The end of EXESESO

exeter university

University of Exeter, former home to the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO)

After the untimely death of Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke back in 2012 (see obituary in The Times, and by Christopher McIntosh in Aries [pay-wall]) , there has been much speculation about what would happen with the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) that he ran at the University of Exeter. Since 2005, EXESESO has offered one of the three official university programs for the academic study of esotericism in Europe (the others being in Amsterdam and Paris), and produced a steady stream of MAs through its distance learning program. After an internal evaluation process at Exeter University, in dialogue with the Theosophically oriented Blavatsky Trust who funded the centre, a final decision has now been made to shut EXESESO down. Mark Sedgwick reports on the decision in the Spring 2014 ESSWE newsletter, which was released today:

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More lectures available from the INASWE inaugural conference

As mentioned recently, the new local network of the ESSWE in Israel recently held their inaugural conference. I already posted Wouter Hanegraaff’s inaugural lecture on Jung and the Eranos circle; however, the conference organizers have taken care to record and make available seven other lectures as well. Most deal with Kabbalah, both Jewish and Christian, as one would perhaps expect given the location and special local competence. The lectures by Isaac Lubelsky and Boaz Huss both discuss Zionism, and esoteric aspects and contexts of Zionist thought and ideology. There is also a sort of introductory lecture on Traditionalism by the specialist of that politicized esoteric current, Mark Sedgwick. If all that is not juicy enough, Julie Chajes’ lecture promises nothing less than a peak into Christian Zionist Sexual Mysticism (the latter, I should add, in a Victorian context). You’ll find them all below.

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Voices in support of the BPH (Ritman Library)

The tragic and grave circumstances surrounding the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica hit the news at the end of the week. The Dutch newspaper Trouw had a two-page report Thursday, while the news site Nu.nl published a shorter article on the situation. Follow the Money, a Dutch platform for financial-economic journalism currently has the most thorough information, over three articles (here, here and here – the latter mentions our  petition). The Epoch Times has a piece on the Rochefoucauld Grail, the extremely valuable medieval manuscript on king Arthur which sparked the controversy between Mr. Ritman and Friesland Bank. Meanwhile, several blogs have picked up on the news as well, and kindly helped spread the petition. The Wild Hunt has a thorough account, as does Grenswetenschap (Dutch), while Cosmogono’s Weblog has kindly translated the petition text into Spanish.

Through blogs, facebook, twitter, emails, and forums, the petition has thus been distributed widely over the last few days, passing 2.500 signatories Saturday afternoon.

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Alchemy, and how to write about it: ESSWE thesis workshop

As advertised before on this blog, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) has been organising a thesis workshop on alchemy. It took place  in Amsterdam on June 24; here is a short report.

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