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spcr Welcome to the Website of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, ESSWE

Welcome to the Website of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism

The ESSWE is a learned society, established in 2005 to advance the academic study of the various manifestations of Western esotericism from late antiquity to the present, and to secure the future development of the field.


Congratulations to Prof. Anita Stasulane and her team for winning the bid to host the 5th International ESSWE Conference, to take place in Riga, Latvia in April 2015. The theme of the conference is "Western Esotericism and the East". For further information, including the ESSWE5 Registration Form and Panel Proposal Form, click here. Note: Deadline for proposals - 10 October 2014.

For information about our international conferences, please click 'ESSWE Conferences' in the menu; for other upcoming conferences and symposia in the field of Western Esotericism, please visit the Agenda.


Now available online: click here to download free scans of all issues of the first series of Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism (1985-1999).


Among the activities of the Society are:

  1. Organising conferences and other academic meetings;
  2. Generally promoting contacts and programmes of exchange among scholars;
  3. Promoting scholarly publications and rendering services in that connection;
  4. Stimulating research and education;
  5. Promoting academic debate, interdisciplinary and critical approaches, and the application of a variety of scholarly methods;
  6. Co-operating with other scholarly associations in and beyond Europe;
  7. Encouraging the appreciation of the historical, cultural and intellectual significance of Western esotericism by research institutions, scholarly policy makers, and the general public.

ESSWE serves its members with the following benefits:

  1. Members can make use of an online e-mail system that allows them to easily communicate with other scholars in the field of Western esotericism generally and/or their specific field of expertise;
  2. Members can use the ESSWE website to make free publicity for their books;
  3. Members receive a 15% discount on the journal Aries and a 25% discount on volumes published in the Aries Book Series;
  4. Members receive a discount on ESSWE conference fees.

For information about how to become a member of ESSWE, see "Become a member".


Articles of Association: The ESSWE was incorporated on 21 April 2005 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the articles were then amended at the meeting of members held in Amsterdam on 21 June 2008. An English translation of the Articles of ESSWE is provided here. Since the ESSWE was incorporated under Dutch law, the official version of the Articles of Association is in Dutch (available here). Click here to view ESSWE Articles and Byelaws.


The ESSWE is an affiliated society of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) and a related scholarly organization of the American Academy of Religion (AAR)


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