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2 PhD positions at the University of Amsterdam

2011-11-07 15:42 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a university with an internationally acclaimed profile, located at the heart of the Dutch capital. As well as a world center for business and research, Amsterdam is a hub of cultural and media activities. The University of Amsterdam is a member of the League of European Research Universities.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language and culture. The Faculty is located in the center of Amsterdam and maintains close ties with many cultural institutions in the capital. Almost a thousand employees are affiliated with the faculty, and approximately 7,200 students are following the teaching programs.

The Research Institute for Culture and History (ICG) has programs in Archaeology, History, Literature, Art & Cultural Heritage, the Golden Age, and European Studies. The emphasis lies on studying European culture from a historical perspective.

History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents

The Center of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents (GHF, was founded in 1999 and plays a leading international role in the field. The Center is part of the Department of Art, Religion, and Cultural Sciences (KRC) and work within the context of the Program Team Religious Studies. The staff members of GHF provide a series of four modules (Hermetica I, II, III, IV) in the Bachelor Religious Studies, and a specialization program in “Western Esotericism” in the context of the One-Year Master and the Two-Year Research Master Religious Studies. GHF consists of three permanent staff members (one professor and two assistant professors) and two PhD students. The Center focuses on historical research into a complex of movements in the border area between religion, philosophy, and science, today often summarized under the umbrella term “Western esotericism”. These include movements such as hermetism and gnostic religion in late antiquity; traditional sciences like astrology, alchemy, and magia naturalis; the revival of platonism and related currents during the Renaissance in the context of prisca theologia, philosophia perennis, and philosophia occulta; early modern currents such as paracelsianism, Christian theosophy, rosicrucianism, freemasonry, and illuminism; nineteenth-century movements such as spiritualism, occultism, and traditionalism; and related currents including the contemporary New Age. For a representative sample of the discipline, see the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (ed. WJ Hanegraaff et al.), Brill: Leiden / Boston 2005.

As of February 1, 2012 the GHF Center has vacancies for

2 Ph.D. candidates (m/f)
in the field of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents

0.8 fte (4 years)
vacancy number W11-202

The intention is that one of the two candidates will do research on a relevant topic within the historical period from the Renaissance to the 18th century, and the other within the period from the 18th century to the present.
Candidates are invited to submit a research proposal that contains at least the following:
1. Title of the research project.
2. Brief description of the research question (a few lines).
3. A longer description of the research project, including attention to methodology and the nature/availability of the relevant source material (3 to 4 pages, line spacing 1 ?).
4. Explanation of academic relevance and importance of the research.
5. Bibliography.
6. A planning, subdivided in periods of six months.
7. Summary of additional material costs.
The research proposal must be accompanied by a cover letter and a C.V.

A list of possible research topics is available on request from This list is intended to give an impression of the kind of research that could be considered, and an indication of some clear research gaps.


* A Master degree in a discipline of the humanities, preferably with a historical focus;
* Sufficient demonstrable familiarity with the research area on which the GHF Center focuses, and the relevant subdomain;
* Good command of at least English and other languages relevant to the research project.


For further information please contact Prof. Dr. W.J. Hanegraaff, telephone +31 20 525 3570 or +31 20 423 6218; e-mail 


The appointment (0,8 fte) will be from 1 February 2012 or a later date to be determined. The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of four years. There is a possibility for a further appointment for gaining teaching experience (up to 0,2 fte during this period of 4 years).

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from € 2042.- in the first year, to € 2612.- in the final year. The PhD research project will fall under the responsibility of the Institute of Culture and History (ICH) of the University of Amsterdam.


Applications, quoting the vacancy number and marked strictly confidential (in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope) should be sent to:

Universiteit van Amsterdam
Attn. Dean Faculty of Humanities
Prof. J.W. van Henten
Spuistraat 210
1012 VT Amsterdam
Applications may also be emailed to  bearing the vacancy number in the subject line and relevant documents as attachments.
The closing date for application is January 1, 2012.

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