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Organised by ESSWE in cooperation with the University of Szeged and its Cultural Iconology and Semiography Research Group

6-10 July 2011 Szeged, Hungary

Wednesday 6 July

19:05–19:30 Welcome Reception
  • Official opening by Professor Gábor Szabó, Rector of the University;
  • ESSWE Presidential address by Professor Wouter Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam)

19:30–20:30 Plenary Paper 1 (Moderator: György Szönyi)

  • Professor Michael J. B. Allen (UCLA): 'Glory, Transfiguration, and the Fire Within: Ficino on the Metaphysics and Psychology of Light'
Thursday 7 July

09:00–10:30 Session 1A Alchemy (Moderator: Thomas Willard)
  • Peter Forshaw (University of Amsterdam / Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy):
  • 'Artist & Athlete of Fire: Heinrich Khunrath on the Symbolic Harmony of Christ and the Philosophers' Stone'
  • Jo (Georgina) Hedesan (University of Exeter): 'The Verbal and Visual Symbolism of Distillation Alchemy in the 17th Century: Interpreting the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and the Mutus Liber'
  • Mike A. Zuber (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich / Literature and Culture Studies): 'Depicting Alchemical Substances: Johann Joachim Becher’s Mineralogia (1662)'

09:00–10:30 Session 1B Modern Literature (Moderator: Ari Ofengenden)
  • Irina-Ana Drobot (Technical University of Civil Engineering / Foreign Languages and Communication, Bucharest): 'Esoteric Aspects and Lyricism in Virginia Woolf and Graham Swift'
  • Korinna Csetényi (University of Szeged): 'Symbols of Difference and Haunting in the Works of Stephen King'
  • Aba-Carina Parlog (University of the West, Timisoara): 'What Lies Behind the Magic? Peter Ackroyd vs. John Fowles'

11:00–11:50 Plenary Paper 2 (Moderator: Wouter Hanegraaff)

  • Lina Bolzoni (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): 'The Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo: Alchemy, Rhetoric, and Deification in the Renaissance'

12:00–13:30 Session 2A Bible, Angels, and Witches (Moderator: Aba-Carina Parlog)
  • Massimo Leone (University of Torino): 'God's Graffiti'
  • Julia Cleave (Temenos Academy, London): 'Tobias and the Angel. The Showing of a Heavenly Effect in an Earthly Actor'
  • Dana Percec (University of the West, Timisoara): 'Weird Sisters and Overthrown Charms: Representations of Witchcraft and Magic in Tudor and Stuart England'

12:00–13:30 Session 2B Zoharic Kabbalah (Moderator: Moshe Idel)
  • Hartley Lachter (Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA): 'Mapping Divine Territory: Kabbalistic Commentaries on the Ten Sefirot in Late 13th Century Castile'
  • Elke Morlok (University of Heidelberg / Hochschule für Jüdische Studien): 'Visual and Acoustic Symbols in Gikatilla and Neoplatonic Thought'
  • Ronit Meroz (Tel-Aviv University): 'Visual Aspects of Zoharic Symbols'

12:00–13:30 Session 2C Hidden/Revealed Symbols (Moderator: Benedek Láng)
  • Claire Fanger (Rice University, Texas): 'Use of Figures and Letter Meditations in John of Morigny’s Liber Florum, Old Compilation, Oxford, Bodleian liturg. 160'
  • Marc Michael Epstein (Vassar College, New York): 'Hidden and Revealed in Medieval Jewish Manuscript Illumination'
  • Joshua L. I. Gentzke (Stanford University): 'Imagining the Image of God: Iconic Discourse in Medieval and Early Modern Christian Esotericism'

14:30–16:00 Session 3A Renaissance Angels and Witches (Moderator: Massimo Leone)
  • Larisa Kocic (University of Szeged): 'Milton and the Cherubim in Embrace'
  • Jonathan Schorsch (Columbia University, New York): 'Angels, Avant Gardes, and the Esoteric Archive'
  • Ari Ofengenden (Oberlin College, Ohio): 'Representing Transmigration of Souls: Kabbalistic Metempsychosis or Repressed Wishes'

14:30–16:00 Session 3B Renaissance Kabbalah (Moderator: Andreas Kilcher)
  • Yoed Kadary (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev): 'Sons of God or Human Sons – How to Create an Angel? Between the Old Era and Renaissance Kabbalah'
  • Assaf Tamari (Ben Gurion University of the Negev): '"And I Asked Him to Tell Me Who My Soul was": Fragmentaion and Destabilization of the Kabbalist's self in Lurianic Anthropology'
  • Yuval Harari (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev): 'The Tree of Knowledge (Etz Ha-da'at): an Ornamented Hebrew Manuscript of "Practical Kabbala" from the 16th Century, Safed'

14:30–16:00 Session 3C Theosophy (Moderator: Jean-Pierre Brach)
  • Isaac Lubelsky (Tel-Aviv Univeristy): 'The Theosophical Seal: Blavatsky's Symbolic Synthesis between East and West'
  • Per Faxneld (Stockholm University): 'Blavatsky the Satanist: Luciferianism in Theosophy'
  • Julie Chajes (University of Exeter): 'Annie Besant's Saree: Syncretism, Orientalism and "Going Native"'

16:30–18:30 Session 4A Renaissance/Baroque Magic (Moderator: Lina Bolzoni)
  • Noel Putnik (Central European University, Budapest): 'Agrippa's Cosmic Ladder: Building a World with Words in the De Occulta Philosophia'
  • Joyce Pijnenburg (University of Amsterdam / Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy): '"No Query Escapes These Ideis": Images in Bruno's Lampas Triginta Statuarum'
  • Paul Shore (Brandon University): '"Even just in this manner death doth play with us": Moral Lessons, Metaphors and Esoteric Knowledge in the Zodiacus Christianus of Jeremias Drexel'

16:30–18:30 Session 4B Esoteric Art in Modernism (Moderator: Franz Winter)
  • Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam / Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy): 'Early Forms of Abstract Art and Spiritualism: Georgiana Houghton's Spirit Drawings'
  • Victoria Ferentinou (University of Ioannina): 'The Iconography of "Coniunctio Oppositorum": Visual and Verbal Dialogues in Ithell Colquhoun’s Oeuvre'
  • Zoltán Cora (University of Szeged): 'The Uncanny, the Numerical and the Unknown: Sublime as Esoteric?'
  • Tessel M. Bauduin (University of Amsterdam / Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy): 'The "Occulture" of Modern Art in Surrealism'

16:30–18:30 Session 4C Romantic/Victorian (Moderator: Anna Maria Binet)
  • Róbert Péter (University of Szeged): 'Hidden Numbers: the Concept of Esoteric(ism) in the Nineteenth-century British Press'
  • Rafał T. Prinke (Eugeniusz Piasecki University of Poznan): '"Un gentilhomme polonais qui est un esprit élevé": Polish Travellers and Exiles in the 19th Century Esoteric Revival'
  • Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University): 'Sufism in the Romantic Imagination'
  • György E. Szönyi (University of Szeged/ Central European University, Budapest): 'Myth and Magic in Victorian Enoch'

18:45 Presentation of the ESSWE Thesis Prize by Professor Andreas Kilcher of the selection committee

19:15 ESSWE Members' Meeting.

20:30 Reception – Venue: Szeged Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Somogyi u. 7.
– Opened by Professor Sándor Csernus, Dean of Faculty.

Friday 8 July

09:00–10:30 Session 5A Rosicrucian Literature (Moderator: Michael J.B. Allen)
  • Sebastien Gregov (University of Rennes): 'The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz'
  • Thomas Willard (University of Arizona): 'Illustrations and Symbols in Andreae's Chymische Hochzeit'

09:00–10:30 Session 5B Visions of Jewish Mysticism (Moderator: Jonathan Schorsch)

  • Dylan Burns (Yale University): 'To Enter the Heavenly Treasuries: Sigils, Seals, and Visualization in Gnosticism and Early Jewish Mysticism'
  • Yossi Chajes (University of Haifa): 'It's Good to See the King: The Nature & Function of Kabbalistic Divinity Maps'
  • Boaz Huss (Ben Gurion University of the Negev): 'The Kabbalah Medal (2009): Representations of Kabbalah in an Official Government Medal of the State of Israel'

09:00–10:30 Session 5C "The Occult Revival" (Moderator: Pia Brinzeu)

  • Sasha Chaitow (University of Exeter): 'Symbolist Art and the French Occult Revival: the Esoteric-aesthetic Vision of Sâr Péladan'
  • Francisco Santos Silva (Universidade Nova de Lisboa): 'What is the Right Sigil?: Mather's Use of Sigils in the Clavicula Salomonis'
  • Christian Giudice (University of Exeter): 'The Angered Beast: Aleister Crowley, Thelema and the Cinema of Kenneth Anger'

11:00–11:50 Plenary Paper 3 (Moderator: Peter Forshaw)
  • Moshe Idel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): 'The Shield of David: A History of a Symbol from Jewish Kabbalah to Western Esotericism'

13:30–15:30 Session 6A Stars, Symbols, Characters (Moderator: Claire Fanger)
  • Konstantin Burmistrov (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow): 'Pictorial Representations of the Structure of Creation (Ilanot) in Jewish and Christian Kabbalah'
  • Enikö Békés (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest): '"A Principio Enim Omnia Pendent". Descriptions of Outward Appearance Determined by the Stars in Some Physiognomical Works'
  • Theodor Harmsen (Ritman Institute / Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam): 'The Symbols of Valentin Weigel and Pseudo-Weigelian Artistry'

13:30–15:30 Session 6B Early Modernism (Moderator: Francisco Santos Silva)
  • Nina Kokkinen (University of Turku): 'Occult Interpretations in the Finnish Fin-de-Siecle Art Field'
  • Colin Duggan (University College, Cork): 'Locating Yeats: Western Esotericism, Symbols of the "New Ireland"'
  • Thomas Heinzel (University of Erfurt): 'Prometheus Unbound. Esotericism in the Works of Angelos Sikelianos'
  • Anna Maria Binet (Université Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux3): 'Light and Darkness, Two Main Symbols in Fernando Pessoa's Esoteric Writings'

13:30–15:30 Session 6C Theoretical/Semiotic Approaches (Moderator: Matthias Riedl)
  • Sara M. Thejls (University of Copenhagen): 'Visuality and Audibility in Kabbalistic Theories of Language'
  • Jürgen Meyer (University of Halle): 'Sense and Sensibility: Reading the Esoteric'
  • Pavel Nosachev (State University Higher School of Economics, Moscow): 'Semiotical Analysis of the Hermetical Text'

16:00–17:30 Guided Tour by Erzsébet Szökefalvi-Nagy, Curator of the Rare Book Collection of the Somogyi Library's holdings of esoterica

18:00 Optional conference dinner.

Saturday 9 July

09:00–10:30 Session 7A Swedenborg (Moderator: Joscelyn Godwin)
  • Susanna Åkerman-Hjern (Stockholm): 'De sapientia Salomonis: Emanuel Swedenborg and the Kabbalah'
  • Laura Follesa & Francesca Maria Crasta (University of Cagliari): 'The Arcanes of the World: Symbols and Mystical-allegorical Exegesis in Emanuel Swedenborg's De Cultu et Amore Dei
  • Bianca Bogdana Archip & Sever Laurenţiu Sava (Spiru Haret University, Bucharest): 'Symbolic and Visual in Present-day Testimonies of Nde (Near-death Experiences) Contrasted with Swedenborg’s Discourse'

09:00–10:30 Session 7B New Age Variations I (Moderator: Birgit Menzel)
  • Susannah Crockford (London School of Economics): 'Symbolism in Modern Western Shamanism'
  • Franz Winter (University of Vienna): 'Western Esotericism and Japanese Manga Literature'
  • Tamás Szilágyi (University of Szeged): 'Emerging of New Myths and Myth-makers in Hungarian Neopaganism'

09:00–10:30 Session 7C Early Modern Artistic Visions (Moderator: Boaz Huss)
  • Frank Baron (University of Kansas): 'Sichem's Engraving of Faust (1608) in Its Historical Context'
  • Carsten Wilke (Central European University, Budapest): 'Where Geometry Meets Kabbalah: Paul Yvon's Esoteric Engravings'
  • Cecile Wilson (Carleton University): 'Concealment and Revelation in Rembrandt's "Scholar in His Study, Watching a Magic Disk"'

11:00–11:50 Plenary Paper 4 (Moderator: Mark Sedgwick)
  • Pia Brinzeu (University of the West, Timisoara): 'Romania and India: Spaces of Initiation for Eliade and Brancusi'

13:30–15:00 Session 8A The Occult in Russia (Moderator: Susanna Åkerman-Hjern)
  • Juriy Khalturin (Moscow Medical-Stomatological University): 'Kabbalah, Symbolism and Metaphysics in Theories of Russian Freemasonry of the 18th and 19th Centuries'
  • Birgit Menzel (University of Mainz): 'The Occult Underground of Late Soviet Russia'

13:30–15:00 Session 8B New Age Variations II (Moderator: Marco Pasi)
  • Codruta Gosa & Andrea Serban (University of the West, Timisoara): 'The Vampire of the 3rd Millennium: from Demon to Angel'
  • Reghina Dascal (University of the West, Timisoara): 'Tantrism and Mithila Art from a Western Perspective'
  • Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg): 'Envisioning the Birth of a New Aeon: Dispensationalism and Millenarianism in the Thelemic Tradition'

13:30–15:00 Session 8C Neo-Traditionalism (Moderator: Inna Semetsky)
  • Sergey Pakhomov (Saint-Petersburg State University): 'Interpretations of the Symbolical by Rene Guénon'
  • Christopher Webster van Tonder (Aberystwyth University): 'Picturing the Volk: Icons of Ideology and the Myth of the Master Race'

15:30–17:00 Session 9A From Tradition to Science (Moderator: Jürgen Meyer)
  • Joscelyn Godwin (Colgate University): 'Color Symbolism: from Tradition to Science'
  • Karl Baier (University of Vienna): 'Meditating Visual Symbols: Carl Happich's Method as Meeting Point Between Esotericism, Protestantism and Psychotherapy'
  • Egil Asprem (University of Amsterdam / Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy): 'Visions Beyond Sight: Representational Practices in Science and Esotericism Ca. 1900'

15:30–17:00 Session 9B Esoteric Symbol Systems (Moderator: Henrik Bogdan)

  • Kennet Granholm (University of Stockholm): 'Visual Popular Culture and the Esoteric'
  • Inna Semetsky (University of Newcastle, Australia): 'The Visual Symbolism of Tarot Images: Implications for Contemporary Geopolitics'
  • Benedek Láng (University of Technology and Economics, Budapest): 'Magic, Esotericism, and Cryptic Symbols'
Sunday 10 July

Optional EXCURSION TO BUDA CASTLE LABYRINTH AND THE BUDAPEST HISTORY MUSEUM (the presently underground medieval palace of the Hungarian kings)
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