Search results for: esotericism-and-the-academy

Esotericism and the Academy

Author : Wouter J. Hanegraaff
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The neglected history of how intellectuals since the Renaissance have approached ideas of the occult which challenged biblical religion.

Hermes in the Academy

Author : Wouter J. Hanegraaff
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"Hermes in the Academy" commemorates the tenth anniversary of the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and related Currents (GHF) at the University of Amsterdam. The center devotes itself to the study of Western esotericism, which includes topics such as Hermetic philosophy, Christian kabbalah and occultism. This volume shows how, over the past ten years, the GHF has developed into the leading international center for research and teaching in this domain.

The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism

Author : Glenn Alexander Magee
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Mysticism and esotericism are two intimately related strands of the Western tradition. Despite their close connections, however, scholars tend to treat them separately. Whereas the study of Western mysticism enjoys a long and established history, Western esotericism is a young field. The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism examines both of these traditions together. The volume demonstrates that the roots of esotericism almost always lead back to mystical traditions, while the work of mystics was bound up with esoteric or occult preoccupations. It also shows why mysticism and esotericism must be examined together if either is to be understood fully. Including contributions by leading scholars, this volume features essays on such topics as alchemy, astrology, magic, Neoplatonism, Kabbalism, Renaissance Hermetism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, numerology, Christian theosophy, spiritualism, and much more. This handbook serves as both a capstone of contemporary scholarship and a cornerstone of future research.

Western Esotericism A Guide for the Perplexed

Author : Wouter J. Hanegraaff
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Western esotericism has been a pervasive presence in Western culture from late antiquity to the present day, but until recently it was largely ignored by scholars and surrounded by misconceptions and prejudice. This accessible guide provides readers with the basic knowledge and tools that will allow them to find their way in this bewildering but fascinating field. What is it that unites phenomena as diverse as ancient gnosticism and hermetism, the "occult sciences" of astrology, alchemy, and magic, rosicrucianism, as well as Christian theosophy, occultism, spiritualism, and the contemporary New Age spiritualities? What can the study of them teach us about our common cultural and intellectual heritage, and what is it that makes them relevant to contemporary concerns? How do we distinguish reliable historical knowledge from legends and fictions about esoteric traditions? These and many other questions are answered clearly and succinctly, so that the reader can find his way into the labyrinth of Western esotericism and out of it again.

Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

Author : Henrik Bogdan
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This volume is the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most distinctive iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. Born into a fundamentalist Christian family and educated at Cambridge, he was vilified as a traitor, drug addict, and debaucher, yet revered as perhaps the most influential thinker in contemporary esotericism. Moving beyond the influence of contemporary psychology and the modernist understanding of the occult, Crowley declared himself the revelator of a new age of individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, was an eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawn from Western European magical ceremonies and Indic sources for meditation and yoga. This journey of self-liberation culminated in harnessing sexual power as a magical discipline, a "sacrilization of the self" as practiced in Crowley's mixed masonic group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religion Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom. Aleister Crowley's lasting influence can be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s and in many forms of alternative spirituality and popular culture. The essays in this volume offer crucial insight into Crowley's foundational role in the study of Western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.

The Threat and Allure of the Magical

Author : Ashwin Manthripragada
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This collection of essays is borne out of the 17th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley. The essays gathered here cover a broad range of topics moving from intersections between the occult and the political, to the entanglement of conceptions of the magical, modernity, media, and aesthetics. The first two essays primarily rely on historical analysis and present a wealth of original research. One chronicles the construction of the witch in Early Modern print media, while the other unfolds the complex relationship of an infighting Third Reich with a multifaceted occult deemed at once fascinating and menacing. The third essay in the collection combines critical, literary, and feminist theories in order to address the magical as an aspect of the fairy tale – a theme in the works of Jelinek and Adorno – and as a challenge to Enlightenment reason. The next two essays, influenced heavily by narratology and semiotics, present close readings of 19th century novellas that question the nexus of mediality and perception, magic and narrative structure. The first of these two essays deals with the liminality of the marionette as it is caught between its mechanical and marvelous qualities in E. T. A. Hoffman’s Rat Krespel (Councilor Krespel), while the latter addresses the collapse of reality mirrored by the magical collapse of metaphor in Theodor Storm’s Pole Poppenspäler (Paul the Puppeteer). The last essay rounds out the compilation with a focus on new media. With close analyses of the films in Lang’s Mabuse trilogy, this essay charts their relation to the enchantment and disenchantment of the medium of film.

Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation

Author : Henrik Bogdan
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Historical exploration of Masonic rituals of initiation.

Teaching Mysticism

Author : William B. Parsons
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The term ''mysticism'' has never been consistently defined or employed, either in religious traditions or in academic discourse. The essays in this volume offer ways of defining what mysticism is, as well as methods for grappling with its complexity in a classroom. This volume addresses the diverse literature surrounding mysticism in four interrelated parts. The first part includes essays on the tradition and context of mysticism, devoted to drawing out and examining the mystical element in many religious traditions. The second part engages traditions and religio-cultural strands in which ''mysticism'' is linked to other terms, such as shamanism, esotericism, and Gnosticism. The volume's third part focuses on methodological strategies for defining ''mysticism,'' with respect to varying social spaces. The final essays show how contemporary social issues and movements have impacted the meaning, study, and pedagogy of mysticism. Teaching Mysticism presents pedagogical reflections on how best to communicate mysticism from a variety of institutional spaces. It surveys the broad range of meanings of mysticism, its utilization in the traditions, the theories and methods that have been used to understand it, and provides critical insight into the resulting controversies.

Controversial New Religions

Author : James R. Lewis
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In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting with communal living, alternative leadership roles, unusual economic dispositions, and new political and ethical values. As a result the general public views new religions with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and anxiety, sustained by lavish media emphasis on oddness and tragedy rather than familiarity and lived experience. This updated and revised second edition of Controversial New Religions offers a scholarly, dispassionate look at those groups that have generated the most attention, including some very well-known classical groups like The Family, Unification Church, Scientology, and Jim Jones's People's Temple; some relative newcomers such as the Kabbalah Centre, the Order of the Solar Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the Falun Gong; and some interesting cases like contemporary Satanism, the Raelians, Black nationalism, and various Pagan groups. Each essay combines an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement with original and insightful analysis. By presenting decades of scholarly work on new religious movements written in an accessible form by established scholars as well as younger experts in the field, this book will be an invaluable resource for all those who seek a view of new religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic media stories.

Tetragrammaton Western Christians and the Hebrew Name of God

Author : Robert J. Wilkinson
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Drawing on a detailed and sustained account of Christian reception of the Hebrew divine name until the Seventeenth Century this book illustrates its vitality in several periods as a stimulus to both orthodox and heterodox theologies and imaginative structures

Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion

Author : International Association for the History of Religions. Congress
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This volume is based upon papers read during the innovative section "Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion" organized at the 17th International Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) in Mexico City, August 5-12, 1995. The section was created in order to fill a long-standing hiatus in the academic study of religions: whereas phenomena such as gnosticism and hermetism in antiquity, and even the occult sciences of that period, have long been recognized as subjects worthy of serious investigation, the history of similar and related phenomena in more recent periods has hardly received the same measure of scholarly attention and recognition. The present volume is devoted to the academic emancipation of these areas as constituting a legitimate domain of research, which may be referred to by the generic label "western esotericism". Preceded by an introductory essay on the birth of this new discipline in the study of religion, the volume provides a sample of current research in the field and devotes special attention to some central methodological questions.

Access to Western Esotericism

Author : Antoine Faivre
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This is the first systematic treatment of esotericism to appear in English. Here is also a historical survey, beginning with the Alexandrean Period, of the various esoteric currents such as Christian Kabbalah, Theosophy, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and Hermeticism. Common characteristics of these currents are the notion of universal interdependency and the experience of spiritual transformation. The author establishes a rigorous methodology; provides clarifying definitions of such key terms as “gnosis,” “theosophy,” “occultism,” and “Hermeticism;” and offers analysis of contemporary esotericism based on three distinct pathways. The second half of the book presents a series of studies on several important figures, works, and movements in Western esotericism—studies devoted to some of the most characteristic and illuminating aspects that this form of thought has taken, such as theosophical speculations on androgyny, rosicrucian literature, and Masonic symbolism. The book is completed by a rich and selective Bibliography conceived as a means of orientation and a tool for research.

AAR SBL Annual Meeting Program

Author : American Academy of Religion. Meeting
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Hidden Intercourse

Author : Wouter J. Hanegraaff
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"Hidden Intercourse is a book that turns people's heads around, so that they can never think of sex the same way again."--Joscelyn Godwin, Colgate University.

An Introduction to Western Esotericism

Author : Nadya Q. Chishty-Mujahid
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Western Esotericism

Author : Antoine Faivre
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An overview of Western esoteric currents since late antiquity, with an emphasis on the last six centuries. Widely received in France, this brief, comprehensive introduction to Western esotericism by the founder of the field is at last available in English. A historical and pedagogical guide, the book is written primarily for students and novices. In clear, precise language, author Antoine Faivre provides an overview of Western esoteric currents since late antiquity. The bulk of the book is laid out chronologically, from ancient and medieval sources (Alexandrian Hermetism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism), through the Renaissance up to the present time. Its coverage includes spiritual alchemy, Jewish and Christian Kabbalah, Christian theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Illuminism, “mystical” Freemasonry, the “occultist” current, Theosophical and Anthroposophical Societies, the Traditionalist School, and “esotericism” in contemporary initiatic societies and in New Religious Movements. Faivre explores how these currents are connected, and refers to where they appear in art and literature. The book concludes with an annotated bibliography, which makes it an essential resource for beginners and scholars alike. “A characteristically erudite, sweeping brief survey of the field of Western esotericism, at once accessible and bristling with details. This is a valuable overview, from the inimitable perspective of the field’s founder, for those who wish to delve into this fascinating and thriving area of contemporary scholarship.” — Arthur Versluis, author of Restoring Paradise, Wisdom’s Children, and Magic and Mysticism “The classic survey of Western esotericism by the most knowledgeable and influential scholar of his generation is now finally accessible to English readers, in an updated edition that takes account of current developments. This small but precious volume will be indispensable for anybody who wishes to be well informed about the historical backgrounds and development of esoteric currents from antiquity to the present.” — Wouter J. Hanegraaff, University of Amsterdam

The Petrine Instauration

Author : Robert Collis
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Drawing on recent scholarship on the history of Western esotericism and religious studies on the importance of millenarian thought in Early Modern Europe, this study provides an innovative re-examination of Peter the Great’s Court in early eighteenth-century Russia.

Hidden Wisdom

Author : Gedaliahu A. Guy Stroumsa
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This book investigates the problem of esoteric traditions in early Christianity, their origin and their transformation in Patristic hermeneutics, in the West as well as in the East. It argues that these traditions eventually formed the basis of nascent Christian mysticism in Late Antiquity. These esoteric traditions do not reflect the influence of Greek Mystery religions, as has often been claimed, but rather seem to stem from the Jewish background of Christianity. They were adopted by various Gnostic teachings, a fact which helps explaining their eventual disappearance from Patristic literature. The eleven chapters study each a different aspect of the problem, including the questions of Gnostic and Manichaean esotericism. This book will be of interest to all students of religious history in Late Antiquity. Revised and extended paperback edition. Originally published in 1996. Please click here for details.

Proceedings American Academy for Jewish Research

Author : American Academy for Jewish Research
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Includes list of members.

Western Esotericism

Author : Tore Ahlbäck
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