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  • 2017-08-09 21:26 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The 2017 Meeting of Members of ESSWE was held on June 3 in Erfurt, Germany. The Minutes of the Meeting are available under the Governance section. Click here to view the pdf document.

  • 2017-02-12 19:48 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The deadline to apply for funding to travel to the ESSWE6 conference in Erfurt is April 1, 2017. Decisions will be announced on April 10, 2017. Please see the Bursaries page for application form and more information!

  • 2016-12-07 14:50 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    This is to announce the publication of a 5-volume primary source collection on British Freemasonry:

    Róbert Péter (general editor), Cécile Révauger (volume editor). Jan A.M. Snoek (volume editor), British Freemasonry, 1717-1813, 5 vols. (New York: Routledge, 2016), 2606 pages, 5967 editorial notes, 71-page index (in double columns)

    • volume 1: Institutions (C. Révauger)
    • volume 2: Rituals I - English, Irish and Scottish Craft Rituals (J. A. M. Snoek)
    • volume 3: Rituals II - Harodim Material and Higher Degrees (J. A. M. Snoek)
    • volume 4: Debates (R. Péter)
    • volume 5: Representations (R. Péter)

    Contributors: Ric Berman, Martin Cherry, Robert Collis, Andrew Pink, Harriet Sandvall, Susan Snell, David Stevenson, Susan Mitchell Sommers, John Wade and Mark Wallace.

    The purpose of this 5-volume edition is to collate diverse rare print and manuscript materials that provide a broad spectrum of insights into the history and culture of Freemasonry in the British Isles between 1717 and 1813. This collection is the result of extensive archival research and transcription and highlights the most significant themes associated with British and Irish Freemasonry during the period in question. The volumes draw on a wide range of documents, including an engraved list of lodges, rituals (some originally written in cipher), rules and regulations, by-laws, funeral services, lectures, charges, sermons, orations, certificates, theatrical prologues and epilogues, pamphlets, newspaper and magazine articles and letters. A special emphasis is placed on documents that enhance our present understanding of the role that British and Irish Freemasons played in the formation of eighteenth-century society and associational culture. Analysis of these documents will hopefully foster scholarly debate and offer new perspectives on wider historical, cultural, social and religious themes.

    Many of the texts included in these volumes remain very difficult to consult outside masonic archives. Such institutions store many rare eighteenth-century items, which are not recorded in the English Short Title Catalogue and are thus excluded from digital collections. For example, the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London has not previously given permission to fully reproduce rituals of the so-called higher degrees. Hence, the rituals included in this edition are published here for the first time in their entirety and with annotations. Furthermore, this edition reproduces texts that were overlooked by masonic historians in their publications.

    You can find more information about the edition at the Routledge website:

    The edition will be soon available in e-book formats.

    Routledge granted permission to share the general and volume introductions as well as the volume bibliographies (altogether 151 pages), which you can download from the following website

    The shared folder also includes a flyer which contains a 20% discount offer (valid until the end of this year).

  • 2016-11-11 17:54 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The Japanese Network for the Academic Study of Esotericism (JNASE) is a group of scholarly researchers of esotericism founded in 2016. The main objective of the group is to clarify how far the term “esotericism” could be applied to the Asian history of religions. Click here to learn more about JNASE >

  • 2016-11-03 16:50 | Egil Asprem (Administrator)

    In 2016, ESSWE introduced the Sponsorship Programme for Independent Scholarly Initiatives. We are now opening for applications for the 2017 bid. We will accept applications until January 31, 2017. Please read more about the requirements, procedure, and budget frameworks here.

  • 2016-10-17 20:43 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Manon Hedenborg White (Uppsala University, Sweden) has been appointed Interim ESSWE Student Representative.

  • 2016-09-22 22:19 | Egil Asprem (Administrator)

    This summer, Professor Dr. Mark Sedgwick's term as secretary of ESSWE came to an end. The ESSWE board and  community thanks him for his many years of extraordinary service to the Society and to the field. As a founding member he has been instrumental in shaping the organization, and his tireless work as secretary has made sure that future generations can rely on a smooth-running institution promoting the field of Western esotericism in Europe.

    The new secretary of the Society is Dr. Henrik Bogdan, Professor in the History of Religion at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. We welcome Henrik in the position and look forward to his service. General inquiries about the society, as well as specific tasks falling to the secretary's domain should now be addressed to him.

  • 2016-09-19 09:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The 11th International Conference

    „Literature and Religion”

    Submission deadline: October 1, 2016

    The Department of Latvian and Baltic Studies of Faculty of Humanities welcomes applications for the 11th international scientific conference  „Literature and Religion” at University of Latvia 2-3 December 2016.

    Special topic of this year conference – garden and labyrinth in the Bible and culture (literature, arts, theatre, cinema, music).

    Participants are invited to reflect on the interpretations of symbols of garden and labyrinth in literature and culture:

    ·       Eden – the garden of sin and beginning, Gethsemane – the garden of suffering, Golgotha – the garden of victory, Paradise as the garden of eternal life, Garden of God, etc.

    ·       Labyrinth as a trap, prayer labyrinth, labyrinth and pilgrimage, labyrinth as an element of medieval church interior, labyrinth as a secret.

    The organizers of the conference expect the participants to prepare papers dealing with the questions of theology, literary science, religion and literature in interaction offering analyses and interpretation of the pieces of art based on any religious theme in today`s context. The possible topics to be discussed at the conference include also:

    ·       The relationships between theology and literary critic,

    ·       Influence of religion on literary process,

    ·       Analysis of concrete works of art influenced by the religious motifs,

    ·       Contemporary interpretations and transformations of the biblical and other religious motifs in art and literature.

    Presentation length - 20 minutes.

    Conference fee 30 Euro should be paid via bank transfer (the details below) by November 1, 2016.

    The conference cannot offer any grants for travel or accommodation. 

    We welcome submissions in Latvian and English, the two working languages of the conference. Submissions should be sent via e-mail no later than 1 October, 2016 to

    Organizing Committee: prof. Ieva Kalniņa, prof. Māra Grudule, Mag.philol. Jūlija Dibovska.

    Any questions and suggestions:

    Conference is supported by the University of Latvia, Literary website and Theatre reviews website

  • 2016-08-01 23:31 | Egil Asprem (Administrator)

    The sixth biannual ESSWE conference will take place in Erfurt, Germany, on June 1-3, 2017, on the topic of "Western Esotericism and Deviance". The conference organizers are accepting proposals for papers and panels until November 15, 2016. See details on the conference website.

  • 2016-06-02 10:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Western Esotericism, Past and Present

    The Sixth Annual Conference of the Israeli Network

    for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism

    2-3 June, Beit ha-student, 1st Floor, Room 107

    Reception 10:00-10:30

    Session I 10:30-11:30

    Welcome & Opening Lecture: Yossi Chajes & Boaz Huss

    1. Egil Asprem: Reassessing the 'Sociology of the Occult': The Role of Deviance and 'Rejected Knowledge' in

    Socio-Historical Explanations of ‘Esotericism'

    Session II 11:40-13:00

    Chair: Yuval Harari

    2. Ayelet Even Ezra: Dominicans and the Scientific Explanation of Demonic Illusions - Roland

    3. Yossi Schwartz: Dominicans and the Scientific Explanation of Demonic Illusions - Albertus

    Lunch 13:00-14:00

    Session II 14:00-15:30

    Chair: Maoz Kahana

    4. Theodor Dunkelgrün: Critical Edition as Practical Kabbalah: the Biblia Hebraica Accuratissima (Amsterdam, 1666-67)

    5. Raz Chen: Reforming Astrology in Early Modern Europe

    Coffee Break 15:30-15:45

    Special Session 15:45-16:45

    “Beit Midrash: Reading Sefer Yezira” — Informal, introductory group study, facilitated by Josh Lauffer

    Session III 16:45-18:30

    Chair & Respondent: Yossi Schwartz

    6. Ronit Meroz - Sefer Yezira as anti-Christian Polemic

    DINNER 18:30-20:00 on the Deck

    Friday 3 June

    Chair: Jonatan Meir

    8. Assaf Tamari: Safed as Periphery: Re-viewing the Innovative Nature of the Sixteenth-Century Renaissance in Safed

    9. Elke Morlok: “Like Diamonds in the Sky”: Satanow on Light, Sefirotic Colors and the Occult

    Coffee Break 10:30-10:45

    Session V 10:45-12:15

    Chair: Julie Chajes

    10. Shinichi Yamamoto: Japanese Zionism: Sakai Shogun's Mystical Visions and Common Ancestry Theory

    11. Andrea Gondos: The Representation of the Occult in a Post-Holocaust Hungarian Novel: Maria Szepes and The Red Lion

    Thursday 2 June


    Session IV 9:00-10:30

    7. Tzahi Weiss - Sefer Yezira and early Islam: A Re-evaluation

    Evening Entertainment

    Kabbalistic Scroll (fragment), Courtesy of Gross Family Collection Trust

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