The study of esotericism has been spreading in recent years. One of the often unacknowledged growth areas is eastern Europe, and in particular Russia. With the exception of a few Russian scholars who have attended ESSWE events in recent years, not much contact exists between scholarly communities across this old east-west divide.
This week, a major event takes place in Moscow, which can hopefully start to change all that. The Russian scholarly society, ASEM (Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism), is organizing a major conference at the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL) in collaboration with a number of other educational agencies. The conference is entitled “Ways of Gnosis: Mystical and Esoteric Traditions from Antiquity to the Present Time”, and takes place on 10-13 April. A small number of Western European and North American scholars are participating in this event, which may hopefully lead to more international collaboration and dissemination of research across cultural spheres. An overview of the programme as well as English and Russian summaries of papers to be presented can be found below.