Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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Folk Knowledge: Institute of Ethnology Slovak Academy of Sciences: Call for Papers

AAA bratislava

Folk Knowledge:  Models and Concepts

Institute of Ethnology Slovak Academy of Sciences

March 26th to 28th 2013 

The problem of human knowledge – what a person employs to interpret and act on the world – has been in the centre of scholarly attention for a long time. Knowledge is shaped by culture and distributed in population in certain ways; anthropological research has been directed to the distribution of knowledge – its presence or absence in particular persons – and the social processes influencing these distributions.

Attention has been paid in particular to so-called folk knowledge consisting of beliefs and socially accepted rules corresponding to various spheres of life: social relations, natural environment, reasoning and emotions, economic relations, oral tradition, etc. These beliefs and rules are shared and adapted to the particular local settings. Theoretical debates focused on the models of natural and cultural environment in particular social and cultural conditions, and the impact that those models have on human behaviour. The aim of this conference is to contribute to this focus by bringing together scholars doing research in different cultural settings.

A comparative perspective on human knowledge allows us to unravel a number of aspects of the cultural worlds which people construct. Empirical research can demonstrate how established thoughts, representations, and social relations to a considerable extent configure and filter individual human experience of the world around us and thereby generate culturally diverse worldviews which might include feelings and attitudes as well as information, embodied skills, verbal taxonomies and concepts: all the ways of understanding that humans use to make up a reality.

We invite interested scholars and students to submit proposals for papers which will explore:

• Folk knowledge and expert knowledge

• Material culture: material objects and their cultural meanings

• Religious beliefs and rituals

• Concepts of ethnicity and race

• Social learning: acquisition of knowledge by children and adults

• Children and their concepts

• Verbal concepts and models

• Taxonomy of concepts

• Representations of morality

• Gender relationships and representations

• Representations of economic relations and processes

• Visual representations: construction of meanings

Key lectures:

Prof. Anthony Good

Anthony Good is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Social & Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain. The lecture: Folk Knowledge and the Law

Prof. John Eade

John Eade is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Roehampton and former Executive Director of CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism) which links Roehampton and the University of Surrey. He is also Visiting Professor at the Migration Research Unit, the University College London, Great Britain.

The lecture: Contested Knowledges: The Politics of Pilgrimage in a Changing Europe

Dr. William (Lee) W. McCorkle

William McCorkle is

Director of Experimental Research at the LEVYNA (Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion and Ritual). He is Associate Professor and Research Specialist at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

The lecture: From Compulsion to Script: The Evolution of Ritual and the Rise of Religions

Submission details:

The language of the conference will be English only. The papers should last no more than 20 minutes.

Abstracts (up to 350-words in Word doc.), with contact details and affiliation, should be sent to:

the conference e-mail address: by 31st January 2013.

You will be informed about acceptance or non-acceptance of your proposal by 15th February 2013.

Conference participation fee:

• scholars who will present their papers: € 50;

• PhD students who will present their papers: € 25;

• participants who will not present papers: free. The participation fee includes all conference proceedings and daytime refreshments. Accommodation is not included in the conference fee.

Organizational team: Tatiana Bužeková, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email: Miroslava Hlinčíková, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email: Danijela Jerotijević, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Comenius University, email: Soňa G. Lutherová, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email:

They look forward to seeing you in Bratislava in March 2013!

Paranthropology: January Issue call for papers

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I found this while looking for an image related to experience SW.  See *Note below.


 The January 2013 issue of Paranthropology will have the theme of “Thinking About Experience.” Some of the general themes for this issue will include:

* Different ways of talking about experience

* Different ways of interpreting experience

* How to write about personal and social experience meaningfully

* Experience as an aspect of consciousness

* The consequences of taking experience seriously… and so on.

The deadline for submissions to the January issue will be 15th December 2012. Please see for submission guidelines. If you have an idea for an article that you would like to discuss with the editor please get in touch via



* Note

Research in the new discipline of neurocardiology shows that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated center for receiving and processing information. The nervous system within the heart (or “heart brain”) enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the brain’s cerebral cortex. Moreover, numerous experiments have demonstrated that the signals the heart continuously sends to the brain influence the function of higher brain centers involved in perception, cognition, and emotional processing.

Notice of conferences, books, reviews or events, related to the study of Western Esotericism may be sent to: Sophia Wellbeloved


A digital edition of Simon Forman’s & Richard Napier’s medical records 1596–1634

Most portrayals of astrologers at work are satirical. This project takes seriously the encounters between the astrologer and his clients. ‘Credulous lady & astrologer’, a colour stipple-engraving by Pierre Simon after John Raphael Smith, c. 1800.

Wellcome Library, London

Simon Forman, the notorious London astrologer, recorded 10,000

consultations between 1596 and 1603. Most of these are medical.

Forman’s casebooks can now be searched by name (of any party

involved), date, sex, age, topic of consultation and many other

criteria. The edition includes images of all the manuscript pages of

Forman’s first volume, and more will follow soon at:

Please send feedback to Dr Lauren Kassell

Department of History & Philosophy of Science

about how you are using the site–and about

how you would like to be able to use it.





Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building,

London School of Economics, Saturday 1 December 2012


Or post a booking form (attached) and a cheque payable to ‘Inform’ to Inform, Houghton St., London WC2A 2AE.

(; 020 7955 7677).

Tickets (including buffet lunch, coffee and tea) paid by 12 November 2012 cost  £38 each (£18 students/unwaged).

NB. Tickets booked after 12 November 2012 will cost £48 each (£28 students/unwaged).

A limited number of seats will be made available to A-Level students at £10 before 12 November 2012 (£20 after 12 November). A party of 5 or more A-Level students from one school can include one member of staff at the same price.


The presence of speakers on an Inform programme does not mean that Inform endorses their position. 

The aim of Inform Seminars is to help participants to understand, or at least recognise, different perspectives.

For Inform’s codes of practice see

9.30-9.50    Registration and coffee

9.50-10.00   Welcome and Introduction

10.00-10.25   Eileen Barker (Professor Emeritus, LSE; Chair & Honorary Director, Inform)

Re-vision and Division in New Religions: Some Introductory Remarks”

10.25-10.50   Claire Borowik (Co-Director of the Worldwide Religious News Service, and member of The Family International)

The Family International: Rebooting for the Future”

10.50-11.15   J. Gordon Melton (Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Baylor University) 

When Science Intervenes—Revising Claims in the New Age”

11.15-11.45 Coffee

11.45-12.10   Pat Ryan and Joe Kelly (International Cultic Studies Association; ex-members of TM and Society of Divine Love)

Transcendental Meditation and Swami Prakashananda Saraswati”

12.10-12.35   Susan Palmer (Lecturer in Religious Studies, Dawson College / Concordia University)

Dr. Malach Z. York’s Spiritual Divagations”

12.35-13.00   Masoud Banisadr (PhD in chemical engineering and engineering mathematics, and former member of MEK)

The Metamorphism of MEK (Mujahedin e Khalgh) and its Schism”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.25   James Tong (Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles)

The Re-Invented Wheel: Revisioning and Diversification in the Falun Gong, 1992-2012”

14.25-14.50   Mike Mickler (Professor of Church History, Unification Theological Seminary)

 “The Post-Sun Myung Moon Unification Church”

14.50-15.15   Eugene Clay (Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University)

Mother of God Derjavnaja / The New Cathar Church”

15.15-15.45 Tea

15.45-16.10   Eugene Gallagher (Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies, Connecticut College)                      

The Branch Davidians”

16.10-16.35   Massimo Introvigne (Lawyer and Managing Director of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Turin

Mormon Origins – Revisionism or Re-Interpretation?”

16.35-17.15 Panel Discussion

Call for papers: Societas Magica sessions IMC Kalamazoo

Societas Magica

Call for papers Societas Magica sessions IMC Kalamazoo

Sat Jul 7, 2012 7:34 pm (PDT)

The Societas Magica invites abstracts for four sessions to be held at

the next International Congress on Medieval Studies Kalamazoo, MI, 9-13

May 2013. The four sponsored sessions are:

Session I – Astrology and Magic (co-sponsored with the Research Group on

Manuscript Evidence)

Contact: Dr. David Porreca (University of Waterloo)

Session II – Magic, Material Culture and Technology (co-sponsored with

the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence)

Contact: László Sándor Chardonnens (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Session III – Water as Symbol, Sign and Trial: Aquatic Semantics in the

Middle Ages (co-sponsored with the Reseach Group on Manuscript Evidence)

Contact: Mihai-D. Grigore (University of Erfurt)

Session IV – Magical Practices in Pre-Modern China

Contact: Dimitri Drettas (Collège de France)

If you have material suitable to one of these topics, please send an

abstract (ca. 250 words) electronically to the contact person listed for

that session by 15 September 2012 along with the Participant Information


More detailed information about the sessions and a link to the

participant information form may be found at

CONFERENCE: Charming Intentions – Occultism – Magic and the History of Art

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This two-day graduate conference will investigate the intersections between visual culture and the occult tradition, ranging from the material culture of ‘primitive’ animism, through medieval and Renaissance depictions of witchcraft and demonology, to the contemporary fascination with the supernatural in popular culture.

The conference aims to provide a stimulating arena for the presentation of innovative research in this field as well as to offer a vibrant and thought-provoking forum for scholarly discussion and exchange. We welcome papers from current and recent graduate students from all disciplines, provided their research engages with material, visual or symbolic aspects of magic and occultism.

Acceptable topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following areas:

* The sacred and the profane;

* The material culture of magic, ritual and sacrifice;

* Objects of totemic, apotropaeic or fetishistic character;

* Aspects of mysticism in Jewish, Christian and Islamic art and architecture;

* Satanism, witchcraft and demonology; * Sacred geometry, numerology and cosmology;

* The arcane sciences (including astrology, alchemy and the tarot game);

* Art-theoretical discussions of the spiritual, the sublime, the marvellous, the numinous and the uncanny;

* Artistic investigations of myth, fantasy and utopia;

* Visual aspects of occult movements such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, Mesmerism, Spiritism and New Age Spirituality;

* The supernatural and the spiritual in modern and contemporary art; * Occultism and magic in contemporary popular culture.

N.B.: Presentations should not exceed a maximum of 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. The sessions will be chaired by senior scholars within the University of Cambridge’s History of Art Department. We also hope to publish selected conference papers in a book of proceedings.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to:

alongside a CV of 1-2 pages.

Deadline for submission is the 30th of September 2012.

All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and successful applicants will be notified about acceptance of their papers before the 15th of October 2012.

Early applications are strongly encouraged.

The Conference Committee

Josefine Baark, PhD Candidate, Homerton College Gabriel Byng, PhD Candidate, Clare College Imma Ramos, PhD Candidate, Pembroke College Daniel Zamani, PhD Candidate, Trinity College.




Day 1: Monday, 3 December 2012

09.30 – 10.00 Registration at

History of Art Department’s Graduate Centre on 4A Trumpington Street


10.00 – 10.05 Welcome address (Daniel Zamani & Dr Alexander Marr)


10.05 – 11.00 Keynote Lecture

Dr Urszula Szulakowska (University of Leeds)

The Sexualisation of the Virgin Mary: Hieratic Religious Art in an Alchemical Context


11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break


11.30 – 1.00 Panel 1: The Christian Middle Ages Convenor: Dr Anna Gannon


Emily Goetsch (University of Edinburgh)

Demonising the Other”: Spanish Apocalyptic Images of Evil as a Way of Promoting Christianity in Tenth-Century Beatus Manuscripts


Orsolya Mednyanzky (Tufts University, Medford)

Protecting the Sacred Script: A Cross in Glory in a Late Medieval Armenian Gospel Book


Monika Winiarczyk (University of Glasgow)

‘Homo Signorum’: Looking to God or Looking to the Stars? The Role of Astrology in Medieval Christianity


1.00 – 2.00 Lunch Break


2.00 – 3.30 Panel 2: Islam and Hinduism Convenor: Rachel Parikh


Anja R. Dreiser (University of Bamberg)

Magic Mirrors from the Islamic World


Alexandra Plesa (Leiden University)

Pots That Bless: Pious Inscriptions on Samanid Pottery in Dutch Collections


Shandra E. Lamaute (University of Edinburgh)

A Printed Islamic Amulet


Imma Ramos (University of Cambridge)

Impurity, Auspiciousness and Power: The Tantric Transformations of Lajja Gauri at Kamakhya


3.30 – 4.00 Coffee Break


4.00 – 5.00 Panel 3: Early Modern Europe I Convenor: Prof. Jean Michel Massing


Liliana Leopardi (Hobert and William Smith Colleges, NY)

Renaissance Magic Precious and Semi-Precious Stones: the Fetish as a

path to Pyschological Integrity


Nikola Piperkov (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Et procul in tenuem ex oculis euanuit auram: Natural Magic and Divine Word in Giambologna’s Statue of Mercury


Day 2: Tuesday, 4 December 2012


10.00 – 11.00 Panel 4: Early Modern Europe II Convenor: Dr Alexander Marr


Alexandra Marraccini (University of Chicago)

Open Secrets: Alchemical-Hermetic Iconography in the Ripley Scrolls


Marthe Kretzschmar (Technische Universitaet Hamburg)

Waxwork. Aby Warburg’s “Bildzauber” between materiality and resemblance


11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break


11.30 – 1.00 Panel 5: Great Britain Convenor: Josefine Baark


Stephanie Churms (Aberystwyth University)

Drawn by the Magician’s Wand”: The Occult Culture of Revolutionary Caricature

Lauren Greer (University of Saint-Thomas, MN)

Glamour: A Dissection of John Anster Fitzgerald’s Fairyland


Heather Carroll (University of Edinburgh)

Art not without ambition’: Lady Melbourne, the Duchess of Devonshire and Mrs. Damer as The Three Witches from Macbeth


1.00 – 2.00 Lunch Break


2.00 – 3.30 Panel 6: Surrealism Convenor: Dr Karolina Watras


Daniel Zamani (University of Cambridge)

Alchemy & Empowerment in Victor Brauner’s Appropriation of the Tarot Magician


Kristina Rapacki (Courtauld Institute, London)

Deicide, Regicide, Suicide: Bataille, Acephale and the Sovereign

Victoria Camblin (University of Cambridge)

Ritual and the Wagnerism of Acéphale (1936-1939)


3.30 – 4.00 Coffee Break


4.00 – 5.30 Panel 7: The 20 th Century Convenor: Elizabeth Upper


Adele Gardener (University of Bristol)

Art, Invocation and Alchemy: The Tarot Paintings of Lady Frieda Harris


Lisa Hanstein (Art-Historical Institute, Florence)

Unseen Spirits? Occult Aspects of Italian Futurist Art & Theory


Judith Noble (Arts University College, Bournemouth)

Ritual and Invocation: Occultism in the Films of Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger


5.30 – 5.35 Closing Remarks (Gabriel Byng)


5.35 – 7.00 Wine reception


Close of conference


UK’s Science and Religion Forum: 2012 Conference: ‘The soul – can the concept of the soul still have meaning?’

Regent’s Park College, Oxford 

from late afternoon on Thursday 6 September to lunchtime on Saturday 8 September 2012.

The programme will follow the usual pattern and includes the Annual Gowland Lecture, a number of plenary lectures on the conference theme, and a short-paper session of 15-minute presentations by Forum members. The programme will also include a conference dinner, and there will be an early morning service of worship for those who are interested. The Forum’s AGM will take place during the Conference.

The conference fees (for full board) will be as follows:

SRF members £230

Non-members £260

Students £110

Bursaries will be offered for those who have been members of the Forum for at least six months and have no financial assistance from employers or sponsors (bursaries will probably be worth £60 which would reduce the fee to £170.

Further details:

Revd Dr Arthur Peacocke

The Peacocke Student Essay Prize

In memory of its founding President and former Chairman, the Revd Dr Arthur Peacocke, the Science and Religion Forum offers a prize for an essay directly relevant to the theme of its annual conference.

Congratulations to George H. Medley III, winner of the 2011 Peacocke Prize.

The competition is open to all students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and the closing date is July 31st 2012.

Details of 2012 prize to follow soon at UK’s Science and Religion Forum

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