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Call for Papers: Esotericism in a global context – centres, margins, and everything in between (University of Otago, NZ, 23-29 August 2020)

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

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