Enchanted Modernities in Amsterdam

Enchanted Modernities

Enchanted Modernities: A conference in Amsterdam

An exciting three-day conference opened its doors in Amsterdam this morning (September 25, 2013). Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World is the first conference of a new research network coordinated from the University of York and sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust. The conference in Amsterdam is hosted by the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, with the collaboration of the Ritman Library and the Theosophical Library – both places hosting exhibitions as part of the programme.

The focus of the conference is on Theosophy and art – not an unfamiliar topic, of course, but one which is now starting to see more systematic and interdisciplinary attention. From the conference website:

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A webinar on John Dee and video tour of the BPH

As readers of Heterodoxology will know, the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam hosts a webinar series on aspects of Western esotericism in collaboration with lecturers at the UvA. The latest lecture was published last week: This time Peter Forshaw talks about our old favourite John Dee, focusing on his Monas Hieroglyphica. Check it out below!

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From the Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom: Peter Forshaw on Khunrath in BPH’s Infinite Fire Webinar

The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam has, as previously mentioned, gone through a transformation lately, now focusing increasingly on web-based solutions. As a part of this renewal, BPH launched a webinar series entitle  “Infinite Fire”, in which scholars of esotericism will give online lectures on chosen topics, making use of unique material that is available in the library itself.

The first of these lectures is now available. It is given by my colleague Peter Forshaw, an expert of esotericism in early modern intellectual history, and particularly of alchemy. In the lecture, Peter speaks about one of his favourite authors: Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605). The BPH website blurb has more:

“In the webinar a focus is put on Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae – The Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom (originally published in 1595), which has traditionally been considered to be a strange mix of Christianity and magic. Peter elaborates on the alchemical symbolism of 4 circular and 5 rectangular engravings integrated in the Amphitheatrum. A famous plate is the Tabula Smaragdina or The Emerald Tablet, to be considered one of the main inspirational works for alchemists, Hermetic philosophers and Rosicrucians. Aldous Huxley even mentions the Tablet contains an in-depth summary of what he calls the ‘Perennial Philosophy’, a timeless science of soul that keeps on surviving through the ages.”

Do check it out. Then wait until November, when Peter will be back with his second webinar lecture on Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens.