Posts Tagged ‘Western Esotericism’
Correspondences. An online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism.
Call for papers. Deadline: feb. 28, 2013.
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.
Jimmy Elwing, rMA student, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Aren Roukema, rMA student, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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
This sad news has just come to me in a forwarded email:
It is with great sadness and regret that we must inform our ESSWE colleagues of the death of Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke after a brief illness. Nicholas was the director of the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism at the University of Exeter, where together with his wife Clare he had built a world-class distance learning institute for postgraduate research in our field. He will also be well known to you all as the author of a number of insightful works on the history of Western esotericism, most notably his books concerning the relation of esotericism to fascist and far-right ideologies. Through his work Nicholas expressed his great love for the history, culture and peoples of both England and Germany, and in the course of a distinguished academic career he brought his considerable intellect to bear upon their respective esoteric traditions. With his passing we have lost a wise and much-loved teacher, an incisive scholarly mind and a jovial and kind-hearted friend.
Hereward Tilton (University of Exeter)
Wouter Hanegraaff (President of ESSWE)
[ link for ESSWE www.esswe.0rg/ ]
The link below is to Professor Goodrick-Clarke’s Exeter University page
ESSWE European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism
Call for Papers – Esoteric Traditions in the Ancient and Modern World
Date(s): July 12, 2012 -to- July 24, 2012
Location: Alexandria, Egypt
6 days in Alexandria Tour (optional):
3-day cruise on the Nile
3 days in Cairo
Conference description: the purpose of the Conference will be to examine the source and foundations of the mystery and esoteric traditions; their expressions and nuances in the ancient and contemporary world along with the interface between ancient wisdom and modern scientific paradigms.
As we will be returning to the cradle of so-called “Western Esotericism” for this event, the Conference will be focusing upon the Hermeticism of Alexandria, neo-Platonism, former ancient Mysteries, and the modern Theosophical Movement; in view of their phenomenology, social impact, and nuances in the shaping of cultural and spiritual aspects of the contemporary western world.
Special emphasis will be given to the Theosophical Society; its foundational structures and orientation, successions, impact, and its role as an artery in the continuation of esoteric culture and Higher Age teachings within the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Suggested topics, not compulsory: – Ancient Mystery Traditions. – The Hermeticism of Alexandria. – Neo-Platonism. – The Star-Lore of Ancient Egypt. – Theosophical Connections with Egyptian Traditions. – The Brotherhood of Luxor and its influence on the Theosophical Society. – Successions in the Theosophical Society [The Judge Case,etc.] – The Theosophical Movement in the 3rd Millennium. – Ancient Wisdom & Modern Science. – Modern Physics & the Secret Doctrine. Categories of Submissions There are five categories of submissions: papers, panel, workshops, round-table and short documentaries:
Papers: All online submissions must be in one of four formats: MS Word for Windows, MS Word for Mac, PDF, or Rich Text Format. All tables, graphs, and pictures associated with your submission must be included with the main text in a single document. Submissions must be completed and received before July 2011. Additional information: Title, author(s) short biography, 200-words abstract.
Panel Session: Panel title, description, chair/discussant, presentation titles, abstracts, and any other required information. It is required for presenters to submit a 150-word abstract; you also need to prepare a 400-word rationale for your panel proposal and a 75-word panel description for the conference program. Panels can contain up to four papers with no more than 1.000 words each paper. These must be completed before July 2011.
Workshops: You should submit an overview of the workshop structure, including key topics to be addressed, the equipment necessary, duration, aims and a 150-word abstract. These must be completed before July 2011.
Round-tables: Round-table proposals (same submission criteria as panel proposals) and must be completed before July 2011.
Short Documentaries: Short documentaries between 5 to 15 minutes, must be submitted on DVD NTSC or PAL (please test before sending). These must be received before July 2011. Short documentaries must be available for screening during the Conference on July 2012. Eligibility: You do not need to be a member of any Theosophical organization to submit a paper or proposal for the conference.
Simply send your proposal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference attendance: If your panel, paper, workshop or round-table proposal is accepted for the conference, you have a commitment to register for and attend the conference and perform your assigned role. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending, you should find a substitute to perform your duties and notify the program committee.
Conference registration: Submission of your paper or proposal does NOT automatically register you for the conference itself. If your paper or proposal is accepted for presentation at the conference “Esoteric Traditions in the Ancient and Modern World” you will be notified and then must register for the conference and pay the conference fee. Details about the conference registration will be soon available.
E-mail address: Each conference participant must use one and only one e-mail address for all submissions.
Program Committee: Alistair Coombs (UK), Nikos Fokas (GR), George Georgiades (GR), Erica Georgiades (GR), J.S. Gordon (UK). Conference chairwoman: Erica Georgiades.
Date(s): July 12, 2012 -to- July 24, 2012
Location: Alexandria, Egypt
For more information: For further information check the conference homepage at
AUGUST 27-29, 2012
Wouter J. Hanegraaff,
Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam
Christopher Partridge, Religious Studies, Lancaster University
Kocku von Stuckrad, Study of Religion, Groningen University
Deadline for Abstracts: March 30, 2012
Submit your abstract (approx. 200 words) along with a brief academic CV (approx 1 page) to: ContEso2012@gmail.com
The academic study of Western esotericism has blossomed in recent years; University departments and MA programs have been established, book series and journals launched, academic societies founded, and several international conferences and panels are organized every year. There is, however, still a major gap in scholarship on esotericism: very little research exists on contemporary phenomena. While some present-day phenomena related to esotericism, such as ‘New Age spiritualities’ and (neo)paganism, have been the focus of scholars in other fields, scholars working in the field of esotericism have largely neglected such developments. With a focus on early modern phenomena, scholarship in the field of Western esotericism has been predominantly historiographical in its approach, with a common reluctance to incorporate social scientific approaches. In recent years, however, serious attempts have been made to develop sociological approaches to the study of the esoteric/occult which are both compatible with historical approaches and forgo the biased presumptions of yesteryear. A fundamental challenge for the study of contemporary esoteric phenomena is that it is not sufficient to simply transpose theories, definitions and methodologies developed for the study of e.g. Renaissance magic to later manifestations of the esoteric. Studying contemporary phenomena poses intriguing possibilities, such as the opportunity to study esotericism in lived contexts, which unavoidably also introduce new problems. In general, several theoretical and methodological concerns need to be addressed if a proper study of contemporary esotericism is to succeed.
The primary aim of this conference is to place contemporary phenomena on the agenda of the study of esotericism. Thus we welcome papers dealing with contemporary and recent developments in “classic” esoteric currents – e.g. within Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and ritual magical currents – as well as esoteric developments of particular relevance today – e.g. Chaos Magick, Satanism, and (neo)paganism. We also strongly encourage papers dealing with theoretical and methodological issues that are particularly pertinent to the study of contemporary esotericism, as well as papers dealing with the societal, cultural, political, religious etc. contexts of esotericism today. This can include discussions on the role played by the esoteric in modern politics (e.g. the new right), grassroots activism (e.g. deep ecology and the animal rights movement), science (e.g. parapsychology, neurotheology, “New Age physics”), healthcare (e.g. alternative medicine), popular culture (both entertainment media and in broader contexts such as kitsch, consumer, and fan culture), and modern interactive communications media (e.g. mediatization and the effects of changing modes of mediation), as well as the simultaneous influence of these and other fields on esoteric notions, beliefs, and practices. General theoretical discussion on the potential usefulness of sociological terms and concepts such as globalization, secularization, and the post-secular in the study of contemporary esotericism is also encouraged. The conference should function as an interdisciplinary meeting place where scholars from a multitude of disciplines and with different approaches and perspectives can come together to learn from each other.
The conference is arranged in conjunction with the 2012 EASR conference, also arranged in Stockholm, Sweden (at Södertörn University, August 23-26). Panels on esotericism, both historical and contemporary, are planned for the EASR as well, thus providing the opportunity to engage in extended discussion on these subjects, and of course lessening travel expenses.
More detailed information, including conference fee, will be made available at a later stage.
Egil Asprem, PhD Research Fellow, Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam
Kennet Granholm, Assistant Professor, History of Religions, Stockholm University
Forthcoming volume on Contemporary Esotericism
The conference will function as the launching party for Contemporary Esotericism, the first volume specifically dedicated to the study of esotericism in the present day. The volume is published by Equinox Publishing and includes eighteen articles by well-established scholars as well as innovative younger researchers in the field. For more information, see the publisher’s webpage.
PHOENIX RISING ACADEMY
Demons In The Academy?
Renouncing Rejected Knowledge, Again.
Many scholars of Western Esotericism support that its validation as a field within mainstream academia lies in the application of empiricism as the primary research method. Yet this perspective disregards a defining constituent of the object of study, namely, the symbolic perception which might also be termed imaginal epistemology. Pejoratively termed “religionism,” carrying connotations of inadequate scholarship, this formative element of esoteric thought has become the new pariah of the academic study of the field broadly termed Western Esotericism in its current form.
The concept of symbolic perception and interpretation is rooted in Western intellectual history, and its significance has been highlighted by a number of respected scholars who have proposed integrative models and approaches that combine scholarly rigour with imaginative and sympathetic
engagement. Other scholars have called for channels of dialogue and mutual understanding to be developed between scholars and practitioners in order to better understand the application and potentials of such epistemologies. However, this perspective is frequently repudiated, and scholars calling for more interdisciplinary approaches often find themselves marginalised, meeting with varying degrees of censure among their peers.
This approach is taking the field in a reductionist direction, with disquieting implications. More alarming still is the near-demonisation of such areas of inquiry in influential scholarly circles. Such interdictions have no place in centres of intellectual inquiry, and to support them with claims of “academic legitimacy” is to perpetuate the very reductionist and rationalist thinking that led to the separation of the sciences from the humanities and consigned the study of esoteric and initiatory philosophy to the backwaters of cultural and intellectual inquiry for the last three hundred years.
Even the most etic of approaches is not immune to subjectivity, and this begs the question of its adequacy for a subject whose very texts and images are directed towards inner, transformative work. Integrated approaches have been long established in many other areas of the humanities and social sciences, from art and performance, to ethnographic and behavioral perspectives. Thus the proscription of all but the most critical and rational methodologies necessarily fails to do justice to such a topic of study.
Phoenix Rising Academy wishes to explore the transdisciplinary options that may lead to more balanced and integrative approaches, while drawing attention to the very real dangers that we perceive in the insistence on objective and disinterested empiricism as the sole acceptable method for the study of these topics. To this end we invite interested parties to submit a proposal, or to join us for the discussion session at our symposium in connection with the:
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR)
in San Francisco, California,
November 19-22, 2011.
- Five 15-20 minute keynote presentations [1.5 hrs]
- Two video-link presentations [30 mins]
- Up to eight five-minute statements [1 hr]
- Panel discussion [30 mins]
- Legitimate ways of knowing: the place of experiential knowledge and/or symbolic perception as a form of research.
- What can we learn from each other? Bridging the practitioner-scholar divide
- The esoteric polemic and rejected knowledge: a valid concern or a baseless claim?
- Why are history and discourse analysis not enough?
- Paradigms for integration and applied transdisciplinary methodology
Guidelines for proposal submission
Two keynote spots remain open, as do all the ‘statement’ segments. Precise timing will be kept, and speakers exceeding their allotted time will be asked to stop, regardless of whether they have completed their talk or not. Please help us to avoid this by ensuring that you do not exceed the allotted time.
- Keynote lectures should not exceed an absolute maximum of 17 minutes.
- Statements should not exceed an absolute maximum of 6 minutes.
- Statements should consist of a clearly framed thesis and an outline of supporting detail relevant to the symposium topic.
- Audience members will be invited to prepare one written statement or question during the symposium. These will be handed to the symposium coordinators during the intermission, and a selection will be read out during the discussion session.
With your submission please include the following:
1. Presenter information (name, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone number)
2. Type of presentation (keynote or statement)
3. Title and affiliation (institution or organization)
4. Proposal or abstract (in English, not to exceed 250 words, in PDF, or Word, or Office)
5. Biographical data (in English, not to exceed 200 words)
6. Selected track, or four keywords
Please email all submissions to
by July 15th 2011, marking “PRA Symposium”
in the subject line. All submissions will be reviewed promptly and you will be notified of the academic board’s decision within a maximum of one week after the deadline.
Phoenix Rising Academy offers full-length distance-learning courses, online seminars and webcasts in Western Esotericism, the Creative Arts, and many related topics.
Study at your own pace, from anywhere in the world, alongside accomplished scholars who combine rigorous and critical scholarship with imagination, intuition and spiritual awareness.
Distance-learning courses, events and retreats to stimulate the mind, stir the imagination, nourish the soul.
Academy Director: Sasha Chaitow
Dr Geoffrey Cornelius (founding member)
Dr Amy Hale
Dr Simon Magus
Dr Stanley Sfekas
Dr George Sieg
Dr Hereward Tilton
Romana Turina (founding member)
Dr Angela Voss (founding member)
Dr Jason Lawton Winslade
For full details see: