Thursday, June 24, 2010

Call for Faculty

Phoenix Rising Academy of Esoteric Studies and Creative Arts
( is a new independent, distance-learning academic initiative based in Athens and London. It is preparing to launch in the autumn-winter of 2010, and is seeking academic faculty for specific subjects in its curriculum:

- History & Principles of Magic (Antiquity - Early Modern, and Modern periods)
- History & Principles of Kabbalah (Antiquity - Early Modern, and Modern periods)
- Myth (selected topics)
- Freemasonry & Rosicrucianism (History, phenomenology)
- "Schools of Magic" (Golden Dawn, Thelema, etc: History, principles, phenomenology)
- Romanticism (History, principles, art and literature)
- Surrealism (History, principles, art and literature)
- New Age movement (history, phenomenology)
- Esotericism in the 21st century (historical background, influences, phenomenology)

Founding faculty members comprise scholars affiliated with the Universities of Kent, Exeter, Oxford and Indianapolis. The cross-disciplinary curriculum seeks to cover a wide range of topics within the Western Esoteric corpus, while it also extends into Philosophy and the Arts. The course structure is based on a flexible model which allows students to complete a full programme of study equivalent to a BA (accreditation will be sought from the ODLQC - the British distance-learning accreditation council), and also offers the freedom to select specific courses or modules. The academy will offer selected onsite courses in Athens, Greece, while the majority of courses will be offered online.

The Academy's structure and technical infrastructure allows faculty members to be situated anywhere in the world. Academic and/or scholarly excellence is a main criterion for proposal submissons, as is teaching experience, publications, familiarity with technology, and a working knowledge of English (or Modern Greek, or French).
For more information visit Submit a proposal using the online form at, or by writing to Deadline for drafts: July 15th 2010 (deadline for draft course submissions: August 10th 2010).

ASE update

The Association for the Study of Esotericism. is continuing with the third volume of it's book series, Esotericism, Religion, and Politics.
There is a new membership menu up at, including an offer to new members to receive a free copy of the book. (ASE now has permanent 501c3 status as a non-profit organization, so all contributions are tax-deductible in the United States). ASE is expanding the website, adding an updated announcements section, and a newsletter. If you have announcements, including forthcoming or recently published books, or events, please send them to
A student worker is assisting with ASE matters, in particular with the new website. A meeting room is reserved during the AAR conference in Atlanta, and ASE will be holding a symposium there in late October 2010, with a focus on esotericism in the academy.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Witchcraft images

Researchers studying the history of magic might be interested in the review of Claudia Swan, Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2005, in Kunstforum.

New Journal: Preternature

Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural is currently accepting manuscripts and book review requests/suggestions. Preternature is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal housed at The Pennsylvania State University, and published in Oxford, England.
Formerly known as the Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, Preternature publishes original scholarship and texts in edition/translation on magics, the occult, spiritualism, demonology, monstrophy, and the "preternatural" in all its cultural, historical, anthropological, artistic, literary, and folkloric iterations. Submissions pertaining to any time period and to any geographic area are welcome, though the language of publication is English.
Contributions should be roughly 8,000-12,000 words, including all documentation and critical apparatus. If accepted for publication, manuscripts will be required to adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (style 1, employing footnotes).
For more information, consult
Queries about submissions, queries concerning books to be reviewed, or requests to review individual titles may be made to the Editors:
- Peter Dendle, Department of English, The Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto,,
- Kirsten C. Uszkalo, English and Digital Humanities, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
- Richard Raiswell, Department of History, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Call for papers: The Secret and the Manifest (December 2010, Dnipropetrovsk)

The Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism (Russian Federation)
announces its
Fourth International Conference on
Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice
The Secret and the Manifest:
The Variety of Representations of Esotericism and Mysticism
2 - 4 December 2010, Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)

Conference Languages: Russian, Ukrainian and English.

 The presence of elements of esotericism and mysticism in contemporary culture can scarcely be overestimated. At the same time there is still the stereotyped view on esotericism as based on some ‘secret knowledge’. The various actual public (re)presentations of ‘esoteric knowledge’, however, question the notion of its secrecy; esoteric and mystic phenomena require more accurate categories for description.

The dynamics of the representation of these phenomena in different forms of media, in films or museums etc. on the one hand, and the dialectics of global and local dimensions in the history and the present of esotericism and mysticism on the other, are the issues to be discussed at the fourth annual conference ‘Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice’ organized by the Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism. Special attention should be paid not only to the variety of manifestations of esotericism and mysticism in the contemporary media scene but also to their interrelations with other social formations and institutions such as the dominating forms of institutionalized religiosity, the political mainstream in the matter of religion and spirituality and last but not least the academic study of religions and culture.

The conference organizers hope that this scholarly forum will contribute significantly to the development of this promising area of research. The study of the representations of esotericism and mysticism circulating within the esoteric and mystic environment itself, in their public perception via mass media and within academic circles may lay the ground for further development in the field of the study of mysticism and esotericism in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

We invite suggestions for possible sessions as well as paper proposals dealing with the study of this phenomenon through various academic disciplines. Papers can be submitted on, but are not limited to the following sub-themes:
  • esotericism, mysticism and media: theoretical aspects of interrelations;
  • global and local dimensions of esoteric imaginations;
  • theory & method in the study of mysticism and esotericism;
  • problems in the representation of mystic experiences;
  • hermeneutics of esoteric imagery;
  • historical development of esoteric symbolic forms;
  • symbolic language characteristics of esotericism and mysticism;
  • self-presentations of esoteric groups in the mass media and other media forms;
  • representations of mysticism and esotericism in museums;
  • esoteric and mystic images in film;
  • imagination and visualisation in mysticism and esotericism.
Application deadline: 1 October 2010. For further details, email  or see the homepage of the Association for the study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM)

Organizing Committee:
Chair: Prof. Dr. Julia Shabanova (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), Dr. Sergey Pakhomov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia). Members: Prof. Dr. Andrey Zabiyako (Blagoveshchensk, Russia), Prof. Dr. Igor Kozlovsky (Donetsk, Ukraine); Prof. Dr. Ludmila Filipovich (Kyiv, Ukraine), Prof. Dr. Birgit Menzel (Mainz, Germany); Dr. Yuriy Zavhorodniy (Kyiv, Ukraine); Dr. Sergey Kapranov (Kyiv, Ukraine); Vadim Zhdanov (Erlangen, Germany).

Arranged in collaboration with: National Mining University, Department of Philosophy (Dnipropetovsk, Ukraine), H. S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), Ukrainian Association of Religion Researchers, Research Center for Mysticism and Esotericism (St. Petersburg, Russia), and the Centre for Religious Studies and International Spiritual Relations (Donetsk, Ukraine).

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Spanish online library of alchemical works

A major new online library of alchemical works in Spanish libraries (including the National Library and the library of the Complutense University of Madrid) has been established at

"Hundred of works are already available in full digitalized versions, and many other will be available in the near future. The site is continuously updated by adding new titles and completing the information on authors and works. Comments aiming to improve the content of the site would be very welcome."

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Esoteric Crossroads: Intercultural Patterns in Early Modern Esotericism

The Esoteric Crossroads: Intercultural Patterns in Early Modern Esotericism

7th April 2010, Villa San Michele, Capri, Italy

The conference focuses on cross-cultural exchange between Northern and Southern Europe in the fields of Western Esotericism. This is a small-scale, informal, inter-disciplinary conference with limited places for twenty participants.

This is the first step toward future projects that aim to foster the exchange of philosophical, scientific, cultural, religious and esoteric ideas between Northern and Southern Europe in general, and Sweden and Italy in particular.

The conference is being held at the legendary Villa San Michele, built by the Swedish physician Axel Munthe. San Michele is a Swedish cultural institution on the beautiful island of Capri in Italy.

On the day after the conference, the participants are invited to a guided tour of Capri’s Philosophical Park by its founder Professor Gunnar Adler-Karlsson.

For further information mail:

Organizers: Dioscuri Institute in cooperation with Thomas Karlsson, Stockholm University, Sweden and Alberto Brandi, University of Naples L’Orientale, Italy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Influencia de la Masonería en el Pensamiento Político de la Revolución de Mayo

El Centro de Estudios para la Gran Reunión Americana
I Jornada de Estudios sobre Masonería en Argentina y América Latina

"Influencia de la Masonería en el Pensamiento Político de la Revolución de Mayo"

22 de Mayo de 2010
Sede de la Masonería Argentina, Pte. Perón 1242, CABA

Nos proponemos en esta investigación analizar los componentes de las ideas masónicas a fin de relacionarlas en su influencia en las construcción del Estado Argentino. Haciendo una construcción analítica de fuentes históricas: documentos, escritos, proclamas y biografías, a fin de dilucidar cuáles fueron los componentes que marcan la influencia de la masonería en el Pensamiento Político de la Revolución de Mayo. Sosteniendo que el esquema de Logia permitió un accionar similar a un partido de cuadros en el proceso revolucionario.

Ver programa y convocatoria para presentación de ensayos, ponencias y artículos en:

Facultad de Ciencias Sociales - Universidad de Buenos Aires
Respetable Logia Gran Reunión Americana 452 - Gran Logia Argentina de Aceptados y Libres Masones

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Call for papers, IAHR--Seduced by Science

The following Call is in addition to the one already published.

Call for papers
IAHR Quinquennial World Congress
"Religion: A Human Phenomenon"
Toronto, August 15-21, 2010

Panel: Seduced by Science: The culture of religion and science in the early 20th century

Panel Organizers: Egil Asprem and Tessel M. Bauduin, Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Deadline call for papers: April 15th 2010

The first half of the 20th century saw a radical transformation and fierce expansion of the sciences in western society. Both developments have had considerable impact on the conceptualization and experience of religion in the modern world. The success and prestige of the modern sciences have not only changed the way we think about religion, magic, and humanity's place within the natural world, but it has also reformed the referential "common ground" of religionists, non-, and anti-religionists alike. This has had a large range of different and sometimes mutually exclusive implications, roughly following geographic as well as social and cultural boundaries: the perception of science and its relation to religion and religious meaning differed both from country to country, and between socio-cultural strata.

In some quarters, the 19th century "conflict between science and religion" continued as before, over the age of rocks and the origin of species. But in light of new scientific breakthroughs, old questions could also be asked in new ways. For example, controversies over vitalism, organicism and indeterminism provided fuel for intellectual as well as artistic, literary and even political re-appraisals of religion and spirituality. A blossoming of esoteric, occult and spiritualist notions sought alignment with recent scientific developments in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology, while some scientists in these disciplines looked to esoteric subjects for metaphorical and conceptual resources. Meanwhile the discipline of parapsychology sought professional recognition, while offering itself as a scientific battle station against atheism and philosophical materialism. All these developments fostered an anticipation that science might lead to a new enc hantment of the world. The impact can, in various ways, still be felt in the contemporary religious landscape.

The panel seeks contributions from interdisciplinary scholars of religious studies whose work intersect with the history of ideas, science, literature, art and the broader cultural history of the early 20th century. The starting point is that the cultural history of science and religion in the modern world is complex, multi-layered, dynamic and many-faceted, displaying the whole range of relations from polemical hostility on the one hand, to mutual fascination and forging of alliances on the other. Science and religion is furthermore seen to engage in reciprocal relations of exchange, not only of esthetics and rhetoric, but of semantics as well. The panel welcomes papers that look at specific case studies of the early 20th century culture of science and religion and its reflections in e.g. art, literature, academia, and popular culture, as well as papers on theoretical and methodological problems. "Early 20th century" is taken in an extended sense to cover roughly the period of scientific and religious change from 1880-1945. Exploring methodology and research questions from disciplines not commonly incorporated in the field of religious studies is encouraged.

Suggested research topics include but are certainly not limited to:
- Metaphysical philosophy (e.g. Bergson and many others);
- Reactions to (perceived) mechanism and causality;
- Intuition, inspiration, the Eureka moment and the cult of the scientific genius;
- Parapsychology and the university/scientific establishment;
- Science, science-fiction and religion;
- Science mysticism;
- Science and the Occult Revival;
- Scientific discourses of Theosophy, Anthroposophy or New Age-movements;
- Wave and radiation phenomena in the cultural discourse;
- Religious responses to quantum mechanics and the theories of relativity;
- The discourses of electric fluids, unified fields and the universal ether.

Proposals of max 400 words, together with a brief curriculum, should be send to Egil Asprem ( or Tessel Bauduin ( before April 15th 2010. At the conference, participants will be allotted 20 minutes to present their paper.

In addition to the abstracts, participants will be requested to submit their full paper before July 1st. The papers will be sent to all participants; at the panel session all participants are expected to have read each other's papers and to be able to comment upon their own paper in relation to the other papers. Pending the quality of the submitted full papers we may investigate the possibilities of publication afterward.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vacancy: curator Dutch masonic collection

The Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of the Netherlands is seeking a new curator for the Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederik’ in The Hague, which houses the historical library, archives and object collection of the Order. The advert is published (in Dutch) here.
The text includes a preference for candidates ‘who are members of the Order, or a recognized Grand Lodge’.

The former curator of the CMC, drs. Evert Kwaadgras, unfortunately had to step down due to illness some time ago. The Order has used the opportunity to separate management and curator's tasks by appointing a director for the CMC, mrs. drs. Marijke de Vries, who will be supervising the work of the new curator.

Celestial Spheres

The Sophia Centre at the University of Wales, Lampeter (UK) is organizing a promotional conference in the USA for its distance learning program, based upon the Medieval Cosmos module in the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology program. More information is available here.

Calls: Panel for IAHR

Call for Papers
Panel: "Western esotericism and its boundaries: Between discourses of identity and difference"

IAHR Quinquennial World Congress, "Religion: A Human Phenomenon," Toronto, August 15-21, 2010

Convenors: Allison Coudert (University of California at Davis), Cathy Gutierrez (Sweet Briar College), Marco Pasi (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

In the last twenty years it has become customary for specialists to define esotericism as "western." This has a series of implications that are usually left in the background and not addressed explicitly. The purpose of the panel is to discuss precisely these aspects, namely: Why should esotericism be defined as western in the first place? Where do we want to draw the boundaries of the "West"? Are Jewish and Islamic forms of esotericism to be included in "western" esotericism, and if not, why? Finally, if we want to reject the tag "western," what are the possible alternatives? In what way could we open up the study of esotericism to multiculturality? Could we do this by studying possible historical influences or rather by using a comparative approach that focuses on possible common patterns and analogies?

We welcome papers that address the use of esotericism as a theoretical designation in the construction of identity and difference while negotiating geographical and ideological boundaries. Proposals for papers on specific historical strains of esoteric thinking are also welcome, particularly those that address the formation of discourses of difference.

Deadline for proposal submission is 31 March 2010.

Proposals, together with a brief curriculum, should be sent to Cathy Gutierrez ( and/or Marco Pasi (

For more information on the congress and registration procedure, see: