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Visions of The Occult: Introduction to Western Esotericism (Summer School on Western Esotericism at the University of Amsterdam, 5-23 July, 2020)

2020-02-28 21:40 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

The Centre for the History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents (HHP)
at the University of Amsterdam
is organising its first Summer School:

“Visions of The Occult: Introduction to Western Esotericism”.

at the University of Amsterdam
from 5 to 23 July.

The summer school is meant for current university students (advanced Bachelors, Masters, Postgraduate), but it is also open to professionals from any discipline. You can find a poster in the attachment. We would be grateful if you could share it, bring it to the attention of potentially interested students, and/or print it and post it in your university.

Program description:

The goal of Visions of the Occult is to offer an introductory overview of the study of Western esotericism. In this three-week summer course, we will investigate the key thematic aspects of Western esotericism, as they have manifested themselves historically within currents such as gnosticism, astrology, alchemy, magic, kabbalah, witchcraft, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, Freemasonry, spiritualism, occultism, conspiracy theories, meditation, yoga, the New Age, and psychedelic culture.

During classes, students will make use of primary sources, as well as secondary literature that clarify the way in which esoteric ideas have circulated and continue to circulate in both mainstream culture and more marginal contexts. Having completed this summer programme, students will have acquired a solid overview of the main themes related to the study of Western esotericism, both thematically and historically.

Each class will consist of three elements. In the morning, there will be a daily lecture (2.5 hours) and seminar discussion, after which there will be lunch (1 hour). We will pick back up with the afternoon session (2.5 – 4 hours), which includes student presentations, lectures, debates, and mini-conferences. This will also be the time in which individual research appointments can be made.

There will also be excursions to local landmarks that play a special role in the on-going development of Western esotericism. Our aim is to pair readings with localities, such as the world famous Embassy of the Free Mind (also known as Ritman Library), which hosts a vast collection of books, artworks, and material culture related to Western esotericism. Likewise, our investigation into representations of the esoteric and the occult will go beyond the written word to include film, music, and graphic novels.

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