The Western Esotericism Group of the American Academy of Religion is seeking proposals addressing the topic “Why Esotericism? The Importance of a Newly Emerging Field” for the AAR International Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand, July 6-10, 2008.
The study of Western Esotericism has developed rapidly over the past decade. It now has significant institutional support and two journals dedicated to research, Esoterica and Aries. The field, however, has yet to enter into the academic mainstream. It is the purpose of this panel to contribute to a broader appreciation of the scope and importance of Western Esotericism as a force in western history and religion.
We invite papers dealing with the ways in which the study of Esotericism has challenged mainstream historiography both in terms of methodology and by providing a more nuanced picture of major developments in western history as well as an understanding of the complex strands of esoteric thought in the work of key historical figures. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Allison Coudert, firstname.lastname@example.org.