This summer, the President of ESSWE, Andreas Kilcher, has been located at Stanford University. With me being based at UC Santa Barbara, we found a great opportunity to arrange a small esotericism event at the UCSB Religious Studies Department and the Religion, Experience and Mind Lab group that I am working with. So if you are in the area, consider this event on August 6th: Andreas Kilcher lectures on “Materialization: Occult Research on the Soul”. Scroll down for the abstract (or download the flyer here):
“The notion of the soul is one of the premodern master concepts fundamentally criticized in modernity. While the term survived as a cosmological and psychological metaphor, the age of science and secularization has rendered especially the idea of the immaterial and immortal soul obsolete. At the same time, the soul was rediscovered notably in the rising movements of modern occultism. Occultism however connected contradictorily post-materialist neo-spiritualism with scientific rationalization. The soul was not anymore the object of belief but of research; it was understood as being essentially material and as such it could be experimentally explored and verified. The lecture analyzes the properties––and the contradictions––of the modern occult notion of the material soul as well as occultists’ research on it.”
About the lecturer: Andreas Kilcher is professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Eigenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich and director of the Center for the Histroy of Knowledge. Kilcher is a prominent scholar of German-Jewish literature and culture, Kabbalah, esotericism and literary studies of knowledge. He is the current president of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).
Place and time:
Wednesday August 6th 2014; 4pm, Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSSB), Room 4080; University of California Santa Barbara.
Sponsored by the Religion, Experience, and Mind Lab and the Department of Religious Studies, UCSB.