do NOT include your name or other identification on the abstract attachment. kkk If your paper is being submitted as part of a proposed panel or considered under a specific theme, please include the panel title or the proposed theme under the title of the paper on the abstract. kkk Please send us your submissions via the following e-mail address: nmcgsasymposium@gmail.com kkk Arshavez Mozafari Ph.D. Candidate (IV) Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations University of Torontoa.mozafari@utoronto.ca    

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AFTERLIFE: University of Bristol: 18th Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference

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8 & 9 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton

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This conference brings together postgraduates and early-career academics working on the study of religions from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, creating a space for them to share their work and to further encourage research and collaboration within the University of Bristol (the host institution), and among members of other universities within the South West region and beyond.

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The conference has a long history of drawing together postgraduate students and their supervisors from universities in the surrounding area and beyond. Last year saw us expand to a record number of participating speakers, delegates, and partner institutions. Forty-nine papers, divided in seventeen sessions, were presented by postgraduate students and early career academics, from eighteen universities. Almost one hundred delegates attended at least part of the conference. A session for undergraduate papers was also held, with notable success.
Although we encourage applications that directly address the theme of the conference ‘Afterlife’, in all its interpretations, contributions are welcome from all disciplines and areas related to the study of religions: theology, history, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literature, art, music.

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Presentations will be grouped in panels, each consisting of three 20-minute papers followed by a 30-minute period for questions and discussion. Panels will be chaired by lecturers from Bristol and other partner universities.

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We are also accepting submissions for research posters. Displayed in the conference common room, these will allow further communication of research. A prize will be awarded to the poster voted best by the conference participants. Guidelines of the preparation of posters and a sample poster presentation can be found on the conference’s website. Please note that an applicant may submit a poster as well as a paper and that both may be accepted, on the condition that they cover different topics.

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Please submit abstracts for papers and/or posters through our University’s ‘Stop Shop’ page at: http://shop.bris.ac.uk/browse/product.asp?catid=521&modid=1&compid=1

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The deadline for submitting proposals will be 12:00 noon on Tuesday 15 January 2013.

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Kindly note that the organisers are not in a position to assist anyone with visas, and will not consider or accept abstracts from those who require assistance with visas.
Registration for the conference will open at 12:00 noon on 22 January 2013 and will include refreshments and lunch on both days. Early registration is free for members of partner institutions and £10 for participants from other institutions or for those who are unaffiliated. Please note that all registrations received after 12 noon, Friday 8 February, will incur a £10 late registration fee.
A limited amount of financial assistance may be available to presenters of papers and/or posters. The assistance may be used towards defraying travel or accommodation expenses, or the early registration fee for participants from non-partner institutions. Application details will be posted in late January 2013 on the conference website.

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Optional social events will be held on both evenings of the conference.

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For more information and registration, please visit: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/gradschool/conferences/thrs/

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And join us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pgRTconference and on Twitter at: @pgRTconference

Call for Abstracts: A ‘SUPERNATURAL’ HISTORY OF CENTRAL EUROPE – 1870 – PRESENT

Call for Abstracts: “A ‘Supernatural’ History of Central Europe, 1870-present”

Editors: Eric Kurlander (Stetson U.) and Monica Black (U. of Tenn., Knoxville)

Deadline: August 1, 2012

Despite the ostensible “disenchantment of the world” proclaimed by Max Weber at the beginning of the twentieth century, Central Europe has a rich modern history of occultism, folklore, paganism, and popular religion. Yet the “supernatural history” of this ethno- culturally diverse region, extending from the Rhine and Baltic in the North and West to the Vistula and Danube in the South and East, has yet to be written. To be sure, the last twenty years have witnessed a renaissance of interest in Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious practice since the late-nineteenth century. With the exception a few excellent monographs on occultism and parapsychology, however, historians have been slow to investigate less conventional aspects of the “supernatural” in Modern Central Europe.

We seek abstracts from scholars interested in exploring the new spiritualities, unique metaphysical experiences and practices, and novel explanations of the world that stood somewhere between natural scientific verifiability and the shopworn truths of traditional religion, and which flourished across Central Europe in the wake of the Second Industrial Revolution. We are keen to see submissions that integrate social, political, and cultural history with “supernatural” thinking and practice, broadly conceived. We are especially interested in submissions that will extend their analysis and explorations beyond national boundaries, connecting people, ideas, experiences, and movements interculturally and transnationally.

Obviously, profound complexities inhere in the term “supernatural”—and no less so in terms like “popular religion,” let alone “superstition.” All of these terms bristle with invidious distinctions and reifications imposed by those seeking to draw sharp contrasts between “orthodox” and “heterogeneous” manifestations of religion and between “science” and “popular belief”—which for our purposes might refer to various methods of explaining, knowing, and experiencing the world that somehow draw on the numinous or the metaphysical. Not only has the presence and broad scope of such practices and ideas not yet been fully explored, but they have also not been properly integrated into larger histories of Central European culture, society, and politics—despite the fact that they have from time to time been the cause of considerable friction.

By bringing together scholars from German, Austrian, Hapsburg, and Slavic Studies, we hope to address questions central to the study of Central European politics, culture, and identity in new ways. What meanings can we assign to the renewal of interest in occultism, “pseudo-science,” and folklore studies in the decades around the fin-de-siècle? How does the waxing or waning of these fields relate to questions of war and peace, revolution and reaction, crisis and stability? How have differences between “science” and “pseudo-science” been articulated in various moments and why? How did folklore, occultism, “pseudo-science” and other “supernatural” practices function as alternatives to organized religion at various moments in the Central European past? How was a fascination with the “supernatural” reflected in popular culture and the arts from the nineteenth century to today? What roles have popular superstition and everyday rituals played in Central European attempts to negotiate the trials of the twentieth century? What role did such rituals––“political religion” or otherwise––play in the legitimization of fascism, communism, and other forms of authoritarian politics before and after 1945? What influence did “supernatural” ideas and practices have in generating policies of ethnic cleansing, eugenics, and imperialism, or how can they been seen as a response to those policies? What were the differences East and West of the Iron Curtain after 1945? What are the implications in terms of class, gender, identity, and ethnicity?

Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

Occultism

Pseudo-science” and parapsychology

Séances, spirit media, and communication with the dead

Dowsing

Faith healing

Astrology

Palm reading

Clairvoyance and prophecy

Ghost stories and apparitions

Witchcraft

Homeopathy

New Age

Exorcism

Vampires, werewolves and other monsters

Pagan” religions

The horror genre, science fiction, and “fantastic” in film, art, and literature

If you are interested in contributing an abstract of not more than 500 words for consideration, please send it, along with your CV, to Monica Black (mblack9@utk.edu) and Eric Kurlander (ekurland@stetson.edu) by AUGUST 1, 2012.

PILGRIMAGES AND SANCTUARIES: ART: MUSIC AND RITUALS

11-12 November 2011

Organized by

The Centro Incontri Umani

Ascona, Swizterland

 

Conveners:

T. Zarcone, CNRS – GSRL / EPHE, Paris

P. Khosronejad, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews, Scotland

A. Hobart, University College, London

With the participation of

The “Groupe Sociétés Religions Laïcité”

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Ecole Pratique des hautes Etudes – Université de la Sorbonne

and of The Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews     

 

PROGRAM

THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER

19:00 Registration

19:30 Dinner

FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER

9:30 Opening: Angela HOBART (London University College / director of the Centro Incontri Umani)

9:45 Introducing the topic of the conference: Pedram KHOSRONEJAD (St Andrews University) and Thierry ZARCONE (CNRS – GSRL / EPHE, Paris)

Session 1: Musique, Songs and Nature

Chair: Angela Hobart

10:00 Razia SULTANOVA (Central Asian Forum, University of Cambridge, UK)

Devotional chanting in Uzbek and Kazakh Pilgrimages: (Shahimardan, Bukhara, Turkestan)

Pilgrimages in Central Asia accompanied by devotional chanting have not yet been the subject of sustained scholarly attention, but they occur on a regular basis and are significant

for the study of religions. Pilgrimage destinations in Central Asia are distinguished by various forms of performance, and the choice of chanting and narration relates to the different Sufi orders: Qadiriya in Shahimardan in Ferghana Valley, Naqshbandiya in Bukhara and Yasaviya in Turkestan. When, for example, you arrive in the mountainous region of Shahimardan in Ferghana Valley, you are surrounded by people singing and praying, performing suras from the Holy Quran as well as blessings and various Sufi ghazals. In Bukhara around the tomb of Naqshbandi, and in Turkestan in the region of the Khanaqa of Ahmad Yasavi, these chants build an essential part of devotional rituals. How are they performed? What is their origin? Who are their performers? These and other similar questions are examined in my paper.

10:35 Saskia KERSENBOOM (Amsterdam University, The Netherlands)

Lady of Great Bliss

In the hills of Northern Hungary pilgrims have for centuries travelled to sacred places where mother earth opens up miraculous stones, hills, rock-caves and, especially, healing water from divine wells. The focal point of their devotion are the female representations, whether they be in the ancient Maria, the newly founded temple for Buddhist Tara, or the nubile girls in UNESCO World Heritage Holloko village. All are to be found within the range of 20 km around the pilgrim site of Szentkut and its Holy Well. This presentation compares and analyses the performative strategies in the arts of storytelling, song and mimetic action that enable believers to turn their devotion into a sensuous, invigorating experience of the divine.

11:10 Morning Coffee

11:40 Richard BLURTON (Dept of Asia, British Museum, London)

Pilgrimage to Banggajang: lake-dwelling goddesses and their devotees in the eastern Himalayas

This paper discusses the previously unrecorded pilgrimage to a group of high altitude lakes located in the hills above the Se-La. This pass at 13,000 feet separates western Arunachal Pradesh from Tawang District and the onward route to Tsona in south-eastern Tibet. The lakes are imagined as the residences of the goddesses Dorje Phagmo and Palden Lhamo, while the surrounding landscape is impregnated with divine and cosmic presence – all of which is pointed out to pilgrims as they make the pilgrimage circuit. In this, the Banggajang pilgrimage fits into the same type as the much more substantial landscape pilgrimage that has been recorded to the east, at Tsa-ri, by Toni Huber.

The pilgrimage to Banggajang has both a historic and a present manifestation, and both elements will for the first time – and with some trepidation – be placed in an overview of the well-known Tibetan notion of mountain and lake veneration and the accommodation of this activity within a Buddhist world-view. There is some evidence that the pilgrimage acted not only as a spiritual activity but also as an economic and indeed a cultural activity, and this will be presented.

12:15 Charles RAMBLE (Oriental Institute, University of Oxford)

Objets trouvés’: The transformation of nature into art in Tibetan pilgrimages

Pilgrimage is one of the most widespread and popular activities among Tibetan Buddhists and followers of the Bön religion. Although a few pilgrimages are centred on man-made shrines such as the „cathedral‟ (Jokhang) of Lhasa, the majority entail arduous journeys to uninhabited mountain wildernesses. The trails and sacred sites at these locations are festooned with coloured flags printed with prayers, as well as white ceremonial scarves and sacred formulae sometimes carved into rocks, but the natural environment is otherwise hardly transformed; except, that is, in the imagination of the pilgrims. In the abundant „guidebook‟ literature associated with each pilgrimage route, topographic features are sacralized by being re-envisioned as a wide range of ritual items, animals, divinities and even social interactions. While this „denaturalised‟ landscape is sometimes transferred to painted scrolls, the true richness of the imagery is reserved for pilgrims who see these objects in situ, through the prism of prescribed religious vision.

12:40- 1:15 Questions and discussion

13:30 Lunch Break

Session 2: Sacred Artefacts

Chair: Pedram Khosronejad

15:00 Michel BOIVIN (CNRS – CEIAS / EHESS, Paris)

Building a local culture in a Sufi centre: the kishti and other artefacts in Sehwan Sharif (Pakistan)

Sufism in the Indian Subcontinent is usually introduced through Imperial centres like Nizamuddin in Delhi or Muinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. The art and culture thus produced are therefore closely attached to imperial power, be it the Delhi Sultanate or the Moghul Empire. My contention, however, is that innovative clues can be adduced as evidence of regional and local approaches. My lecture focuses on the Sufi centre of Sehwan Sharif (Pakistan) where the Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (d. 1274) is buried. It will study a number of artefacts, usually represented as the Sufi‟s relics, as material goods embodied in a number of narratives. The artefacts are also ritual tools which reflect negotiations between different categories of local people such as sayyids and non-sayyids, Sunnis and Shias, Muslims and Hindus, men, women, khadras etc. Briefly, the study of the artefacts informs us on how a local ‟system‟ is working.

15:35 Alexandre PAPAS (CNRS – CETOBAC / EHESS, Paris)

Steles, relics and photographs in the Muslim shrines of Northwest China (Qinghai, Gansu)

In the provinces of Qinghai and Gansu (more precisely: Xunhua Salar Autonomous County and Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County) live several Muslim minorities, namely Hui, Salar, Dongxiang, Bonan and Kargan Tibetan. Whether Chinese, Turkic, Mongolian or Tibetan speakers, they all venerate saints and perform pilgrimage on their shrines. Based on fieldwork conducted in 2010, this presentation introduces the main features of Islam and Sufism in the area. In a second step, I will focus on the specific shrines in which Qâdirî and Naqshbandî saints are buried, and where several material features appear repeatedly: 1) the granite steles composed in Chinese, which provide basic information to visitors; 2) the relics jealously preserved by the shrine custodians and shown at exceptional occasions; 3) the photographs taken by pilgrims and used as souvenirs of pious visits and mystical rituals. These three material aspects of Sufi holy places tend to multiply the narratives associated with pilgrimage, reconstructing the religious memory of Muslim minorities in north-west China.

16:10 Afternoon Tea

16:40 Sanjay GARG (SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Pilgrims’ memorabilia in the social landscape of India

India is a land of diverse religious faiths and practices. It is the place of origin of four religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism – and a congenial abode for almost all the religions of the world, be it the oldest, such as Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, or one of the newest, like Baha‟ism. The shrines of these religions dot the cultural landscape of the country, and from antiquity these have served as pilgrimage centres for devotees. One of the traditions associated with pilgrimage in India is the carrying back of blessings of the sacred site in some tangible form. These range from holy prasād (eatables offered by a devotee at a shrine and generally returned after being blessed), sacred water and holy ash from incense, to charms, amulets, statuettes and jewellery. This tradition could be studied from a functionalist point of view, in which the memorializing of the pilgrimage and sharing of the divine blessings with one‟s kith and kin appear to be the prime objects of the pilgrim; or from a philosophical standpoint, in which the pilgrim seeks to associate himself permanently with the sacred site.

This paper will explore this tradition of „pilgrims‟ memorabilia‟ in the cross-cultural and inter-religious settings of India by focusing on the religious tokens commonly known as Rāmtankās (lit. „Money of Lord Rama‟). Previously confined to Hinduism, the prevalence of these religious tokens amongst the Hindu pilgrims has prompted Islamic, Sikh and other religious communities to devise their own. These tokens have provided not only a convenient and affordable medium of expression for the popular art and religious beliefs of the masses of India, but they have also served variously as objects of worship, talismans and mementoes, or indeed as a combination of all three. Finally, the paper will also attempt to address issues such as the motivations and expectations of the practitioners of this tradition, as well as the influence of their social background in their choice of memorabilia.

17:15 Thierry ZARCONE (CNRS – GSRL / EPHE, Paris)

Flags and ritual banners at shrines in Asian Islam (Central Asia, Xinjiang, India)

This presentation will examine the role played by banners or flags (tugh/tughaläm), major sacred artefacts in saint veneration and tomb cults in Turkic Islam. In particular it will consider the offering of banners, a notable ritual executed at the saints‟ tombs in Eastern Turkestan/Xinjiang (China) and, in a different manner, in India. My approach is both historical and anthropological. I will first show that the use of banners during pilgrimages at saint tombs in Central Asia has shamanic, Buddhist and Islamic origins. These three traditions have mingled over time and gave birth to a very syncretic practice. Also worthy of mention is the frequent identification, as shown in the written sources in Persian and Oriental Turkish, of the word „mazar‟, for the tombs of saints, with the word „tughaläm‟, a banner – a sign that the banner is a central element in the saint cult and gives him its legitimacy. One of the most compelling proofs of this, is that the Chinese administration of Xinjiang, when aiming to eradicate saint‟s cults and pilgrimage before and after 1049, forbade the banners at these places – a proscription that remains to this day. After this historical introduction, I will report on the rituals of the offering of banners that are performed nowadays at shrines in Xinjiang, along with the aesthetic and artistic dimensions of these artefacts..

17:50 -18:30 Speakers’s panel – Questions and discussion

19:30 Dinner

SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER

Session 3: Images and Representation

Chair: Thierry Zarcone

9:30 Hümeyra ULUDAG (Istanbul University, Turkey)

Shrines and the culture of pilgrimages in the Ottoman visual material

Shrines, which are the centres of popular pietism in Ottoman society, comprise one of the most significant dynamics of social life. These sacred locations, which substantially guide religious, social and psychological lives of people, are observed in Ottoman miniatures. This paper will concentrate on certain dimensions of the shrines that are reflected in the Ottoman visual materials, such as their architecture and setting, and the culture of pilgrimage and rituals. The way this topic is studied in visual terms and the modes of representation and the motifs in the miniatures will be also discussed.

10:05 Pedram KHOSRONEJAD (University of St Andrews)

Curtains of heaven: celestial and devotional mural paintings of Iranian pilgrimage

In this talk the author will present and analyze the creation and function of mural paintings of saint shrines in Iran since the Safavide period (1501–1736). The main emphasis will be on the relationship between such devotional depictions and the veneration of saints in Shiite Iran. This talk will be completed by a case study of mural paintings of shrines of saints which are located in and around Lahijan in the north of Iran.

10:40 Morning Coffee

11:00 Isabelle CHARLEUX (CNRS – GSRL / EPHE, Paris)

Sacred souvenirs of 19th-20th century Mongol pilgrimages to Wutaishan (China)

Mount Wutaishan was an important centre of religious shopping for Mongol pilgrims, who purchased there various kinds of objects, from rosaries, statuettes, good-luck tokens and mass-produced prints and maps up to expensive icons. Back home, these „relics‟ of the holy shrine served to maintain a physical connection with the charisma of the site. This presentation will examine three kinds of sacred souvenirs – maps, prints of Shakyamuni‟s footprints and thangkas – to question their different functions and uses, and the lasting influence they had on Mongol Buddhist art.

11:35 Speakers’s panel – Questions and discussion

12:10 Conclusion: Pierre-Jean LUIZARD (CNRS – GSRL / EPHE, Paris)

12:30 Closing: Angela HOBART; Pedram KHOSRONEJAD; Thierry ZARCONE

13:00 Lunch Break

All are welcome

For all inquiries, please contact:

secretary@ciu-ascona.org

http://www.ciu-ascona.org/

 

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ASE: ESOTERICISM RELIGION & CULTURE

 

  

Association for the Study of Esotericism Fourth International Conference

Call for Papers: Esotericism, Religion, and Culture University of California,

Davis July 19-22, 2012

PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE

The Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) is seeking paper and panel proposals for its fourth International North American Conference on Esotericism to be held at the University of California, Davis. Because of a scheduling conflict, we have had to change conference dates to July 19-22, 2012.

We are seeking proposals on topics in Western Esotericism, particularly related to themes exploring the relationships between esotericism, religion, and culture. Papers may focus on any one of these topics, or on a specific conjunction of topics, especially as it relates to esotericism, and we encourage papers that feature intellectual history or history of ideas. We invite proposals on magic, alchemy, astrology, ritual practice, mysticism, spiritualism, occultism, hermeticism, neo-paganism, contemporary esoteric movements and teachers, Asian influences on Western traditions, and other related topics.

In addition to the broad theme of culture-which includes literature, art, philosophy, and drama, as well as religion-we would like to feature a methodological discussion (Esotericism Across the Disciplines). We also are interested in panels specifically on mysticism. ASE regards esotericism as an interdisciplinary field of research and we invite scholars from all disciplines to share their research and writings in support of a cross-fertilization of perspectives. We welcome scholars from a wide range of areas, including anthropology, American studies, art history, history, intellectual history, religious studies, literature, philosophy, psychology, medieval studies, sociology-the full range of academic disciplines and fields.. In order to encourage graduate study in the field, we will offer a modest prize for the best graduate student paper presented.

Because of the schedule change for the conference dates, now July 19-22, our extended deadline for panel or paper proposal submission is 15 February 2012.

If you wish to submit a paper proposal or a thematically focused panel proposal (with three presenters and short descriptions

included) for review and possible presentation at the conference, please send it by regular email to ASE2012Conference@gmail.com

No attachments, please: simply copy and paste your abstract into plain text email. Individual abstracts should be limited to one or two paragraphs, and must indicate academic affiliation and/or other academic qualifications. Independent scholars are welcome to submit proposals. Please note that our previous conference was at maximum capacity, so it is best to submit your proposal sooner rather than later. We hope to post a preliminary list of accepted proposals early in 2012. Possible venues for the publication of conference papers include the book series Studies in Esotericism (this will be the fourth volume in the series).

For more information on the ASE, see our website at http://www.aseweb.org Additional announcements will be forthcoming on the 2012 ASE conference.

Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence

Daimonic Imagination:
Uncanny Intelligence

6th-7th May 2011
University of Kent, Canterbury

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

In this inter-disciplinary conference we will be addressing the question of inspired creativity. In many traditions the fount of creative vision and the source of divinatory insight is located in an intelligent ‘other’, whether this is termed god, angel, spirit, muse or daimon, or whether it is seen as an aspect of the human imagination and the activation of the ‘unconscious’ in a Jungian sense. From the artistic genius to the tarot reader, the sense of communication with another order of reality is commonly attested. Such communication may take the form of a flash of intuitive insight, psychic or clairvoyant ability, or spiritual possession. In art and literature many forms have been given to the daimonic intelligence, from angels to aliens, and in the realm of new age practices encounters with spiritual beings are facilitated through an increasing variety of methods including shamanism, hypnotherapy, mediumship, psychedelics, channelling and spirit materialisation. Theories of divinatory practices such as astrology, tarot or I Ching often assume a spirit or god-like intelligence at work in symbolic interpretation, and guardian angels abound in self-help literature.

This conference is not concerned with ‘proving’ or ‘disproving’ the existence of such beings. Rather, we would invite papers that address the theme of how the ‘numinous other’ is conveyed and depicted, how its voice is heard, how it informs, and has always informed, human experience. We would like to engage the imagination and open up discussion, particularly around the subject of how researchers might best approach the study of such marginalised and culturally anomalous visions and experiences, and what their value might be.

The conference will be fully interdisciplinary, perspectives may include those from art, literature, divination, cultural studies, philosophy, theology and RS, spirituality, anthropology, classics, history, psychology, film studies and sociology. Presentations should be 30 minutes in length, to be followed by 15 minutes discussion.

Suggested themes:

  • The daimonic in art, literature, music, dreams, divination, psychotherapy
  • Philosophical, metaphysical, religious and transpersonal approaches to the daimonic
  • Spirit visions and mediumship
  • Spirits in shamanic and indigenous traditions
  • Jung and the unconscious
  • Paranormal encounters
  • The ‘otherworld’ and its inhabitants
  • Psychedelic encounters

Please send a title and abstract to:
William Rowlandson (
w.rowlandson@kent.ac.uk [1])

and Angela Voss (a.voss@kent.ac.uk [2])


co-directors of the Centre for the Study of Myth at the University of Kent
by
Monday 28th February 2011

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824717 or email MythConference  

 Check the    event website    for registration and list of confirmed speakers. 

University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

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