¿Que es el Esotericism?
Según el Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents (gHF):
“The modern term “Western esotericism” is used as a general label for a great variety of religious currents and trends in Western culture – from Antiquity generally, and from the Renaissance to the present more in particular – characterized by their belief that true knowledge of God, the world, and man can only be attained by means of personal spiritual experience or inner enlightenment. Such “knowledge” was traditionally referred to by the Greek word gnosis. Since it is supposed to go beyond mere rationality and normal discursive language, representatives of Western esotericism have shown a marked preference for using imaginal, symbolic and mythical forms of expression. For this reason, Western esoteric currents have not remained limited to the domains of religion and philosophy, but have frequently overlapped with those of the visual arts, music, and literature. Moreover, because they claim a superior knowledge not only about God and man, but about the natural world as well, esoteric perspectives have become part of the history of the natural sciences and are essential to understanding the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Processes of modernization, secularization and disenchantment of the world since the 18th century have caused a profound transformation of Western esotericism, as its representatives sought to present their perspectives as compatible with or superior to mainstream science. In the wake of the separation of church and state, modern Western democracies have seen a proliferation of esoteric fraternities and organizations, as well as the emergence of a broad and diffuse “cultic milieu” that caters to the esoteric interests of the modern spiritual consumer. For general overviews and introductions to the history of Western Esotericism, see Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.), in collaboration with Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek & Jean-Pierre Brach, Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, Brill: Leiden 2005; Antoine Faivre, Access to Western Esotericism, State University of New York Press: Albany 1994; Kocku von Stuckrad, Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge, Equinox: London/Oakville 2005; Antoine Faivre & Jacob Needleman (eds.), Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Crossroad: New York 1992; Roelof van den Broek & Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.), Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times, State University of New York Press: Albany 1998; Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2008. About the problematics of definition and demarcation of the field, see Wouter J. Hanegraaff, ‘On the Construction of “Esoteric Traditions”’, in: Antoine Faivre & Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.), Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion, Peeters: Louvain 1998; id., ‘The Study of Western Esotericism: New Approaches to Christian and Secular Culture’, in: Peter Antes, Armin W. Geertz & Randi Warne (eds.), New Approaches to the Study of Religion, De Gruyter: Berlin/New York 2002.”
Según la Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE):
"The word “esoteric” derives from the Greek esoterikos, and is a comparative form of eso, meaning “within.” Its first known mention in Greek is in Lucian’s ascription to Aristotle of having “esoteric” [inner] and “exoteric” [outer] teachings. The word later came to designate the secret doctrines said to have been taught by Pythagoras to a select group of disciples, and, in general, to any teachings designed for or appropriate to an inner circle of disciples or initiates. In this sense, the word was brought into English in 1655 by Stanley in his History of Philosophy. Esotericism, as an academic field, refers to the study of alternative or marginalized religious movements or philosophies whose proponents in general distinguish their own beliefs, practices, and experiences from public, institutionalized religious traditions. Among areas of investigation included in the field of esotericism are: Alchemy, Astrology, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Magic, Mysticism, Neoplatonism, New Religious Movements connected with these currents, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century Occult Movements, Rosicrucianism, Secret Societies, and Christian theosophy."
Según el Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO):
"The Western esoteric tradition represents a distinct form of spirituality extending from Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism in the early Christian era up until the present. Diffused by Arab and Byzantine culture into medieval Europe , these esoteric currents experienced a marked revival through the Florentine neo-Platonists of the late fifteenth century. From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, esoteric spirituality was carried by Renaissance magic, Christian Kabbalah, astrology, alchemy, German Naturphilosophie, theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry until the modern occult revival in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in which the Theosophy of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky played an important role. Alongside and within this Western tradition, Arabic and Jewish currents have played a major role since the Latin Middle Ages. Arabic astrology, alchemy and natural science entered the medieval West through southern Italy and Spain from the tenth century onwards. In the fifteenth-century Jewish kabbalists in Spain and Italy assisted the Christian assimilation of Kabbalah, which henceforth became a major strand of European esoteric spirituality and thought. Accounts of spiritual ascent, angelic hierarchies and religious experience evidence strong commonalities between the Jewish, Christian and Islamic esoteric traditions."
Sin perjuicio de los (saludables e intensos) debates sobre la definición y límites de nuestro campo, el CEEO-UNASUR convoca a los historiadores y demás académicos de las ciencias sociales y las humanidades de Latinoamérica, cuyo objeto de estudio e investigación científica sea el Western Esotericism, a integrarse como investigadores plenos de nuestro centro.