Esotericism in Russia: “Ways of Gnosis” conference, April 10-13, 2013

The Russian Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism are hosting a large international conference in Moscow this week.

The Russian Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism are hosting a large international conference in Moscow this week.

The study of esotericism has been spreading in recent years. One of the often unacknowledged growth areas is eastern Europe, and in particular Russia. With the exception of a few Russian scholars who have attended ESSWE events in recent years, not much contact exists between scholarly communities across this old east-west divide.

This week, a major event takes place in Moscow, which can hopefully start to change all that. The Russian scholarly society, ASEM (Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism), is organizing a major conference at the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL) in collaboration with a number of other educational agencies. The conference is entitled “Ways of Gnosis: Mystical and Esoteric Traditions from Antiquity to the Present Time”, and takes place on 10-13 April. A small number of Western European and North American scholars are participating in this event, which may hopefully lead to more international collaboration and dissemination of research across cultural spheres. An overview of the programme as well as English and Russian summaries of papers to be presented can be found below.

Sarah Veale has done an exquisite job on the recently released website of NSEA (Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity). The network itself, as you can read more about in Sarah’s post at Invocatio and at the website itself, is organised on the initiative of Dr. Dylan Burns, and is another thematic network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. Now that NSEA is up and running, with an excellent online resource database, the ESSWE suddenly has a special-interest network for both of the two historical periods that have most often been neglected by historians of esotericism: antiquity and the present day.

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two conferences in June, 2013: CESNUR and ESSWE4

This June will be a busy conference month, as often is the case. This year, as last August (EASR and Contemporary Esotericism), Sweden is the place to be for big international events having to do with (“alternative”) religion and esotericism. Two big conferences are planned, and it is still possible to submit proposals for both of them – although not for very long. Below is the information you need.


Published in: on January 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A good year for magic (research)

Occultists Franz Bardon and Dion Fortune are the subject of a recent book by Maia Daw.

The first half of 2012 has been a great year for research on modern Western ritual magic. I have already mentioned the publication of my own book, Arguing with Angels, which deals with that obscure system of angel magic known as “Enochian”. I have also mentioned the forthcoming thesis workshop on magic, co-hosted by the ESSWE and the Chair for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents here in Amsterdam. There are however a couple of other publications that have appeared so far this year as well, which I have been meaning to mention for a while. Let’s get to it.


Magic and how to write about it – 2nd ESSWE thesis workshop, July 6, 2012

This summer the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism is hosting its second Thesis Workshop in Amsterdam. Participation is free, and the intention is to provide a one-day platform for people involved with academic research in western esotericism on the MA and PhD levels to get together, discuss ideas and research challenges, make connections with other students, and with established scholars in the field. The workshop coincides with the ESSWE board meeting, which means that a number of senior scholars will be present and approachable.


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.


ESSWE3 coming up

The third biannual international conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) is fast approaching. As previously announced, “ESSWE3” will be held in Szeged, Hungary, on July 6-10. A detailed program of the conference, listing speakers, paper titles, place and time, etc., has recently been published by the conference organizers. Check it out.


INASWE launched with lecture on Jung and Eranos

The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) is expanding. The society was established in 2005. Since then it has encouraged the establishment of regional subgroups, to promote research and teaching about esotericism on the local level and on independent initiatives. In 2007 the first such local initiative  was established in the Scandinavian countries (SNASWE). Since last year scholars at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, largely on the initiative of  Professor Boaz Huss, have worked to establish an Israeli Network for the Study of Western Esotericism (INASWE).


Lux in Tenebris: ESSWE conference program published

This summer (6-10 July) the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism organises its third biannual conference, in Szeged, Hungary. The program, which is starting to take shape, promises four very interesting days in this historic city of southern Hungary. Among the plenary speakers are world-leading scholars in their fields, including Michael J. B. Allen (Renaissance studies), and Moshe Idel (Jewish thought / Jewish mysticism). More about the plenary speakers here. Scholars and students with an interest in anything esoteric, whether ancient, medieval, early modern or modern are also bound to find many intriguing titles among the eighty or so papers that have been accepted for panel sessions.

As membership secretary of the ESSWE I can also inform that pre-registrations for the conference are about to start. For information about the event, questions regarding payment,  registration, etc., you can check the official conference website, the ESSWE site (which lists anticipated costs, among other things), or  drop me an email.

Published in: on February 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm  Comments (6)  
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Lux in Tenebris: Call for papers for the 3rd international congress of the ESSWE

The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism

The call for papers is out for next year’s biannual conference of the ESSWE. This is the third one: after Tübingen in 2007 and Strasbourg 2009, the 2011 conference will be held in Szeged, Hungary, on 6-10 July. The title is “Lux in Tenebris: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism”, and should open for some interesting cross-disciplinary perspectives (art history, film studies, literary studies, cultural analysis?) on esoteric discourse, from late antiquity to contemporary times. (Also, the program includes a visit to the catacombs of the Buda castle in Budapest – wouldn’t miss it!) Deadline for proposals is November 15, 2010. I attach the full call for papers below.