Heterodoxology has aimed to establish the practice of reviewing new publications and releases in the field of esotericism, particularly notifying about current issues of the journal Aries. Aries 11.1 has been out for a couple of months already, so this comes somewhat late.
The Spring edition of Aries for 2011 brings three research articles and one review article, in addition to the usual book reviews. Per Faxneld writes about the little known Danish occultist Ben Kadosh, a Luciferian who is sometimes taken as a modern proto-Satanist. Matteo Soranzo looks at the use of astrology to legitimize poetic authority in the Quattrocento, specificallly looking at the poet Giovanni Gioviano Pontano. Marco Totti writes about the Romanian scholar Andrei Scrima, who developed in the early 20th century a “religious morphology” aimed at uncovering the analogical connections between various religious traditions – placing him in a cultural continuum with the Traditionalist and perennialist schools of the century.
But this volume of Aries is also interesting for its reviews. György E. Szönyi brings a review article on two (more or less) recent books of intellectual history, both focusing on early modern epistemologies connected with vision: Stuart Clark’s Vanities of the Eye (2007) and Marina Warner’s Phantasmagoria (2006). Furthermore, a couple of the book reviews deserve attention for various reasons. Leigh Penman reviews what is the first properly critical edition of Johann Valentin Andreae’s Rosicrucian writings, complete with introduction, critical apparatus and some additional material. The volume (Rosenkreuzerschriften) is edited by Roland Edighoffer who has established himself as a leading scholar of early Rosicrucianism. It will be an important reference work for scholars in this field, which has too long been unnecessarily “controversial”.
Claire Fanger’s review of a recent “introduction” to the field of esotericism is also of note, because it performs a quite necessary (and wonderfully amusing!) boundary-work against certain tendencies on the outskirts of the field which do not exactly fit with the ambition of elevating it to a proper academic study. Nadya Q. Chishty-Mujahid’s “introduction” (it is really no such thing) is a case in point, being clearly more interested in promoting idiosyncratic esoteric interpretations of the Tarot and utterly antihistorical speculations about secret societies than to further the critical historical study Western esotericism.
Additionally, there is my own review of Mark Morrisson’s Modern Alchemy. Certainly not as momentous as the reviews above, but at least something which might interest readers of this blog, as it deals with the resurgence of interest in alchemy among chemists in the early 20th century (particularly after the discovery of nuclear transmutations), as well as encounters between occultists, self-described alchemists, chemists, and historians of alchemy.
For the rest, here is the full table of contents:
Author: Faxneld, Per
Author: Soranzo, Matteo
Authors: Szönyi, György E.
Author: Toti, Marco
Authors: Thejls, Sara Møldrup
Author: Sedgwick, Mark
Author: Fanger, Claire
Author: Gagnon, Claude
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This work by Egil Asprem was first published on Heterodoxology. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.