Occultism in Global Perspective – an anthropologist’s review

9781844657162-Case.inddGordan Djurdjevic just spread a link to a review of the book he edited with Henrik Bogdan on Occultism in Global Perspective. I found it interesting enough to mention here because the review was written by anthropologist Jack David Eller in Anthropology Review Database. This is a good sign for those of us who want to see more collaboration between esotericism scholars and anthropologists. Eller clearly agrees with this from the anthropological side, concluding that:

Occultism in a Global Perspective is a book of profound significance for anthropologists, despite the fact that none of its contributors are anthropologists. Indeed, other than the Comaroff’s work on “occult economies” (which does not take ‘the occult’ particularly seriously), anthropologists have paid fairly little attention to occultism, which is strange and unfortunate. These essays illustrate that occultism is a widely practiced congeries of ideas and rituals, and occultism clearly raises issues of syncretism, globalization, and the porosity if not inadequacy of standard categories like ‘religion.’ Hopefully this collection will inspire more research and theorizing on occultism, esotericism, and such modern forms of vernacular religion, psychology, and social change.

Kennet Granholm and I made a parallel argument for our Contemporary Esotericism volume, which included a call to esotericism scholars taking anthropology more seriously.

Read the whole review of Occultism in Global Perspective here.

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2013 in review: Ten notable esotericism related publications

With only a few hours left of 2013, I feel relatively safe that no new earth-shattering breakthroughs in the field of esotericism will be published this year. With that certainty in mind, I want to share with you a list of my favourite esotericism related publications that have appeared this year. The list is obviously biased in many ways, and I am even going to be obnoxious enough to put some personal darlings on the list. Judge this as you may; in any case I think you will agree that 2013 has been a good year for the academic study of esotericism. So here goes, my personal highlights of 2013 – ordered by subjective level of excitement:

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Relocation

Welcome to the Greenhouse

The Greenhouse at night.

This weekend I have relocated to my old home town, Trondheim. In the coming few months I’m going to fill an associate professor position, temporarily, due to a set of complicated circumstances that I’ll not go into here. Having left the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents in Amsterdam behind, I’ll now be found at the newly restructured Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). My office and all teaching happens at campus Dragvoll, which looks pretty much like a giant greenhouse, in a rural and woodlands area on the outskirts of town. Certainly a change of scenery from Amsterdam’s overcrowded streets!

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Review of Contemporary Esotericism

A blog review of Contemporary Esotericism

A blog review of Contemporary Esotericism

Watch out for the next generation of esotericism scholars! We’re already here; and, according to Wouter J. Hanegraaff, the volume on Contemporary Esotericism that appeared on Equinox earlier this year, edited by Kennet Granholm and myself, is the shape of things to come. We hope he’s right, of course.

The 20 chapters of that volume covered much ground, but, as Wouter comments:

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Launching ContERN with a Google group and a Call for Papers

As announced previously, a new network has been created with the aim of placing the field of contemporary esotericism clearly on the agenda of academic research: the Contemporary Esotericism Research Network, or ContERN for short (no connection with the Third International, we promise…). It is affiliated with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), and everyone who participate in our activities is encouraged to become a member of that organisation (which can be done by applying online here).

There is currently a Google group which will work as a mailing list and discussion forum for the network (click here to sign up), and also a Facebook group for easy communication.

As the description on the Google group reads:

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Contemporary Esotericism conference drawing close – full programme ready

The 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism is drawing close. Kennet and I have been working hard the past two weeks on putting together a program schedule, editing the book of abstracts and collating other  useful information. Those who are already registered for the conference will already have received the schedule by email. Now it is also available online at the conference website. Better yet, the complete book of abstracts can be found as a pdf here. I add a copy of the schedule below as well. If you want to find more about a particular paper, you can go to the book of abstract. And of course: If this looks tempting, you are still welcome to join the conference! Registration is open continuously online.

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Registered for Contemporary Esotericism yet?

There is still time, but the early bird registration for the first international conference on Contemporary Esotericism is about to expire on May 31. So if you are considering to attend what looks to be a very interesting conference with many juicy topics on the agenda, you may save some euros if you register now.

If you still need more convincing, do take some time to check out the list of confirmed speakers and titles that has now been made available. There are about fifty of them, and thematically they range from afro-american esoteric milieus, to occultism in the occupy movement, to Philip K. Dick’s newly released Exegesis, to the films of Alejandro Jodorowski,  to  ancient astronauts, entheogens, esotericism in the environmentalist movement, Satanism, left-hand path magic(k), right-wing paganism, left-wing paganism, chaos, anarchy, underground distribution practices, and much, much else besides. Have a look.

Also while you are at it, you may check out the full abstracts for the four keynote lectures. Quoted below for convenience:

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Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Contemporary Esotericism: Updated call for papers

contemporary esotericism

The 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism will be held in Stockholm this August. The deadline for submitting papers is drawing closer (March 30), and there have been a couple of updates – including a new keynote speaker. Check out the call for papers below.

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Esoteric news, January 2012

Among the updates: 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism

A number of newsworthy things have popped up in the world of esotericism scholarship lately, but as I have been tied up with reaching deadlines, they have not found their way to Heterodoxology yet. The solution? A brief list of updates, below. Some of it you may already have read about over at Invocatio, the Phoenix Rising website, or some other etheric place, but no harm is done in hearing something twice.

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International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism: Call for Papers

monas hieroglyphica contemporary lipstick on bathroom tilesAs advertised before, there will be a book out next year on Contemporary Esotericism, edited by Kennet Granholm and myself. The volume brings together well-established and up-and-coming scholars in the field of esotericism, with brand-new research articles on contemporary esoteric topics. In connection with the book, we are organising an international conference on the same topic, to be held at Stockholm University next August. Below you will find the full call for papers. You can also check out the conference website. It’s early, but we will accept proposals as soon as they start coming in, so no need to postpone thinking about it.

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