Friday, November 20, 2009
Preference will be given to candidates whose research focuses on the relationship between modernization and religion. Projects may investigate discursive changes in the status of religion in Western societies, interactions between religious systems and other systems (such as the natural sciences, philosophy, politics, law, art, etc.), or related dynamics of modernization.
The candidate will need to hold a PhD in the Academic Study of Religion or in a related discipline. She/he will have demonstrated high-standing academic skills in her/his PhD dissertation and in subsequent publications, and she/he will have an international network of scholarly contacts.
The candidate will be expected to contribute to the research activities in the Department of Religious Studies of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, as well as to applications for research grants on national and international levels. She/he may also be asked to contribute to teaching in the BA and MA program.
For a detailed description of this opening, please see http://www.academictransfer.com/employer/RUG/vacancy/1954/lang/en/.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar
Monday, November 9th to Wednesday November 11, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1
This conference is part of a a project combining two areas of expertise which have never been put together before: Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah on the one hand, and Semitic languages, in particular Aramaic, on the other hand. The project sets out to examine the Aramaic language in which the bulk of the Zohar—Judaism"s most important Kabbalistic work—was originally written, either—as tradition has it—in 2nd century Palestine, or—as has been held by most scholars under the impact of pioneering work by the late Gershom Scholem—in late 13th century Spain. Scholem had argued that the Aramaic of the Zohar was an "artificial idom" made up from an indiscriminate mixture of Aramaic dialects found in earlier sources, such as the two Talmuds and the Aramaic translations of the Bible. This late medieval Aramaic concoction was produced, according to Scholem, by one man—the 13th century Castillian kabbalist, Moses de Leon, who authored the Zohar anonymously, and who wished to invest his work with the air and authority of antiquity by adopting the vernacular language of the 2nd century Palestinian Sages.
See the full program.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
"How dangerous is the Ir-rational?"
ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry
Friday, 30 October 2009, 2 – 9 pm
Doomed to a constant oscillation between the realms of the Unknown and the illusion of meaning, we advance regressing. Echoing various other scholars, the American philosopher William James marked “the recesses of feeling the darker, blinder strata of character” as the only places in the world in which “we catch real fact in the making.” Yet, instead of curiously exploring what cannot be known, we push it further away, enveloped with fear and anxiousness. The “darker strata” regularly produce angst, aversion, or awe. In this one day symposium, acclaimed scholars and artists will shed “light” on what has been relegated to the sphere of unreason: magic, the irrational, spectrality, the daemonic. Who is afraid of the irrational? What is “magic philosophy” and who needs it? How much reason is reasonable? The symposium ends with a keynote by the distinguished anthropologist Michael Taussig who will share with the audience his own private fear of the ir-rational.
- 14.00 Welcome, Christoph Holzhey (Director ICI Berlin)
- 14.10 "Reasonable Ghosts: The Dream of Reason and Magic Philosophy in the 1790s," Sladja Blazan (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
- 14.50 "Non timebis a daemonio meridiano: Greek Irrational and the Construction of Modernity," Fabio Camilletti (ICI Berlin)
- 15.30 Coffee Break
- 16.00 Artist Presentation: "Visual Languages and Observable Planets," Jesse Bransford (New York University)
- 16.40 "Beyond Cognition? Emily Dickinson, Poetry, and the Brain," Sabine Sielke (Universität Bonn)
- 17.20 "Facing up to Magic: Fascination and Illusion in Bergman’s ANSIKTET (The Magician/The Face, 1958)," Brigitte Weingart (Universität Bonn)
- 18.00 Coffee Break
- 18.30 Keynote: "My Fear of the Rational," Michael Taussig (Columbia University)
- 19.30 Reception
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Call for Papers
"Studying Interpretations of Esotericism and Mysticism"
Association for the Study of Mysticism and Esotericism
Ассоциация исследователей эзотеризма и мистицизма
3 - 5 December 2009, Vladimir, Russian Federation
Because of intense public interest in ‘new religiosity’, esoteric and occult currents as well as in consequence of changes in the Religious and Cultural Studies paradigms, new approaches towards the research of Esotericism and Mysticism have appeared and have been intensively discussed over the last two decades. Academic institutes and societies studying these topics and developing new categories, terms and classifications are on the rise. Western European scholars of religion particularly focus on the issues of appropriateness of phenomenological and hermeneutic methods, as well as on the application of various types of discourse analysis. At the same time, the humanities studying esotericism, mysticism and their implications in ‘new religiosity’ in the post-soviet world are just beginning to break ground upon this subject. Conference organizers hope that this scholarly forum will significantly contribute to the cause of development of this promising area of research. The study of the interpretations of esotericism and mysticism prevalent within the esoteric and mystic environment itself, in their public perception and within academic circles may lay ground for further development of the study of mysticism and esotericism in Russia and other post-communist countries.
See the Call for Papers
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- William R. Newman, Indiana University (USA): "Isaac Newton and the Perfecting of Nature" (keynote lecture);
- Nina Witoszek, University of Oslo (Norway): "Leonardo da Vinci Our Contemporary? The 'Other' Renaissance and Its Views on Religion and Progress" (keynote lecture);
- Egil Asprem, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands): "Utopia and the Paranormal: Degeneration and Progress in the Parapsychology of William McDougall and J. B. Rhine";
- Patrick Curry, University of Kent (UK): "Enchantment and the Paradox of Progress";
- Michael York, Bath Spa University (UK): "Full of Sound and Fury; Signifying Nothing: Earth Religion and the Experiential";
- Colin Campbell, York University (UK): "The Easternization of the West and the Rehabilitation of Nature" (keynote lecture);
- Graham Harvey, Open University (UK): "Progressive Animism: Sustaining Diversity among the Co-Creators of the World" (keynote lecture);
- Eric Katz, New Jersey Institute of Technology (USA): "The Paradox of Pro-gress: Domination and Autonomy" (keynote lecture).
The Conference Book (complete with introduction, paper abstracts, maps, etc.) will be available online on Friday, 17 July. Online registration for the conference is open until 21 July 2009, either for the entire conference or for a single day.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
To mark this milestone, the chair will host a conference on the theme of Hermes in the Academy on 28th August 2009 in Amsterdam, and will also present a book on the subject.
More information and the full program are available at the chair's website. Please note that early registration is required.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Satanism in the Modern World
19-20 November 2009
To be held at the Department of Archaeology and Religious Studies,
This inter-disciplinary conference seeks to examine issues surrounding the phenomenon known as Satanism. We welcome papers on all aspects of Satanism, but the conference focus will be on Satanism as a practised religion or life-style, and to some extent on Satanism in culture and the arts, rather than on issues such as Satanic Ritual Abuse or Mass Media constructions of Satanism. Proposals for presentations are welcomed from postgraduates within all relevant academic disciplines. All presentations will be in English.
500 word abstracts (for presentations of no more than 20 minutes) should be submitted by Monday 31st August 2009. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Monday 2nd November 2009. Please submit your abstract to both of the conference organisers, in Word or pdf format, following this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract.
We will acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted, and will let all applicants know if their paper has been accepted by Monday September 14th.
Jesper Aagaard Petersen, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Per Faxneld, Stockholm University, Sweden
All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for potential publication in the anthology we hope to compile, featuring the best contributions.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
In addition to presentations by authors and scholars, the conference opens it doors to publishers and booksellers showcasing new & used books as well as rare and hard-to-find esoteric texts. Contemporary esoteric publishing, finepress book arts and antiquarian texts are offered to augment the libraries of readers, scholars and collectors alike. This multi-disciplined conference will feature presentations by scholars and authors researching and working in esoteric currents both East & West. Western Esotericism, Gnosticism, Theosophy, Mythology, Shamanism, Rosicrucianism, Sacred Sciences, Occulture and World Religions are among the subjects to be represented. An esoteric book fair and art show will also be on site allowing education, vending and networking in a unique field of literary, historical and cultural arts. Paper proposals are invited . For more information, see the book fair website.
The call for papers can be found here. Deadline for proposals is July 15, 2009.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol): 'The Wheel of the Year: The Major Traditional Festivals of Britain',
- Peter Forshaw (University of Cambridge): 'Astronomia Inferior et Superior: Some Medieval and Renaissance Instances of the Conjunction of Alchemy and Astrology',
- Martin Gansten (Lund University): 'Reshaping karma: Indic metaphysical paradigms in traditional and modern astrology',
- Mark Williams (University of Cambridge): 'Druidic Cloud-Divination in Medieval Irish Literature',
- Jane Ridder-Patrick (University of Edinburgh): 'Astrology in Early Modern Scottish Universities, ca. 1560-1700',
- Elizabeth Reichell (University of Wales, Lampeter): 'The Landscape in the Cosmoscape: cosmology, ethnoastronomy, and socio-environmental sustainability among the Tanimuka and Yukuna, Northwest Amazon',
- Helen Jacobus (University of Manchester): 'Calendars and Divination in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Case of 4Q318 Zodiac Calendar and Brontologion',
- Lionel Sims (University of East London), TBA,
- Pauline Bambrey (University of Wales, Lampeter): 'An Ethnographic Study of Modern Calendar Festivals',
- Glenford Bishop (University of Wales, Lampeter): 'Decoding the Intertextual Literary 'Strata' of the Mummers' Play: Some Unexpected Astronomical Themes and a Pagan Fingerprint - Continuity or Reconstruction?',
- Martin Wells (University of Wales, Lampeter): 'Early Christian Responses to the Star of Bethlehem, Astrology and Astral Fate',
- Frances Clynes (University of Wales, Lampeter): 'Cyberspace and the Sacred Sky'.
See the conference website for updated information.
A first session will discuss the topic of science and Western Esotericism. A persistent theme, particularly in alchemical, pansophic, theosophical, and similar works from the Renaissance to the present is a longing for a universal science that would provide a holistic understanding of the varied dimensions of human experience. Papers will address the topic of esotericism and Western science either from a theoretical point of view or by studying specific historical cases from earliest times to the present.
The second session is cosponsored with the Religion, Media, and Culture Group. The chosen topic is the commodification of the esoteric, which will address the way various media, both in the past and present, promote the comodification and consumption of esoteric knowledge.
A third session deals with the supernatural and the demonic in popular culture, and is cosponsored with the Religion and Popular Culture Group.
More information: Allison P. Coudert (University of California, Davis), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 8, 2009
A Dying Society, or a Renaissance for the 21st Century?
The question this conference seeks to explore is a rather timely and certainly crucial one. All too often, studies in the humanities and arts may seem a luxury in the face of day-to-day survival. In a secular Western world where individualism and eclecticism characterise social and personal interactions, rigid religious platitudes have ceased to hold water for many. In the face of the current economic and environmental crises, what does the wisdom of esoteric and metaphysical philosophies have to offer?
The challenge here is to examine these philosophies and perspectives in terms of the relevance their message carries for the modern world. While their history and phenomenology is of vital and ongoing interest to scholars and practitioners, this conference is an attempt to bridge the gap between scholarship of the past and modern reality. Having visibly enriched the lives of so many through the centuries, the challenge is to demonstrate how that bridge can be translated into modern terms as a counterweight to the cynicism, consumerist/materialist mentality and uncertainty currently pervading the Western world.
Please send a proposal (no more than 300 words) and brief biographical statement to Sasha Chaitow at: email@example.com before the closing date of April 30th.
Further information: http://sashanonserviat.typepad.com/phoenixrising
Monday, March 2, 2009
An Assistant Professor (m/f)
History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period
The Center for “History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents” (Geschiedenis van de Hermetische Filosofie en verwante stromingen; GHF) at the University of Amsterdam (www.amsterdamhermetica.nl) is a pioneering institution for research and teaching in the academic study of Western Esotericism. It concentrates in particular on the history of Renaissance Platonism and Hermetism, prisca theologia and occulta philosophia in the early modern period and their later developments; alchemical, magical, astrological, Paracelsian and Rosicrucian currents; Jewish and Christian kabbalah; Christian theosophy and Illuminism; and various occultist and related developments during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the New Age movement.
GHF has currently a vacancy for the position of Assistant Professor (“Universitair Docent”) for the History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period. A successful candidate will have a good record of high quality academic publications focused on one or more currents in this domain, and solid general knowledge of the domain as a whole. As a generalist in the study of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period s/he can teach all its main aspects on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Research. The Assistant Professor will be expected to initiate personal research projects in the field of esoteric currents in Western culture since the Renaissance, focusing on the early modern period (15th-18th cent.), and to publish actively in the appropriate scholarly media. S/he will also be expected to collaborate in common research activities with the other staff members of the subdepartment, and with staff members of other departements of the Faculty if the occasion calls for it.
- Teaching. GHF offers a “minor” Western esotericism in the context of the Bachelor program Religious Studies (in Dutch), and a full-time trajectory “Mysticism and Western Esotericism” in the context of the Master program Religious Studies (in English). The Assistant Professor will be expected to teach courses in both programs, both in lecture and in seminar settings. If necessary, s/he is expected to master the Dutch language during the first two years of the appointment.
- Organization/Administration. Within reasonable limits the Assistant Professor may be asked to be active in one or more special committees of the Faculty.
Candidates should fit the following profile:
- Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a discipline of the humanities.
- Specialization in, or relevant to, one or more areas of historical research belonging to the domain of “Western esotericism” in the early modern period (15th-18th century), having resulted in academic publications of high quality.
- Active interest in interdisciplinary research and teamwork in the context of the humanities and the social sciences.
- Good didactic qualities.
- Good command of Latin and English non-native Dutch speakers must achieve fluency in Dutch within two years.
- Willingness to develop in a multidisciplinary capacity in order to be able to participate in multiple areas of the Faculty's curriculum.
Appointment: this is a temporary appointment for two years, starting on 1 September 2009. Satisfactory performance is subject for a permanent appointment. The gross monthly salary will range from € 3195 (scale 11) to € 4970 (scale 12), based on a full-time appointment (38 hours a week).
Deadline for letters of application: 23 March 2009. Letters of application, with C.V. and list of publications, should be sent to: Prof. Dr. W.J. Hanegraaff, Fac. Of Humanities/Department of Art, Religion and Cultural Studies, Oude Turfmarkt 147, NL-1012 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information, contact Mrs. H. Nobach (secretary) at the same address, or by e-mail: email@example.com.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Following the conferences “Enlightenment and Esotericism” (Aufklärung und Esoterik) in 1997 at the Herzog-August Library in Wolfenbüttel and “Esotericism in the Enlightenment” (Esoterik in der Aufklärung) in 2006 at the IZEA, now a third conference on this subject will pose the question: To what extent can the multi-faceted relationship between Enlightenment and Esotericism in the eighteenth century be considered as constitutive for Modernity?
The influence of the Enlightenment on Modernity has been much postulated and is an intrinsic constituent in the self-validation of Modernity. At the same time it is clear that Esotericism has also played an important role, right up to the present day. Yet what has been little known up to now is just what significance the mutual reciprocity between Enlightenment and Esotericism in the eighteenth century (and the resulting transformations from this relationship) have had.
Esotericism, as an aggregate of different historical streams of thought, can be identified through the reception of Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism and Cabbala, as well as through the assimilation of the so-called old sciences of Alchemy, Magic and Astrology from the Renaissance on. During the course of the Early Modern period, related movements such as Paracelsianism, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and Freemasonry developed out of these streams of thought. As the first two conferences have shown, these various esoteric currents continued to have an impact during the Enlightenment, whether they were negated, integrated or transformed.
What role then did the Enlightenment play in the rise of “modern” Esotericism? What about the Enlightenment itself, which developed its profile not least by engaging with esoteric streams of thought? Through which paths – whether through continual or interrupted transmission – did the resulting manifestations of the encounter between the Enlightenment and Esotericism arrive at the later Modern period? What accounts for the affinity between Modernity and the artistic-literary, philosophical, theological, scientific or historical-political expressions of the exchange between Enlightenment and Esotericism?
The conference Enlightenment and Esotericism – Ways into Modernity would like to dedicate itself to these questions. Contributions are encouraged from all history-oriented disciplines which investigate the major issues, which reflect on methodical approaches to answering the questions posed or which offer concrete case studies for discussion. The main focus will be on the “long eighteenth century,” that is, on topics dealing with the age of the Enlightenment itself as well as on topics addressing the transition into the first decades after 1800. Nonetheless contributions which treat the nineteenth or twentieth centuries exclusively are also welcome if they take the main theme of the conference into consideration.
Proposals are requested by March 31, 2009 and should include a lecture title, a short abstract of one-half to a full page and a brief vita. Please address all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 2, 2009
Albert von Keller (1844–1920), a Munich painter with Swiss roots, was a frequent participant in the Paris salon, from 1886 a member of Munich's Psychological Society, and, in 1892, a co-founder of the Munich Secession. Keller’s art constitutes a detailed account of Wilhelmian and Belle Époque society, registering with care the seductively elegant world of polite ladies as well as lending visual form to a range of occult phenomena. Keller’s paintings, considered modern by his contemporaries, offer today’s viewers a glimpse at the environment in which classical modernism was revolutionized. The painter’s acme came in the years prior to the First World War, when critics spoke of a veritable ‘Keller-mania’. The Kunsthaus was given Oskar A. Müller’s comprehensive Keller collection in 2006. The show offers a representative view of those works, enhanced with selected borrowings.
Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland coming soon April 24, 2009 - October 4, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Unbegreifliche Zeiten. Wunder im 20. Jahrhundert
Mittwoch, 18. März - Samstag, 21. März, Bildungshotel im Bfz-Essen ("Raum Nixdorf"), Karolingerstraße 92, 45141 Essen
Auf den ersten Blick scheinen Wunder nicht mehr in das 20. Jahrhundert zu passen. Als Folge der viel zitierten „Entzauberung“ sind die überkommenen Wunderwelten aufgrund einer nie zuvor gesehenen Verbreitung von Wissen und der Einbeziehung selbst entlegener Gebiete in immer dichter werdende Kommunikationsnetze vermeintlich an den Rand gedrängt worden. Und doch sind Wunder aus der Moderne nicht wegzudenken. Die Zuschreibung eines „Wunders“ stellt noch immer eine zentrale Form der Verarbeitung und Aneignung ungewöhnlicher Ereignisse und außeralltäglicher Erfahrungen dar. Der Begriff des Wunders erlaubt es, das Exzeptionelle in modernen Gesellschaften, ihre soziale Konstituierung, Normalitätsannahmen und Wissensgrenzen zu thematisieren. Die Tagung spürt den im Begriff „Wunder“ kristallisierten Ereignissen, Wahrnehmungen und Praktiken nach. Die TeilnehmerInnen diskutieren die soziale Fabrikation von Wundern über gesellschaftliche Felder, politische Systeme und Zeiträume hinweg, um so neue Perspektiven auf die Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts zu erschließen.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Over the past few years discussions have taken place among scholars in the field concerning the need to establish an organisation for the advancement of academic research into freemasonry and related topics. This later broadening and opening towards a wider perspective, within which freemasonry can be contextualised, can be branded in different ways and we have not yet exactly agreed upon a final name and definition for the proposed society. However, we are proud to announce that under the working-title of “ASRFF” we have now taken steps to establish such a society. Membership is open to individuals within the academic community and will include a reduced subscription fee to Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, the first edition of which will be published in May 2009. The draft constitution of the society and a subscription form can be downloaded from our website. At present the acting board members are: Prof. Dr. Malcolm Davies, Prof. Dr. Cécile Revauger, Dr. Henrik Bogdan and Dr. Andreas Önnerfors.
Papers on all aspects of Tarot will be considered, including Tarot in History, Psychology, Religion, Literature, Film, and Popular Culture. Papers on individual decks and artists and all aspects of Tarot making and use, including designing, marketing, reading, and divining are also welcome.
Prospective contributors should contact email@example.com.