Max Weber Prize for “The Problem of Disenchantment”

Prof. Hans Kippenberg delivering his laudatio.

Prof. Hans Kippenberg delivering his laudatio.

On December 1, I was awarded the Max-Weber-Preis für Nachwuchsforschung from the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt for The Problem of Disenchantment. It was given in absentia, but upon receiving the manuscript of Prof. Hans Kippenberg’s laudatio, I was pleased to see that finally someone picked up on my namesake from the sagas, a certain “wayward Icelandic seafarer”. Kippenberg’s concluding words:

Es ist eine herausragende Arbeit eines Nachwuchswissenschaftlers in dem Feld zwischen Religionswissenschaft und Naturwissenschaft, ist bezogen auf Webers Forschungsprogramm, interdisziplinär angelegt und mit historischer Tiefe und langem Atem, wie man ihn von einem Seefahrer erwarten darf.

I guess Egil Skallagrimsson was actually more of a farmer than a sailor (incidentally that fits better with my own family background, too), but perhaps our shared warrior-poet mentality and ruthless brutality make the link stick nevertheless.

In any case, this is now the fourth prize for The Problem of Disenchantment, and perhaps the one that means the most to me. With Weber towering over the work for so long, and the book arguing for some serious revisions to Weberian approaches, it does mean a lot to get the recognition of an institution that, so to speak, carries Weber’s “routinized authority” in the present day.

 

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Interview up at Albion Calling

Ethan Doyle White has been running a nice interview series at his blog Albion Calling for a while. Among others he ran interviews with both of the two scholar-practitioners of western ritual magic who suddenly passed away earlier this year, Dave Evans and Nevill Drury. I’ve been meaning to add this blog on pagan studies, esotericism,  archaeology etc. to the blog roll for a while (it needs serious update). Now that Ethan has published this interview with yours truly I should probably hurry up. Check it out.

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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There’s a new doctor in town

On February 5, 2013, I was initiated into the higher mysteries of Academia, after publicly defending my dissertation entitled “The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse, 1900-1939”. Here’s a recollection of the ceremony in images.

Before it all began

Before it all began

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The Problem of Disenchantment – invitation to a PhD defence

Problem of DIsenchantment cover

Last autumn I completed my PhD dissertation, and now it’s time to defend it. The defence is public, and will take place on February 5, 2013, at 12:00 in the Agnietenkapel of the University of Amsterdam. The event is open to anyone (with a max. capacity of 90 people), and I will give a short public lecture on the topic of my research prior to defending it in front of the committee.

While I have given hints about my research in a number of posts here at Heterodoxology, I am now happy to present an official abstract of the final product – the dissertation itself:

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IAHR: Two panels

As mentioned a couple of times before, I am going to Toronto next weekend to join the IAHR World Congress. It only happens every five years, and is a big happening in the fields of religious studies/Religionswissenschaft. This year there will also be a considerable presence of esotericism research. Marco Pasi, Cathy Gutierrez and Allison Coudert are hosting a large panel on “Western esotericism and its boundaries”, which, by systematically tackling the issue of the cultural and geographical boundaries of this concept will no doubt be an important occasion for this field of research. In addition there is the “Seduced by Science” panel, which I co-host with Tessel M. Bauduin. For anybody who’s interested, I attach more details about these two panels below.

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Breaking the silence – and some news

Summer time has been upon me and Heterodoxology has been dead silent for a while. Unfortunately, when I look at the pile of things to do these coming months I fear it may stay that way. This is nevertheless an honest attempt at getting things rolling again. I’ll just kick off with some whimsically chosen (perhaps relevant) news:

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William McDougall and the Professionalization of Parapsychology

William McDougall (1871-1938): British psychologist, eugenical agitator, and professionalizer of parapsychology.

It is admittedly with some pride I notice that my very first history of science article has now been published. Since I am essentially an autodidact when it comes to history of science/science studies it was important for me to get through the peer review process of the Journal for the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Additionally, a scholarly discourse on psychical research and parapsychology has been developing on the pages of JHBS over the last few years, especially with articles by Heather Wolffram, Courtenay Grean Raia, and Sofie Lachapelle. I hope to make a modestly contribute to this developing discourse with “A nice arrangement of heterodoxies: William McDougall and the professionalization of psychical research”.

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