ESSWE home


    • 2019-07-02
    • 2019-07-04
    • University of Amsterdam

    ESSWE7

    7th Biannual Conference of the European Society
    for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE)

    Western Esotericism and Consciousness:
    Visions, Voices, Altered States

    University of Amsterdam, 2-4 July 2019

    The history of Western esotericism from antiquity to the present is filled with reports of unusual and sometimes spectacular experiences that are claimed to convey higher, deeper, or even absolute knowledge about the true nature of reality. Some typical examples are the many references to direct supra-rational gnosis, ecstatic experiences, and states of divine manía (madness or frenzy) or possession from antiquity to the present; visionary travels to other places, other worlds, or other levels of reality, as well as to past or future periods and events; visionary encounters with intermediary beings (for instance angels, demons, spirits, elementals, ascended masters, divinities); the hearing of inner voices, receiving or “channeling” of spiritual messages, and communication with disembodied entities; and ineffable experiences (for instance apophatic unity) that are difficult or impossible to express through normal discursive language. Common to all such reports is that they fall within the general phenomenology of human consciousness and seem to require some kind of modification or alteration of the normal or average mental states that allow us to negotiate consensus reality. All this makes the experiential dimension of Western esotericism (in both its historical and its contemporary social manifestations) extremely relevant to academic disciplines such as cognitive studies, consciousness research, psychology, or psychiatry. ESSWE7 will be the first major international conference to bring these perspectives in conversation with one another in the context of the study of Western esotericism.

    On the level of the humanities and the social sciences, we hope that the conference will provide participants with an ideal opportunity for learning about the phenomenology of unusual experiences across the entire historical spectrum of Western esotericism from antiquity to the present. Here the emphasis will be on empirical research and specialist knowledge about specific historical and contemporary cases. Furthermore, on the level of the study of consciousness, we hope to explore larger and more theoretical questions concerning such topics as the taxonomy and etiology of altered states, their neurobiological foundations, or their relevance to wider concerns such as cognitive functioning or mental health. Here the emphasis will be on how such approaches may help us understand and even explain the rich record of historical and empirical materials central to Western esotericism and, conversely, how these can serve as case studies for the study of consciousness more in general.

    ESSWE7 will also be an occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents (HHP) at the University of Amsterdam.

    Keynote lectures

    • Prof. Yulia Ustinova (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)
    • Prof. Karl Baier (University of Vienna, Austria)
    • Prof. Sonu Shamdasani (University College London, United Kingdom)

    Call for Papers / Sessions

    The academic ambitions for this conference are high. While we are aiming for a large and inclusive conference, paper and session proposals will go through a careful selection procedure so as to make sure that the final program will have a sharp focus on the conference theme. We encourage creative and innovative thinking across disciplines combined with deep analysis of specific contexts, materials, sources, or topics. As the ESSWE wants to provide a podium for intensive contact and exchange between scholars on all levels of the academy, graduate and post-graduate students as well as more experienced or established scholars are all encouraged to participate and submit proposals for papers. We are confident that ESSWE7 will be a foundational event for a budding new field of research that has considerable potential for the future.

    • Each conference session will have a length of 120 minutes, providing room for 4 papers.
    • Paper presentations should have a length of 20 minutes, leaving 10 minutes room for discussion.
    • Conference language: English.
    • Please send your paper or session proposal to esswe7-fgw@uva.nl
    • Before doing so, please have a look at the submission guidelines.
    Important dates
    • Deadline for submission of paper and session proposals: 1 October 2018
    • Notification of acceptance and beginning of registration: 15 January 2019
    • Early bird conference fee: 15 January 2019
    • Normal conference fee: 1 April to 25 June 2019

    Conference bursaries

    The ESSWE provides a limited number of travel bursaries for participants from economically disadvantaged countries. For further information, see http://www.esswe.org/Bursaries

    Organizational team


    Peter J. Forshaw, Wouter J. Hanegraaff, John MacMurphy, Mriganka Mukhopadhyay, Marco Pasi. Secretarial assistance: Nadine Faber / Antoinette Rutten.

    Scientific Committee

    Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Egil Asprem, Christine Ferguson, Peter J. Forshaw, Julian Strube.

    Location

    ESSWE7 will take place in the old center of Amsterdam. All parallel sessions will be in the Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam. Keynote lectures will be in the Trippenhuis (Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences), Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam.

    Accommodation

    Amsterdam is a very busy tourist city, so it is advisable to book your hotel as early as possible. A list of suggestions concerning hotels, hostels, and private rooms will be provided on the ESSWE7 website and facebook page.

    Contact

    All question and inquiries should be directed to esswe7-fgw@uva.nl



Past events

2017-06-01 The Sixth International ESSWE Conference: Western Esotericism and deviance
2016-10-27 Public Religions and Their Secrets, Secret Religions and Their Publics
2016-07-07 Thesis Workshop: Magical Traditions and Medieval Religions of the Book
2016-05-27 THE SECOND CONFERENCE OF THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR THE ACADEMIC STUDY OF WESTERN ESOTERICISM
2016-03-24 Association For the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism, Eighth International Conference
2016-03-21 Call for Papers - Demon Things: Ancient Egyptian Manifestations of Liminal Entities
2015-11-21 Call for Papers: AAR - Western Esotericism Group
2015-10-22 Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference
2015-08-23 XXI World Congress of International Association for the History of Religions
2015-07-21 Magic and the Supernatural in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods
2015-07-10 Biennial London Chaucer Conference: Science, Magic and Technology
2015-07-06 Egyptian and Jewish Magic in Antiquity
2015-05-08 The Spirits as Artists: Spiritualism and the Visual Arts
2015-04-23 Marginal presences: unorthodox belief and practice, 1837-2014
2015-04-16 ESSWE5: Western Esotericism and the East
2015-03-19 The Marginalization of Astrology
2015-03-14 Interplay: Rethinking Music, Mathematics, and Alchemical Praxis in Michael Maier's Atalanta fugiens (1618)
2015-03-05 Magic and Intellectual History
2015-01-11 Exhibition: Rudolf Steiner - Alchemie van het alledaagse
2014-11-19 Um 1600 Konstellationen zwischen Schulmetaphysik, Konfessionalisierung und hermetischer Spekulation
2014-10-30 Art, Eros and Esotericism
2014-10-26 The Alchemist and the Royal Typographer: John Dee and Willem Sylvius
2014-10-24 SHAC Postgraduate Workshop: Geographies of Alchemy and Chemistry
2014-10-15 Latin Alchemical Literature of Czech Provenance
2014-10-09 Astrologie, divination et magie dans les cours (XIIe-XVIIe siècle)
2014-08-10 Art and Alchemy Exhibition: The Mystery of Transformation
2014-07-04 Jacob Boehme and His World
2014-07-04 Western Esotericism in Central and Eastern Europe - Over the Centuries
2014-06-28 The Marriage of Heaven and Earth: Images and Representations of the Sky in Sacred Space
2014-06-26 Revisiting Early Modern Prophecies (c.1500-c.1815)
2014-06-26 New Antiquities: Transformations of the Past in the New Age and Beyond
2014-06-26 ‘Twice Upon a Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses’
2014-06-08 Scripted Forms of Magic Knowledge: Grimoires in the Matrix of Western Cultures
2014-05-11 EASR14: Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge
2014-05-10 ESSWE Thesis Workshop: 'Alterations of Consciousness'
2014-04-23 Scientiae 2014: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World
2014-04-05 Art and Alchemy Exhibition: The Mystery of Transformation
2014-03-27 Tracking Hermes/Mercury
2014-03-20 Call for Papers - The Common Denominator 2014: A Postgraduate Conference in British Cultural Studies
2014-03-14 Call for Papers - Visions of Enchantment: Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture
2013-12-16 Theosophical Appropriations: Kabbalah, Western Esotericism and the Transformation of Traditions
2013-11-23 Call for Papers - Western Esotericism Session at the American Academy of Religion Conference 2013
2013-11-16 Call for Papers: Altered Consciousness, 1918-1980
2013-10-24 "Lived Religion" - 2013 Annual Meeting of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG)
2013-10-23 Call for Papers - Forms and Transformations of Pythagorean Knowledge: Askēsis – Religion – Science
2013-09-25 Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World
2013-08-28 Call for Papers - Occult Geographies: (im)material agents and the geographical imagination
2013-07-19 Methodische Reflexionen zum Spannungsverhältnis zwischen magischem Text und Bild
2013-06-26 ESSWE 4: Western Esotericism and Health
2013-06-22 CFP Celestial Magic: Eleventh Annual Sophia Centre Conference
2013-06-14 Call for Papers: Second Sight and Prophecy
2013-06-13 Esoteric Quest for Ancient, Arabic and Medieval Sicily
2013-06-11 Masterclass - "Satanism": Between Myth and Reality
2013-05-09 CFP - Societas Magica Sessions, International Congress of Medieval Studies
2013-05-09 CFP - Technical Communication in the Middle Ages
2013-04-22 Call for Papers: Demons and Illness - Theory and Practice from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period
2013-04-18 Call for Papers- Scientiae 2013: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World
2013-04-13 Call for Papers - SYNTHESIS: Esotericism and the Sciences Conference
2013-04-11 Call for Papers: Celestial Bodies and their Orbit in Art
2013-04-05 Text, Context, and Non-Text: Grimoires and Ritual Magic in Culture, Literature, and Art
2013-04-04 CFP The Ironies of Alchemy in Early Modern English Literature
2013-04-04 CFP Art and Healing, 1300-1700
2013-03-27 Call for Papers about Tarot for the PCA/ACA Conference
2013-03-16 In the Beginning: Sources of Alchemy and Chemistry
2013-01-30 CFP 21st-Century Science: Health, Agency and Well-Being
2012-12-03 Charming Intentions: Occultism, Magic and the History of Art
2012-11-16 CFP - Mapping the Occult City: Exploring Magick and Esotericisim in the Urban Utopia
2012-10-29 Narrative Magic: Transformations Through Story-Telling
2012-10-26 Call for Papers: Jung in the Academy and Beyond
2012-10-25 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference 2012
2012-10-15 Call for Papers - Russia and Gnosis: The Fates of the Religious-Philosophical Searches of Nikolai Novikov and his Circle
2012-10-11 Virtue Ethics and Renaissance Neoplatonism - PhD Workshop
2012-10-05 Purgatio spiritus: Banishment and Purification of the Spirits in the Sixteenth Century
2012-09-21 Exploring the Extraordinary
2012-09-07 Call for Papers - Edges of Freemasonry
2012-08-27 Call for Papers - Contemporary Esotericism
2012-08-17 Call for Papers - Capturing Witches: Histories, Stories, Images 400 years after the Lancashire Witches
2012-07-27 Literature, Science and Medicine in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods
2012-07-23 CFP - 'Magic is Might 2012': An International Academic Conference Exploring the Cultural Influences of the Harry Potter Books and Films
2012-07-14 Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition Conference 2012
2012-07-12 Call for Papers - Esoteric Traditions in the Ancient and Modern World
2012-07-06 ESSWE Magic Thesis Workshop
2012-06-30 Dee Day: A Conference exploring the World of Dr. John Dee
2012-06-23 Call for Papers - Astrology in Time and Place: Cross-Cultural Questions in the History of Astrology
2012-06-14 Association for the Study of Esotericism Fourth Annual Conference
2012-06-09 An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria: Greco-Egyptian Birthplace of the Western Mind
2012-05-23 The Materiality of Magic
2012-05-23 Fernando Pessoa and the Esoteric Experience
2012-05-21 Kabbalah and Science in Modern Jewish Culture
2012-05-18 Body, Soul, Spirits and Supernatural Communication
2012-05-06 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference 2012
2012-04-20 Call for Papers - Science and the Occult: From Antiquity to the Early Modern Period
2012-04-13 From Alchemy to Chemistry
2012-04-11 Call for Papers - Tarot at the 2012 PCA/ACA Conference
2012-04-07 Call for Papers - Perspectives in American Freemasonry and Fraternalism
2012-03-22 2nd Annual INASWE Conference
2012-03-21 Mito y Magia en Grecia y Roma
2012-03-20 Call for Papers - The 4th Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Spiritualities (ISCSC)
2012-03-06 Lecture, Charles Webster, 'Paracelsus: Chemistry and Revolution'
2012-01-26 The Demonic Seminar
2011-12-02 Russian Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism, Fifth International Conference
2011-12-02 Demons and Devils in Early Modern Europe
2011-11-21 ESSWE and Aries Reception at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) Conference
2011-11-05 Hermetische Harmonie
2011-10-22 EMPHASIS: Early Modern Philosophy and the Scientific Imagination Seminar, 2011-2012
2011-10-22 XIII CMRC Conference: Freemasonry and Empire
2011-10-13 Religion, Nature and Art
2011-09-22 Alchemy and Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment
2011-09-15 Iconology: Neoplatonism and Art in the Renaissance
2011-07-25 Text & Image in Religious Cosmography: Reading Ilanot and Parallel Artifacts
2011-07-06 CFP ESSWE3: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism
2011-05-12 Artificii Occulti: Knowledge and Discernment in the Artistic and Scientific Cultures of the Netherlands and the Spanish Habsburg World (16th-17th Centuries)
2011-05-06 Call for Papers - Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence
2011-05-02 Knowledge to die for: Transmission of Prohibited and Esoteric Knowledge through Space and Time
2010-12-09 Call for Papers: Between Light and Darkness - International Symposium on Fin-de-siècle Symbolism
2010-10-09 Séminaire du GREMME: Programme 2010-2011
2010-05-05 ESSWE Thesis Workshop - Alchemy: Between Science and Religion
2010-05-01 The Rosicrucian Conference 2010: The Rosicrucian Tradition, Past, Present & Future
2010-04-29 Call for Papers: Science and Magic - Ways of Knowing in the Renaissance (Graduate Conference)
2010-04-27 Call for Papers: The Secret and the Manifest
2010-04-07 The Esoteric Crossroads: Intercultural Patterns in Early Modern Esotericism
2010-03-18 Hidden in Plain Sight: The Influence of Western Esoteric Movements on Modern Thought
2010-02-10 Call for Papers: Alchemy, Hermeticism, and Islamic and Jewish Mysticism Around the Time of Chrétien de Troyes
2010-01-19 Call for Papers 2: IAHR Quinquennial World Congress, "Religion: A Human Phenomenon" (Toronto)
2010-01-06 Call for Papers: IAHR Quinquennial World Congress, "Religion: A Human Phenomenon" (Toronto)
2009-10-30 Conference "Alternative Spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in Ireland"
2009-10-18 The 6th International Conference on "The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena"
2009-09-14 Esotericism Panel at EASR Conference Messina (Italy)
2009-07-23 Conference "Religion, Nature, and Progress"
2009-07-10 Conference "Konversion und Transformation des Wissens: Interreligiöser Austausch im vormodernen Europa"
2009-07-02 Second International Conference of the ESSWE in Strasburg
2009-05-22 Astrology: Magic, Divination and Destiny
2009-03-18 Conference "Unbegreifliche Zeiten: Wunder im 20. Jahrhundert"
2009-03-13 Conference: The Threat and Allure of the Magical in Literature, Language, Philosophy, History and the Arts
2008-11-13 Conference "From Ma'ashallah to Kepler"
2008-10-31 Annual Meeting of the AAR with sessions on Western Esotericism
2008-09-07 ESSWE at the EASR
2008-08-15 Third Annual Alternative Expressions of the Numinous Conference
2008-07-02 Conference "Trance-Medien und Neue Medien um 1900"
2008-05-31 Research Symposium for Postgraduate Students at the University of Kent
2008-05-29 ASE Third International Conference: "Nature, Religion, and Esotericism"
2008-04-14 Conference "Music and Esotericism"
2008-03-25 Workshop on "Emblems, Magic, and Hidden Knowledge"
2008-02-06 Conference on "Imagining Outer Space, 1900-2000"
2008-01-17 Second major international meeting of the ISSRNC: “The Re-Enchantment of Nature across Disciplines: Critical Intersections of Science, Ethics, and Metaphysics”
2007-11-18 Annual Meeting of the AAR with sessions on Western Esotericism
2007-11-03 Conference "Visions of Utopia: Masonic, Religious and Esoteric"
2007-10-29 Conference "Forms and Currents of Western Esotericism"
2007-10-05 Conference on 'Divination and Dialogue'
2007-09-15 Conference "An Esoteric Quest for The Golden Age of Andalusia"
2007-08-15 Conference "Western Esotericism" in Åbo, Finland
2007-07-20 Inaugural Conference of the ESSWE on "Constructing Tradition: Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism"
2007-07-13 Conference "Naturmagie und Deutungskunst"
2007-07-04 Conference "Kabbalah and Modernity"
2007-06-07 CESNUR Conference on "Globalization, Immigration, and Change in Religious Movements"
2007-05-25 International Conference on the History of Freemasonry
2007-03-11 Conference on "The Occult in 20th Century Russia"
2006-11-18 Annual Meeting of the AAR with sessions on Western Esotericism
2006-09-28 Conference "Symbolism in 18th-Century Gardens"
2006-09-28 Conference "Die Enzyklopädik der Esoterik: Allwissenheitsmythen und universalwissenschaftliche Modelle in der Esoterik der Neuzeit"
2006-09-20 The 6th EASR Conference/IAHR Special Conference: "Religious History of Europe and Asia"
2006-09-08 Conference "Astrology and the Body, 1100-1800"
2006-08-31 Conference "An Esoteric Quest in Central Europe: From Renaissance Bohemia to Goethe's Weimar"
2006-08-18 Conference "Alternative Expressions of the Numinous"
2006-07-03 Kabbalah Seminar in Jerusalem
2006-06-08 ASE conference: Esotericism, Art, and Imagination
2006-05-29 David Pingree Memorial Seminar: Empires and Exact Sciences in Pre-Modern Eurasia
2006-04-28 Conference on Astrology and Divination: Seeing With Different Eyes
2006-04-21 Conference "Witchcraft and Masculinities in the Early Modern World"
2006-04-06 Conference "Exploring Religion, Nature, and Culture"
2006-03-15 Conference "Esoterik in der Aufklärung: Rezeption - Integration - Konfrontation"
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software