Eventos anteriores

En esta sección compartimos eventos académicos sobre el "western esotericism" ya efectuados.


Scientiae Oxford 2016
St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK.
5-7 July 2016

Keynote Speakers: Martin Kemp (Oxford), Wouter Hanegraaff (Amsterdam), Tara Nummedal (Brown)

Convenor: Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford), Senior Adviser: Howard Hotson (Oxford), Organising Team: Karen Hollewand (Oxford), Cornelis Schilt (Sussex), Luca Guariento (Glasgow)

Call for papers.

Proposals are invited for the fifth annual Scientiae conference on disciplines of knowing in the early modern world (roughly 1400-1800). The major premise of this conference series is that knowledge during this period was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of theories, practices and objects, which had yet to be separated into their modern ‘scientific’ configurations. Although centred on attempts to understand and control the natural world, Scientiae addresses natural philosophy, natural history, and the scientiae mixtae within a wide range of related fields, including but not restricted to Biblical exegesis, medicine, artisan practice and theory, logic, humanism, alchemy, magic, witchcraft, demonology, divinatory practices, astronomy, astrology, music, antiquarianism, experimentation and commerce. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities.

Scientiae Oxford 2016 welcomes proposals from researchers studying the early modern cultures and disciplines of knowing at any stage in their career. The proposals can be for individual papers, complete panels, roundtables or workshops, according to the following guidelines:

Individual paper: A 300-word abstract for papers of maximum 20 minutes.

Panel Proposal: Each panel will be 1 hour 30 minutes and must include three speakers. The panel organiser should send a proposal containing three 200-word abstracts for papers of 20 minutes each together with an overall account of the panel (max. 300 words).

Roundtable: Each roundtable will also last 1 hour 30 minutes, must include at the very least one chair and one or two respondents, and must engage the audience. The roundtable proposal should formulate a clear question and provide a rationale for it of c. 400-600 words.

Workshop (new at Scientiae 2016): A workshop is an opportunity for teaching and learning in some area of early modern intellectual and/or material culture. Examples might include period instruments, laboratory practices, pedagogic or art techniques, digital humanities and print culture. A proposal of 400-800 words should be provided by the organiser(s), together with details about the organisation, duration, and presenters. Workshop leaders will also need to work out logistical issues well in advance, with limited assistance from on-site conference convenors. Advance sign-up by participants will be required.

Please submit your proposal together with a brief bio (up to 300 words) by using the online form http://scientiae.co.uk/submission-form/. All submissions should be made by 15 November 2015. 

For more information, please also see the Oxford Scientiae website at http://scientiae.co.uk/oxford-2016/.


Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE)
Sixth International Conference
Michigan State University Michigan, USA
June, 2016.

Our sixth international conference will be held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in mid-June, 2016.
The Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) is seeking paper and panel proposals for its sixth International North American Conference on Esotericism to be held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
We are seeking proposals for papers exploring the theme of “Cartographies of the Soul.” There are many different esoteric models for understanding psyche or the soul: it may be mapped in relation to internal faculties like memory, will, and imagination, or in relation to as external things like the cosmos or the planetary spheres. Images of the soul may also engage musical or natural patterns, bubbles, rivers, trees, orbs or fractals. The array of mappings is potentially infinite.
We are also interested in papers on Western esoteric practices, including theories,epresentations and methods of practice viewed from cultural, practical, religious and aesthetic fields of inquiry. We invite proposals on magic, alchemy, astrology, ritual practice, mysticism, spiritualism, occultism, hermeticism, neo-paganism, contemporary esoteric movements and teachers, Asian influences on Western traditions, and other relevant topics. ASE regards esotericism as an interdisciplinary field of research and we invite scholars from all disciplines to share their research and writings in support of a crossfertilization of perspectives.
Our deadline for panel or paper proposal submission is January 15th 2016.
If you wish to submit a paper proposal or a thematically focused panel proposal (with three presenters and short descriptions included) for review and possible presentation at the conference, please send it by email to ASE2016Conference@gmail.com
For more information on the ASE 2016 conference, see our website at www.aseweb.org


Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias
"Congresso Lusófono sobre Esoterismo Ocidental
Lisboa, 7 a 10 de Maio de 2016

Reunirá em Lisboa, entre os dias 7 e 10 de Maio de 2016, investigadores dos países falantes de português e de outros departamentos universitários de países não lusófonos.
Este evento científico internacional, de importância fundamental para a actualidade dos estudos sobre o Esoterismo Ocidental, é uma iniciativa conjunta lançada pelos programas de pós-graduação de várias universidades brasileiras, portuguesas e espanholas. Um dos contributos deste congresso pretende ser a definição e delimitação do campo científico do Esoterismo Ocidental e a criação de uma rede de trabalho académico dentro do espaço da lusofonia.
O congresso terá vários simpósios temáticos para os quais os investigadores se poderão inscrever – com e sem comunicação. As comunicações serão todas posteriormente editadas numa publicação científica temática.
Decorrerão também conferências com intervenções de especialistas, mesas redondas e debates. Terão lugar também visitas de estudo a locais de interesse histórico.

Call for Papers

Está a decorrer o call for papers para o 1º Congresso Lusófono de Esoterismo Ocidental.

As propostas de comunicação deverão ser enviadas dentro dos prazos, numa das temáticas dos painéis/simpósios. As comunicações deverão ser entregues até: 29/2/2016.

Cada proposta de comunicação deverá ter devidamente identificado(s) o(s) autor(es) * (nome, instituição e email) e deverá incluir:

Um resumo em português, ou espanhol, e em inglês com máximo de 1500 caracteres com espaços;
Quatro palavras-chave;
A indicação do painel/simpósio temático em que se insere;
Um CV conciso do(s) autor(es);
Breve bibliografia.

A avaliação das propostas de comunicação será feita tendo em conta os seguintes critérios:

Adequação ao tema geral do Congresso e do tema do simpósio onde se insere;
Explicitação da problemática e sua relação com os objetivos do estudo;
Descrição concisa da metodologia;
Apresentação dos Resultados.
Após revisão das propostas os autores receberão no seu email a decisão da Comissão Científica.

As propostas devem ser enviadas para: congresso.esoterismo@ulusofona.pt

* Nota: Nas comunicações com mais de um autor só constarão os nomes do co-autores que estiverem inscritos no congresso.

Saiba mais: http://heso.ulusofona.pt/


University of Belgrade, 
Conference 2016 "Esotericism, Literature and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe"
27.-28. May 2016.

Faculty of Philology, Studentski trg 3, Belgrade
Organizers: CEENASWE and Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade.

Founded in 2014 in Budapest, CEENASWE will have its next meeting in Belgrade, Faculty of Philology from 27. to 28. May 2016. with the topic: Esotericism, Literature and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe. While relations between esotericism and literatures of the region is in the focus of the conference, scholars are also encouraged to present research of neglected aspects of cultural history, both in pre-Modern and Modern times.

The call for papers is open till 1.12. 2015.
There will be no conference fee.
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and short biography with affiliation to:


more information: 


University of Bonn, Egyptological Department
Conference "Egyptian and Jewish Magic in Antiquity"
06/7/2015 - 09/7/2015

Contexts, Contacts, Continuities and Comparisons: A Collaborative International Conference in Ancient Magic

The EJMA Conference will be a four days forum for scholars to exchange their innovative work in ancient Egyptian and Jewish magic. The focus will be on the historical continuity and change of ancient Egyptian and ancient Jewish magical practices from antiquity to the early middle ages. Particularly, we will study the similarities, the differences, and the points of contact between these two magical traditions, with a strong emphasis on the impact of Pharaonic magic on early medieval (Coptic, Jewish and Islamic) magical practices. 

We believe that, by studying two different ancient magical traditions from an historical perspective and with a view to a territorial continuity (in the land of Egypt), we will attain a more accurate and fluid overview of the Egyptian and Jewish magical lore throughout the centuries.

The conference will include a series of lectures on Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic/ Christian, Jewish and Islamic magic, as well as panel discussions and laboratory activities focusing both on philological (textual evidence) and archeological analysis (material evidence: magical tools, objects, or themes related to the archaeology of magic). 

The specific topics to be addressed are related to the continuity and changes of ancient Egyptian and Jewish magic throughout the centuries or the influence of ancient Egyptian magic on the Jewish, Christian or Muslim magical traditions, especially as practiced in communities that dwelt in the Land of Egypt in later periods. We have selected papers illuminating the main aspects of the theory of ancient magic or presenting specific magical rituals concerning in particular funerary magic, healing magic, aggressive magic, defensive magic, love magic, oneiric magic, transformative magic, necromancy and demonology.

In addition, we have planned six ‘laboratory encounters’, in which some of the conference participants will coordinate an informal discussion on the selected textual and archaeological material, in a way that will make these objects accessible to scholars of other ancient magical traditions. We believe these ‘laboratory encounters’, which will be carried out as academic workshops open also to the interested students, would represent one of the major achievements of the conference, by allowing scholars from different disciplines to develop a methodology to work together and exchange ideas on ancient magical sources.

Scientific Committee

Prof. Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University)
Dr. Rita Lucarelli (Department of Near Eastern Studies of the University of California, Berkeley)
Allesia Bellusci (Tel Aviv University)

University of Bonn, Egyptological Department, Regina-Pacis Weg 7. 53113 Bonn, Germany

For further information check the conference homepage at http://www.ejma.uni-bonn.de

E-Mail: rita.lucarelli@berkeley.edu


University of London
"Biennial London Chaucer Conference: Science, Magic and Technology"


Friday 10 July

09.30- 10.00: Registration

10.00 -11.30: 3-paper sessions

1. Nature   

Kellie Robertson (University of Maryland): Speaking in Nature’s Voice
Andrew Higl (Winona State University): The Nature of Nature in the Parliament of Fowls
Karen Gross (Lewis and Clark College): The Science of the End: The Use of Anglo-Norman Apocalypses in Medieval Reference Works
2. Science: patronage and communication    

Hilary Carey (Bristol): Eleanor Cobham, Duke Humfrey and the Patronage of Science and Medicine
Seb Falk (University of Cambridge): “I wel wot it is figured boistosly”: didactic writing in the Equatorie of the Planetis
Elly Truitt (Bryn Mawr): “I n’am but a lewd compilator:” Translatio and Scientific Knowledge in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe
11.30 -12.00:    Refreshments

12.00 -13.30:    3-paper sessions

3. Theories of Knowledge    

Anke Bernau (University of Manchester): ‘Crafty and Curious’: Seeking the Boundaries of Knowledge in the Late Middle Ages
David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania): in limine
Bernhard Hollick (University of Cologne): Ovidian Psychology: Poetry, Literary Criticism, and Science in 14th Century England
4. Astrology and Divination    

Anne Mathers-Lawrence (University of Reading): The weather and the stars: astro-meteorology in late medieval England
 Jo Edge (Cambridge): Chaucer’s poure scoler, the quadrivial curriculum and the ‘Sphere of Life and Death’
Clare Fletcher (Trinity College Dublin): 'Al is thurgh constellacion': Planetary Influence in John ‎Gower's Confessio Amantis
5. Psychology and Literature    

Megan Leitch (Cardiff University): Ricardian Dream Visions and the Science of Sleep
Connie Bubash (Pennsylvania State University): Poetics of the Plague: Melancholia and Prescriptive Reading in The Book of the Duchess
Alastair Bennett (Royal Holloway): The Franklin’s Tale and the technology of consolation
13.30 -14.30:    Lunch

14.30 -16.30:    4-paper session

6. Elemental    

Hetta Howes (Queen Mary, University of London):  ‘April with his shoures soote’: Watery Tropes in Late Medieval Literature’
Stephanie Trigg (University of Melbourne) ‘Þe borȝ brittened and brent to brondeȝ and askez’: The City on Fire in Middle English Literature
Sophia Wilson (King’s College London) ‘Nothinge is fix but earth alon’: The Uncertainty of Earth and Anxiety of Animacy
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (George Washington University): Heavy Atmosphere
7. Medical Narratives and Images    

Marion Turner (University of Oxford): Illness and the Limits of Narrative: Arderne, Hoccleve, and Chaucer
Peter Murray Jones (King’s College Cambridge): Medicine and narrative in the later Middle Ages
Sarah Griffin (University of Oxford): Ordering the Internal Body: Constructing the organ diagrams of an English thirteenth-century medical compendium 
• Lea Olson (University of Louisiana at Monroe): Artists’ recipes and medical remedies: useful knowledge in Cambridge University Library MS Dd.5.76
16.30-17.00:    Refreshments

17.00 -18.00:   Plenary 1: 

Allan Mitchell (University of Victoria) 'Chaucer’s Translation Machine, or, Astrolabes and Augmented Bodies of Science'

18.00    Reception

Saturday 11 July

09.00- 10.30: 3-paper session

8. Magic and Technology    

Carolina Escobar (Reading): Technology is not magic, or is it? A twelfth-century debate
Alison Harthill (Cardiff): Necromantic Mechanics: Misunderstood Medieval Technology
Sara Tagliagamba (Siena): Bewitched by demons and angels: Automata, magic and technology in the Renaissance
9. The Science of Experience and the Experience of Science in Chaucerian Dream Poetry    

Charlotte Rudman (King’s College London): Soundscapes in Chaucer’s Dream Poems
Charlotte Knight (King’s College London): Exploring the Science of Memory in Chaucer’s Dream Poems
Koren Kuntz (Durham): Ekphrasis, Cognition, and Multimodality in Chaucer’s Dream Poetry
10. Literary Technologies    

Juliette Vuille (University of Oxford): ‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’: Chaucer’s Experimentation with Messenger Figures
Jenni Nuttall (St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford): The Techne of Verse-Making: Poetry’s Termes in Middle English
Sarah Noonan (Lindenwood University): Silent Emendations: Modern Foliation and the Obscured Sophistication of Late-Medieval Technologies of Mise-en-page
10.30 -11.00:    Refreshments

11.00 -12.30:    3-paper sessions

11. Magic and Medicine    

Katherine Hindley (Yale): ‘Mak a rynge and wryte with in’: Text as Technology in Late Medieval England
Elma Brenner (Wellcome) 'Between Magic and Religious Culture: Charms in Late Medieval English Medical Manuscripts'
Mike Leahy (Birkbeck): Relics and Urinals: The Power of Objects in The Canterbury Tales
12. Time in Chaucer    

Kara Gaston (University of Toronto): “Quid enim non carmina possunt?”: Magic and the Poetics of Time Management from Metamorphoses 7 to The Franklin's Tale
Dawn Walts (Lewis University): The Monk’s Chilindre and the Merchant’s Reckoning in The Shipman’s Tale
Simon Meecham-Jones (Birkbeck): Technophobia in ‘The Former Age’
13. Philosophical Questions    

• Tekla Bude (Newnham College Cambridge): Fetheres of Philosopye: Chaucer and the Metaphysics of Music
• Alexander Gabrovsky (Trinity College Cambridge): Chaucer and the Physics of Sublunary Transformation
• Wan-Chuan Kao (Washington and Lee University): Salvific Energy, Sustainable Faith
12.30 -13.30:    Lunch

13.30 -15.00:    3-paper sessions

14. Fertility and Infertility    

Catherine Rider (University of Exeter): Magic, Science and Fertility in Late Medieval England
Anita Obermeier (University of New Mexico): Birth and Birth Control in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Jennifer Alberghini (CUNY): ‘Unkynde Abhouminaciouns’: Monstrous Birth in the Man of Law’s Tale
15. Matter, Spirit and Alchemy    

Susanna Fein (Kent State University): Perceptions of Matter and Spirit: Corpus Christi in Two Canterbury Tales
Shazia Jagot (University of Southern Denmark): Senior, Sufism and Secrets: The Alchemy of Chaucer’s Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale
Sandy Feinstein (Penn State University): Teasing Science, Teasing Love: “Dalliance” in “To Rosemounde”
16. Scientific discourses in Chaucer    

Roberta Magnani (University of Swansea): Astronomical Discourse and Queer Identities in the Glosses to The Man of Law’s Tale and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue
Rebecca Pawel (Columbia University): Chaucer’s Science Fiction
Ben Parsons (University of Leicester): The Windmills of the Mind: Milling, Madness and ‎Merry-making
15.00-15.30:    Refreshments

15.30 -17.30:    4-paper sessions

17. Magic and Morality    

Jacqueline Borsje (Amsterdam): Gluttony and magic
Tara Williams (Oregon State University): Moral Chaucer and Magical Gower
Carole Maddern (Goldsmiths): 'In Rome was swich oon': Virgil the Necromancer
Robert Epstein (Fairfield University): Magical Properties: The Anthropology of Sorcery and Ownership in Medieval Romance
18. Vision    

Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University): Lyric Devices: Toward a New Cultural History of Medieval Eyeglasses
Victoria Flood (Phillips-Universität Marburg/ University of Durham): ‘With a look his herte wex a-fere’: The ‘Aggressive Eyes Topos’ and Chaucerian Tragedy
Jacqueline Tasioulas (Cambridge)  Recognition and the ‘Idole of ane Thyng’ in Henryson and Chaucer
David Raybin (Eastern Illinois University): Stories of Canterbury: Chaucer and the Stained Glass of Canterbury Cathedral
17.45-18.45    Plenary 2:

Lisa H Cooper (University of Wisconsin-Madison) 'On Location: Agronomy and Other Affective Arts'

19.00    Conference dinner at Antalya

Registration fees:

Standard fee: £65; 

IES students/members concessionary fee: £45

For further information check the conference homepage at http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/ies-conferences/LondonChaucer2015

E-Mail: IESEvents@sas.ac.uk


Cardiff University Postgraduate Conference: 
"Magic and the Supernatural in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods" 
July 21st 2015

An understanding of magic and the supernatural is crucial to the study of the medieval and early modern periods. Magic was a part of everyday life, ingrained into the cultural world view and popular imagination. It was also elusive, encompassing a plurality of meanings and forms that permeated every level of society and resulted in a wide range of practices, from those based on folkloric beliefs to quasi-religious rituals. As a means of understanding and attempting to control the social, spiritual, and natural world, it could be both a comfort and a threat to established norms.

We welcome papers exploring the significance of magic and the supernatural to medieval and early modern thought.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

Magic and religion
Magic and science
Attitudes towards magic and the supernatural
Science fiction and fantasy
Ritual magic
The psychology of magic
Magic and technology
Magicians and cunning folk
Angels and demons
Ghosts and apparitions
Medicine and anatomy
Supernatural creatures
Prophecy and dreams
Necromancy and conjuring
We welcome abstracts from postgraduate students and early career researchers on all aspects of this topic in medieval and early modern history, literature, art, archaeology, architecture, and music.

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to supernatural@cardiff.ac.uk for papers no longer than 20 minutes by Monday 25th May, 2015.

In addition to panels, the conference will feature keynote addresses from Professor Ronald Hutton from the University of Bristol and Dr. Darren Oldridge from the University of Worcester.


University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
ESSWE 5: The Fifth International ESSWE Conference 
"Western Esotericism and the East
16-18 April 2015.

Conference Programme
Thursday 16 April
Conference Opening (Small Hall)
-Opening Words on behalf of the Organizing Committee
The ESSWE President Andreas KILCHER
-Esoteric Orientalism / Esoteric Occidentalism
Jānis PRIEDE (University of Latvia, Latvia)

Chair: Plenary Session (Small Hall)
Keynote: Wouter J. HANEGRAAFF (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
-The Globalization of Esotericism 
Andreas KILCHER (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

10.30–11.00 Coffee Break

11.00–12.30 Parallel Sessions

A1: Theoretical Approaches
Chair: Henrik BOGDAN (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Room: Small Hall
-Egil ASPREM (University of California Santa Barbara, USA) How to make “esotericism” fit for comparative research? On building blocks, comparativism, and esotericism as “special knowledge”
-Marco PASI (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) And never the twain shall meet: An examination of the relationship between the study of Western esotericism and ‘Orientalism’
-George SIEG (University of New Mexico, USA) Esotericism in the Civilizational Model of History

B1: Political aspects
Chair: Karl BAIER (University of Vienna, Austria) Room: 153
-Małgorzata Alicja DULSKA (Jagiellonian University, Poland) The Influence of Esotericism and Eastern Philosophical Notions on the Politics of the Interwar Period in Poland
-Marek DLUHOŠ (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic) Nationalism in Czech esotericism
-Kateryna ZORYA (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Eastern Influence on the Post-Soviet Occult Milieu

C1: Crossing Borders Antiquity I
Chair: GODWIN Joscelyn (Colgate University, USA) Room: Museum Hall
-Laura MICHETTI (California Institute of Integral Studies, USA) Persian Conjunctions and Sade Sati: Saturn in the East, Near and Far 
-Sophie PAGE (University College London, UK) Jewish and Arabic influences on the cosmology of learned magic in the Latin West (ca 1200-1500)’
-Rebecca LESSES (Ruhr Universität-Bochum, Germany) Esotericism and Mysticism in Joseph and Aseneth

12.30–13.30 Lunch Break
(Banquet Hall, access through the University dining hall, lower ground floor)

13.30–15.30 Parallel Sessions

A2: Artistic Visions
Chair: Caroline LEVANDER (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Room: 101 (Auditorija 1)
-Daniel GUÉGUEN (France) Jean Delville: Painter and Initiate
-Peter OLSSON (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Painting the East on the canvas of the West: Ivan Aguéli as an interlock between Traditions
-Carl KARLSON-WEIMANN (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) A Swedish Oriental: The esoteric evolution of Ivan Aguéli
-Elita ANSONE (Latvian National Museum of Art, Latvia) Eastern Spiritual Practices in the Latvian Artists’ Works

B2: Rethinking Middle Eastern developments I
Chair: Nicole Maria BAUER (University of Heidelberg, Germany) Room: 153
-Yoed KADARY (Ben-Gurion University, Israel) East and West in the “Bible” of Jewish Magic
-John MACMURPHY (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Swedenborg and Kabbalah: A New Perspective
-Boaz HUSS (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) Colonialism, Zionism and Kabbalah: The Christian Zionist Kabbalah of Laurence Oliphant
-Giuseppe CUSCITO (“Sapienza” University, Italy) Apulia as a bridge for Jewish esoteric knowledge between Babylonia and Central Europe

C2: Crossing Boarders from Antiquity II
Chair: Sophie PAGE (University College London, UK) Room: Museum Hall
-Rafał T. PRINKE (Eugeniusz Piasecki University in Poznań, Poland) The Bitch of Armenia and the Dog of Khorasan: Transcaucasian motifs and influences in Latin alchemy
-Lauri OCKENSTRÖM (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) Antediluvian light from the East – self-reflective creation myths in the Latin magical Hermetica
-John TREAT (University of Arkansas, USA) Ham-Amun and Cush-Osiris as Guardians of the Ark: Ethiopia, Egypt, and Israel in the Ritual Work of Moses Dickson
-Tamás ENYEDI (Doctoral School of History, Hungary) In Search of a Past that Never Was: Ancient Near-East in 19th century Occultism as a Form of Cultural Memory

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00–17.30 Parallel Sessions

A3: Interpreting text and Context I
Chair: György E. SZÖNYI (University of Szeged. Central European University, Budapest, Hungary) Room: 101 (Auditorija 1)
-Jonathan PAQUETTE (University of St Andrews, UK) Representations of Eastern Wisdom in John Heydon’s Theomagia, or the temple of wisdom in three parts, spiritual, celestial and elemental
-Konstantin BURMISTROV (Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia) Gregory Moebes and the occult renaissance in Russia of the early 20th century
-Christian M. GIUDICE (Göteborg University, Sweden) “Ex Oriente Lux/Ex Occidente Lex”: The Reception of Oriental Forms of Spirituality in the Traditionalist Ideas of Arturo Reghini (1878-1946) and Julius Evola (1898-1974)

B3: Rethinking Middle Eastern developments II
Chair: Boaz HUSS (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) Room: 153
-Uri SAFRAI (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) “Like Pulling a chain” – Mechanical Metaphors of Prayer in Early Modern Kabbala
-Nicole Maria BAUER (University of Heidelberg, Germany) “Becoming like God” – Self-improvement and Healing in the Kabbalah Centre
-Yuval HARARI (Ben Gurion University, Israel) Practical Kabbalah Online – Jewish Magic and the Web

C3: east comes west: Emblems and hermetica in early modern Italy and the British Isles
Chair: Peter FORSHAW (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Room: Museum Hall
-Lorenza GIANFRANCESCO (University of London, UK) Exploring eastern esotericism in early modern Italian emblems 
-Ariel HESSAYON (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) Hermes Trismegistus in England – after Casaubon
-Judith MAWER (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) The Abbot, the Alchemist, and the Emerald Tablet: how Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) influenced the cosmology of Thomas Vaughan (1621-1666)

18.30–20.00 Welcome Reception. Te Riga Latvian Society, Merķeļa Street 13

Friday 17 April
Plenary Session (Small Hall)
Keynote: Charles BURNETT (University of London, UK)
The Three Divisions of Magic
Marco PASI (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

10.00–10.30 Coffee Break
10.30–12.30 Parallel Sessions

A4: Western Esotericism in Turkey I esoteric Currents and the local reaction
Chair: Raoul MOTIKA (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey). Room: Small Hall
-Alexandre TOUMARKINE (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey) On the ‘Absence’ of Theosophy in Turkey: A Case of Indirect, Hidden, and/or Delayed Transmission?
-Dilek SARMIŞ (EHESS-CNRS, France) The Reception of the Greek/Egyptian Tradition of Hermeticism in Late
Ottoman and Republican Turkey
-Thierry ZARCONE (CNRS – EPHE Sorbonne, France) Freemasonry and esotericism in Turkey from the end of the 19th century until today
-Raoul MOTIKA (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey) Turkish Theologians’ Views of Esotericism

B4: Indian Dimensions I
Chair: Francesco BARONI (Swiss Institute of Rome, Italy) Room: 153
-Johan NILSSON (University of Lund, Sweden) Mahatmas, Scholars and Occultists: Occult Readings of the Sacred Books of the East
-Sergey PAKHOMOV (St. Petersburg State University, Russia) Is there esotericism in the East? The term “esotericism” and Indian religious traditions
-Daniel ABRAHAMSSON (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) A Golden Dawn in the East: The Tattwa vision of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
-Lori Lee OATES (University of Exeter, UK) The Case for India: Theosophy and the Battle of East versus West in the Nineteenth Century Occult

C4: Interpreting text and Context II
Chair: Rafał T. PRINKE (Eugeniusz Piasecki University in Poznań, Poland) Room: Museum Hall
-Aren ROUKEMA (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK) An Orientalist Shield – A. E. Waite and the Zohar
-Birgit MENZEL (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany) Eurasia as a Spiritual Realm
-György E. SZÖNYI (University of Szeged. Central European University,Budapest, Hungary) What Can You Learn In Fez? Oriental Wisdom in Western Fiction from the Rosicrucian Manifestos
-Aviram SARIEL (Tel Aviv University, Israel) East, West, Gnosis: Hans Jonas’s esoteric system

12.30–13.30 Lunch Break (Banquet Hall, access through the University dining hall, lower ground floor)

13.30–15.30 Parallel Sessions

A5: Western Esotericism in Turkey II Western Esotericist Thinkers and their Reception
Chair: Mark SEDGWICK (Aarhus University, Denmark) Room: Small Hall
-Yoann MORVAN (CNRS Idemec, Aix-Marseille University, France) Berg’s Kabbalah in Istanbul, more Western than Esoteric? On the Complexity of the Turkish Case
-Cem KARA (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany) Between Occultism and Orientalism. The Life and Work of Rudolf von Sebottendorf (1875-1945)
-Till LUGE (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey) The Entanglement of East and West in Gurdjieff ’s Reception in Turkey
-Laurent MIGNON (University Of Oxford, United Kingdom) Rene Guenon in Turkey

B5: Indian Dimensions II
Chair: Lori Lee OATES (University of Exeter, UK) Room: 153
-Nemanja RADULOVIĆ (University of Belgrade, Serbia) Image of India and Slavia esoterica
-Sander KALVERDA (Germany) “Uprooted is the garden’s royal tree”: Franz Baermann Steiner’s orientalist Judaism as the fruit of his perennial blend of Böhme and the Gita
-Matylda CIOŁKOSZ (Jagiellonian University, Poland) The Universal Embodied Experience as a Tool of Implementation of Indian Religio-Philosophical Notions in the Global Iyengar Yoga Community
-Francesco BARONI (Swiss Institute of Rome, Italy) Chakras in early 20th century Italian esotericism: re-enchanting the body, westernizing the East

C5: The Far East perceptions
Chair: Thierry ZARCONE (CNRS – EPHE Sorbonne, France) Room: Museum Hall
-Jean-Pierre LAURANT (CNRS, France) Western esotericism and the East: Japan, a difficult relationship?
-Robert WEDIN (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Western Esotericism and Japanese Popular Culture – The Grand Polemical Narrative in the Video Game Final Fantasy VII
-Jiří MICHALÍK (Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic) Fludd, Pauli, Jung and the mandalas
-Olaf STACHOWSKI (Jagiellonian University, Poland) Esoteric Buddhism through the eyes of a layman: Przecław Smolik’s memorials in the context of the reception of Buddhism in pre-war Poland

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break
16.00–16.45 Thesis Prize Presentation and Lecture
17.00–18.00 Meeting of Members of the ESSWE
19.00 Dinner

Saturday 18 April
8.30–9.00 ContERN meeting Room: 240
Chair: Plenary Session: (Small Hall)
Keynote: Allison P. COUDERT (University of California, Davis, USA)
Orientalism in Early Modern Europe
Jean-Pierre BRACH (École pratique des hautes études, France)
10.00–10.30 Coffee Break

10.30–12.30 Parallel Sessions
A6: Literature and intertextuality I
Chair: Gloria COLOMBO (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy) Room: Small Hall
-Michele OLZI (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy) From mysterious India to mystical Russia: the “East” of Marc Séménoff as spiritual future of humanity
-Damien KARBOVNIK (Montpellier III, France) The Réalisme Fantastique and the East: enchantment and disenchantment in the French occulture of the sixties and seventies
-Zuzana KOSTICOVA (Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic) Eastern motifs in the work of Carlos Castaneda and his disciples 
-Yusuf MUSLIM ENEBORG (Gothenburg University, Sweden) Revivifying Crowley’s Hero: Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890)

B6: Western Esotericism, orientalism, and Gender I
Chair: Manon HEDENBORG-WHITE (Uppsala University, Sweden) Room: 153
-Per FAXNELD (Stockholm University, Sweden) Borrowing From the Hebrews: Lilith in Nineteenth-Century Occultist Discourse on Motherhood and Marriage
-Fredrik GREGORIUS (Linköping University, Sweden) The Sun is also a Warrior: The spiritualization of martial traditions and the construction of esoteric masculinity
-Manon HEDENBORG-WHITE (Uppsala University, Sweden) Seven Veils and a Garland of Skulls: Orientalism, Gender and Eastern Religion in Interpretations of a Celestial Harlot
-Inga Bårdsen TØLLEFSEN (University of Tromsø. The Arctic University of Norway, Norway) Suffering and Evil comes from within. A Gendered Perspective on the Problem of Evil and Suffering in the New Age

C6: Encountering Islam
Chair: Till LUGE (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey) Room: Museum Hall
-Lil OSBORN (Oxford University, Harris Manchester College, UK) The Baha’i Faith and the Western Esoteric Tradition
-Hadi FAKHOURY (McGill University, Canada) Aspects of the Russian Influence on Henry Corbin: Slavophilism,
Russophilism and Byzantinism
-Mark SEDGWICK (Aarhus University, Denmark) Neo-Sufism and Western Esotericism in the Contemporary Period
-Saiyad AHMAD (The American University in Cairo, Egypt) Islamic Influences on Western Astrology: Guido Bonatti

D6: Varieties of Movements I
Chair: Massimo INTROVIGNE (Pontifical Salesian University, Italy) Room: Library Hall, Kalpaka bulv. 4
-Christian GREER (University of Amsterdam, Holland) “Old White Hipsters in Fezzes”: The Ecumenical Heresy of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade
-Shai FERARO (Tel Aviv University, Israel) The return of Baal (to the Holy Land): Canaanite reconstructionism
among contemporary Israeli Pagans; A double-edged sword
-Maria LIBERG (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) “Into the Womb of the Dark Goddess” – La Société Voudon
Gnostique and the syncretism between East and West

12.30–13.30 Lunch Break (Banquet Hall, access through the University dining hall, lower ground floor)

13.30–15.30 Parallel Sessions
A7: Literature and intertextuality II
Chair: Zuzana KOSTICOVA (Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic) Room: Small Hall
-Ullrich KLEINHEMPEL (Germany) The Song of Igor’s campaign as a document of dvoeverie and its translation by Rainer Maria Rilke in the context of his religious quest
-Gloria COLOMBO (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy) The Interchange between Eastern and Western Concepts of the Transmigration of Souls in 18th-19th Century German Literature
-Caroline LEVANDER (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Where Eastern Gods meets Western Art: Schuré’s Les Grande Initiés and syncretism in Theosophical art at the end of the 19th Century
-Simon MAGUS (University of Exeter, UK) Rider Haggard and the Imperial Occult: Christian Egyptosophy,
Mnemohistory and the Metageography of Egypt

B7: Western Esotericism, orientalism, and Gender II
Chair: Per FAXNELD (Stockholm University, Sweden) Room: 153
-M. E. WARLICK (University of Denver, USA) Angelic Conversations and Practical Advice: The Role of Women in Early Alchemical Philosophy
-Georgia VAN RAALTE (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) The Feminine and the East: Androcentrism, Imperialism and Appropriation
-Karolina Maria HESS (Jagiellonian University, Poland) Between Theosophy and Polish-Indian Library: The Great Work of Wanda Dynowska Umadevi (1888-1971)
-Christine FERGUSON (University of Glasgow, Scotland) Dis-Orienting the East: Mabel Collins and Theosophical Placelessness in the 1880s

C7: In and around the Theosophical Society
Chair: Lil OSBORN (Oxford University, Harris Manchester College, UK) Room: Museum Hall
-Karl BAIER (University of Vienna, Austria) Theosophical Orientalism and Transculturation within the Theosophical Society in South Asia
-Tim RUDBØG (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) The Great Work of blending East and West: Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine and Six schools of Indian Philosophy in the mix
-Joscelyn GODWIN (Colgate University, USA) The Mahatma Letters: Eastern Wisdom or Western Imposture?
-Massimo INTROVIGNE (Pontifical Salesian University, Italy) The Orientalist Masters: The Mystery of Hermann Schmiechen

D7: Varieties of Movements II
Chair: Egil ASPREM (University of California Santa Barbara, USA) Room: Library Hall, Kalpaka bulv. 4
-Júlia GYIMESI (Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Hungary) Between “West” and “East”: the comparative aspects of the reception of spiritualism in Hungary
-Mikhail TRUNIN (Russian State University for the Humanities, Russia) The dynamics and religious-cultural characteristics in the development of Western Esotericism in Russia, on the example of the Order of Oriental Templars: The Way of the Esoteric to Exoteric
-Andrés PIQUER OTERO (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) Dreams, Death and Desire. The Morals of Liminal Illusion in Magical Narrative
-Vitalii SHCHEPANSKYI (The National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukraine) Earth of mysteries: magicians ways in early modern Ukraine

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00–18.00 Parallel Sessions

A8: Cultural encounter
Chair: Lauri OCKENSTRÖM (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) Room: Small Hall
-Fryderyk KWIATKOWSKI (Jagiellonian University, Poland) “Wake up!” The Gnostic-Buddhist Vision of Reality in The Matrix (1999) by Lana and Andy Wachowski
-Christopher MCINTOSH (University of Exeter, UK) The Quest for Shangri-La
-Robert A. PRIDDLE (The University of Ottawa. The University of Toronto, Canada) “Art thou mankind?”: Proposing a Western Esotericism 3.0 Analysis of the role of Occidentalism and Esotericism in the Animated Sinosphere

B8: Genealogical approaches to a Global history of Esoteric identities
Chair: Julian STRUBE (University of Heidelberg, Germany) Room: 153
-Julian STRUBE (University of Heidelberg, Germany) The Emergence of French Occultism against the Background of Neo-Catholic and Socialist Orientalism
-Dimitry OKROPIRIDZE (University of Heidelberg, Germany) Orientalist Syntax in Esoteric Discourse: Carl Gustav Jung’s Psychology of Kundalini Yoga – Context and Impact
-Ulrich HARLASS (University of Heidelberg, Germany) The “other” Neo-Hinduism: Shaiva Siddhanta and Thesophy
-Yan SUARSANA (University of Heidelberg, Germany) Of Shamans, Gurus and Witches: Esoteric Bali as a Global Concept

18.30 Cultural Programme
Artist Talk: Miķelis Fišers on his Esoteric Touch
The Arsenāls Exhibition Hall

Torņa street 1

More information: http://www.esswe.org


Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Institute of European Culture in Gniezno
Conference: Mysticism and Magic in Jewish Thought
15th-16th January 2015

Call for Papers
Department of Culture of European Judaism at the AMU Institute of European Culture in Gniezno, and President of the City of Gniezno, Mr. Jacek Kowalski have the honour of inviting You to take part in the 5th International Scientific Conference dedicated to Jewish studies, entitled:


Prof. Rachel Elior (Hebrew University) has kindly agreed to become Guest of Honour at the Conference of ours. The Conference is going to be associated with the presentation of the Polish edition of the book by Prof. Elior: Dybbuks and Jewish Women in Social History, Mysticism and Folklore

The conference will be held at the Institute of European Culture in Gniezno, from January 15th to 16th, 2015. The conference fee is 75 € (we ensure hotel-standard accommodation and restaurant catering). Please, send your registration (name and surname, affiliation, topic + abstract not exceeding 2000 characters with spaces) to judaica.gniezno@gmail.com

Deadline for registrations is October 31st, 2014.

Jewish mysticism and magic were defined and described largely by Gershom Scholem in his numerous publications which were considered to be a conceptual revolution and a historical breakthrough. His major books have been written, translated, edited and published since the second third of the 20th century in different countries and languages. But, at the same time, Jewish mysticism and magic constitute a specific phenomenon, which can be perceived as intrinsically present in Jewish studies, for it definitely possesses an interdisciplinary character. In other words, this subject is not only a research area of scholars working on the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah and Hasidism, but the same mysticism can be seen as a very significant element of many other scientific fields of research and studies, although it is not their primordial starting point. Thus, mysticism emerges quite often as a non-intentional, subconscious experience or as intentionally camouflaged and covered up entity. The multifaceted nature of mystical concepts can be revealed from the writings by Freud and the novels and Diaries by Kafka. Mystical ideas can also be found in the stream of Jewish  feminism, in historical sciences, in the theory of architecture, in paintings, in music, and in many other disciplines such as in poetry, in prose, in modern philosophy, and even – which can be seen paradoxical – in sciences.
 The aim of our Conference is an attempt to reveal and describe Jewish mysticism and Jewish magic as a phenomenon which is contemporarily present, lively, vivid and existing in, so to speak, an interdisciplinary way. 
A complex context and a wide thematic spectrum that we would like to propose to the Conference’s participants include the problems of Merkavah Mysticism, the concept of Sephirotic Tree, Shi’ur Komah doctrine, the ideas of Ayin and En-Sof; the concept of tikkun olam and a theurgy idea, Messianism, angelology, demonology, the phenomena of dybbuks and Golem and various mystical aspects of the Hebrew letters, Hebrew amulets, and the secrets of the alphabet. Thus, the research realms of our Conference will be of interest to different scholars: history of religion scientists, theologians, philosophers, historians and art-historians, art, architecture, film and theatre theorists, musicologists, psychologists, sociologists, the ones interested in feminist and gender studies, and, as we hope, to many others.


CREMS, University of York-  Symposium: 
"Magic and Intellectual History"
Thursday 5th March 2015

10.00-11.30 - Natural Magic
Rinotas Athanasios (Athens), Compatibility between Philosophy and Magic in the Work of Albertus Magnus
Ovanes Akopyan (Warwick), From Marsilio Ficino to the Bible: Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and his circle on magic, prisca theologia and Aristotle
Allison Kavey (CUNY), Agrippa's Magical Cosmology

Coffee 11.30-12.00

12.00-1.00- Magicians? John Dee and Kenelm Digby
Todd Borlik (Huddersfield), Magic as Technological Dominion: John Dee and the Draining of the English Fens
Mark A. Waddell (Michigan State), Sympathy and Lies: Plausibility, Credibility, and the Weapon Salve in Early Modern England

Lunch, 1.00-2.00

2.00-3.00 - Reformation, Religion and Magic
Frank Klaassen (Saskatchewan) Magic and the English Reformation: A reconsideration
Francis Young (Ely) Liturgical Change and Ceremonial Magic in Reformation England

Coffee, 3.00-3.15

3.15-4.45 - Magicians: Napier(s)? Campanella?
Alex Corrigan (Edinburgh), Was John Napier of Merchiston a Magician?
Ofer Hadass (Haifa), "An Angell's Sight": Religion and Magic in Richard Napier’s Medical Practice
Jean-Paul De Lucca (University of Malta), Tommaso Campanella between Renaissance Magic and Modern Science

5.00: Keynote
Stephen Clucas (Birbeck, University of London), Magic and intellectual history: the problem of transgression

Details and directions at: http://www.york.ac.uk/crems/


University of Ultrecht,
International Conference "The Marginalization of Astrology
19-20 March 2015

Deadline 30 September 2014.

The Descartes Centrum for history of science of the University of Utrecht, in collaboration with the department of philosophy of the Radboud University at Nijmegen, will host an international conference on the problem of the marginalization of astrology in the early modern period.

Astrology has been a well-established and respected part of scholarship for centuries, practiced in many cultural and geographical settings. However, in the modern world, astrology, though still very much present, has lost its scientific status and is relegated to the fringes of serious learning. In the history of the sciences, this must be regarded as a momentous shift. The definite step in the “marginalization” of astrology appears to have been taken in the seventeenth century and should therefore be regarded as an important element (rather than as a consequence) of the so-called Scientific Revolution.

The reasons for this development are far from clear. Actually, even the development itself (when, where and by whom did astrology become disavowed) has so far been only poorly documented. The conference therefore aims at bringing together specialists from various fields to throw light on this intruiging question.

It is the aim of the conference to study the subject from various different angles:

History of astrology. Although the project is about people NOT practising astrology rather than about astrologers, the history of astrology proper remains of course central. At the very least, an attempt should be made to compare differences in astrological practice (and their marginalization) between various local, cultural and religious contexts. Other relevant questions concern criticisms and apologies of astrology and attempts at astrological reform.
History of science. The idea that astrology was discredited directly because of new scientific discoveries is no longer regarded as credible; on the other hand, it does not appears believable that there was no connection at all. The dismissal of astrology implied a transformation of the work and the identity of astronomers. In natural philosophy, it implied a rejection of the idea of celestial influence, which had become an integral part of scholastic philosophy.
History of medicine. Medicine was a major application of astrology. Medieval physicians would routinely cast horoscopes for diagnostic and other purposes. The question is when and how this changed. Obviously, both the supply and the demand sides have to be taken into account.
Court culture. Important on the side of demand were princely and noble courts. In the sixteenth century, princes would regularly employ court mathematicians/astronomers, whose task it was to cast horoscopes. In the seventeenth century, on the other hand, Louis XIV spent a fortune on the Paris Observatory, while casting horoscopes was not among the tasks of this institution. Again, the reasons behind this change are not clear.
Print culture. Almanacs, ephemerides, and prognostics, in conjunction with information on their makers, editions, and distribution, should enable us (at least) to get some idea of the popularity, or lack of popularity, of astrological ideas and practices. This is a field wherein some work has already been done.
History of religion. The era of the Reformation and Counter Reformation saw important developments in the field of theology, Church discipline and organization, which may have affected the status of astrology. One should also look to what one might call religious anthropology: shifting attitudes toward the supernatural and a changing definition of “superstition”, more or less identifiable with Weber’s “disenchantment of the world”. It is not clear to what extent astrology (as a learned practice) was placed in the same category as other superstitions, but the question should be asked.
Finally, the question to what extent this development remained limited to Western Europe, and whether similar things happened elsewhere (and when), should not be forgotten, even if it is probably hard to answer at this stage.
People who are interested to give a paper at this conference are invited to send a title and abstract (300 words maximum) by the end of September to the organizers:

Rienk Vermij, history of science, University of Oklahoma (rienk.vermij@ou.edu)
Hiro Hirai, department of philosophy, University of Nijmegen (hhirai2@gmail.com)

For all other information, please also contact the organizers mentioned above.


Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting
Panel "World harmony and the music of the spheres 
in Renaissance and early modern Europe"
Berlin, 26-28 March, 2015 

Panel: “Transmutation, Digestion and Imagination”

Session 1:
Joel Klein. "Daniel Sennert, Transmutation, and the “Catholicum Libavianum” 
"Elisabeth Moreau. "Libavius on Digestion and Transmutation"
Hiro Hirai. "Imagination, Maternal Desire and Embryology in Thomas Fienus"

Session 2: 
Didier Kahn. "Early Modern Experiments on Palingenesis" 
Georgiana Hedesan "Genesis and Transmutation: The Religious Background of the Universal Solvent “Alkahest”" 
Ashley Inglehart "Robert Boyle on Semina, Transmutation, and the Generation of Life"

More information: http://www.rsa.org/?page=2015Berlin 


University of London - Warburg Institute
Seminar. The Philosophy of Giordano Bruno
Classroom 1, Tuesdays, 5.30-7.00, 30 September- 9 December /2014
Organized by Dilwyn Knox (UCL) and Guido Giglioni (Warburg Institute)

The Seminar includes eleven seminars of 1 hour, 30 minutes each, in the Autumn Term, 2014. It focuses on Bruno’s philosophy (rather than his mnemotechnics). Each seminar will begin with a close reading of one or two passages from Bruno’s Italian or Latin works, which will then (it is hoped) lead to further discussion of the seminar topic in relation to Bruno and Renaissance philosophy more generally. Passages will be posted online in advance of each seminar, together with lists of translations available in various modern languages.
1. Introduction: Life and Works. 2. Copernicanism. 3. The infinite universe and plurality of worlds. 4. The World Sou. 5. Matter. 6. Matter (cont.). 7. God and nature. 8. Individual souls and metempsychosi. 9. The wisdom of the ancients. 10. Scripture. 11. Faith and reason: Bruno’s trial.
The editions of Bruno’s works used for the Seminar are:
· Opere italiane, 2 vols, UTET, Torino, 2002 (hardback), 2010 (paperback), 2013 (Kindle)
· Opera latine conscripta, 3 vols in 8 pts, ed. F. Fiorentino, F. Tocco, and others. Naples and Florence, 1879-91, reprinted: Stuttgart, 1962. A pdf of the 1879-91 edition can be downloaded from the Institute’s Biblioteca bruniana electronica.


Oxford University
Dacre Centenary Lectures 2014. 
Ideas and Society c. 1600-1800
November 14, 2014 

Venue: Oxford University Examination schools, High St, Oxford.
Time: Fridays at 5pm.
Provisional title:
Michael Hunter, ‘The Enlightenment Rejection of Magic: New Thoughts on an Old theme’.


Ural Federal University-Institute of Social and Political Sciences
Department of Philosophy-Subdepartment of Religious Studies-
Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM)
(Together with) The Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Seventh International Conference 
"Mystical and esoteric movements in theory and practice"
Mystical and Esoteric Aspects of Contemporary Religions
November 5-8, 2014

Call for papers (1st version)

Every religious tradition is accompanied by a multitude of mystical and esoteric elements.  They can be found in religious texts, are used in religious practices, and form the foundation of the religious experience. As religions change, these elements naturally transform also. Presently, society is faced with a wide array of different forms of religion, each having unique and yet generally significant connections with mystical and esoteric ideas and practices. It is thus important to classify mystical and esoteric components of religion, to monitor their transformation throughout history, to study how they are connected with traditional religiosity, and to see how they manifest in contemporary popular culture. The seventh international conference “Mystical and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice: Mystical and Esoteric Aspects of Contemporary Religions” invites all interested humanities scholars, including but not limited to experts in religious studies, philosophy, cultural studies, and history, for a detailed examination of these and many other problems.

Topics of discussion:

1. Having faith outside of religion: defining and classifying the phenomenon.
2. Theoretical and practical concerns in studying new mystical and esoteric movements: from secularism to post-secularism.
3. Interfaith relations and contemporary mystical and esoteric movements.
4. “Patchwork beliefs”: analyzing changing convictions and their models.
5. Eastern mystical and esoteric traditions in Russia and Western countries.
6. Mysticism and esotericism in the Soviet Union.
7. Portrayal of esoteric religiosity in popular culture.
8. Constructing tradition in contemporary mystical and esoteric currents
9. Mystical and esoteric currents in the media and online.

Panel titles will be based on the applications received and thus decided after the deadline.
There are also plans for panel discussions and methodological seminars.
Working languages: Russian and English.
Applications must be sent to the following E-mail: conference.mystic@yandex.ru before October 5, 2014. If a Russian Visa is required, the application must be sent in by June 10, 2014.

Please fill in the following form:
1. Full name;
2. Date of birth;
3. Academic degree;
4. Home address;
5. Place of work/study;
6. Position;
7. Contact telephone number;
8. E-mail;
9. Is an official invitation required (for a Russian visa)? (yes / no);
10. Is any kind of technical support (computer/overhead projector/etc) required for your presentation? If yes, please specify the exact equipment;
11. Photo, up to 1 megabyte in size;
12. Paper title;
13. Abstract (approx. 150-200 words);

The organizational committee reserves the right to decline any incorrectly-filed application as well as to ask for additional information in difficult cases. A correctly-filed application does not imply automatic acceptance. Whether an application is accepted or not is decided and communicated to the applicant by E-mail within a week.

There is no long-distance participation option for this conference. The sum of the participation fee for non-residents of Russia and other countries of Commonwealth of Independent States is variable:

1) The fee for participants requiring aid in acquiring a Russian visa will be 40 Euro. The application and certain documents (list is provided separately upon request) must be sent in before June 10, 2014 There is a 50% discount for ASEM members. The conference fee is to be paid at registration on the first day of the conference. Members of the organizing committee and workgroup do not pay fees. Entrance for non-speakers is free.

Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings after the conference commences. Minimal editing may be undertaken to ensure that the text complies with technical and stylistic regulations. Any editing is done with the informed consent of the author. Any text that had been sent to the organizing committee but not presented at the conference will not be published.

Committee Chairman: UrFU Department of Philosophy Chair, Dr. Phil., Prof. A. V. Pertsev (Yekaterinburg). Organizing commitee members: Dr. Phil. D. V. Pivovarov (Yekaterinburg), Prof. B. Menzel (Mainz, Germany), Dr. Phil. E. V. Ivanova (Yekaterinburg), Dr. Phil. V. V. Zhdanov (Erlangen, Germany), PhD Y. Y. Zavgorodniy (Kyiv), PhD Y. V. Melnykova, (Yekaterinburg), PhD S. V. Pakhomov (St. Petersburg), PhD Y. F. Rodichenkov (Vyazma), PhD O. M. Farhitdinova (Yekaterinburg), PhD Y. L. Khalturin (Moscow), PhD Y. I. Grishayeva (Yekaterinburg), O. V. Kuznetsova (Yekaterinburg), K. V. Zorya (Kyiv). Secretaries: V. Kovach (Yekaterinburg), S. Panin (Moscow) 

Address of the conference: Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg, 51 Lenina Avenue, Department of Philosophy (3rd floor, conference hall). Mail address: 620083, Yekaterinburg, 51 Lenina Avenue, Ural Federal University Department of Philosophy, Subdepartment of Religious Studies, Organizational Committee of the Mystical and Esoteric Aspects of Contemporary Religions Conference. Telephone for inquiries (Subdepartment of Religious Studies, call Wednesdays and Fridays): 8 (343) 358-94-28

Conference website: http://wnkonfrelig.ucoz.ru/
ASEM website: http://aiem-asem.org
Conference E-mail: conference.mystic@yandex.ru


Plantin Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
Colloquium "The Alchemist and the Royal Typographer: John Dee and Willem Sylvius"
October 26, 2014

A meeting sponsored by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, ‘The Royal Typographer and the Alchemist: Willem Sylvius and John Dee’, will take place on 26 October at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. Coinciding with the 450th Anniversary of the publication of John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica, this colloquium will bring together specialists on John Dee and specialists on late sixteenth-century print culture and humanistic activities in Antwerp. The aim of the colloquium is to investigate the links between Antwerp’s vibrant print culture and its relationship to alchemy and the occult philosophy in the late sixteenth century.

9.45 Welcome
Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London), “The printer and the alchemist: John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica after 450 years”
Peter J. Forshaw (University of Amsterdam), “John Dee and the Stars (Astrology, Magic, and Alchemy)”
11.30-12.00  Coffee Break
Steven vanden Broecke (University of Ghent) “Spirit, print, and the public good in the productions of Willem Silvius”
Manuel Mertens, “Willem Silvius and the archive”
13.30-14.30 LUNCH
Goran Proot, “The typographical identity of the Monas hieroglyphica
Jeroen J. M. Vandommele, “Mount Parnassus in print. Silvius and the printed edition of the Antwerp
landjuweel of 1561”
16.00-16.30 – Coffee Break
Arjan Vandixhoorn “Printers and the Culture of Knowledge in Sixteenth Century Antwerp:
The Vernacular Perspective”

Registration fee: 20 Euros. To register please email Stephen Clucas: s.clucas@bbk.ac.uk   


Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) 
Workshop Geographies of Alchemy and Chemistry
University of Amsterdam 
24 October 2014

For the first time, the annual postgraduate workshop of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry(SHAC) will take place outside the United Kingdom, at the University of Amsterdam. The workshop offers postgraduate students and early-career researchers the opportunity to share ideas, explore methodological issues and network in a stimulating atmosphere.
The theme for 2014, ‘Geographies of Alchemy and Chemistry’, seeks to explore how spatial context shaped the theory, practice and development of alchemy and chemistry. Spatial context may be construed as (but is not limited to) city, region, nation; centre or periphery; public or private space; site or architectural environment. It is further distinguished by practical, theoretical, national, political, religious, intellectual and cultural factors. The workshop will examine to what extent space and geography affected historical developments in alchemy and chemistry.
Keynote Speakers
Dr. Peter J. Forshaw (University of Amsterdam)
Prof. Dr. Lissa Roberts (University of Twente)
We would like to invite papers (between 15 and 20 minutes) on topics related to the workshop theme in any historical period. Please submit an abstract (200 words) by email to the SHAC student representatives, Mike A. Zuber and Judith Mawer (studentrep@ambix.org). The deadline for proposals is 15 June 2014. Presenters should either be currently enrolled as postgraduate students or active as junior researchers (within three years of PhD completion).
Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:
           exemplary cases from specific geographical contexts;
           mobility in people, objects, ideas and practices;
           relations between centre and periphery;
           sites and locations of alchemy and chemistry.
The workshop is free of charge. Bursaries are available towards the cost of travel and/or accommodation for confirmed presenters in the first instance.


Universitté de Lausanne
Colloque international "Astrologie, divination et magie 
dans les cours (XIIe-XVIIe siècle)"
 jeudi 9 au samedi 11 octobre 2014

Organisé par Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (Lausanne), Jean-Patrice Boudet (POLEN-CESFiMA) et Martine Ostorero (Lausanne), Lausanne (UNIL)

Depuis le XIIe siècle au moins, les cours ont été des centres de production (mécénat scientifique), de conservation (bibliothèques princières, collections, etc.) et de diffusion (interne et externe) des textes concernant les sciences de la nature. En rapport direct avec cet extraordinaire intérêt, des savoirs situés à la frontière entre le licite et l’illicite – voire au-delà de cette limite –, tels que l’astrologie, la divination et la magie, ont occupé une place centrale. Les raisons de ce phénomène sont multiples, et leur étude constitue justement l’un des objectifs de ce colloque.
Dans quelle mesure l’astrologie, la divination et la magie ont-elles été favorisées par les élites au pouvoir, que ce soit dans le but de conforter l’idée que le souverain ‘domine le monde’, ou de leur permettre de connaître le futur – notamment dans la question de la continuité dynastique –, ou encore de se défaire de ses ennemis ? Les connaissances savantes en terme de magie ont-elles servi à nourrir des procès intentés dans le cadre général de la construction de la souveraineté et dans celui, plus restreint, de règlements de compte au sein de la société de cour ?
Dans cette perspective, il conviendra de s’intéresser aux personnages qui, dans telle ou telle cour, voire d’une cour à l’autre, se sont mis au service du prince dans ces domaines : qui sont les astrologues de cour ? Dans quelle mesure et dans quelles circonstances y a-t-il des devins et magiciens à la cour ? Quelles sont les modalités d’expression de leur discours ? Que sait-on des pratiques des uns et des autres ? Ont-ils joué un rôle, d’une manière volontaire ou involontaire, dans les comportements et l’organisation du pouvoir et de la cour ?
Il s’agira aussi de pouvoir comparer l’état de nos connaissances relatives à un certain nombre de cours pour lesquelles des recherches sont actuellement menées ou pour lesquelles la documentation est particulièrement riche. L’objectif est de tenter cette comparaison à l’échelle européenne et sur la longue durée, c’est pourquoi nous désirons étendre le colloque à l’époque moderne, afin d’examiner les similitudes mais aussi les différences qui caractérisent l’intérêt que les cours médiévales et modernes ont accordé à la magie, à l’astrologie et à la divination.
Il s’agira également d’examiner quelle est l’originalité de la production de ces différents acteurs, et quelles sont les typologies privilégiées. C’est ainsi qu’une place importante devra être accordée aux différentes formes d’astrologie, de divination et de magie présentes d’une manière ou d’une autre dans les cours, de la magie astrale à la magie démoniaque, dont nous parlent également les procès de sorcellerie (dans la mesure où ils intéressent de manière précise le monde des cours).
Quels sont enfin les débats que ces différents savoirs ont pu susciter, sous quelque forme que ce soit, au sein des cours et en rapport avec elles ?
Les questions qui se posent sont donc nombreuses et existent plusieurs niveaux de lecture :
- production, diffusion, conservation de la documentation et de la littérature correspondante, constitution de recueils ;
- typologie des savoirs et des textes ;
- biographie, prosopographie éventuelle des acteurs ;
- comparaison entre cours ;
- longue durée ;
- enfin, last but non least, rapports entre les théories et les pratiques, au sein de la cour ou en contact avec elle.


University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada,
Cultural Encounters in the Renaissance City
September 12 - 13, 2014 

Dario Tessicini, Durham University: "Talking Statues discuss comets: the circulation of astrological prognostications in Venice at the end of the 16th century"

programme and more information:  http://arthist.net/archive/8175


University of Wales Trinity Saint David 
The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture,
School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology
Annual Sophia Centre Conference
Venue: Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, England
Conference on The Marriage of Heaven and Earth: 
Images and Representations of the Sky in Sacred Space
28-29 June 2014

Juan Antonio Belmonte (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Tenerife, Spain) ‘Cosmic landscapes in ancient Egypt: a diachronic perspective’
J. McKim (Kim) Malville (Professor Emeritus, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado) ‘The Parallelism of Heaven and Earth in Andean Cultures’
Nicholas Campion (Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture,  School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, `The Marriage of Heaven and Earth in Twentieth-Century Art: Mysticism, Magic and Astrology in Surrealism`
Faisal Al-Doori (University of Aberystwyth/ Tikrit University,Iraq) ‘The Image of the Marriage of Heaven and Earth in W. B. Yeats’ poem “Chosen”’
Gerardina Antelmi (University of Split (Croatia) ‘Poetry Creation as a Space of Union between Natural and Supernatural: A Reading of The House of Fame
Jim Cogswell (Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Art, University of Michigan) ‘Jewelled Net of the Vast Invisible: a multi-media experience of cosmological space’
Alexander Cummins (Independent Scholar) ‘The Faces of the Heavens: Early Modern Astrological Image Magic’

Edina Eszenyi, (University of Kent) ‘Thunderbolt: Shaping the image of Lucifer in the Cinquecento Veneto
Harold H. Green (Research Associate of the Maya Exploration Center) ‘Zenith Sun as Organizing Principle in the Constructed Sacred Space and Calendrics of Central Mexico’
Cheryl Hart (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) ‘Sacred or Secular? An Analysis of the Rosette Motif within the Iconographic Repertoire of the Near East, Egypt and the Aegean’
Scott E. Hendrix (Associate Professor of History, Carroll University, U.S.A) ‘From the Margins to the Image of ‘The Most Christian Science’: Astrology, Theology, and St. Peter’s Basilica’.
Liz Henty (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) ‘Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle: Earthly Window to the Sacred Sky’

Shon Hopkin (Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University) ‘The Joining of Heaven and Earth in Mormon Temples and Sacred Texts’
Stanislaw Iwaniszewski, (Professor of Archaeology, Department of Postgraduate Studies in the National School of Anthropology and History, Mexico City)
‘Communicating with the Ancestors in the Spiritual Landscape at Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico’
Bożena Józefów-Czerwińska (Head of Department of Anthropology, Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology, Pultusk Academy of Humanities) ‘Signs in the Sky - Beliefs in Polish Folk Culture’

Tore Lomsdalen (Independent Scholar) ‘Cult, ritual, sacred space and the sky in the prehistoric temples of Malta’

Patrick McCafferty (Queens University, Belfast) ‘The Union of Heaven and Earth in the Boyne Valley, Ireland’

Rathnasree Nandivada (Director, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi, India) ‘The evolution of representations of the Navagrahas in Indian temples and their changing identification with celestial bodies on the ecliptic’
Joanna Popielska-Grzybowska (Head of Department of Ancient Cultures, University of Warsaw) ‘The Sky in Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts’
John David Mooney (Artistic Director of the John David Mooney Foundation) ‘Sacred Geography, Sacred Sky, and Sacred Geometry’


Study Group for Mediterranean Music Studies of the
International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM)
10th Symposium at St John’s College, Cambridge
"Mysticism, Magic, and the Supernatural in Mediterranean Music"
June 27–29, 2014

In 1909, Jules Combarieu published La musique et la magie, the first extended study devoted to the relation between organized/meaningful sound and activities/rituals meant to give human beings power over nature or over realities thought to exist above or beyond nature itself.

The Mediterranean area is one where such relation has been frequently observed and investigated. What makes the Mediterranean especially fascinating from this angle is that its ethnographic present is frequently examined in historical perspective. In this respect, Ernesto De Martino’s The Land of Remorse: A Study of Southern Italian Tarantism (1961, English translation 2005), Gary Tomlinson’s Music in Renaissance Magic (1993) and Joscelyn Godwin’s Music and the Occult, French Musical Philosophies, 1750-1950 (1995) are landmark studies, but the topic still deserves more comprehensive attention. That is why in proposing the theme “Mysticism, Magic, and the Supernatural in Mediterranean Music” the ICTM study group Mediterranean Music Studies is seeking contributions from ethnomusicology, music history, and other related fields that will highlight significant aspects of this fascinating, and in some respects universal, relation between music-making and esoteric practices.

The programme committee for this Symposium consists of Stefano Castelvecchi (St John’s College, Cambridge), Ruth F. Davis (Corpus Christi’s College, Cambridge), Michael A.  Figueroa (University of Chicago), Goffredo Plastino (Newcastle University), and Marcello Sorce Keller (MMS Chair). All wishing further information, and interested in submitting a paper proposal (one page at the most), are cordially invited to contact me at this address: mskeller1@bluewin.ch. The submission deadline is January 15, 2014.


Association for the Study of Esotericism
Fifth International Conference
 Esoteric Practices: Theories, Representations, and Methods
(Colgate University, New York, June 19-22, 2014)

4:00-7:30 p.m. Registration (West Hall, no. 18 on Campus Map)
6:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner (Frank Dining Hall, no. 26 on Campus Map)
7:30 p.m. Persson Hall (no. 36 on Campus Map): Persson Auditorium
Opening Remarks followed by
Plenary Lecture: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by Sarah Iles Johnston, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of Religion, Ohio State University
Afterwards, Merrill House (no. 2 on Campus Map) is open for talk and relaxation, with a cash bar.

FRIDAY, June 20

9:00 a.m. Welcome by Douglas A. Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Colgate University
9:10-10:40 a.m. Session I: Groups A, B
A: Late Nineteenth Century (Persson Auditorium)
Allison Coudert, Moderator
A.1. Cathy Gutierrez Immaterial Matters: Psychology, Spiritualism, and the Sixth Sense
A.2. Darryl Caterine Adjudicating the Primitive Mind: The Meaning and Fate of the “Subliminal Self” in the Mystical Theories of William James
A.3. John L. Crow The Theosophical Shift to the Visual: Graphical Representations of the Human Body in the Literature of Second and Third Generation Leadership in the Theosophical Society

B: Early Modern Period (Room 109)
Claire Fanger, Moderator
B.1. M. E. Warlick Women’s Work: Alchemy, Witchcraft and Herbal Medicines
B.2. Georgiana Hedesan Defining Esotericism: Esoteric Practice in Late Paracelsianism (c. 1600-1660)
B.3. Dan Harms “He Appeareth Like a Monster”: Representing Monstrous Spiritual Encounters in Folger MS. V.b.26

11:00 a .m.-12:30 p.m. Session II: Groups C, D
C: Film (Persson Auditorium)
Melinda Weinstein, Moderator
C.1. Leon Marvell Looking for the Daemonic: Occult Secrets of Murnau’s Nosferatu
C.2. John Corrigan Malick’s Mysticism: Ascent, Descent and the Simultaneity of All Time
C.3. Christian Giudice “And the Name of the Star is Called Wormwood”: The Representation of Marjorie Cameron as Artist and Occultist in the Films of Kenneth Anger, Curtis Harrington and Brian Butler

D: East and West (Room 109)
Lee Irwin, Moderator
D.1. Allison Coudert Orientalism in Early Modern Europe
D.2. Phillip C. Lucas Advaita Vedanta, Modern Advaita, and Non-Western Conceptions of Esotericism
D.3. Arthur Versluis American Gurus: The Convergence of Asian Religions, Mysticism, and Western Esotericism

12:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch Break

2:00-3:30 p.m. Session III: Groups E, F
E: Tibet, China, Japan (Persson Auditorium)
John Buescher, Moderator
E.1. Marc Des Jardins The Portrayal of Tibetan Bon and Its Sources in Alexandra David-Neel’s Accounts
E.2. Geoffrey Redmond Carl Jung: The I Ching (Book of Changes), and the Psychological Paradigm of Esotericism
E.3. Avery Morrow Spiritualism, Conspiracy, and Apocalypse in 21st Century Japan: The Case of the Hitsuki Shinji

F: Magick (Room 109)
Phillip C. Lucas, Moderator
F.1. Simon Magus The Fin-de -siècle Magical Aesthetic of Austin Osman Spare: Siderealism, Atavism, Automatism, Occultism
F.2. Henrik Bogdan Advaita Vedanta in Post-Crowleyan Magic: The Case of Kenneth Grant
F.3. Christian Greer and Colin Duggan Anatomy of a Paper Tiger: Chaos Magick Zines as Esoteric Practice

3:45- 4:45/5:45 p.m. Session IV: Groups G, H
G: Deification (Persson Auditorium)
Wouter Hanegraaff, Moderator
G.1. Mark Roblee “You Must Think of a God in this Way”: Imagining Apotheosis in Late Antique Hermetism
G.2. Leonard George Behind the Lightning Mask: A Biopsychological  View of Theurgical Visionary Practices

H: Panel: Esoteric Extensions of Exoteric Practices in the Middle Ages (Room 109)
H.1. Marla Segol The Transformation of the Hebrew Medical Microcosm to Jewish Esoteric Text and Practices
H.2. Minji Lee The Woman’s Body as the Cosmos: The De Secretis Mulierum and Trotula
H.3. Nell Champoux Magic in the Visionary Posture: Parsing Medieval Monastic Meditative Practices in John of Morigny’s Liber Florum
H.4. Claire Fanger The Contemplative Life and the Gift of Prophecy

7:00 p.m. Banquet (O’Connor Campus Center, no. 14 on Campus Map)

 SATURDAY, June 21

9:00-10:30 a.m. Session V: Groups J, K, L
J: Tradition versus Invention (Persson Auditorium)
John Patrick Deveney, Moderator
J.1. Richard Kaczynski Inventing Tradition: The Construction of History, Lineage and Authority in Secret Societies
J.2. R. A. Priddle Colonizing the Occult: How to Examine Western Occultism in Japanese Pop Culture with a Western Esotericism 3.0 Perspective
J.3. Marta Ferrer Enchanted Voyages from West to East: Lady Caithness’s  Esoteric Christianity

K: Literature I (Room 109)
Susan Johnston Graf, Moderator
K.1. Tom Willard Northrop Frye: Reading as Spiritual Practice
K.2. Chieko Tanaka The Sublime and Hermetic Mysticism in Frankenstein
K.3. Julia Gordon-Bramer Sylvia Plath: Madness. . . or Mysticism?

L: Visionary Practices (Room 108)
Leonard George, Moderator
L.1. David Freeman Inquiry as Enlightenment Practice
L.2. Olga Louchakova-Schwartz Climbing the Ladder of Spiritual Ascent: Phenomenology of Introspective Practices and the Genesis of Religious Ideas
L.3. John M. MacMurphy Urim and Thummim: The Inspiration  behind Abraham Abulafia’s Ecstatic Letter Permutation Technique

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Session VI: Plenary Lecture (Persson Auditorium)
Jean-Pierre Brach, Professeur et Directeur d’Études: Histoire des Courants Ésotériques dans l’Europe Moderne et Contemporaine, École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne, Paris)
Christian Kabbalah as an Esoteric Practice?Insights from the Early Modern Period

12:15-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30-3:00 p.m. Session VII: Groups M, N
M: Therapy (Persson Auditorium)
M.E. Warlick, Moderator
M.1. Melvyn Lloyd Draper Heretics of Health: Homeopathy as Heterodoxy in the British National Health Service
M.2. Karolina Maria Kotkowska Between Ritual Therapy and Mystical Initiation: Jerzy “Grot” Grotowski’s Conception of Theatre
M.3. Mark Stavish Israel Regardie and the Theory and Practice of the Middle Pillar Exercise

N: Literature II (Room 109)
Thomas Willard, Moderator
N.1. Wouter Hanegraaff The Transformation of Desire in Machen’s & Waite’s House of the Hidden Light
N.2. Susan Johnston Graf Weird Stories: Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
N.3. Neşe Devenot Archetypes of Gnostic Initiation in Discarnate Entity Contact

3:30- 5:30 p.m. Session VIII: Groups O, P
O: Music and Painting (Persson Auditorium)
Joscelyn Godwin, Moderator
O.1. Johann Hasler Three Levels of Representation of the Occult in Music: A Proposal for a Model of Cataloguing Musical Repertoire with Esoteric Subtexts
O.2. Paul E. Ivey Dissonance and Harmony: Theosophy and Early 20th Century Ultra-Modern Music
O.3. Colette Walker Between Matter and Spirit: Johannes Itten’s Kinderbild as Icon of the “New Man”
O.4. Malgorzata Alicja Dulska The Creative Process as a Form of Spiritual Knowledge: esoteric Practices in the Circle of the Janowska’s Group Painters

P: Recent Impacts (Room 109)
Henrik Bogdan, Moderator
P.1. Shai Feraro “God Giving Birth”: Monica Sjoo’s Role as a Bridge between Radical and Spiritual Feminism and British Wiccan-Derived Paganism, c.1960- c.1990
P.2. Sarah Veale Disenchantment of the Vampire: Balkan Folklore’s Deadly Encounter with Modernity
P.3. Simon Lee Inadvertent Rituals: Occult Communiqué in Crash Worship and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

Dinner Break

8:00 Concert in the Memorial Chapel (no. 25 on Campus Map) by the Manhattan Quartet
Admission free. Program to include Beethoven’s last string quartet, Opus 135 in F major.

SUNDAY, June 22

9:00-10:30 a.m. Session IX: Groups Q, R
Q: New York State (Persson Auditorium)
Cathy Gutierrez, Moderator
Q.1. Christian Goodwillie Shaker Feast Grounds and Fountains: Outdoor Ritual Practice and the 1840s Era of Manifestations
Q.2. Joscelyn Godwin Esotericism in a Murky Mirror: Strange Practices in Central New York
Q.3. Elizabeth Lowry Practice, Self-Representation , and Spirit Control in Amanda Theodosia Jones’s Psychic Autobiography

R: Celestial Influences (Room 109)
Moderator to be announced
R.1. Martin Schwarz Birth Magic and Divination: New Cross-Cultural Perspectives
R.2. George M. Young As Above, So Below: Chizhevsky’s Theory of the Influence of Solar Storms on Human History
R.3. Dan McKanan Astrology, Ecology, and Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamic Agriculture

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Session X: Groups S, T
S: Substances (Persson Auditorium)
Nell Champoux, Moderator
S.1. Christa Shusko The Drunken Consciousness: Alcohol, Transgression, and Truth in the Whitechapel Club
S.2. Morgan Shipley Unitive Knowledge of the Divine Ground: Aldous Huxley, Psychedelic Mysticism and the Perennial Philosophy
S.3. Gordan Djurdjevic “In Poison there is Physic”: On Poisons and Cures in Some Strands of Esoteric Theory and Practice

T: Panel: Confidence Games: the Performance of Fraud in Modern Spiritualism and the Victorian Occult Revival (Room 109)
T.1. John Patrick Deveney Purveyors of Practical Occultism: Late Nineteenth Century Confidence Men as the Complement of Occult Theory
T.2. John Buescher Stage Magic Confronts Spiritualist Performance: Madame Diss Debar and Her Imitators
T.3. Marc Demarest Elsie Crindle-Reynolds and the Decline of Cabinet Séances in American Spiritualism

12:15 p.m. Closing of the Conference (Persson Auditorium) and Lunch
2:00-4:00 Optional Tour of the Oneida Community’s Mansion House and other local sites


Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem 
Conference: Scripted Forms of Magic Knowledge: 
Grimoires in the Matrix of Western Cultures  
                                                  June 08, 2014 -to- June 11, 2014

An international conference organized by Dr Yuval Harari (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), to be held at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem.
Scholars from around the world will come together for an intensive joint study of the phenomenon of grimoires in different cultural environments in the history of the West. Books of magic from antiquity to our day will be at the focus of the conference and will be studied from various points of view: their types, patterns, contents and designs; their place between popular and learned knowledge; their role in the transmission of knowledge within and between religious-cultural communities; their evidence concerning emic approaches to magic, its boundaries and its relation to other fields of knowledge; their social and cultural contexts and so forth.
For the first time experts on magic texts and cultures in Antiquity, early and medieval Christianity, Judaism (past to present), Islam, the Renaissance, the modern West, and new Age movements will jointly discuss the special(?), professional(?) genre/s(?) of scripted magic knowledge.
For further details, please contact Yuval Harari: yharari@bgu.ac.il


London University, Warburg Institute,
Luca Guariento (Glasgow University), Conference “New perspectives on Robert Fludd and the philosophical background of his musica.” 
Wednesday 11 June, 11.30 hs. (Classroom 1)
Abstract: The entire writings of Robert Fludd (1574-1637) were suffused with his musical philosophy, which impinged on his approach to both the macrocosm and the microcosm. This paper will show how music fitted into his plan of Utriusque cosmi... historia and Medica Catholica and how it relates to past and coeval theories on musica speculativa. Ample space will be given to the little-known treatise on the human pulse; it uncovers new details on the status of the relation between music and medicine in Britain compared to the Continent at the beginning of the seventeenth century.


University of Oxford
Seminar: "History of Alchemy and Chemistry"
7-28 may, 2014

This year’s Oxford Seminar in the History of Alchemy and Chemistry will take place between 7 and 28 May 2014 at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford (2-10 Norham Rd, OX2 6SE) every Wednesday, 3pm-5pm. The seminar is free of charge, and anyone with an interest in the history of alchemy, chemistry, medicine or the sciences is invited to attend. The format is two papers followed by a Questions & Answers session. The line-up is as follows:
7 May: 18th Century Scottish Chemistry
Chair: John Perkins (Oxford Brookes)
Georgette Taylor (UCL)
Pedagogues and Pedagogue-ability: Cullen versus Plummer at Edinburgh University
John Christie (Oxford)
Professors and Students in the Age of the Chemical Revolution
14 May: 18th Century Russian Alchemy and Chemistry
Chair: John Christie (Oxford)
Alexander Iosad (Oxford)
The Usefulness of Chemistry, the Uses of Science: the Place of Chemistry in Russia after Peter I
Robert Collis (Helsinki)
Alchemy and Elite Culture in Russia in the Long Eighteenth-Century, 1697-1796
21 May: Distillation Alchemy in the Renaissance
Chair: Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford)
Fabrizio Bigotti (Warburg)
‘Homo alembicus’ and the Idea of Alchemical Destillatio in Renaissance Medicine
 Tillmann Taape (Cambridge)
Experience, Craftsmanship and Alchemical Medicine in Hieronymus Brunschwig's Distillation Manuals
28 May: Early Modern Alchemy
Chair: Howard Hotson (Oxford)
Anke Timmermann (Cambridge)
Alchemy, Images and Early Modern Cambridge
Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford)
Van Helmont on the Acquisition of the Medical Alchemical Arcana
There will be an opportunity to socialise at a nearby pub afterwards. In addition, everyone is welcome to join us for dinner with the speaker and chair.
For more information, questions or directions to the venue, please feel free to contact me at georgiana.hedesan@history.ox.ac.uk.


Sessions sponsored by Societas Magica
49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
The Medieval Institute
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
May 8-11, 2014
Call for Papers
Deadline: September 15, 2013

There will be three sessions sponsored or principally co-sponsored by Societas Magica at the next Medieval Congress:
1. Stones, Gems, and Metals in Medieval Magic
Organizer: David Porreca   (dporreca@uwaterloo.ca)

Material components feature prominently in magical operations, and the esoteric properties of such materials have only tangentially been the topic of dedicated academic study. In particular, this session aims to address the symbolism attached to various materials, and how this symbolism is reflected in the application of these materials to magical practice.

2. Visualizing Learned Magic and Popular Magic through Talismans and Objects
Organizer David Porreca (dporreca@uwaterloo.ca)

This session aims to look at the archaeology of magic as it manifests over a broad temporal and geographic area. We embrace talks on magical objects east and west.  What objects (talismans, tomes, sculptures, inscriptions etc.) relevant to magic survive from the Medieval era?  What marks their ritual use and or how do they distinguish themselves from ordinary artifacts?

3. Studying Magic: Big Questions, Provisional Methods, and Completely Unanticipated Results (roundtable discussion in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Societas Magica)
Organizer: Marla Segol  (marlaseg@buffalo.edu)

This roundtable gathers scholars who recently have published on magic and divination. Our aim is to understand better the development of this very new field. To that end, we will ask participants to discuss the following four questions about their recently published work:  
1. what were the big questions you asked?
2. What sorts of methods did you use to explore the question, and how did you come to them?
3. What surprised you? How did your results fit your expectations?
4. How do they help you think about what's next for the field?

We invite abstracts to be sent directly to the session organizers before the deadline (September 15), along with the personal information form (pif) which can be picked up here at the Medieval Institute as of some time in July.


London University. Warburg Institute

Conference. "Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures" 

24 - 25 April 2014


Organised by: Josefina Rodriguez-Arribas and Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute) and Stephen Johnston (Oxford Museum for the History of Science). For updates and more details see http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/events/colloquia-2013-14/astrolabes-in-medieval-cultures
Venue: The Warburg Institute, University of London, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB
The topics covered by this conference will be the astrolabe itself, texts on the construction and use of the instrument, and the position of the astrolabe in pre-modern cultures and societies (Islam and India, Jewish societies and medieval and Renaissance Europe).
Speakers include: Josefina Rodríguez Arribas (Warburg Institute), Stephen Johnston (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford), Silke Ackermann (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford), Emilia Calvo (Universidad de Barcelona), Laura Fernandez Fernandez (Complutense Madrid), Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma (Stuttgart), Miquel Forcada (Universidad de Barcelona), Petra Schmidl (Bonn), Johannes Thomann (Zürich), Flora Vafea (Cairo) and Koenraad van Cleepoel (CNHS, Bruxelles)


Thursday, 24 April 2014
1.30 Registration
Chair: Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute)
2.00 Welcome
2.15 Silke Ackermann (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford): All the Astrolabes - An AHRC Project in Context
3.00 Stephen Johnston (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford): Construction and Use: A Museum Perspective on Astrolabe Writing
3.45 Tea break
4.15 Johannes Thomann (Universität Zürich): Astrolabes as Eclipse Computers: Arabic Texts on the Construction and Use of the afīa kusūfiyya
5.00 Josefina Rodríguez Arribas (Warburg Institute): Bonetus de Latis and his Astrolabe Ring
5.45 Practical demonstration of use of an astrolabe
6.30 – 7.30 Wine reception
7.30 Dinner (for invited guests)
Friday, 25 April 2014
10.00 Doors open
10.15 Emilia Calvo (Universidad de Barcelona): The Old Castilian Alfonsine Translation of ‘Alī b. Khalaf’s Universal Plate
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Flora Vafea (Independent scholar, Cairo/Athens): From the Celestial Globe to the Astrolabe: Transferring the Celestial Motion onto the Plane of the Astrolabe
12.15 Petra Schmidl (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn):Comparing Astrolabes: The Problems of Dating and Locating a Medieval European Example and a Theoretical Solution
1.00 Lunch
2.15 Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma (Emeritus Professor, Aligarh Muslim University and Düsseldorf): Reworking of Arabic-Persian Astrolabes with Sanskrit Legends
3.00 Miquel Forcada (Universidad de Barcelona): Reactions to 11th century Toledan Astronomy in al-Andalus
3.45 Tea break
4.15 Laura Fernandez Fernandez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid): Astrolabes on Parchment: The Astrolabes Depicted in Alfonso X’s Libro del saber de astrología and their Relationship to Contemporary Instruments
5.00 Koenraad Van Cleempoel (Universiteit Hasset): Two Medieval French Astrolabes with a Gear Mechanism
5.45 Conclusions


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA. 
Tracking Hermes/Mercury 
(March 27, 2014 -to- March 29, 2014)

Keynote speakers:
  • Henk Versnel (Leiden)
  • H. Alan Shapiro (Johns Hopkins)
  • Joseph Farrell (Penn)
  • Deborah Boedeker (Brown).

Of all the divinities of classical antiquity, the Greek Hermes (= Roman Mercury) is the most versatile, complex, and ambiguous. His functions embrace both the marking of boundaries and their transgression, commerce and theft, rhetoric and practical jokes; he also plays the role of mediator between all realms of human and divine activity, embracing heaven, earth and the netherworld.

This conference at the University of Virginia aims to bring together scholars of Greek and Roman religion, art, literature, and history to assess this wide-ranging figure. We hope also to include attention to early reception of the god and his myths outside of Greece and Rome proper—for instance, Hermes as the Egyptian Thoth, the worship of Mercury in syncretistic forms in Rome’s imperial provinces, and allegorical interpretations of the god in late ancient and early medieval times. 

If you are interested in presenting a paper (20 minutes), please send an abstract of approximately 500 words by February 1, 2013. 

Abstracts or requests for information may be sent to one of the organizers: 

John F. Miller (jfm4j AT virginia.edu) 

Jenny Strauss Clay (jsc2t AT virginia.edu)


University of London, UK.
The Warburg Institute
Public Lecture, "How Hermetic was Renaissance Hermetism?" 
Wouter J. Hanegraaff
19 March 2014 

Although Marsilio Ficino has been credited with launching an important “Hermetic Tradition” by means of his Latin translation of the Corpus Hermeticum (first ed. 1471), it is questionable whether he or his fifteenth/sixteenth-century readers in fact understood the true nature of its religious contents. In this lecture, it will be argued that 
in spite of abundant references to the Corpus Hermeticum, what is usually perceived as “Renaissance Hermetism” had far less to do with the Hermetic teachings of late antiquity than is usually assumed. Conversely, Renaissance thinkers who did have an adequate understanding of the original Hermetic message have hardly been recognized as such. 
Against the background of important recent research about the textual transmission of the “philosophical” Hermetica through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this implies a radical reconceptualization of Renaissance Hermetism. 

Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. Alongside numerous articles, he is the author of New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought  (Leiden 1996/Albany 1998); Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents (Tempe 2005; with Ruud M. Bouthoorn); Swedenborg, Oetinger, Kant: Three Perspectives on the Secrets of Heaven (West Chester 2007); Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture (Cambridge 2012); and Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed (London 2013). He has also (co)edited seven collective volumes, including the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Leiden 2005) 
and Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (New York 2011; with Jeffrey J. Kripal). 


University of Cambridge
Visions of Enchantment:
Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture

International Conference
17-18 March 2014

Day 1

09.00 Registration
09.30 – 11.30 Keynote Lectures
• Prof. M.E. Warlick (University of Denver) - Women and Alchemy: The Rewards and Pitfalls of a Feminist Approach
• Prof. Emilie Savage-Smith (University of Oxford) - Talismanic Charts and the Role of Vision

11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break
12.00 – 13.30 Parallel Sessions

Picturing Witchcraft (Lecture Room 1)
• Dr Leo Ruickbie (King’s College, London) - Estranged and Enchanted Eroticism: The Role of Nudity in the Depiction of Witchcraft and Wicca
• Dennis Dechant (Yale University) - Nudity, Privacy, and the Female Body: A New Look at the Leipzig 'Love Magic' Panel
• Prof. Deanna Petherbridge (Professor Emeritus, University of the West of England, Bristol) - Leaky Vessels and Devil’s Dugs

The Magic of Manuscripts (Lecture Room 9)
• Zahra Faridany-Ahavan (Harvard University) - Tilism and Talisman: Magic and Sorcery in Persianate Manuscript Painting and Epic Literature
• Hiba Abid (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris) - When a Holy Text Becomes an Object of Meditation: Functional Transformations of an Illustrated Sufi Prayer Book, the “Dala’il al Khayrat” of Sidi ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli (d. 1465)
• Alessandra Petrocchi (University of Cambridge) - The Indian Astrological Almanac Pancanga: between Tradition and Innovation

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch Break
14.30 – 16.30 Parallel Sessions

Hermetic symbolism: I (Lecture Room 1)
• Dr Anke Timmerman (Downing College, Cambridge) - Drawing on Experiments: Alchemy, Manuscripts and the Visual
• Dr Christiane Hille (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich) - “A Work of Faith rather than Sense” – Ostensorium of Art, Alchemy and Christian Thought: The Elizabethan Miniature
• Nikola Piperkov (Sorbonne, Paris) - “Geminus nonnisi cresit Amor”: Bartholomaeus Spranger's Variations on Corregio's “Education of Eros” in Rudolfian Prague
• Anita Chowdry (Independent Scholar) - More than the Colour Red: the Unspoken Symbolism of Cinnabar Pigment in Indian Painting

Occultism and Modern Art: I (Lecture Room 9)
• Dr Alice Phillips (University of Iowa) - Mesmerized Dancers and Dreaming Muses: Gustave Moreau and Animal Magnetism
• Dr Nathan J. Timapno (University of Miami) - Between Heaven and Hell, Alchemy and Spirituality: Franz von Stuck’s Dual-Nature Symbolism
• Prof. Massimo Introvigne (Pontifical Salesian University, Turin) - Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) and the Theosophical «World of Art»
• Dr Allison Morehead (Queen’s University, Kingston) - Edvard Munch in the Age of Mediumistic Reproduction

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee Break
17.00 - 19.00 Parallel Sessions

Hermetic Symbolism: II (Lecture Room 1)
• Prof. Elizabeth Langhorn (Central Connecticut State University) - Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy
• Dr Uli Segers (Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf) - Sigmar Polke and the Hermetic Tradition
• Dr Yiannis Toumazis (Frederick University, Nicosia) - The Hermetic Universe of Marcel Duchamp’s “Étant Donnés: 1o la chute d’eau 2o le gaz d’ éclairage”
• Judtih Noble (Arts University Bournemouth) - The Wedding of Light and Matter: Alchemy in the Films of Derek Jarman

Occultism and Modern Art: II (Lecture Room 9)
• Melissa Buron (Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco) - Art in the Aftermath of Loss: Myth, Religion and Spiritualism in the Late Work of John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1867-1908)
• Manon Hedenborg White (Uppsala University) - Apocalyptic Aesthetics: The Goddess Babalon in Visual Culture
• Robert Ansell (Independent Scholar) - The Focus of Life: Androgyny and the Absolue in the Work of Austin Osman Spare
• Shai Feraro (University of Tel-Aviv) - Connecting British Wicca with Radical Feminism and Goddess Spirituality during the 1970s-1980s: A Case Study of the Feminist Artist Monica Sjöö.

Day 2

09.00 – 11.00 Keynote Lectures
• Dr Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam), Western Esotericism and Artistic Creativity: Searching for a New Interpretive Model
• Dr Sarah Victoria Turner (Paul Mellon Centre, London), TBC

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break
11.30- 13.30 Parallel Sesssions

Surrealism and the Occult (Lecture Room 1)
• Dr Nicholas Campion (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) - ‘Surrealism and Astrology’: The Esoteric Art of Xul Solar (1887-1963)
• Victoria Camblin (Magdelene College, Cambridge) - “L'Apparition”: Veiling and Unveiling in Georges Bataille and André Masson's “Acéphale” (1936-39)
• Daniel Zamani (Trinity College, Cambridge) - The Occult Politics of Meret Oppenheim’s “Le Festin” (1959)
• Victoria Ferentinou (University of Ionnania) - Visions of the “Occult Body” in Surrealism: Images of Embodiments in the Visual Oeuvre of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo

Totemic objects (Lecture Room 9)
• Dr Rita Lucarelli (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn) - The Power of Images in Ancient Egyptian Apotropaic Magic
• Dr Christiane Gruber (University of Michigan) -“Go wherever you wish, for verily you are well protected”: Seal Designs in Late Ottoman Prayer Books
• Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz) - Protection Against Evil in Byzantium: Magical Amulets from the Early to the Late Byzantine Period
• Niamh Bhalia (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London) - Protective Letters and Prophylactic Names: the Image of the Last Judgement at Yilanli Kilise

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch break
14.30- 16.30 Parallel Sessions

Occultism, Performance and Spectacle (Lecture Room 1)
• Eleanor Dobson (University of Birmingham) - From the Magic Lantern to the Fortune Teller: Occult Spectacle, Theatre and Ancient Egypt, 1890-1914
• Dr Simone Natale (Columbia University) - The Spirit and the Marketplace: Spirit Photography as Visual Attraction and Commodity in the Nineteenth Century
• Dr James Riley (Corpus Christi, Cambridge) - Pandemonium ‘69: Magick, Performance and the ‘End of the Sixties’
• Matthew Mild (Bangor University) - On the Left Hand of Embodiment and Extravagance: Satanic Mysticism from Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga to Diamanda Galás and Lars von Trier

Occultism and Architecture (Lecture Room 9)
• Francis Young (Independent Scholar) - Esoteric Recusancy in the Elizabethan Age: The Occult Architecture of Sir Thomas Tresham
• Amandeep Sangha (University of Nottingham) - Unlocking Hidden Potential: William Lethaby and His Quest to Revive Architectural Symbolism
• Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja (Independent Scholar) - Mysticism in Sacred Javanese Mosque Architecture and Ornamentation
• Irene Chen (Columbia University) - The Architecture of Heaven: John Murray Spear and the Aesthetics of Circularity in 19th-century American Spiritualism

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee break
17.00 – 18.00 Keynote Lecture
• Professor Antoine Faivre (Emeritus Professor, Sorbonne) - An Example of Iconographic Art in Christian Theosophy: The Engravings in the Edition of Jacob Böhme's Works by Johann Georg Gichtel (1682)

See the conference website for more details http://www.visionsofenchantment.com/ 


        Princeton University, Department of Near Eastern Studies,
The Occult Sciences in Islamicate Cultures (13th-17th Centuries),
Jones Hall, Room 202, February 14-15, 2014

Organized by: Matthew Melvin-Koushki (Princeton University/University of South Carolina)
Co-sponsored by:
Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Near Eastern Studies Program, Princeton University
Iranian Studies Program, Princeton University
History of Science Program, Princeton University
Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia
Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

While few scholars would dispute the fact that premodern writings on the so-called occult sciences—astrology, alchemy, lettrism/kabbalah, magic, etc.—thickly populate manuscript archives from India to England, there are sharp differences in how this occultist legacy has been received in modern scholarship. On the one side of the great (if mythical) Eurasian divide, Europeanists have in the last decades thoroughly rehabilitated the occult sciences as a fundamental component of Western intellectual history from antiquity to the present, and indeed as a primary load-bearing structure in the edifice of modernity. In the process, the thought of key medieval thinkers, such as Bacon and Lull, and many of the humanistic heroes of the Renaissance and the ‘Scientific Revolution,’ from Bruno to Pico to Newton, has been shown to be profoundly occultist in orientation and methodology—and profoundly dependent on Arabic sources in the same vein. On the other side, despite a small but potent body of scholarship on the subject, most Islamicists continue to reflexively regard the ubiquity of occultism in premodern and modern Muslim societies either as the detritus of an immature Hellenophilism or, in later periods, as proof of cultural decadence and degeneracy. The more occult strands of feted thinkers’ oeuvres are quietly ignored, and dedicated occultist thinkers simply dismissed as intellectually vacuous.
This is not to say that great postmodern strides have not been made in the direction of deconstructing ‘classical’ Islamic history and rehabilitating ‘postclassical’ Islamicate cultures as sites of new, synthetic forms of creativity and expansiveness. Yet all of these necessary deconstructions and rehabilitations notwithstanding, Islamicate occultism remains largely suspect and grossly understudied, while European occultism, its heir and twin, is increasingly embraced. Indeed, Western esoteric studies is now a field in its own right, featuring dedicated academic units in Europe; the same has yet to be dreamt of with respect to things Islamic.
That the Islamicate occult sciences are still considered suspect reflects a certain ensorcellment of Islamicists by the specter of post-Enlightenment Science. Reacting to the depredations of European colonialism, the well-intentioned scholarly compulsion has been to exorcize Islamicate history and culture of ‘superstition’ and ‘magic’ in an effort to banish orientalist stereotypes of cultural and scientific stagnation, resulting in an invasive scientistic pruning of Islamicate intellectual history. We are presented with an approved canon of Muslim thinkers whose contributions to science can be universally appreciated. Such Whig histories of science are no longer defensible among Europeanists; the history of science in the premodern Islamicate world must be similarly exorcized and decolonized.
The workshop here proposed on the occult sciences in Islamicate cultures is conceived of as a modest contribution toward the repair of this deep structural imbalance in scholarship on premodern Eurasian intellectual, scientific and cultural history. In bringing together senior and junior scholars committed to the study of the occult sciences in Islamicate societies and sensitive to the similarities of cultural patterning across Islamo-Christian (or Islamo-Judeo-Christian) Eurasia as a whole, the workshop aims to be a forum in which to present and discuss state-of-the-art research on the theory and practice of specific occult sciences in various medieval and early modern Islamicate societies, as well as an opportunity to evaluate the state of the field and
identify concrete strategies for its development.
Papers will not be read at this workshop. Rather, each panel will begin as a conversation between the panelists and/or respondents, then expand into general discussion.
Friday, 14 February
2:30-3:00 p.m. Opening remarks
3:00-3:45 p.m. Keynote address: Occultism and Ottoman imperial identity Cornell Fleischer (University of Chicago)
3:45-4:15 p.m. Tea and coffee
4:15-5:35 p.m. Panel 1: Astrology between Anatolia and India Moderator: Noah Gardiner (University of Michigan)
Eva Orthmann (University of Bonn): “Astral Magic and Divine Names: The  K. al-Jawāhir al-khams of Muḥammad Ghauth Gwāliyārī”
Tunç Şen (University of Chicago): “Astrology in Ottoman Court Culture: Royal Patronage for Astrologers during the Reign of Bayezid II (r. 1481-1512)”
5:45-6:45 p.m. Panel 2: Ottoman physiognomy and political theory Moderator: Nicholas Harris (University of Pennsylvania/Chemical Heritage Foundation)
Özgen Felek (City University of New York): “Reading Bodies Holy and Royal: The Ottoman Physiognomy Tradition as Enacted in Seyyid Loḳmān’s Ḳıyāfetü ’l-İnsānīye
Emin Lelić (University of Chicago): “İlm-i firaset and Fürstenspiegel Literature: The Prince as the Mirror Image of the Body Social”
Saturday, 15 February
9:00-10:20 a.m. Panel 3: The talismanic shirt as text and artifact Moderator: Eva Orthmann (University of Bonn); Respondent: Tunç Şen (University of Chicago)
Rose Muravchick (University of Pennsylvania) “The Void in the Vitrine: The Exhibition History of Islamic Talismanic Shirts”
Özgen Felek (City University of New York): “Fears, Hopes, and Dreams: The Talismanic Shirts of Sultan Murād III”
10:20-10:50 a.m. Tea and coffee
10:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Panel 4: Theory and politics in Būnian magic Moderator: Emin Lelić (University of Chicago)
Noah Gardiner (University of Michigan): “Al-Būnī’s Lettrist Cosmology: Writing and Diagramming the Invisible Worlds”  
Jean-Charles Coulon (University of Paris - Sorbonne): “Magic and Politics: Historical Events and Political Thought in the  Šams al-maʿārif Attributed to al-Būnī (d. 622/1225)”
12:10-2:00 p.m. Lunch on own
2:00-3:20 p.m. Panel 5:  Shirazi occultists in Iran and India Moderator: Rose Muravchick (University of Pennsylvania)
Daniel Sheffield (Princeton University): “The Lord of the Planetary Court: Cosmic Aspects of Millennial Sovereignty in the Thought of Āẕar Kayvān and His Followers”
Matthew Melvin-Koushki (Princeton University/University of South Carolina): “‘Imami’ Letter Magic in Safavid Iran: The Life and Works of Maḥmūd Dihdār ʿIyānī, Shirazi Occultist”
3:20-3:50 p.m. Tea and coffee
3:50-5:10 p.m. Panel 6: The nature of Islamicate alchemy Moderator: Matthew Melvin-Koushki (Princeton University/University of South Carolina); Respondent: Tuna Artun (Rutgers); Respondent: Michael Gordin (Princeton University); Respondent: Jennifer Rampling (Princeton University)
Nicholas Harris (University of Pennsylvania/Chemical Heritage Foundation): “A Prolegomenon to the Study of Islamicate Alchemy”
Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute) “Reflections on a History of the Occult Sciences in Islamicate Societies from the Perspective of History of Science”
5:20-6:40 p.m. Roundtable: Whither the study of Islamicate occultism?
6:40-6:50 p.m. Closing remarks


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Rotem Conference Room, The Marcus family campus, Beer-Sheva
International research workshop
Theosophical Appropriations: Kabbalah, Western Esotericism
and the Transformation of Traditions
December 16, 2013 -to- December 18, 2013

The Theosophical Society, which was founded in New York in 1875 by Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, became a highly influential esoteric movement.
The original Theosophical Society, whose headquarters were established in Adyar, Madras in 1879, underwent various splits and schisms. These include the Theosophical Society, Pasadena, Anthroposophy, the Arcane School of Alice Bailey as well as many other groups. The Theosophical Society has had a wide cultural and political impact, especially in India and Sri Lanka between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, becoming one of the most important intellectual roots of the New Age and contemporary alternative spiritualities.
Blavatsky, the main theorist of the Society, and some of her successors claimed to be in touch with mysterious masters who were the true source of Theosophical teachings. Drawing, amongst other things, on Spiritualism, contemporary science, Indian religions and various esoteric currents, including Kabbalah, the Theosophists taught that there was one ancient and universal wisdom religion, fragments of which could be discerned in worldwide religion and mythology despite their degradation. Theosophy was largely responsible for the popularisation of eastern spirituality more generally, especially Advaita Vedanta and the concepts of reincarnation, karma and chakras, which are popular today.

Theosophy, in its various forms, reflect cultural, intellectual and historical changes from the late nineteenth century to the present day. It is therefore of interest to those who wish to study changing conceptions of religion, spirituality, science and their relation, notions of ‘east’ and ‘west’, issues surrounding colonialism, and orientalism, sexuality, the body, gender and the self. As perhaps the most influential esoteric movement of modern times, it is important to an understanding of the development and adaptation of esoteric currents in the modern world.

"Theosophical Appropriations: Kabbalah, Western Esotericism and the Transformation of Traditions" is a research workshop funded by the Israel Science Foundation in cooperation with the Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought. The workshop is associated with the Israeli Science Foundation Research Project Kabbalah and the Theosophical Society (1875-1936). It seeks to explore the diverse and complex ways in which the Theosophical Society and related currents confronted, adapted and transformed various religious and cultural traditions. The workshop will provide a platform for high-profile international speakers and experts in Theosophy and related movements. They will address a wide range of issues, groups and individuals associated with and derived from Theosophy in a number of different countries at during different periods. Issues to be considered include the transformation of Kabbalistic doctrines in Theosophy, the nature of Theosophical doctrines, their appeal and historical and cultural contingency, the relationships and possible tensions between different elements within them and the relation between Theosophy and Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist thought.
Karl Baier, University of Vienna, Austria; Julie Chajes, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Yossi Chajes, University of Haifa, Israel; John Patrick Deveney, USA; Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Shulamit Dvir, Kfar Raphael Remedial Community, Israel; Zvi Dvir, Kfar Raphael Remedial Community, Israel; Cathy Gutierrez, Sweet Briar College, USA; Victoria Ferentinou, University of Ioannina, Greece; Chaim Hames, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Olav Hammer, University of Southern Denmark, Odense; Boaz Huss, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Massimo Introvigne, Salesian University,Torino, Italy; Andreas Kilcher, Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland; Adam Klim-Oron, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Eugene Kuzmin, Yad Vashem Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Shimon Lev, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Isaac Lubelsky, The Open University, Israel; Zohar Maor, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Jonatan Meir, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Abraham Oron, The IsraeliTheosophical Society, Israel; Marco Pasi, University of Amsterdam, Holland; Tomer Persico, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; Ohad Rosenberg, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; Yossef Schwartz, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; Yuri Stoyanov, SAOS, University of London, England; Shini'chi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College, Japan; Helmunt Zander, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

For further information check the conference homepage at <http://hsf.bgu.ac.il/cjt/Theosophia.htm>


American Academy of Religion 2013 Annual Meeting 
Western Esotericism Session at the American Academy of Religion 
EEUU, Baltimore, Maryland, November 23-26, 2013
Baltimore Convention Center

Call for Proposals
This Group invites paper proposals on the following topics: 
-Esotericism and psychoactive substances — exploring the historical, cultural, and social dimensions of the use of drugs and more generally psychoactive substances in the context of Western esotericism, especially in relation to visionary and/or mystical experiences but also in relation to magical and ritual practices 
-Michel Foucault’s concept of “technologies of the self” and focuses to esoteric practices of bodily and/or mental discipline used as tool of spiritual or magical realization 
-For a possible cosponsored session with the Ritual Studies Group, play and games in an esoteric context, particularly the dimensions of irony, games, play, and humor in esotericism and challenging the classic stereotype of the esotericist who looks at his/her endeavors and doctrines with extreme seriousness and gravity 
This Group seeks to reflect and further stimulate the current process — reflected in the recent creation of new Chairs and teaching programs, international associations, journals, monograph
series, and reference works — of professionalization and scholarly recognition of Western esotericism as a new area of research in the study of religion. For more information on the field, see the Websites of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism , the Association for the Study of Esotericism, and the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam. On these Websites you will also find information on the academic journal Aries and the Aries Book Series (both published by Brill Academic Publishers). Anonymity of Review Process
Proposer names are visible to Chairs but anonymous to Steering Committee members. 
Questions? If you have questions, please contact:
Cathy N. Gutierrez: cgutierrez@sbc.edu
Marco Pasi: m.pasi@uva.nl


Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 
4th Postgraduate Workshop on the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Alchemy and Chemistry in Context
Keynes Library, Birkbeck College
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Saturday 26 October 2013

Every year the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) runs an international workshop for graduate students and early career scholars working on the history and philosophy of alchemy and chemistry. The theme for the 2013 Workshop is ‘Alchemy and Chemistry in Context’. This interdisciplinary event will explore the interaction between chemical knowledge and the wider social, economic, religious and cultural context, across a range of historical periods – from medieval alchemy to the chemical industry. 

The Workshop includes:

·         Keynote presentations by Dr Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London), who specialises in the sixteenth and seventeenth-century alchemy, and Prof John Christie (University of Oxford), whose work focusses on eighteenth-century chemistry.

·         Presentations by current postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers on such topics as Polish alchemy, John Dee, the teaching of John Dalton and the ‘open-air’ chemical laboratory of the Vesuvius.

·         A roundtable discussion.

Registration is free and lunch is provided.

Due to constraints of space, we will initially limit the participation to fifteen students and early career scholars on a first-come first-serve basis. Consequently, please express your interest as quickly as possible, but no later than 10 October 2013.

To register, please write to the lead organiser, Jo Hedesan, at georgianahedesan@yahoo.com, with your name, affiliation, and research interests.

Bursaries are available towards the cost of travel and accommodation. For further details and other queries, please contact Jo Hedesan.


University of Amsterdam
Conference. Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the arts in the modern world,
25-27 September 2013.

Call for papers.
This is the first conference of the newly established research network, Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, modernism and the Arts c. 1875-1960, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
The conference will be organized in collaboration with the Centre for the History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents, University of Amsterdam. 

Building on a very successful exploratory colloquium at Liverpool Hope University in December 2010, this conference will explore what the arts can tell us about the complex relationships between Theosophy, modernity and artistic culture c. 1875-1960. The purpose of this conference is to bring together an international group of scholars working on Theosophy and the arts across the globe in this period, and as a result, map the rich variety of artistic responses to the influence of Theosophy and the Theosophical movements in the modern world. The connections between Theosophy and modernist aesthetics have been well documented in relation to certain artists such as Kandinsky and Mondrian, as well as composers like Scriabin and Rudhyar. However, the purpose of this conference is to develop a more nuanced and complex picture of the multiple layering of art, modernity and mysticism in a range of artistic practices in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The wider critical significance of the relationships between painting, sculpture, applied and decorative arts, music, architecture on the one hand and Theosophy on the other, with the exception of a few well known case-studies, is still largely to be explored, possibly because, as the historian Alex Owen has suggested, ‘the very notion of mysticism and the occult seem to run counter to our conception of modern culture and the modern mind set’.
Individual papers might explore how artists, musicians and performers came into contact with Theosophy and other mystical doctrines or practices, and how Theosophical ideas, especially those of key figures in the Society in this period, such as Helena P. Blavatsky and Annie Besant, were given material, visual and audible form and shape.
Other topics of interest for the conference will include: the international artistic networks of the Theosophical movements (including R. Steiner’s Anthroposophy and post-Theosophical developments, such as G.I. Gurdjieff’s Work), the interrelations of mysticism, music and the visual arts; women artists/musicians and Theosophy; the artistic significance of A. Besant’s and C.W. Leadbeater’s book Thought Forms (1901).
We plan to publish the proceedings of this conference. Please indicate whether you are interested in developing your paper, if accepted, for a publication of collected essays after the conference. 

In 2015, the network will hold another conference at Columbia University, New York, which will focus more on literature and text.

Language: English
Deadline for paper proposals: Wednesday, 29 th February 2013
Proposal format: abstract (300 to 500 words ) and a short bio (100 to 200 words)
Please send your proposals to Dr. Marco Pasi:m.pasi@uva.nl


University of Wales, U. K. Trinity Saint David
The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture,
School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology
Eleventh Annual Sophia Centre Conference
22-23 June 2013

Call for Papers
Venue: Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, England
Keynote speakers
Prof. Peter Forshaw, Universitair Docent (Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor) for History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam.
Prof. Elliot R. Wolfson, Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University.

Conference Chairs
Dr Nicholas Campion, University of Wales Trinity Saint David,
Dr Liz Greene, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the University of Bristol. l.greene@tsd.ac.uk

Conference Theme.
Magic, loosely defined, is the attempt to engage with the world through the imagination or psyche, in order to obtain some form of knowledge, benefit or advantage. Celestial magic engages with the cosmos through stellar, planetary or celestial symbolism, influences or intelligences. This academic
conference will explore the history, philosophy and practice of celestial magic in past or present societies.

The conference organisers invite proposals for papers of 30 minutes which may deal with text, imagery, practice or theory. We welcome proposals on any time period or culture. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2012.

Please include an abstract of c. 150 words and a biography of c 100 words, in the same document.

Abstracts and biographies should be e mailed to Dr Liz Greene,

The conference is held in collaboration with the Sophia Centre Press.
Publication: selected proceedings will be published through the Sophia Centre Press.


University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
The Fourth International ESSWE Conference,
Western Esotericism and Health
26-29 June, 2013

26-29 June 2013, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Issues relating to health (understood in a broad sense) can be seen as an intrinsic part of the field of esotericism, but surprisingly little attention has been given to how health is understood and construed in esoteric discourses. The conference is thus as an attempt to fill an important lacuna in the study of Western esotericism. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to), esoteric notions and discourses on health, sexuality and well-being, "occult" causes for disease, "occult medicine", notions of therapeutic benefits of magic and meditation, alchemical approaches to health, alternative forms of medicine, etc.

Keynote lecturers include:

Catherine L. Albense (University of California)

Peter Forshaw (University of Amsterdam)
James R. Lewis (Tromsø University)
Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University)
Andrew Weeks (Illinois State University)
Alison Winter (University of Chicago)

Papers are invited in English. Proposals for 20 minutes’ papers (title and short abstract of approximately 250 words) should be sent to
Henrik Bogdan (henrik.bogdan@religion.gu.se), with your name and academic affiliation, by January 15, 2013.

Conference Chairman:
Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg)

Conference Committee: Egil Asprem, Henrik Bogdan, Olav Hammer, Kennet Granholm, Asbjørn Dyrendal and Jesper Aa. Petersen


At the 59th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America
Renaissance Interpretations of Life in Heaven and Earth
San Diego, USA, 4-6 April 2013

Organized by Hiro Hirai and Monica Azzolini

Session 1. Chair, Monica Azzolini (University of Edinburgh)
1. Roberto Lo Presti (Humboldt University of Berlin), “The Matter of Life, the Life of Matter: Understanding and Rethinking the ‘Activities Common to the Soul and the Body’ in the Renaissance”.
2. Elisabeth Moreau (Free University of Brussels), “Matter and Nutrition in Jean Riolan’s Commentary on Fernel’s Physiology”.
3. Hiro Hirai (Radboud University Nijmegen), “Renaissance Embryology and Astrology after Pico”.

Session 2. Chair, Hiro Hirai (Radboud University Nijmegen)
4. Andreas Blank (University of Paderborn), “Julius Caesar Scaliger on Plants, Species, and the Ordained Power of God”.
5. Kuni Sakamoto (University of Tokyo), “Cardano vs. Scaliger on the World-Soul”.
6. Cecilia Kapoor (Pace University), “Cosmic Love, Female Matter and Medicine in Leone Ebreo’s Dialoghi d’amore”.

Session 3. Chair, Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge)
7. H. Darrel Rutkin (Stanford University), “Were the Heavens Alive in the Renaissance?: Ficino’s and Pico’s Contrasting Views on the Animation of the Heavens”.
8. Dario Tessicini (University of Durham), “Beyond Exhalations: The Sixteenth-Century Italian Debate on Comets and Their Matter”.
9. Patrick J. Boner (Johns Hopkins University), “A New Star and a Novel Philosophy: The Challenge of Change in Early Modern Astronomy”.

Session 4. Chair, Patrick J. Boner (Johns Hopkins University)
10. Dane T. Daniel (Wright State University), “When Ghosts Become Visible: Natural and Supernatural Beings in Paracelsus’ Cosmology”.
11. Vera Keller (University of Oregon), “Life in the Blood: Johann Ernst Burggrav’s Lamp of Life and Death”.
12. Kaz Shibata (University of Tokyo), “Conception of Life in Francis Bacon’s De viis mortis”.


At the 59th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America
The Ironies of Alchemy in Early Modern English Literature
San Diego, USA, 4-6 April 2013

Chaucer’s "Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale” is the first great satire of alchemy in English literature, but in its final lines it nevertheless suggests that the Philosopher’s Stone is a genuine secret deeply hidden in the knowledge of Christ. As Stanton Linden observes, Chaucer’s sustained ridicule of alchemy is thus accompanied by the suggestion that the opus alchymicum is not entirely a fool’s errand.
Linden’s seminal study of alchemy in Englishliterature, Darke Hierogliphicks (1996), suggests that alchemy served as an object of satire throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries—from Chaucer through Jonson’s The Alchemist and Mercury Vindicated—but then flourished as a set of philosophical and religious ideas in the seventeenth century before its ultimate defeat with the rise of modern science.
Close examination of the ways in which texts use alchemy, however, often reveals the kind of irony that Linden observes in Chaucer: satires of alchemy might also take it very seriously, and attempts to use alchemy for serious purposes might be skewed or flawed.
This panel includes papers that complicate the standard narrative of alchemy in English literature by revealing such ironies in early modern literary works. Papers might introduce works that have not been widely studied, or they might reassess works whose place in the alchemical literary tradition has long been assumed.

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief vita to Chad Engbers (engbers@calvin.edu), by Friday, June 1

University of Exeter, Centre for Medical History,
Conference: "Demons and Illness: Theory and Practice
from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period"
22 – 24th April 2013

Call for Papers

In many near eastern traditions, demons appear as a cause of illness: most famously in the stories of possessed people cured by Christ. These traditions influenced perceptions of illness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in later centuries but the ways in which these cultures viewed demons and illness have received comparatively little attention. For example, who were these demons? How did they cause illness? Why did they want to? How did demons fit into other explanations for illness? How could demonic illnesses be cured and how did this relate to other kinds of cure? How far did medical or philosophical theory affect how people responded to demonic illnesses in practice?

This conference will take a comparative approach, taking a wide geographical and chronological sweep but confining itself to this relatively specific set of questions. Because Jewish, Christian and Islamic ideas about demons and illness drew on a similar heritage of ancient religious texts from New Testament times to the early modern period there is real scope to draw meaningful comparisons between the different periods and cultures. What were the common assumptions made by different societies? When and why did they differ? What was the relationship between theory and practice? We would welcome papers which address these issues for any period between antiquity and the early modern period, and which discuss Christian, Jewish or Islamic traditions.

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter, on April 22nd-24th, 2013. Please send abstracts by 15th September 2012 to the conference organizers, Catherine Rider and Siam Bhayro, Centre for Medical History, University of Exeter: email c.r.rider@exeter.ac.uk or s.bhayro@exeter.ac.uk.


Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism 
International academic symposium "Ways of Gnosis: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Mystical and Esoteric Traditions" Moscow, 10-13 April 2013

in collaboration with
Institute “Russian Anthropological School” of the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow), the Research Centre for Esotericism and Mysticism at Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities (St. Petersburg), the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), the Scientific-Educational Centre “Free Philosophical Society”
 Call for papers (1st version)
One of the most important elements of mystical and esoteric traditions is the phenomenon of gnosis, defined as prophetic knowledge with soteriological value for its bearers. The gnostic worldview, its symbols and motives can be found in masterpieces of Western art and literature. Over the past two millenniums, Western spiritual culture has been consistently influenced by gnostic thought, and it is now difficult to imagine the history of Western art, literature, science, philosophy and religion without gnosis, that has certain parallels in structure and ideas with some Eastern cultures (for example, India).
The international academic symposium “Ways of Gnosis” plans to examine this phenomenon from different points of view (phenomenological, hermeneutical, and historical); to show its real significance in Eastern and Western mystical and esoteric traditions; to investigate the meeting of worldviews in “Alexandrian gnosis” and the interrelation of “gnostic” currents to each other; to point out the influence of different aspects, symbols, and images of gnostic traditions in daily life; to show the historical continuity of gnostic ideas in the European cultural tradition; to compare different forms of gnosis in Eastern and Western culture; to elucidate different approaches to the phenomenon of gnosis, and, finally, to demonstrate the role of gnostic doctrines in the history of Russian culture.
This symposium brings together two regular conferences previously held separately – “Russia and Gnosis,” organized by the Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow) and “Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice,” the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM).  Thus, the symposium simultaneously hosts the Sixth International Conference “Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice” and the tenth “Russia and Gnosis” conference. There will be one joint plenary session and one joint thematic session; however, the two conferences will otherwise have separate programs.
Working languages: Russian and English. Translation into English will be provided for those not fluent in Russian. Applications should be sent to the following E-mail: symposium04.2013@gmail.com before February 20, 2013 (January 15, 2013, if you require our assistance with documents for the Russian visa formalities). Please fill in the following form:
      1. Full name; 2. Date of birth;  3.  Academic degree;  4. Home address;  5. Place of work/study;  6.  Position;  7. Contact telephone number;  8. E-mail address;  9. Is an official invitation required (for a Russian visa)? (yes / no); 10. Specify the conference the paper will be read in: a. Mystical and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice;  b. Russia and Gnosis; c.  Whichever the organizing party decides best thematically suits my text. (Please note that, unless your paper is read at a joint session, it will only be presented at one of the two joint conferences, not both); 11.  Is any kind of technical support (computer/overhead projector/etc) required for your presentation? If yes, please specify the exact equipment. 12. Paper title; 13.  Abstract (approx. 100-200 words);  14.  Language that the paper will be be read in; 15.  Whether an invoice for the fee is required (yes / no).
The organizing committee will not provide accommodations for the participants; however, it can point them towards some types of accommodations not far from the place of the symposium. This information is provided upon the request of participants. Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings after the conference. The full text of the paper, including footnotes and bibliography, should be 3,000 – 4,000 words. An example text demonstrating the required formatting is provided on demand. The full text of the paper can be sent in either together with the conference application or at a later date (to be specified several months before the conference).
The sum of the participation fee for non-residents of Russia and other countries of Commonwealth of Independent States is variable: 1) The fee for participants requiring aid of the org. committee in acquiring a Russian visa will be 40 Euro. The application and certain documents (list is provided separately upon request) must be sent in before January 15, 2013. 2) The fee for participants organizing their own arrival is 30 Euro. The application deadline in this case is February 20, 2013.
There is a 50% discount for ASEM members. In both cases, the fee is to be paid during the registration, which will take place on April 10, 2013 (before the official opening), at the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, Nikoloyamskaya street, 1.
The symposium will be hosted in two locations. On April 10-11, 2013, work will proceed at the Library for Foreign Literature (Nikoloyamskaya St., 1). On April 12-13, 2013, the symposium will transfer to Miusskaya square, 6 (the Russian State University for the Humanities), rooms 103–105.
Any changes will be announced in a second version of this call for papers, to be published in 2-3 months. 
President of the Organizing Committee: Ekaterina Genieva, Head of the Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow).
Members of the Organizing Committee: ESSWE President Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Yuriy Halturin (Moscow, Russia), Birgit Menzel (Meinz, Germany), ASEM President Sergey Pakhomov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Alexander Petrov (Moscow, Russia), Irina Protopopova (Moscow, Russia), Roman Svetlov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Yuriy Zavhorodniy (Kiev, Ukraine), Vadim Zhdanov (Erlangen, Germany).
Organizing Committee Secretaries: Alexander Rychkov (Moscow, Russia), Kateryna Zorya (Kiev, Ukraine).
Postal address:  Nikoloyamskaya St., 1. Moscow, Russia 109189. Library for Foreign Literature, Centre for Religious and Russian Émigré. Symposium “Ways of Gnosis”. The website:
Contact E-mail: symposium04.2013@gmail.com.
Contact phone numbers: +7 (495) 915-79-86, 8-921-384-30-29.


Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry. 
Spring Meeting. In the beginning: sources of alchemy and chemistry 
Cambridge; March 16, 2013

This year, the Society launches Sources of Alchemy and Chemistry, a new series of supplements to Ambix. These will offer critical editions and English translations of important works in the history of chemistry, including works composed in Greek, Syriac, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin. These editions will showcase the best and most up-to-date scholarship on early chemical writings, offering new insight into the origins of alchemy, chemistry and chemical technology. To mark the occasion, the SHAC Spring Meeting will explore new work in these fields, using sources that are not yet available in modern editions. The Meeting will take place on the 16 March between 12.30 and 17.30 at Richard Eden Room, Gillian Beer House, Clare Hall (West Court site), Cambridge.


12.30 – 13:00 Registration and Refreshments
13:00 – 13:30 Introduction: Prof Lawrence M. Principe (Johns Hopkins University), ‘Early Sources of Alchemy and Chemistry’
13.30 – 15:00 Panel 1: Alchemy in the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Arabic Worlds
• Dr Matteo Martelli (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), ‘Zosimus and the First Book of Alchemy’
• Dr Gabriele Ferrario (Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library), ‘Judaeo-Arabic alchemy in the Cairo Genizah’
Chair: Dr Cristina Viano (CNRS, Paris)
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00 Panel 2:Sources of Latin Alchemy
• Dr Sébastien Moureau (Université catholique de Louvain), ‘Elixir and Ferment, Alchemy and Medicine: the Link between Pseudo-Avicenna’s De anima, Roger Bacon, and Pseudo-Aristotle’s Secretum secretorum
• Dr Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge), ‘Plotting the Future of Medieval Alchemy’
• Chair: Prof Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute)
17.00 – 17:30 Roundtable discussion
Colloquium organized by Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge) and Professor Lawrence Principe (Johns Hopkins University) on behalf of SHAC. With support from the British Society for the History of Science and the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Pre-Modern Europe. Download the programme in PDF format here.


Registration is £6 for SHAC members, £6 for students and £10 for non-members. Payment may be made by cheque, payable to the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry and sent to the Hon. Secretary, Dr Anna Marie Roos, secretary@ambix.org, or online via PayPal. To register, please begin by filling in the online Registration form accessible here. In the form, you will be asked to make a choice on whether you wish to pay by PayPal or cheque. Once your registration goes through, you will be able to proceed with payment.


 University of Cambridge - History of Art Department
Conference: Charming Intentions: Occultism, Magic and the History of Art
3-4 December 2012

Call for papers.
This two-day graduate conference will investigate the intersections between visual culture and the occult tradition, ranging from the material culture of ‘primitive’ animism, through medieval and Renaissance depictions of witchcraft and demonology, to the contemporary fascination with the supernatural in popular culture.
The conference aims to provide a stimulating arena for the presentation of innovative research in this field as well as to offer a vibrant and thought-provoking forum for scholarly discussion and exchange. We welcome papers from current and recent graduate students from all disciplines, provided their research engages with material, visual or symbolic aspects of magic and occultism.
Acceptable topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following areas:

* The sacred and the profane;
* The material culture of magic, ritual and sacrifice;
* Objects of totemic, apotropaeic or fetishistic character;
* Aspects of mysticism in Jewish, Christian and Islamic art and architecture;
* Satanism, witchcraft and demonology;
* Sacred geometry, numerology and cosmology;
* The arcane sciences (including astrology, alchemy and the tarot game);
* Art-theoretical discussions of the spiritual, the sublime, the marvellous, the numinous and the uncanny;
* Artistic investigations of myth, fantasy and utopia;
* Visual aspects of occult movements such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, Mesmerism, Spiritism and New Age Spirituality;
* The supernatural and the spiritual in modern and contemporary art;
* Occultism and magic in contemporary popular culture.

N.B.: Presentations should not exceed a maximum of 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. The sessions will be chaired by senior scholars within the University of Cambridge’s History of Art Department. We also hope to publish selected conference papers in a book of proceedings.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to:

alongside a CV of 1-2 pages.

Deadline for submission is the 30th of September 2012.
All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and successful applicants will be notified about acceptance of their papers before the 15th of October 2012.

Early applications are strongly encouraged.
The Conference Committee 


CESNUR. Center for Studies on New Religions. International Conference
"Religion in a Globalized Context: The Mediterranean and the World"
Chouaîb Doukkali University
El Jadida, Morocco, 20-22 September 2012

11,30-13 / Session 11: "Global Esotericism, Global Imaginary". Chair: PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI

Michele AMICARELLI (University of Rome), The Rose Croix Degree of Freemasonry in Its Relationships to Ancient Mysteries, Western Esotericism and Psychology
Francesco BARONI (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici, Naples), Darryl Anka and "Bashar": Modern Channeling between Alien Narrative and Ancient Esotericism
Jean-Pierre LAURANT (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris), La Tradition selon René Guénon (1886-1951), du pensé au vécu [in French]
Alain BOUCHARD (Laval University), Le grand roque du vampire: Twilight, mormonisme et imaginaire contemporain [in French]
More information and programme: http://www.cesnur.org/


 University of Tampere, Finland - School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
International Conference: Edges of Freemasonry -
Western Esotericism and the Enlightenment
7–8 September, 2012

Call for papers:
The School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tampere is organizing an international conference on Freemasonry, Western Esotericism and the development of the Enlightenment ideas. The conference is organized in association with Research Lodge Minerva No. 27 of The Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Finland. The themes focus on historical developments, although other aspects will also be presented. The conference is a two-day event open to scholars, postgraduate students and students, likewise to the members of masonic lodges and the public. The conference language is English.
The keynote speakers of the symposium are:
Prof. Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol, U.K.)
Dr. Róbert Péter (University of Szeged, Hungary)
Dr. Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Mr. Antti Talvitie, Architect MSc. (Seinäjoki, Finland).
Freemasonry is among the most widespread spiritual communities and has had a significant role in diverse ideological currents often named western esotericism. Freemasonry, which is at least 300 years old, is firmly rooted in the tradition of the Enlightenment. Western esotericism and freemasonry have increasingly attracted attention from academic research. As a unique yet also controversial phenomenon freemasonry provides a dynamic standpoint for the study of western cultural and intellectual life which from this point of view has been much neglected.
The key themes are:
1 The historical constitution of freemasonry
2 The connections between western esotericism and the development of modern science
3 Symbols as cultural artefacts and transmission objects between the personal and the transcendence
4 Extending the rational: rites, intuition and religious experience in western subjectivity
The conference board welcomes all scholarly presentations, also from postgraduates, related to the themes or concepts of the Enlightenment, freemasonry, esotericism or the occult.

The organizers hope that proposals for the general sessions will be sent not later than November 31, 2011. Speakers are asked to supply their contact information, the title of the presentation and a short abstract (400—600 words). Proposals for other sessions can also be sent later.

The abstract should preferably be sent via email to the conference secretary Mr. Antti Harmainen (
papers@edges.fi) and to conference secretary Ms. Katariina Lehto (papers@symposium.fi).
For details of the conference, please see www.edgesoffreemasonry.net. For further questions please do not hesitate to contact the secretaries or Professor Risto Harisalo (risto.harisalo@uta.fi) and Dr. Marko Nenonen (marko.nenonen@uta.fi), +358 40 577 9737. More information: http://www.edgesoffreemasonry.net/.


Department of History of Religions, Stockholm University, Sweden
International Conference: Contemporary Esotericism
August 27-29, 2012

Keynote speakers:
- Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and
Related Currents, University of Amsterdam)
- Christopher Partridge (Religious Studies, Lancaster University)
- Kocku von Stuckrad (Study of Religion, Groningen University)

Conference organizers:
- Egil Asprem (Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related
Currents, University of Amsterdam)
- Kennet Granholm (History of Religions, Stockholm University)

Deadline for abstracts: March 30, 2012
Submit abstracts to:

The academic study of Western esotericism has blossomed in recent years; University departments and MA programs have been established, book series and journals launched, academic societies founded, and
several international conferences and panels are organized every year.
There is, however, still a major gap in scholarship on esotericism: very little research exists on contemporary phenomena. While some present-day phenomena related to esotericism, such as ‘New Age spiritualities’ and (neo)paganism, have been the focus of scholars in other fields, scholars working in the field of esotericism have largely neglected such developments. With a focus on early modern phenomena, scholarship in the field of Western esotericism has been predominantly historiographical in its approach, with a common reluctance to incorporate social scientific approaches. In recent years, however, serious attempts have been made to develop sociological approaches to the study of the esoteric/occult which are both compatible with historical approaches and forgo the biased presumptions of yesteryear. A fundamental challenge for the study of contemporary esoteric phenomena is that it is not sufficient to simply transpose theories, definitions and methodologies developed for the study of e.g. Renaissance magic to later manifestations of the esoteric. Studying contemporary phenomena poses intriguing possibilities, such as the opportunity to study esotericism in lived contexts, which unavoidably also introduce new problems. In general, several theoretical and methodological concerns need to be addressed if a proper study of contemporary esotericism is to succeed.

*Suggested Topics*
The primary aim of this conference is to place contemporary phenomena on the agenda of the study of esotericism. Thus we welcome papers dealing with contemporary and recent developments in “classic” esoteric currents – e.g. within Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and ritual magical currents – as well as esoteric developments of particular relevance today – e.g. Chaos Magick, Satanism, and (neo)paganism. We also strongly encourage papers dealing with theoretical and methodological issues that are particularly pertinent to the study of contemporary esotericism, as well as papers dealing with the societal, cultural, political, religious etc. contexts of esotericism today. This can include discussions on the role played by the esoteric in modern politics (e.g. the new right), grassroots activism (e.g. deep ecology and the animal rights movement), science (e.g. parapsychology, neurotheology, “New Age physics”), healthcare (e.g. alternative medicine), popular culture (both entertainment media and in broader contexts such as kitsch, consumer, and fan culture), and modern interactive communications media (e.g. mediatization and the effects of changing modes of mediation), as well as the simultaneous influence of these and other fields on esoteric notions, beliefs, and practices. General theoretical discussion on the potential usefulness of sociological terms and concepts such as globalization, secularization, and the post-secular in the study of contemporary esotericism is also encouraged. The conference should function as an interdisciplinary meeting place where scholars from a multitude of disciplines and with different approaches and perspectives can come together to learn from each other.

*Additional information*
The conference will function as the launching party for Contemporary Esotericism (Equinox Publishing,
http://www.equinoxpub.com/equinox/books/showbook.asp?bkid=531), the first volume specifically dedicated to the study of esotericism in the present day. In addition, the conference is arranged in conjunction
with the 2012 EASR conference, also arranged in Stockholm, Sweden (at Södertörn University, August 23-26). Panels on esotericism, both historical and contemporary, are planned for the EASR as well, thus providing the opportunity to engage in extended discussion on these subjects, and of course lessening travel expenses. A more detailed call for papers, including information on registration, conference fees, transportation, accommodation etc., will be sent out later. However, interested parties may send in their abstracts (approx. 200 words) along with a brief academic CV (max. 1 page) already at this early stage. Please send the documents to


ESSWE Magic Thesis Workshop
July 06, 2012

A one-day workshop for graduate and postgraduate students organised by ESSWE in conjunction with the Chair for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam, on Friday 6 July 2012.
Throughout the day, international scholars from varying perspectives (cultural, intellectual, history of science) will present papers, discuss issues around framing research questions, and reflect on the importance of developing the skills necessary to successfully carry out research. This workshop will provide an opportunity for graduate and postgraduate students to engage with specialists in the history of ancient, early modern and modern magic, and other subjects more broadly based in the field of Western Esotericism.
It should be stressed that while the focus of our three specialist speakers is on magic, time will be available for students to interact with the scholars and discuss more general strategies for research, such as the issues of definitions, typologies, disciplinary boundaries and interdisciplinarity, questions of primary and secondary sources, publication, networking and other practical matters of a scholarly life. The chronological focus will not be restricted to the Early Modern period, but will range from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century.
Doors open for registration at 10:30 and the event begins at 11:00.

The day will be divided into three main parts:

1) Oratory: Presentations by guest speakers
11:10-11:50 >
Dr Bernd-Christian Otto (University of Erfurt): Magic in Antiquity
11:50-12:30 >
Dr Gyorgy Szonyi (University of Szeged): Magic in Early Modern Europe
12:30-13:10 >
Dr Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg): Magic in Modernity

13:10-14:30 Lunch Break

2) Laboratory (14:30-15:30)
Students have the opportunity to discuss practical research issues with the following scholars, in addition to the speakers: Jean-Pierre Brach, Peter Forshaw, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Wouter Hanegraaff, Boaz Huss, Andreas Kilcher, Birgit Menzel, Marco Pasi, Mark Sedgwick, Demetrius Waarsenburg & Helmut Zander.

3) A roundtable discussion focussed on specific themes (15:30-16:30)

> Definitions & Typologies: issues of terminology, reification, essentialism, actors’ categories
> Boundary Work: Magic, Science and/or Religion, Hybridity
> Magic & Culture (Elite, Court, Popular)

16:30 Workshop Close, followed by wine and nibbles.

Please note: this is a free event. Venue:
Bijzondere Collecties, Oude Turfmarkt 129, Amsterdam
For more details, or to book a place, contact Sara Mulder: hermetica-fgw@uva.nl

Location: Amsterdam
Address: Special Collections (Bijzondere Collecties) of the University of Amsterdam
Oude Turfmarkt 129, 1012 GC Amsterdam
PO Box 94436, 1090 GK Amsterdam
The Netherlands


University of California, Davis, USA.
Association for the Study of Esotericism 
Fourth International Conference 
July 19-22, 2012.


Friday, July 20th
9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks (Allison Coudert)
9:20-10:50 Imaging the Esoteric. Moderator: Allison Coudert
Michael Pearce, The Thin Man – Sources for Bembo’s Magician
Cecile Wilson, Rembrandt and Alchemy
M.E. Warlick, A Woman Robed with the Sun: Alchemical Appropriations of Religious Imagery
9:20-10:50 Current Esotericisms. Moderator: Matthew Dillon
Susan Myers-Shirk, The Transpersonal is Political: Frances Vaughan and the Origins of Transpersonal Psychology
Lori Lee Oates, Esotericism and New Age Religion
Palmo R. Iya, Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi: Unveiling the Weltanschauung of a Millenarian Group in the Philippines
9:20-10:50 Gnosis, Magic, and the reinterpretation of Antiquity. Moderator: Sam Webster
Paul Mirecki, The Rhetoric of Secrecy and Gnosis in the Greek Magical Papyrii at the Roots of Western Esotericism
Farshid Kazemi, Discovering Hermetic Treasure: The Literary Topos of “Discovery” and Alexander’s Discovery of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes
George Sieg, Gnosis, Gnosticism, the Transmission of Cosmological Dualism in Esoteric Religion, and the Construction of Heresy
11:00-12:30 Method, Media, and Material Culture. Moderator: Claire Fanger
Leon Marvell, Under the Sign of Baphomet: Hellraiser and Popular EsotericismNell Champoux, Dreaming the Divine Into Flesh: The Animation of Statues in John of Morigny’s Liber florum
Owen Coggins, Noise, Drone Metal, and Esotericism
11:00-12:30 Mysticism and Speaking at the Limits. Moderator: Melinda Phillips
Joshua Gentzke, The Relationship Between the Notion of Magical Language and the Deconstruction of Authority
Neşe Lisa Şenol, Miracles in Hyperspace: Higher Dimensions and the Limits of ReasonTimothy Doyle, The Mystic’s Dilemma
2:00-4:00 The Writings of Philip K. Dick. Moderator: Arthur Versluis
David Gill, The Moral Universe of Philip K. Dick
Ted Hand, Esotericism in the Novels and Nonfiction of Philip K. Dick: The Case of Alchemy
Erik Davis, “The Hymn of the Signal”: Philip K. Dick’s Mediated Gnosis
2:00-4:00 Esoteric Literature. Moderator: Lee Irwin
Elizabeth Lowry, Pinkie at Play: Postcolonialism, Politics, and Performance in Nettie Colburn Maynard’s Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?
Brant M. Torres, "my old studies in alchemy”: Alchemy, Ornamentation, and Queer Potentiality in Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter
Jibu Mathew George, Art à la the Occult: The Literary Esotericism of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Chieko Tanaka, Frankenstein and Western Esotericism
2:00-4:00 Material Matters in 19th Century Esoteric Traditions. Moderator: Susan Johnston Graf
Mark Demarest, The Fate of The Kaballah of the Egyptians
John Patrick Deveney, Medium to Make: The Failure of Spiritualism’s Early Business Model and the Emergence of a New Model Based on the Purveying of Secret Wisdom and the Unfoldment of Man’s Innate Psychic Abilities
Joscelyn Godwin, Arts and Crafts in the Upstate Cauldron
Cathy Gutierrez, Missing Persons: Ghosts, Criminals, and Intangible Bodies in Spiritualism

Saturday, July 21st

9:15-10:45 Race and Esotericism. Moderator: Joscelyn Godwin
John L. Crow, Blavatsky’s Coming Race: Nationalism, Racism, and Fiction in Theosophical Doctrine
Justine Bakker, "Allah, in the person of Fard Muhammad”: Sources and Influences in the Nation of Islam’s Doctrine of Black Divinity and Incarnation
Allison Coudert, Frances Swiney, Race, Nationalism, and Orientalism
9:15-10:45 Issues in Method. Moderator: Lee Irwin
John Tangney, Befriending the Noonday Demon
Olga Louchakova-Schwartz, Phenomenological Method in the Study of Esotericism: Part 1: Lebenswelt
11:00-12:30 Conjuring the Black Arts: Traditions of African-American Esotericism. Moderator: Erik Davis
Lana Finley, Paschal Beverly Randolph in the African American Community
Marques Redd, Dark Meanings Brought to Light: The Cosmic Poetry of Sun RaStephen Finley, Nineteens and Thirties: Numerology in the Religious Thought of Tynetta Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan
11:00-12:30 Enlightenment Era Esotericisms. Moderator: Cecile Wilson
James Lawrence, Neo-Cartesian and Hermetic Fusion in Swedenborg’s “Science of Correspondences”
Shawn Eyer, Esoteric and Mystical Themes in the Literature of Early Grand Lodge Era British Freemasonry, 1720-1756
Daniel Stolzenberg, The End of Renaissance Occult Philosophy

2:00-3:30 Later Alchemies. Moderator: Amy Hale

Ping-Jung Ho, The Alchemical Theatre of Thomas Lovell Beddoe’s Death’s Jest-Book
Sarvnaz K. Jedari and K.E. Koitzsch, European Alchemical Practice in the Nineteenth Century: A Subculture at the Intersection of Religion, Science, and Technology
Christa Shusko, (Un)Holy Spirits: Alcohol, Alchemy, and American Cocktail Culture
2:00-3:30 Revisiting Early Scholars of Esotericism. Moderator: Allison Coudert
Richard Smoley, Rene Guenon’s Critique of Theosophy
Stephen Fleming, Reevaluating the Yates Thesis
Melinda Phillips, Yates and Shakespeare
2:00-3:30 Early Female Innovators in Sex Magic. Moderator: Claire Fanger
Susan Johnston Graf, Sex Magic in the Novels of Dion Fortune
Amy Hale, Sex Magic and the Art of Ithell Colquhoun
Vere Chappell, The Sex Magic and Mysticism of Ida Craddock
3:45-5:15 Esotericism East of the Danube. Moderator: Nell Champoux
George Young, Mystery and Magic in the Caucasus: Esoteric Georgia from Prometheus and Medea to Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Martin Javor, Esotericism in Freemasonry in Hungary in the 18th-19th Centuries
Andrei Znamenski, The Sacred Union of the East: The Spiritual and Cultural Utopia of Nicholas Roerich
3:45-5:15 Esotericism in California. Moderator: Erik Davis
Joshua Blu Buhs, Garen Drussai and the Fortean Fantasy in San Francisco
Matthew Dillon, Eternity Ever Expanding: Negotiating Tradition with the Spiritual Marketplace in the Ecclesia Gnostica
Dale Pendell, New Age/End of the World: The Psychedelic Revolution and the Sausalito House Boat
Sunday, July 22nd
9:00-10:15 Modern Occultism. Moderator: Allison Coudert
Geoffrey Redmond, From Confucian Orthodoxy to Western Radicalism: Aleister Crowley’s Beastly I King
Sam Webster, The Engine of Theurgy or How to do Sacrifice in Victorian England
10:30-11:30 Plenary session with Victoria Nelson
Victoria Nelson, Gothicka, Stephanie Meyer, and the Twenty-first Century Vampire Romance
11:30-12:00 Wrap up
Arthur Versluis, American Approaches to Esoteric Religion: A Concluding Discussion
More information on the ASE, see our website at http://www.aseweb.org/


Uppsala University, The Department for History of Science and Ideas
Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World
20-21 June 2012


20th of June

09.00 First Session
Jennifer Rampling, Cambridge University Alchemy as ‘practical exegesis’ in early-modern England.
Jonathan Simon, Université Lyon1. Pharmacy and chemistry in the eighteenth century; what lessons for the history of science?.
Bernard Joly, Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille III. Etienne-François Geoffroy (1672-1731), a chemist on frontiers.
John C., Powers, Virginia Commonwealth University.The Chemistry of Light in the Eighteenth Century.
William R. Newman.
15.00 Second Session
Hjalmar Fors, Uppsala University, Utility and the building blocks of matter: Mineralogical chymistry c. 1680- 1770.
Anna Marie Roos, Oxford University. Some Salient Features of the Early Modern History of Chemistry: English Virtuosi and the “Salt School”.
Christine Lehman, Université Paris OUEST/Nanterre – La Défense. Pierre-Joseph Macquer(1718 – 1784), chemistry in the French Enlightenment.
Chair: Matthew D. Eddy

21st of June
09.00 Third Session
William R., Newman, Indiana University. Helmontian Chymistry and Religious Sensibilities between England and New England.
Matthew D. Eddy, Durham University, The Space of Chemical Knowledge: Joseph Black, Pedagogy and Late Enlightenment Visual Culture.
John A Norris, Independent scholar. Auß quecksilber und schwefel [un]rein: Johann Mathesius (1504-1565) and Sulfur-Mercury Theory in the Silver Mines of Jachýmov
Chair: Seymour Mauskopf.

14.30 Fourth Session
Afternoon roundtable discussion.
Chair: Hjalmar Fors

Time within this session will also be allocated for a discussion of papers of absent participants. The conference will be held in the Rausing Room, located in house 6, campus Engelska Parken, top floor of the Department for History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University. Dr Matthew D Eddy, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN, United Kingdom. (44) 191 334 6550.


University of Wales. U. K. - Tenth Annual Sophia Centre Conference:
Astrology in Time and Place: The transmission of Ideas and Cross-Cultural comparison in the History of Astrology
23 - 24 June 2012

Conference Chairs: Nicholas Campion and Dorian Greenbaum
Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Keynote Speakers
Charles Burnett, Professor of the History of Islamic Influences at the Warburg Institute of the University of London.
David Pankenier, Department of Modern Languages & Literature, Lehigh University.
Michael York, Former Professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Bath Spa University

Audrius Benorius, Director of the Center of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania. Transformations of the Social and Religious Status of the Indian Astrologer at the Royal Court
Bernadette Brady, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Aristotle’s idea of ‘place’ within contemporary astrology
Kristina Buhrman, University of Southern California, Ptolemy and Sima Qian in 11thCentury Japan: Combining Disparate Astrologies in Practice
Michael Grofe, Maya Exploration Project, Eternity in an Hour: the astronomical symbolism of the Era as the Maya agricultural year
Mario Friscia, University of La Sapienza, Rome. Astrology and its ritual applications: Propitiation of the planet Saturn within the Sun temple at Suriyanar Koyil (Tamil Nadu, India). A case-study from contemporary Tamil Shaivism
Johann Hasler, Departamento de Música, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia. The sounding zodiacs in Western musical theory: an overview of proposals for musical interpretation of astrological data from Ptolemy to the late 20th century
Helen R. Jacobus, University College London. The Zodiac Calendar in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q318) in relation to Babylonian Horoscopes
David W. Kim, University of Edinburgh. A Sethian Iconography: The Astrology of Tchacos Judas:
Ulla Koch, Independent Scholar, The Meaning of Time: Calendar Divination
Matthew Kosuta, College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand. The relationship between Theravada Buddhism and astrology with an emphasis on the modern period and Thailand.
Christel Mattheeuws, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen. The Journey of Calendars, Wind and Life in the Indian Ocean
Micah Ross, Kyōto Sangyō University. A Study in the Early Iconography of Gemini
Micah Ross and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum, Kyōto Sangyō University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Various renderings of pinax in Greek and Demotic in the Medînet Mâdi ostraca
Gustav-Adolf Schoener, Leibniz University of Hanover. The Difference between Methods of Natural Sciences and Methods of Religious Studies on Modern Astrology.


Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS), Wassenaar, Netherlands.
Workshop. Fernando Pessoa and the Esoteric Experience
23 May 2012 (10:30 – 18:00)

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) is now widely recognised as one of the most important figures in 20th century literature. One of the aspects that have emerged with increasing clarity from the unpublished writings found after his death is his deep interest for esotericism. This fascination began early in his life and remained constant until his death. His poems often contain references to esoteric ideas and images, and a very significant number of posthumous texts present themselves as short essays or notes on various esoteric subjects. Yet, this important aspect of Pessoa’s work remains relatively little understood or contextualised. For this workshop a number of scholars who have recently worked on subjects directly or indirectly related to Pessoa and esotericism have been invited with the aim of assessing Pessoa’s interest for and involvement with esotericism.

Onésimo Almeida (Brown University), “Pessoa’s conception of myth and truth”
Marco Pasi (NIAS/Universiteit van Amsterdam), “Fernando Pessoa and the study of western esotericism: problems and perspectives”
Jerónimo Pizarro (NIAS/Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá), “Editing the occult”
Steffen Dix (ICS/Universidade de Lisboa), “Fernando Pessoa between Theosophy and Rosicrucianism”
Pedro Sepúlveda (ELAB/Universidade Nova de Lisboa), “May 29, 1928, and Pessoa’s reformulation of his work”
Jorge Uribe (Universidade de Lisboa), “Fernando Pessoa’s readings of the shoemaker-prophet: Gonçalo Anes Bandarra”
Patricia Silva McNeill (University of London), “Sacred geometry of being: esoteric imagery in Pessoa’s poetic and aesthetic writings”
Pauly Ellen Bothe (Universidade de Lisboa), “Mysticism and poetry in Fernando Pessoa
The workshop will take place in the Conference Hall of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS), Meijboomlaan 1, 2242 PR Wassenaar (www.nias.nl). The Institute can be reached by car or public transport as described on the NIAS website by clicking on the tab How to Reach NIAS.



Oriel College, University of Oxford, U. K.
‘The Demonic Seminar’: An Interdisciplinary Research Seminar on Witchcraft, Demonology and the Occult in the Early Modern Period.
January-June, 2012.

26 January | Early Modern Ghost Stories
TIMOTHY CHESTERS is a Senior Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway, University of London. He will be presenting on his recently published book Ghost Stories in Late Renaissance France: ‘Walking by Night’ (Oxford University Press, 2011), a study at the cross-roads between literary criticism, intellectual history and the history of the book.
9 February | The Gendering of Witchcraft in Intellectual Thought
LAURA KOUNINE is a PhD student in History at Clare College, Cambridge. Her PhD on ‘The gendering of witchcraft in early modern Germany’ is supervised by Dr Ulinka Rublack. Laura is particularly interested in gender, personhood, and the process of being on trial in early modern Germany. She will discuss her current work on the gendering of witchcraft, using the Demonolatry (1595) of the Lorraine judge Nicolas Rémy as a case study.
23 February | Demonology in the Age of Cosmography
THIBAUT MAUS DE ROLLEY is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Languages at Oriel College, Oxford. His paper will discuss his current postdoctoral project, entitled Demons on the Move: Conceptions and Representations of Space in Early Modern Demonology, with a special focus on the interactions between demonological and cosmographical discourse in the Renaissance.
8 March | An Introduction to Islamic Demonology
TOBIAS NÜNLIST is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Oriental Studies at the University of Basel. He will be presenting his current postdoctoral project on Islamic demonology (Dämonen im Islam: Vermittler oder Widersacher des Menschen?), based on Arabic and Persian written sources from 600 to 1500 CE.
3 May | The Early Modern Devil as Burlesque
ANTHONY OSSA-RICHARDSON is a Research Associate for the forthcoming edition of Thomas Browne's
Complete Works, based at Cambridge University; he is currently editing Browne's manuscript notebooks held in the British Library. His paper will explore the Devil and his minions as figures of burlesque in early modern English literature and polemics, focusing on Canidia, or, The Witches (1683), an enormous, bizarre, and now forgotten Hudibrastic satire attributed to the royalist clergyman Robert Dixon (1614-88).
17 May | The Life of a Demonologist: Jan Wier (1515-1588)
VERA HOORENS is Professor of Social Psychology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She was previously a research fellow in psychology at Wolfson College, Oxford, and recently obtained a second doctoral degree in history from the University of Groningen. She will be presenting on her recent book: Een ketterse arts voor de heksen. Jan Wier (1515-1588) (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2011), a biography of the Dutch physician and witchcraft sceptic Jan Wier (Johannes Weyer).
31 May | Early Modern Vampires
KOEN VERMEIR is a Senior Research Fellow in History of Science at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Paris). He will present at the seminar his research on ‘Vampires as “creatures of the imagination” in the Early Modern Period’, recently published in the collective volume Diseases of the Imagination and Imaginary Disease in the Early Modern Period, ed. by Y. Haskell (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2011).
14 June | The Witch of Endor and the Apparition of Samuel
FRANÇOIS LECERCLE is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Sorbonne (Paris IV). He will be presenting on his recent book entitled Le Retour du mort (Geneva: Droz, 2011), which traces, in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, the history of the early modern debates surrounding the evocation of the prophet Samuel by the witch of Endor (I Samuel/Kings, 28) – the only instance in the Old Testament of contact between the living and the dead.


University of London, U. K. Institute of English Studies,
Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies -
EMPHASIS. Early Modern Philosophy and the Scientific Imagination Seminar.

Organiser: Dr. Stephen Clucas.
PROGRAMME 2011-2012
22 October 2011
Manuel Mertens (University of Ghent): 'Giordano Bruno's Cantus Circaeus and demonic deception'
5 November 2011
Matthew Landrus (Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford): ' De re militari, military engineering, and Leonardo da Vinci'
10 December 2011
Italian Renaissance philosophy in the vernacular: Alessandro Piccolomini

Letizia Panizza (Royal Holloway, University of London): 'Alessandro Piccolomini: Aristotle's natural philosophy for the layman and woman in sixteenth-century Italy'
Eugenio Refini (University of Warwick): 'Logic, Rhetoric and Poetics as rational faculties in Alessandro Piccolomini's map of knowledge'
14 January 2012
Karin Ekholm (HPS, University of Cambridge): 'Timon's spade and the Queen of Hearts: medicine and anatomy in Nathaniel Highmore's emblematic title page'
11 February 2012
Peter J. Forshaw (University of Amsterdam): 'As Above, So Below: Medieval and Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy'
10 March 2012: NB: ROOM G35. Mathematical Practitioners in Early Modern England
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin (V&A): 'Mastering crafts: the mathematic text and artisanal epistemology in seventeenth-century England'
Stephen Johnston (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford): 'Confessions of a Mathematical Practitioner: Richard Norwood's Spiritual Autobiography'
14 April 2012. Current Research on Jan Baptista Van Helmont
Sietske Fransen (Warburg Institute): 'Jan Baptista van Helmont and the power of words'
Jo Hedesan (University of Exeter): 'Alchemy and Light Theory in the Work of Jan Baptista Van Helmont (1579-1644)'
19 May 2012
Thomas Roebuck (Magdalen College, Oxford): ''Forms of Antiquarianism in the Early Royal Society'
2 June 2012. Medieval Arabic and Latin Alchemy
Stephanie Seavers (University College, London): 'Medieval alchemy and the symbolism of gold'
Gabriele Ferrario ( Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit , University of Cambridge): 'The pigment that came from overseas: Ultramarine blue in Medieval Arabic Alchemy'


Universität zu Köln - Germany- Symposium 'The Materiality of Magic'.
May 23, 2012 -to- May 25, 2012

The Internationales Kolleg Morphomata of the Universität zu Köln will be hosting a symposium on 'The Materiality of Magic'. Ancient magic has been a focus of great interest since the early 1990s. Although much has been written on the concept of magic itself, its origins, its various genres, formulas, etc., there has thus far been little attention to the fact that magical knowledge became enshrined in certain types of material, such as lead, stone, gems and papyrus - material that sometimes was used for specific kinds of magic. It is the aim of this conference to take the material as the point of departure for a discussion of various types of magic. The centre of the discussion is antiquity, but we have also included discussions of preceding and subsequent eras in order to supplement, compare, and contrast the classical material.

List of Participants:
Prof. Dr. Richard Gordon (Erfurt): Magic: where do we stand now
Dr. Andrea Zeeb-Lanz (Rheinland-Pfalz, Direktion Landes-archäologie, Außsenstelle Speyer): Magic in Prehistory
Dr. Laura Feldt (Copenhagen): Magic in Mesopotamia
Dr. Jacco Dieleman (UCLA): Magic in Roman Egypt
Prof. Dr. Chris Faraone (Chicago): Voodoo Dolls in Antiquity
Prof. Dr. Veronique Dasen (Fribourg): Magical Gems in Antiquity
Prof. Dr. Jan N. Bremmer (Munich/Groningen): Magic Books
Dr. Jaime Curbera (Berlin): Defixiones
Dr. Drew Milburn (Oberlin College): Magic in Architecture
Prof. Dr. Shaul Shaked (Jerusalem): Incantation Bowls in Late Antiquity
Prof. Dr. Andrew Reynolds (UC London): Magic in Anglo-Saxon England
Dr. Tanja Klemm (Morpomata/Basel): The Magic of Corals in the Renaissance
Dr. Peter Forshaw (Amsterdam): Magical Armour in Early Modern Europe
Prof. Dr. Owen Davies (Hertfordshire): The Materiality of Magic Today

Address:Internationales Kolleg Morphomata
Universität zu Köln
Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Köln, Germany, telephone: +49 221 470-1426


International Congress of Medieval Studies. The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University , USA. Sessions sponsored and co-sponsored by the Societas Magica
at the forty-seventh International Congress on Medieval Studies.
May 10-13, 2012

Five sessions will be sponsored or co-sponsored by the Societas Magica:

I. Magic, Judgment, and Punishment:
We have had sessions on trials and accusations before, but it has been some time since the Societas has sponsored a session examining the intersection between magic and the law during the Middle Ages.  Fresh perspectives from the 2011 session on Magic and Cognition have raised the need to look  beyond Dr. Edward Bever's case-studies from Württemburg studied in his 2009 book.
II. Magic, Mystagogues, and Charlatans: This session proposes to examine public practitioners of magic and their engagement with medieval society. These practitioners range from Mystagogues who, firmly convinced of their magical or mystical abilities, sought followers and clients, to Charlatans who intentionally sought to deceive. In either case, these figures highlight the power of secret knowledge and charisma and plays for fame and fortune in the complex world of intellectual patronage and public performance. Under the umbrella term "Charlatan," we welcome papers on prestidigitation and how it was practiced during the Middle Ages.
III. Conjuring Fairies: Approaching the early modern period, necromantic manuals seem to show an increase conjuring of entities which are not demons or angels, including fairies with names anticipating the fairy names in Shakespeare's plays. Our third session, "Conjuring Fairies", aims to bring together folklorists, literary scholars and scholars of magic to examine how the descriptions of fairies and fairy magic in literary accounts match the material contained in surviving grimoires. 
IV. Magic and Religion: Applied Methodologies: This session will address the definition of magic and its intersection with religion as construed in the Western tradition.  The 2008 Societas Magica conference in Waterloo ON highlighted problems surrounding this intersection that we wish to revisit by organizing this panel.  Here we do not seek merely to discuss methodological problems in principle, but look for papers that will apply current methodologies in actual historical case studies to test the illuminating power of theory on real situations.
V. Medieval Dream Books (Co-sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence) The compelling nature of dreams, both mysterious and fantastical, which persistently combined with the notion of a revelatory potential between these envisioned events and conscious life, ensured a widespread interest during the medieval period (as at other times) in any means of understanding or "reading" dream phenomena. The session seeks to examine the characteristics, approaches, and transmission of such knowledge, emphasizing the interaction between the texts and their material contexts of manuscripts and early printed books.


Department of History, Purdue University, Indiana - USA.
International Conference: Science and the Occult: 
from Antiquity to Early Modern Period
April 20-21, 2012 

Panel I  Astrology and Astronomy
Angela C. Ghionea,
Sophisticated prognosis or simple divination? “The Sphere of Life and Death” in England, 1100-1500. Jo Edge, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, By Aid of the Good Star”: Astrological prognosis in Ibn Sina. Coeli Fitzpatrick, Department of Philosophy, Grand Valley State University, MI, USA, “The Sol and Jupiter of this sphere”: Theatrical alchemy in Jonson’s “Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists at Court”Katherine Shrieves, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, USA, Questions addressed

Panel II  Alchemy and Science 
James R. Farr, Alchemical Cosmology in the Sixteenth Century. Nancy L. Turner, Keynote Speaker, Chair of Social Sciences Department and History Program, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, USA; President of Societas Alchimica, The Orwin publications of George Ripley's Compound of Alchemy (1591) and the English Faust Book (1592): A coincidental John Dee-Edward Kelley connection, intentional suppression, or both? Teresa Burns, Chair of Humanities Department, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, USA. Founder of  Societas Alchimica, The Divine Word and the Power of Sound in Alchemical Recipes. Angela C. Ghionea, Purdue University, Department of History, Indiana University, Department of History. Questions addressed

Panel III  Magic and Witchcraft
Angela C. Ghionea, Magic, Science, Witchcraft and the Problems of EvidenceEdward Bever, Keynote Speaker, Chair of History & Philosophy Department,SUNY-Old Westbury (State Univeristy of New York), USA The Historical and Economic Concepts of Treasure Hunting. Johannes Dillinger, Brookes, Oxford University, UK, Heisenberg Scholar of the German Research Foundation at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, Balneum Diaboli”: Demonism, Delusion, and Reformation in early Enlightenment Scotland. Paul Jenkins, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, Questions addressed

Panel IV  Religion and Spiritualism
Natalie E Latteri, The Esoteric Tradition in “Don Quixote” Criticism: Uncovering the Silenced Voices of Inquisition-Era Spain?. Massimiliano A. Giorgini, Ivy Tech Community College, Stepping between the Two Worlds: A Study of Modern Spiritualist Ministers and their Mediumship. Todd Jay Leonard, Fukuoka University of Education, Munakata, Japan, Preaching against Heresy: Witchcraft persecutions in Toulouse in 1562


University of Haifa. 2nd. Annual INASWE Conference.
Lux et tenebrae: Scientific & Demonic Dimensions of Western Esotericism.
March 22, 2012.

Second Annual Conference of the Israeli Network for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism (INASWE), University of Haifa. 22 March 2012.

10:00-11:45 Opening Session: Esotericism & Science
Chair: Boaz Huss
Greetings: Reuven Snir (Dean of the Humanities) / Ofra Meyseless (Dean of Education)
Reimond Leicht (The Hebrew University): Astrology Topic (TBA)
Yossi Ziegler (University of Haifa): Scientific Aspects of Latin Physiognomy around 1500

12:15-13:45: Esotericism & Science II
Chair: Julie Chajes
Peter Forshaw (University of Amsterdam): Chymical Cabala: Early Modern Permutations in the Book of Nature
Yossi Chajes (University of Haifa): Kabbalah and Early Modern Science Reconsidered

15:00-17:00 Demons, Past & Present
Chair: Chaim Hames
Tamar Herzig (Tel Aviv University): A Late Fifteenth-Century Controversy concerning the Invocation of Demons
Per Faxneld (Stockholm University): "Take Her Blood Out of Her Body" - On a Modern Curse Pot from the Sea of Galilee

17:30-18:30 Keynote Session
Chair: Adam Afterman
Moshe Idel (The Hebrew University): Jewish Kabbalah & Western Esotericism (Title TBA)

Supported by: The President, Rector, and Deans of Education & the Humanities of the University of Haifa, The Wolfson Chair in Jewish Cultural History. For further details: chajes@research.haifa.ac.il

Location:Haifa, Israel
Address:University of Haifa
Mount Carmel
Haifa 31905


National University of Ireland, School of Chemistry, Ireland
"From Alchemy to Chemistry"
April 13, 2012

Peter Forshaw, University of Amsterdam: 'Utterly unphilosophically, they separate the Oratory and Laboratory!': An early modern Theosophical Alchemist on Christ and the Philosophers' Stone.

John Perkins, Oxford Brookes University.
John recently retired as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Oxford Brookes University. His main interest is in the social history of chemistry in eighteenth-century France.

William Brock, University of Leicester, Bill has published extensively on: the history of chemistry; the social history of Victorian science and mathematics; the development of scientific education; and the development of scientific periodicals.


Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, EspañaInstitut Universitari de Cultura.
"Mito y Magia en Grecia y Roma"
March 21, 2012 -to- March 23, 2012

Probablemente los dos aspectos del Mundo Antiguo que más interés suscitan son el mito y la magia. Aunque los estudiosos de ambos se plantean con frecuencia su definición y su justificación conceptual, su simple mención desencadena variadas connotaciones y abre ante nosotros un haz de fascinantes perspectivas. El objeto del presente Coloquio es estudiar las relaciones entre los relatos míticos y el mundo de la magia en Grecia y Roma, a partir de dos grandes secciones temáticas.

1. La magia en el mito

Se trata de analizar la presencia de motivos, elementos o personajes mágicos en las narraciones míticas de Grecia y Roma, desde una metodología que integre de manera rigurosa los dos planos, pero con libertad en la corriente específica elegida por los ponentes y comunicantes. Dentro de este apartado se proponen sub-apartados tales como:
(a) Magos y hechiceras. Se trata de estudiar las figuras míticas que aparecen dotadas de poderes mágicos de diversa índole desde los textos más antiguos (poemas homéricos) a otros más recientes (novela griega), con especificación de sus particularidades en el contexto del relato y como figuras representativas de la práctica mágica.
(b) Algunos mitos con componentes mágicos. En este apartado se analizarán los relatos míticos en que acontecen situaciones o episodios que permiten a sus personajes desplegar poderes mágicos o que describen fenómenos extraordinarios cuya causa se relaciona con prácticas mágicas. A modo de ejemplo se pueden mencionar los siguientes:
Acciones o ritos basados en concepciones mágicas (atracción de la lluvia, provocación de fertilidad o infertilidad).
Aparecidos y fantasmas. Personajes excepcionales: Orfeo, theioi andres.  Venenos y pócimas mencionados en los mitos (resurrecciones prodigiosas, muertes trágicas, etc.). La mitología mágica de los artesanos.

2. El mito en la magia

Al contrario de lo que se plantea en el apartado anterior, se trata de analizar la presencia de estructuras, motivos o personajes míticos en los textos mágicos. Por ejemplo:
(a) Mitos que sustentan hechizos. El reto que implica este apartado es implicar a especialistas en las tradiciones mágicas no sólo de Grecia y Roma, sino también de otras culturas, como la egipcia o la semítica.
(b) Las 'historiolae': Creemos que un apartado importante ha de dedicarse a las curiosas historiolae que acompañan a algunas de las operaciones incluidas en los textos mágicos fundamentalmente en los papiros mágicos del Egipto imperial romano.
(c) Figuras míticas en los textos y objetos mágicos. Se incluirían aquí todos los personajes mítico-religiosos mencionados en los textos y objetos mágicos, con análisis y justificación de su papel en estos contextos en relación con las tradiciones acerca de los mismos.


Miércoles 21 de marzo
10.00 José Luis Calvo Martínez (Universidad de Granada), "Mithopoesis y religión en los himnos mágicos"
11.45 Carles Miralles (Universitat de Barcelona), "La màgia del nom"
12.00 Francisco Marco Simón (Universidad de Zaragoza), "Some Mythical Figures in the Defixiones of the Latin West"
12.45 COMUNICACIONES (Salas A y B)
16.00 Jesús Mª Nieto Ibáñez (Universidad de León), "El error pagano: politeísmo y prácticas mágicas en los autores patrísticos"
16.45 Jordi Pàmias (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), "Zeus y Alcmena, magia y misterio (Pherecyd. fr. 13)"
18.00-19.30 h COMUNICACIONES (Salas A y B)
Jueves 22 de marzo
9.00 Alberto Bernabé (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), "Orphica et magica: rasgos órficos en las epoîdaí suritálicas"
9.45 Aurelio Pérez Jiménez (Universidad de Málaga), "Magia, religión y misticismo en la casa novena de la Dodecátropos"
10.30 Jaume Pòrtulas (Universitat de Barcelona), "If they are not gods..."
12.00 Marília F. Pinheiro (Universidad de Lisboa), "Myth, Magic, and Ritual in the Ancient Greek Novel"
12.45 h COMUNICACIONES (Salas A y B)
16.00 Emilio Suárez (UPF), "Mito, magia y astrología: notas sobre la Kosmopoiia del Pap. Leid. J 395"
16.45 Ángel Ruiz Pérez (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela), "Sémele, aprendiz de brujo, o los peligros de querer dominar a los dioses"
18.00-19.30 h COMUNICACIONES (Salas A y B)
Viernes 23 de marzo
9.00 Fritz Graf (Ohio State University), "The Christianization of Magic: A Contradiction in Terms?"
9.45 Sarah I. Johnston (Ohio State University), "The Maiden Daphne: Apollonian Divination in PGM II and III"
10.30 Giulia Sfameni Gasparro (Em. Pr. Universidad de Messina), "Tra magiké techne e teologia: I Papiri Greci Magici (PGM) come testimoni della religiosità tardo-antica".
12.00 Christopher Faraone (Universidad de Chicago), "Speech Acts into Textual Amulets in the Roman Period"
16.00 Attilio Mastrocinque (Universidad de Verona), "Proteo nella magia di Età Imperiale"
16.45 José P. Serra (Universidad de Lisboa)- Maria do Céu Fialho (Universidad de Coimbra), "A magia da palavra"
18.00 Riccardo Di Donato (Universidad de Pisa), "Polivalenze Magiche"
18.45 Manuel García Teijeiro - Mª Teresa Molinos (Universidad de Valladolid), "Medea y Talo"
Date(s):March 21, 2012 -to- March 23, 2012
Location:Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
Address:Institut Universitari de Cultura
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
c/ Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Tel. 93 542 16 11
For more information:For further information check the conference homepage at <http://www.upf.edu/mitoymagia/>


University of Oxford, U. K.
Oxford History of Chemistry Seminar
"Paracelsus: Chemistry and Revolution"
6 March 2012


Sponsored by the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (www.ambix.org) In the History Faculty Lecture Hall.

Charles Webster (Emeritus Fellow, All Souls, Oxford)
Charles Webster was senior research fellow at All Souls College and previously Reader in the History of Medicine and Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. Webster is well known for his magisterial study of the Baconian tradition in seventeenth-century science, The Great Instauration. Science, Medicine, and Reform, 1626-1660 (1975). In Oxford, he combined his work on early modern science and medicine with a parallel commitment to the history of the National Health Service.  As the Official Historian of the NHS, Webster produced a two- volume history of the organisation published in 1988 and 1996. His elegant and definitive analysis of the life and works of Paracelsus:  Paracelsus, Medicine, Magic and Mission at the End of Time (2008) was shortlisted for the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize for Outstanding Book.

Anna Marie Roos, Ph.D.Honorary Secretary, The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry


Université  Libre de Bruxelles - Belgique -
Centre Interdisciplinaire d'Etude des Religions et de la Laïcité (CIERL)
GREMME - Groupe de Recherche et d'Etude des
Mouvements Maçonniques et Esotériques
Conférence: Jan Snoek "Aux sources des symboles maçonnoques: la tradition ésotérique occidentale" (28 février 2012)

La conférence que Jan Snoek prononcera ce mardi 28 février dans le cadre du Gremme sera consacrée à l’exploration des sources des symboles maçonniques, apportant un nouvel éclairage sur des éléments précis de la symbolique de la construction ou encore sur l’appellation des différents degrés. 
Jan Snoek a étudié les sciences des religions à Leiden (Pays-Bas). Après sa thèse de doctorat il s’est consacré à l’histoire et au développement des rituels maçonniques. C’est dans ce cadre qu’il a publié quelques quatre-vingt articles. En 1996, l’ULB avait conféré au Prof. Snoek la chaire Théodore Verhaegen. Depuis 2000, il est professeur extraordinaire à l’Institut des Sciences des Religions à l’Université de Heidelberg (Allemagne). En 2009, il a été nommé Honorary Research Fellow au Département de Théologie et d’Études des Religions de l’Université du Pays de Galles, à Lampeter. Récemment, il a publié : Einführung in die Westliche Esoterik, für Freimaurer (Introduction à l’ésotérisme occidental, pour des Franc-maçons), Zürich 2001. Bientôt paraitra son livre sur le « Rite d’Adoption » (en anglais chez Brill en janvier 2012 et en français chez Dervy, en septembre 2012). 
Résumé de la conférence : L’ « ésotérisme occidental », en tant que discipline scientifique, comprend un grand nombre de courants, comme l’astrologie, le néo-platonisme, le gnosticisme, l’alchimie, la cabale, l’hermétisme, le culte d’Astrée, le rosicrucianisme, ou l’occultisme du dix-neuvième siècle. La franc-maçonnerie en fait également partie. Bien que tous ces courants soient distincts, leurs fondateurs sont toujours des érudits connaissant bien la littérature produite par les mouvements plus anciens. Ainsi, on en trouve de nombreuses traces dans la franc-maçonnerie. Dans cette conférence, le Prof. Snoek nous donnera des exemples de symboles et de méthodes caractéristiques de la franc-maçonnerie, dont les sources se trouvent probablement dans les mouvements évoqués plus haut comme la perfection de soi-même (néo-platonisme), la pierre cubique (alchimie), la façon d’épeler les mots sacrés (cabale chrétienne), ou la reviviscence de l’âge d’or sous le règne d’Astrée (culte d’Astrée). 
Quand ? Le mardi 28 février à 18h
Où? au CIERL, 17 av. F. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Comment? L'entrée est gratuite ; pas de réservations
Renseignements : Anna Maria Vileno avileno@ulb.ac.be


Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism
Fifth International Conference: Mystic and Esoteric Movements
in Theory and Practice .
December 2 – 5, 2011 - St. Petersburg.

Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism in collaboration with: Russian Christian Academy for Humanities (Saint-Petersburg); 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)

Historical and Philosophical Aspects of the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism.
Keynote lecture: Dr. Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam)
The historical approach plays a highly important role in the study of mystical and esoteric movements as all other approaches are to an extent reliant on it. The extraordinary importance of historical analyses requires, however, special attention. It is well-known that over the course of the history of western culture mystical and esoteric phenomena have been to a great extent excluded from the cultural mainstream and have often been oppressed by dominant ‘exoteric’ discourses. This is because historians of esotericism and mysticism are often confronted with the discursive nature of historical witnesses and descriptions and are called for "not confusing our constructs with historical reality” (W. J. Hanegraaff). Could a supposedly realistic description of some esoteric phenomenon merely be a result of polemical discourse? Do clichés or even pure inventions appear in place of expected historical analysis? How do discursive formations influence the way mystical and esoteric aspects of religious culture have been perceived and represented during a particular period of time in history? How can a historian ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ in (self)descriptions of mystical and esoteric phenomena? These and other related issues still call for more awareness and conceptualization within historical and philosophical research of deviant religious and cultural phenomena.
The conference organizers hope that this conference will contribute significantly to the awareness of the problem. The critical historical research of esotericism and mysticism may lay the ground for further developments in the field of study in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.
Conference Languages: Russian & English

The latest information about the conference will be published at the homepage of the Association for the study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM) http://asem.ucoz.org/.



University of London - The Warburg Institute - 
School of Advanced Study Conference:
Demons and Devils in Early Modern Europe
2 - December -2011

A one-day conference organized by Guido Giglioni
In the course of his illustrious career at the Warburg Institute, D.P. Walker (1914-1985) published seminal works that contributed to redefining our view of early modern magic and demonology, such as Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella (1958), Decline of Hell (1964) and Unclean Spirits: Possession and Exorcism in France and England in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries (1981). This conference intends to celebrate his legacy by presenting the most recent results by young researchers working at the Warburg Institute.

Anna Corrias, From Daimonic Reason to Demonic Imagination: Plotinus and Marsilio Ficino on the Soul’s Inner Demon.
Nicholas Holland, Agostino Nifo’s Demons
Sietske Fransen, Injected Devils: Jan Baptista van Helmont on Devils and Disease
Michael Gordian, Diabolic Dis/simulation in Early Modern England: The Theatre of Exorcism in Context
James A. T. Lancaster, The Pathologization of the Early Modern Demoniac
Anthony Ossa-Richardson, Possession and Insanity: Two Views from the Victorian Lunatic Asylum

The Warburg Institute, University of London, School of Advanced Study; Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB. Tel. (020) 7862 8949


The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Conference: Alchemy and Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.
Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge
22 September 2011 - 24 September 2011

Convener: Dr Jenny Rampling (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)
Co-conveners: Dr Lauren Kassell (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge). Mr Peter Jones (History and Philosophy of Science/King's College, University of Cambridge)

Conference summary. Alchemists pursued many goals, from the transmutation of metals to the preservation of health and life. These pursuits were continually informed and modified by medical knowledge, while alchemical debates about nature, generation, and the achievability of perfection in turn impacted on medicine and natural philosophy. This three-day international conference will investigate these interactions, from alchemy’s development in late antiquity to its decline throughout the eighteenth century. It will ask how alchemical and medical ideas and practices changed over time, how they reflected the experience of individual readers and practitioners, and the extent to which they responded to significant currents in intellectual, political, and social life.

Keynote lecture by Bruce T. Moran (University of Nevada at Reno)

Thursday, 22 September

14.00-16.00. Panel 1: Disciplinary identities I: medical practitioners as alchemists. Chair: Andrew Wear (University College London)
Bink Hallum (University of Warwick): An Islamic physician’s reading of the alchemical classics: the Book of Testimonies from al-Rāzī’s Twelve Books
Peter M. Jones (University of Cambridge):Alchemical remedies of an English royal physician: John Argentein, c.1443–1508
Hiro Hirai (Radboud University Nijmegen): Alchemy and medicine in Joseph Du Chesne’s De priscorum materia (1603)
Adeline Gasnier (Université de Tours): Iatrochemistry vs. medical orthodoxy: a vain attempt to reconcile both doctrines at the medical Faculty of Paris (1603–1609)
16.30-18.00. Panel 2: Shared materials, practices and apparatus. Chair: Karin Ekholm (University of Cambridge)
Andrew Cunningham (University of Cambridge): Mercury, medicine and alchemy
Valentina Pugliano (University of Oxford): Of resins and waters: the simple alchemy of Renaissance apothecaries
Donna Bilak (Bard Graduate Center, New York): The laboratory construct of John Allin, Puritan alchemist in Restoration London
18.00-20.00. Simon Forman Quatercentenary Reception (sponsored by the Casebooks Project) 

Friday, 23 September

9.00-10.30: Panel 3: Medicine, alchemy and patronage
Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge): The ‘vegetable stone’ and alchemical patronage in Tudor England
Rafał T. Prinke (Eugeniusz Piasecki University in Poznań): Medicine, alchemy and patronage in late sixteenth century Prague: a microhistory
Tuna Artun (Princeton University): Alchemy and medicine at the Ottoman Court in the reign of Murad IV
11.00-13.00. Panel 4: Prolongation of life. Chair/commentator: Peter M. Jones (King’s College, Cambridge)
Nancy Siraisi (City University of New York): Human lifespan, length of life, and the powers of Galenic medicine: issues and approaches in some fourteenth- to early seventeenth-century accounts
Chiara Crisciani (Università degli Studi di Pavia): Elixir and radical moisture in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century alchemy
Jo Hedesan (University of Exeter): Recovering the Arbor Vitae: medical prolongation of life in early modern alchemy
14.15-16.15. Panel 5: Disciplinary identities II: the transmutation of chemical medicine. Chair: Hasok Chang (University of Cambridge)
William R. Newman (Indiana University, Bloomington): Isaac Newton and chymical medicine
Cécilia Bognon-Küss (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne): Explaining digestion and assimilation : from fermentation to « chylification » in 18th century medicine and philosophy
Emma Spary (University of Cambridge): The chemistry of flavours in Paris, circa 1730.
16.45-17.45. Keynote lecture. Bruce Moran (University of Nevada at Reno): Scheide – Kunst: art and agency at the crossroads of early modern alchemy and medicine
17.45-18.45 Roundtable discussion. Chair: Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge)

Saturday, 24 September

9.00-10.30. Panel 6: Books, recipes and secrets. Chair/commentator: Anke Timmermann (Medical University of Vienna)
Peter J. Grund (University of Kansas): ‘Master, I pray youe Enform me of the Errors in philosophie’: Scoller and Master and the transmission of alchemical dialogues in medieval and early modern England
Elaine Leong (University of Warwick): Tweaking as creating: recipes and knowledge production in early modern England
Margaret D. Garber (California State University, Fullerton): Circulating the secrets of the Alkahest within the culture of curiosities
11.00-13.00. Panel 7: Transmission of alchemical and medical knowledge
Matteo Martelli (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): Alchemy and medicine in Graeco-Roman Egypt: the four books by Ps.-Democritus
Gabriele Ferrario (Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge): Materia alchemica and materia medica in medieval Islamic lands. New evidence from the Cairo Genizah
Sébastien Moureau (Université de Nancy 2): New investigations about the link between the De anima in arte alchemiae and Roger Bacon: alchemical and medical doctrines
Didier Kahn (CNRS, Paris): The Apocalypsis spiritus secreti between John of Rupescissa, Hermes, and Paracelsus
14.15-16.15. Panel 8: Histories of alchemy and medicine
Michela Pereira (Università di Siena): Elixirs East and West
Lawrence Principe (Johns Hopkins University): The Chymist and the Physician: Rivalry and Conflict at the Académie Royale des Sciences
John R. R. Christie (Universities of Oxford and Leeds): Alchemical retrospects: historical self-consciousness in eighteenth-century chemistry
16.15-16.30. Closing remarks: Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge)