New review of The Problem of Disenchantment (Nova Religio)

Nova Religio coverI was pleased to see this new review of The Problem of Disenchantment in the latest issue of Nova Religio. Christopher Plaisance generously concludes that

The Problem of Disenchantment is, in its entirety, extraordinarily well researched, argued, and written—representing at once the most complete and nuanced treatment of the notion of disenchantment within this network of scientific, religious, philosophical, and esoteric discourses and currents. The importance of Asprem’s work lies primarily in the novel application of the Problemgeschichte methodology in reformulating disenchantment as a problem central to cultural and intellectual history in the West. [/flattery]

I am particularly happy that a reviewer is picking up on the implications of Problemgeschichte, and (unlike certain others) presenting it accurately as “a methodological approach to the histories of ideas and cultures characterized by context, situation, and embodiment—facilitating the synchronic analysis of such problems as they are situated, conceived of, and responded to throughout a number of distinct fields.” It is this approach to writing intellectual history (including intellectual history of religion) that I see as the book’s main contribution – as discussed further in “The Disenchantment of Problems” (Journal of Religion in Europe, 8 [2015]).

Plaisance also makes an acute observation about the implications for the study of “esotericism”, vis-a-vis two existing approaches. Read it all at the Nova Religio website, or on Plaisance’s Academia page.




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