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)

THE THREAT AND ALLURE OF THE MAGICAL in Literature, Language, Philosophy, History and the Arts

university-berkeley-library

13-15 March 2009
“The Threat and Allure of the Magical in Literature, Language, Philosophy, History and the Arts”

17th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley March 13-15, 2009

Dating back to the 9th Century Old High German Merseburg Incantations (die Merseburger Zaubersprüche) and their influence on the fairy-tale world of the Brothers Grimm, references to the magical boil forth from a wide range of cultural forms, from Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) in music to Werner Herzog’s Invincible in film. In silent film, modern literature and the arts, magic both heralded and haunted an artistic revolution in which the avant-garde and the occult recurrently intersected. In critical theory, ideology is often described in terms of a spell. Accordingly, this conference presents an opportunity to explore these cultural encounters with the magical and further inquire why this space of radical alterity carries such an allure and/or threat.

Thus, we invite scholars from all disciplines to submit paper proposals in German or English on the questions of the magical and its role in the German-speaking world. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

The magical in art, film, music, pop-culture and history
The occult and the avant-garde
Nazism and the occult
The magical in the language of critical thought
The mesmerizing, magical aspects of ideology
The magical in courtly culture, Renaissance and the Early Modern
Linguistic alchemy
Sprachmagie
The magical in philosophy (for example, the Veil of Maya in the works of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche)
Magical Realism
Astrology and Alchemy in literature
Magic in fairy tales and folklore
The weird, strange and the other
The living dead/creatures of myth and magic in film and literature
The language of incantations and spells

Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words with a separate cover sheet indicating the proposed title, author’s name, affiliation, and email address to:

Ashwin Manthripragada/Emina Musanovic/Dagmar Theison
Department of German,
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3243
ashwinj@berkeley.edu

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