Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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Correspondences: an online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism

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Correspondences. An online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism.

Call for papers. Deadline: feb. 28, 2013.

About

Correspondences seeks to create a public academic forum devoted to discussion and exposition of issues and currents in the field commonly known as ‘Western Esotericism.’ The editors acknowledge that the use of “Western esotericism” as an umbrella term for a widely variant field of alternate scientific and religious ideas is problematic. Thus, articles related to esoteric currents from other global cultural centers may be accepted if a connection to “alternative” currents in “western culture” is implicitly established.

The following list of areas of study is provided for clarification: Alchemy, Anthroposophy, Astrology, Eco-spirituality, Esoteric art, literature, and music, Freemasonry, Geomancy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Illuminism, Initiatory secret societies, Kabbalah, Magic, Mesmerism, Mysticism, Naturphilosophie, Neo-paganism, New Age, Occultism, Occulture, Paracelsianism, Rosicrucianism, Satanism, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Traditionalism, Ufology, Witchcraft.

Correspondences encourages submissions from a variety of methodological and disciplinary approaches, such as: History of Religions; Sociology; Art History; Philosophy; History of Science; Literature; ; and Cultural Studies, just to name a few.

Editors

Jimmy Elwing, rMA student, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Aren Roukema, rMA student, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Editorial Board

Egil Asprem, MA, Researcher, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Henrik Bogdan, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dr. Juan Pablo Bubello, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Dylan Burns, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dr. Peter Forshaw, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Christian Giudice, PhD student, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dr. Amy Hale, St. Petersburg College, United States.

Prof. Boaz Huss, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

Prof. Birgit Menzel, Universität Mainz, Germany.

More Information, please contact us at

submissions@correspondencesjournal.com

URL: http://correspondencesjournal.com/

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

Esthetics and Spirituality: Places of Interiority: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Belgium: call for papers

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CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline: 1 December 2012

Conference

Esthetics and Spirituality: Places of Interiority

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

16 – 17 – 18 May 2013

In the contemporary Western European world traditional, institutionalized religions are losing ground, while alternative religions, literature and the arts, film and media, as well as commercial enterprises are offering alternatives. Old concepts, symbols and rituals are translated into new forms. This is a recurrent phenomenon: as sensitivities change throughout the ages, the ways to express this changed “interiority” change and result in new manifestations of spirituality.

This multi- and interdisciplinary Conference on Aesthetics and Spirituality looks at how, both in the past and the present, people devise(d) new ways of conceiving and manifesting interiority. In order to look at the forms “interiority” has received throughout the ages we use different approaches: literature, cultural studies, theology, art (iconography/iconology), history (of ideas) and architecture, anthropology, political sciences/sociology, psychology, philosophy…

How do exteriority and interiority relate? What does it mean to be in a place, to be at home in the world or with oneself (cf Pierre Nora,Les lieux de mémoire)? How can urban planning, public and private buildings, furniture and other material things, clothes, prescribed attitudes, etc. be conducive to interiorization (conscious or unconscious reflections, contemplation)? Or, conversely, how can material factors repress interiority (cf repressive political systems)? In order to imagine a topology of interiority that would draw on an inter-disciplinary field of studies and research we invite papers on the different kinds of language which translate outside to inside and vice versa.

If interiority is a question of presence and orientation we need to look at

(a) Bodily expressions: a religious community prescribed a certain body language which could bring about a spirituality (cf. nineteenth-century feminine congregations focusing on nursing, weaving and embroidering); manifold forms of biblical spirituality (Schneider et al) inspire the body, while psychology of religion and psychoanalysis develop ways of reading religious bodies (Vergote, Lacan, Vasse, Moyaert et al).

(b) Expressions through things, images (iconology), words:

-changes in the attitude to relics, books, icons, devotional cards, rosaries, …

-different links between theology, art and literature produce different forms: the “bondieuserie” in France (1850s) differed from Pre-Raphaelite depictions of the divine (criticized by Dickens), or from the Pilgrim’s Movement in Flanders; after the Great War Benedictine spirituality was revived, while Franciscan spirituality brought a new attention for nature and animals in literature; 21st-century ecocriticism brings a new attitude to representations of nature, as do gender studies to aspects of spirituality …

(c) Changes in Ritual, as a means to link physical and metaphysical aspects of experience: which forms of ritual are depicted, developed, in contemporaryl iterature, to mark forgiveness, reconciliation, or other transitions (to adulthood, married life, divorce, healing from sickness, death,…) Which theories of performativity are used in liturgy these days? Which kind of poetics are used in contemporary prayer? How do contemporary political symbols (fail to) develop? (Cf. prevalence of Christian symbols in commemorations of British army casualties et al). Can ritual help in conflict situations, and how are new rituals validated? How do religious institutions relate to the secularization?

(d) Contributions relating to or focusing on Irish topics will be especially welcomed.

Are Celtic symbols still known, used, adapted? How does Irish urbanization, architecture, make space for interiority? How is “interiority” conceived at all in contemporary art and philosophy? Which places, moments, figures, phenomena, concepts, does contemporary film, drama, poetry, fiction, art, hold in special reverence? Does nature (stone, plant, animal) still harbour something sacred, and if so, how? Do angels still figure?

Are there still references to the Jewish, Greek, Christian stories? Is twentiethcentury and contemporary art, literature and film reacting or indifferent to this tradition, does it translate archaic symbols (animals and trees, food and drink, textile and books, home and travel, …) into new forms, or does it divest these old icons of their symbolism?

The conference is hosted by the KU Leuven, the Faculties of the Arts, Theology and KADOC (Interfaculty Institute of the KU Leuven for Documentation and Research for Religion, Culture and Society) in cooperation with the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies (LCIS).

It will take place in the newly refurbished Irish college in Leuven (the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe). The Scientific Committee consists of Barbara Baert (KU Leuven, Arts), Reimund Bieringer (KU Leuven, Theology), Ralph De Koninck (Université Catholique de Louvain, Arts), Jan De Maeyer (KADOC, KU Leuven, History/Heritage), Borbala Farago (Central European University Budapest, Gender Studies), Veerle Fraeters (U Antwerpen, Literature), Christine Göttler (Universität Bern, Arts), Hedwig Schwall (KU Leuven/Kortrijk, Literature), Paul Vandenbroeck (KU Leuven/ Anthropology/Social sciences), Henrik von Aachen (University of Bergen, Norway, Arts)

Papers should not exceed 2500-3000 words (20 minutes’ delivery). Proposals for papers (250 words) and a short biography should be sent by e-mail to

Hedwig Schwall , Hedwig.schwall@arts.kuleuven.be

You will be notified by 20 December.

More information about the conference will be posted on www.irishstudies.kuleuven.be/

CULTURE AND COSMOS – LITERATURE AND THE STARS

Call for Papers:

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

 

http://www.cultureandcosmos.org

Vol. 17 no 1: Literature and the Stars

We are inviting submissions for Vol. 17 no 1 (Spring/Summer 2013) on Literature and the Stars. Papers may focus on any time period or culture, and should deal either with representations of astronomy or astrology in fiction, or studies of astronomical or astrological texts as literature. Contributions may focus on western or non-western culture, and on the ancient, medieval or modern worlds.

Papers should be submitted by NOVEMBER 15, 2012. They should typically not exceed 8000 words length and should be submitted to editors@cultureandcosmos.org. Shorter submissions and research notes are welcome.

Contributors should follow the style guide at

http://www.cultureandcosmos.org/submissions.html

Please include an abstract of c. 100-200 words.

All submissions will peer-reviewed for originality, timeliness, relevance, and readability. Authors will be notified as soon as possible of the acceptability of their submissions.

Culture and Cosmos is published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, SA48 7ED, UK.

http://www.trinitysaintdavid.ac.uk/en/sophia/

As from Vol. 17 no 1 Culture and Cosmos will be published open-access, on-line, in the interests of open scholarship. Hard copy will be available via print-on-demand.

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.

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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