Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conference: Cosmologies

The Sophia Centre at the University of Wales, Lampeter, has announced its annual conference, this time of the theme of Cosmologies. The event will take place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June 2009 at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (UK). Speakers will include (subject to alteration):

- 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.

Call for book proposals: Suny Press

The series Western Esoteric Traditions, published by SUNY Press, is now in its twentieth year and contains over fifty volumes. Authors include Antoine Faivre, Wouter Hanegraaff, and Arthur Versluis. The series is currently open to submissions. Send queries or proposals for books to David Appelbaum, series editor, Department of Philosophy, State University College, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA.

AAR conference 2009

The Western Esotericism Group of the American Academy of Religion is preparing several sessions for the yearly conference, which in 2009 will be held in Montreal, Canada, on 7-10 November.
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), apcoudert@ucdavis.edu

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Phoenix Rising: Death and Renaissance in Philosophy, Art, and Literature

Call for papers
Phoenix Rising: Death and Renaissance in Philosophy, Art, and Literature
A Dying Society, or a Renaissance for the 21st Century?
Athens, November 6-7, 2009
Hosted by the Dept. of Academic Affairs, University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus Venue: University of Indianapolis Cultural Centre, 5 Markou Avriliou St., Plaka

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: sashanonserviat@yahoo.com before the closing date of April 30th.

Further information: http://sashanonserviat.typepad.com/phoenixrising

Monday, March 2, 2009

Vacancy at the University of Amsterdam

The Center for “History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents” (GHF) at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities, is looking for:

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: w.j.hanegraaff@uva.nl. For general information, contact Mrs. H. Nobach (secretary) at the same address, or by e-mail: hermetica-fgw@uva.nl.