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  • 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.

  • 2020-02-27 18:22 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Call for Papers

    “Islamic Esotericism in Global Contexts”

    2020 Meeting of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE)

    24-26 September, 2020

    Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain la-Neuve, Belgium

    Deadline for submissions: 1 May, 2020

    The European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE) invites you to submit proposals for its 2020 meeting. The theme for the meeting is “Islamic Esotericism in Global Contexts”. The aim is to consider the relationship between Islam and esotericism, and Islamic esotericism, in a global context, shifting the emphasis not only from Western perspectives, but also being more inclusive of the experience of Islam beyond the Arabo-Persian domains. We encourage proposals that give prominence to the agency of non-Western actors in negotiating and challenging social, political, and doctrinal “realities” as they manifest in the writings and activities of esoteric groups and systems. The chronological scope thus stretches from medieval to contemporary times. We encourage papers outlining suitable methods of investigation, re-evaluating accepted conceptual frameworks, formulating effective comparative research, and foraying into new textual frontiers.

    We invite papers that engage with these aims, but proposals that do not relate to the 2020 meeting theme are also welcome.

    There is no fee for attending the meeting and accommodation will be provided, but the cost of travel is the responsibility of individual participants.


    By 1 May 2020, please send to

    • The title and abstract (250 words maximum) of your proposed paper.
    • Your name, institution, academic position, a brief bio, and a short CV.

    Scientific committee

    The meeting is organized by

    • Mark Sedgwick, Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, Aarhus University, and Convener of ENSIE,
    • Liana Saif, Research Associate, Warburg Institute,
    • Godefroid de Callataÿ, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Université catholique de Louvain,
    • Michele Petrone, Postdoc, Université catholique de Louvain,
    • Francesco Piraino, Postdoc, IDEMEC-CNRS - Fondazione Giorgio Cini,


    • The 2020 meeting is arranged in cooperation with the ERC project on Philosophy in al-Andalus
    • (PhilAnd), and the Université catholique de Louvain.

    Further information

    For further information on ENSIE, see

  • 2020-02-14 00:16 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    International conference to commemorate
    loannes Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
    and the 350th anniversary of his death

    Naarden / Amsterdam The Netherlands
    12-15 November 2020

    Pansophia was one of the lead ing principles - if not the most important one - in the work of loannes Amos Comenius 1592-1670). However, the idea of pansophia represented much broader intellectual current in the early modern thought. The conference will address the pansophia phenomenon as interpreted by Comenius, his forerunners, followers and critics. For Comenius, pansophia means the system of universal knowledge, which represents harmony of all things. As a theologian, he grounded this idea metaphysically as the divine order of all things. As a pedagogue, he wanted to teach "everything to everyone". As a universal reformer, he proposed an emendation of human affairs: philosophy (or knowledge), religion and politics.˙

    The topics of papers may include, but are not limited to:

    • The sources of Comenius' pansophism.
    • The interpretations of pansophism by Comenius and his contemporaries.
    • The relation of pansophism to other elements of Comenian thought such as encyclopaedism, educational theory, theology, sciences, millenarianism, prophecy, irenicism, politics and universal reform.
    • The connection of pansophism to other intellectual and philosophical systems and systems of worldview, such as established traditions like Aristotelianism, Neo-Platonism, Neo-Stoicism, Art of Memory, Renaissance Philosophy in general, mainstream Calvinism, Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, or alternative traditions like Lullism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism and Esotericism.
    • Comenius' contemporaries and their ideas, interpretations and criticism of pansophism and related questions. The reception of early modern pansophism in later times and other contexts.

    The conference is held at the occasion of the 350-year commemoration of loannes Amos Comenius' death (1592-1670), and it is organized by the Comenius Museum and Mausoleum in Naarden, the Netherlands, in cooperation with LEARN ! research institute on learning and education, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Museum of Jan Amos Comenius, Uhersky Brod, the lnstitute of Philosophy at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, the Deutsche Comenius Gesellschaft, Berlin, the Comenius Forschungsstelle, Alfter by Bonn, and the Embassy ofthe Free Mind, Amsterdam.

    Presenters are asked to send an abstract (100-300 words, in English or German) and a short academic biography (including name, degree, and current affiliation) by 1 March 2020 to

    The conference committee will make the final selections by 15 April 2020.

  • 2019-12-17 14:33 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Dear members of ESSWE, the Summer / Winter 2019 issue of the Newsletter is available for download from the following link: ESSWE Newsletter Summer / Winter 2019 (Volume 10, Number 1&2).
  • 2019-11-17 13:56 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Esotericism in a global context: centres, margins, and everything in between

    Call for papers for a panel for the 22nd Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR at the University of Otago, NZ.

    Organised by Marco Pasi, Henrik Bogdan, and Mriganka Mukhopadhyay.

    The study of Western Esotericism has been established as a field for more than two decades. Recently, a debate about boundaries has emerged: why should esotericism be qualified as “Western” in the first place? Could we think of non-Western “esoteric” traditions? And, in that case, would it be because of historical influences and transmissions (however entangled) or because of structural similarities? In the first case, one could think of a historical development of esotericism moving from a supposed centre (first Europe, and then the “West”) towards the “peripheries” in other parts of the world (Latin America, South Asia, East Asia, Africa), through the effects of colonisation and globalisation. In the second case, neither centre nor peripheries would be relevant, but patterns occurring in different cultural contexts and calling for comparative analysis. The papers in this panel will discuss these problems and challenge current assumptions in the study of Western Esotericism.

    Please send your paper abstract (150 words max.) and a short bio to the following email addresses:;; and

    Abstracts will have to reach us before 30 November 2019. We won’t be able to accommodate papers in our panel whose abstract has been sent after that date

  • 2019-07-15 22:14 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    ESSWE Members are hereby invited to submit nominations for a new ESSWE Board Member. The nominees need to be affiliated with a European university and we are especially looking for female scholars. Please submit your nominations to the ESSWE Secretary Henrik Bogdan ( together with a brief motivation for the nomination. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 1, 2019.

  • 2019-06-21 15:46 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Call for Papers: Forschungsstand Anthroposophie

    An der Universität Freiburg in der Schweiz findet am 18./19. Oktober 2019 eine Fachtagung zum Stand der Erforschung der Anthroposophie statt. Sie richtet sich an wissenschaftlich, in der Regel an einer Hochschule arbeitende Forscherinnen und Forscher. Gegenstände der Vorträge können historische und gegenwartsbezogene Themen sein: etwa Personen, Gruppen, Konzepte, Praktiken, Vernetzungen. – Die Arbeitssprache wird Deutsch sein.

    Bitte senden Sie ein Abstrakt mit einem Themenvorschlag von einer, maximal zwei Seiten und kurzen Angaben zum CV bis 8. Juli an Regula Gschwend ( und an Helmut Zander (

    Helmut Zander

  • 2019-01-24 23:07 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The registration for the ESSWE7 conference has already begun. While the early bird registration will be available from 15 January-31 March 2019, the normal conference fees will be applicable from 1 April-25 June 2019. Please visit the website of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents to register before the deadlines:

  • 2019-01-15 18:01 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Dear members of ESSWE, the Winter 2018 issue of the Newsletter is available for download from the following link: ESSWE Newsletter Winter 2018 (Volume 9, Number 2).

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