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  • 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.

  • 2011-10-17 15:47 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    University of Groningen MA Program, "Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism"

    The Groningen Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies will launch a new Master program "Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism" (60 ECTS, entirely taught in the English language) as of the academic year 2012-13.
    The one-year program consist of 3 modules, 1 tutorial/internship/additional module, and a master thesis. The modules are:

    - Knowledge, Secrecy, and Revelation in Antiquity
    - Medieval Mysticism, Kabbalah, and Contemporary Culture
    - Modern Esotericism between East and West

    All modules are characterized by an approach that is well-established in Groningen: an awareness of
    (a) the historical dimension that reaches back to antiquity;
    (b) the fact that religion in the West is pluralistic (including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but also pagan and other religious options); and
    (c) that the notion of 'Western' must be critically engaged in terms of postcolonial debate and processes of globalization.

    It is also possible to combine this program with a two-years Research Master.

    The program "Concealed Knowledge" is not the only one that will be launched next year; there are 3 more Master programs (60 ECTS each, all of them being taught in English).

    The new Master programs are:

    - Religion, Conflict, and Globalization
    - Religion in the Public Domain
    - The Origins of Abrahamic Religions: Texts and Contexts

    Modules of these Master programs can be combined with the program "Concealed Knowledge." 
  • 2011-09-12 17:10 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Call for Articles: The Medieval in New Age and Neopagan Movements

    Deadline: Dec 1, 2011

    Call for Submissions

    We welcome contributions to a collection of essays tentatively entitled “Intuiting the Past: New Age and Neopagan Medievalisms.”
    Scholars of Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Art History, Music History, and Cultural Studies, as well as historians and literary critics, are particularly encouraged to contribute.

    Topics may include but need not be limited to:
    • Appropriations of Kabbalah
    • Medievalism and Tarot
    • Hildegard of Bingen and New Age music
    • Neopagan and New Age Pilgrimage
    • Grails and femininity
    • Quests and masculinity
    • Apocalyptic visions
    • Christian mystics in New Age contexts
    • Herbal and “alternative” healing
    Abstracts of approximately 500 words and a brief academic bio should be sent to Dr. Karolyn Kinane at  by December 1, 2011.
    Abstracts should articulate how the article will advance theoretical and cultural understandings of medievalism and/or New Age and Neopagan movements.
    Acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee inclusion in the volume.

    Upon preliminary acceptance, contributors will be asked to submit articles of approximately 7,000 words by August 1, 2012.
    Editors reserve the right to reject articles that do not meet editorial standards. We anticipate a Fall/Winter 2013 publication date.

  • 2011-08-20 17:13 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Doctor Dee is an opera created by theatre director Rufus Norris and musician and composer Damon Albarn, and was inspired by comic book author Alan Moore. Its debut performance was at the Palace Theatre, Manchester in July 2011, as part of the 2011 Manchester International Festival. The opera is based on the life of John Dee, medical and scientific advisor to Elizabeth I.

    An opera titled "Doctor Dee" was originally planned as a collaboration between Albarn, Gorillaz partner Jamie Hewlett and comic book author Alan Moore. Gorillaz first approached Moore in the hope that he would help them with a production based on superhero characters. Moore was not interested in this idea and instead proposed that, together, they create "an opera about magic", based on Doctor John Dee. Moore is credited for "inspiration" in the opera's official programme and his incomplete work on the opera's libretto is due to appear in an upcoming issue of literary magazine 'Strange Attractor'. In an interview in May 2011, Rufus Norris said that the production would feature Elizabethan and traditional west African instrumentation, as well as a conventional 20-piece orchestra and an on-stage performance by Albarn.
    Found on Wikipedia. Click here for additional information

  • 2011-08-01 17:14 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Transmutatio: la via ermetica alla felicità/the hermetic way to happiness

    The Board of Editors of the interdisciplinary journal Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is soliciting contributions to its fifth thematic volume, scheduled to appear in 2012.
    This issue will contain twelve to fifteen essays addressing the theme of transmutation in the Indo-Mediterranean world.

    Common to all spiritual traditions of the Eurasian world is the tenet that a transcendental energy (nous, pneuma, spirit, light, …) confers life to matter. While exoteric understandings of the relationship between these two principles establish a divide that only an institutionalized revelation (via a prophet, redeemer) can bridge, so as to enact after-death salvation, esoteric traditions emphasize instead the transmutative power of the divine within matter as a way of achieving ultimate realization (enlightenment) by activating the visionary (enlightening) potential innate to individual and universal life.

    Within the esoteric understanding, which has variously drawn upon the opus alchemicum as its source, a further divide can be noted. On the one hand we find those seeking to achieve happiness by acting on matter as an object of technical manipulation (thus inflecting the opus alchemicum in the direction of chemistry, economics, economic “speculation”). On the other hand there are those for whom ultimate realization is possible only as a manner of «trasumanar» (Dante Par. 1.70), and who therefore project the opus alchemicum onto the paths of meditation, philosophy, psychoanalysis, art, the Muses, and any “Music” activity calling upon the liberating/redeeming power of the cosmic subtle body.

    All aspects of alchemy, gnosis, hermeticism in literature, the visual arts, music, theology, history of religions and cultures, philosophy, economics, and psychoanalysis are welcome.

    Please send proposals for essays (250 to 350 words) accompanied by a bio-bibliographical sketch to Daniela Boccassini () or Carlo Testa (), co-editors of this volume, by October 30, 2011.

    Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei accepts proposals and essays in all major European languages. The editors of the volume will strive for a balanced and diversified table of contents. They will confirm accepted submissions by December 23, 2011. Subsequently, the final deadline for submitting the completed essays will be June 1, 2012. The average length recommended for each contribution is of 6,000 words, with a maximum length allowed of 7,000 words, including footnotes and bibliographical references.

    The journal Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is based at the University of Bologna, Italy, and is supported by ASTREA (Associazione di Studi e Ricerche Euro-Asiatiche).

    Editor in Chief: Carlo Saccone; Board of Editors: Daniela Boccassini, Alessandro Grossato, Carlo Saccone.

    The journal counts among its editorial associates world-renowned specialists from major European and North American Universities.

    For further information on the journal’s mission and an overview of previous issues please click visit these pages:
    Italian website
    North American website
    Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is committed to upholding a high profile in comparative studies and the highest standards of peer-reviewed scholarship.

  • 2011-07-21 17:20 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    It is with great pleasure that we announce that the winner of the 2011 ESSWE PhD Thesis Prize is Dr Daniel Jütte of Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.

    Prof. Andreas Kilcher (ETH Zürich), Chair of the Thesis Prize Selection Committee announced Daniel's success at the recent ESSWE conference in Szeged and Daniel will now receive the €500 prize.

    Daniel's thesis "Das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses. Juden, Christen und die Ökonomie des Geheimen (1400–1800)" is due to be published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht this year.

    Ausführliche Informationen

    Die Frühe Neuzeit war das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses. Selten zuvor und niemals danach hat es in der europäischen Geschichte eine solche Faszination für Geheimnisse und Geheimhaltung gegeben. Dennoch ist dieser Bereich der Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte bisher nur wenig erforscht. Daniel Jütte untersucht den frühneuzeitlichen Geheimnisbegriff, rekonstruiert den Markt für Geheimnisse und zeigt, dass die jüdische Minderheit auf diesem Feld eine überragende Rolle spielte. Ihre Arkankompetenz in der Alchemie, Magie, Spionage und Technologie ist dabei nur ein Beispiel. Warum galten Juden in der christlichen Mehrheitsgesellschaft als Hüter eines genuinen geheimen Wissens?
    Die Studie bringt nicht nur neue Erkenntnisse für die jüdische Geschichte, sondern auch für die allgemeine Wissenschafts- und Kulturgeschichte.



    I. Kapitel Das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses

    Das Geheimnis als Untersuchungsgegenstand. Methodische Vorüberlegungen
    Zur Geschichte des Geheimnisses im Mittelalter und im Übergang zur Frühen Neuzeit
    Aspekte und Kontinuitäten der ›Arkanisierung‹ in der Frühen Neuzeit
    Die angebliche ›Arkankompetenz‹ der Juden. Diskurse und Realität in der Frühen Neuzeit

    II. Kapitel Facetten der Ökonomie des Geheimen

    Medizinische Arkana
    Spionage und Informationsbeschaffung
    Zivile und militärische Technologie
    Das Einhorn: Juden als Vermittler von Geheimnissen der Natur

    III. Kapitel Zwischenräume: Die Magie

    IV. Kapitel Geheimnisse und Geschäfte: Die ökonomische Dimension der Arkankompetenz

    V. Kapitel Ein jüdischer professore de’ secreti

    Abramo Colorni – eine Vorbemerkung
    Geheime Projekte, öffentliche Berühmtheit. Lehrjahre
    Mit Geheimnissen rechnen. Mathematik, Mechanik und Meßkunst
    Divination und Distinktion
    Der Magus und sein Kosmos
    Arcana imperii – Imperium arcanorum. Der Kaiserhof Rudolfs II.
    Geheimnisse übermitteln
    Explosives Wissen
    Projekte, Proteste und ein Hasardstück
    Die Fußstapfen des Daedalus
    Wer war Abramo Colorni?

    VI. Kapitel Konjunktur und Krise des Geheimnisses: Vom Umbruch des Wissens

    Die Historiographie und das ›kontributorische Narrativ‹
    Ökonomie des Geheimen und Pluralität der Wissenskulturen
    Optionen und Utopien
    Arkana und Ansehen im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Drei Karrieren
    Das Verschwinden der Ökonomie des Geheimen im 19. Jahrhundert

    Quellen- und Literaturverzeichnis

  • 2011-06-24 17:31 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The Richard Kieckhefer Prize was established by the Societas Magica in 2009 to honor Professor Kieckhefer’s contributions to the field and his mentoring of younger scholars. It is awarded annually for an unpublished article by a recent PhD (within 2 years of graduation), in any area of the scholarly study of magic, witchcraft, or related fields, judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality. In exceptional cases consideration will also be given to graduate student submissions. The prize is supported by Penn Press Journals and the Societas Magica. The winner will be announced at the Societas Magica meeting in May 2011 as well as in its newsletter and on its website. The winning entry will also be published in the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft and the author will receive a cash prize of $500. Articles from all academic disciplines are welcome. Submissions should be in English and approximately 6,000 words in length. Applicants must not have received their PhD earlier than September 2008. A committee appointed by the Societas Magica will judge the entries. It is not necessary that the prize be awarded each year. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2011. Please forward an electronic version of the article (.rtf or .doc preferred) to In addition, please send three printed copies with a letter indicating date of past or expected reception of PhD and the granting institution to: Frank Klaassen, President Societas Magica Department of History University of Saskatchewan 718-9 Campus Drive Saskatoon, SK Canada S7L 0M3

  • 2011-06-24 17:23 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Freemasonry is a secular fraternal organisation of British origin, and the United Grand Lodge of England will be celebrating its tercentenary in 2017. Over that period, Freemasonry has spread worldwide to millions of members, from walks of life that include royalty and many other prominent figures. The international, social and ethnic diversity of its membership is represented in the extensive archive and rich collections of other materials held at Freemasons' Hall in Central London by the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. The last decade has seen considerable growth in research on Freemasonry as a significant element in British social and cultural history. The role of the Director of Research will be twofold: first, to expand opportunities to carry out such studies by developing comprehensive databases from our historical records and by enhancing other research resources and, secondly, to encourage, facilitate and participate in specific research projects utilising those resources. Applications are invited from candidates with demonstrable experience in the compilation and analysis of historical evidence, and its utilisation in research projects, at a seniority level comparable to that of professor. The Director of Research will be based at Freemasons' Hall, but will be expected to engage actively with the external world to develop a broad range of contacts in support of the work. The appointment will be for an initial period of three years, with possibility of renewal, and may be full-time or at least 60 per cent part-time. For further information and an application form, please write to Sonia Dixon, HR Manager, United Grand Lodge of England, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, or e-mail to The closing date for applications is 6th May 2011. Visit the United Grand Lodge of England website:

  • 2011-06-24 15:23 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Le volume 2 d'« Ésotérisme et Initiation » suivra la ligne directrice qui a fait le succès du premier volume (GRANJON, DECHARNEUX, BALZANO, NOBILIO (éds.), Ésotérisme et Initiation. Études d'épistémologie et d'histoire des religions, Fernelmont (Belgique), E.M.E., coll. « Divin & Sacré », 2010), à savoir l’interdisciplinarité et la variété des réflexions sur la notion d'ésotérisme. Les éditeurs souhaitent pour ce second volume donner un fil conducteur suggéré par la notion de « secret ». Le concept d’ésotérisme est en effet souvent associé à l’idée d’un « enseignement caché », d’un « savoir réservé » qui instaure une distinction entre initiés et profanes. Certains auteurs (Riffard, 1990) ont parfois considéré que la présence de cette « discipline de l’arcane » était nécessaire pour que l’on puisse parler d’ésotérisme. D’autres (Faivre, 1992) ont pointé les difficultés liées à l’utilisation de ce concept dans une définition critique de l’ésotérisme en soulignant que nombre de courants ésotériques n’ont rien de « secret » dans leur mode de diffusion. Néanmoins, l’étymologie même du mot « ésotérisme » suggère l’idée de quelque chose d’ « intérieur », de « voilé ». Dans un premier sens, le « secret » peut désigner le sens ultime d’un symbole ou d’un mythe, qui n’est accessible que par un effort personnel d’interprétation à plusieurs niveaux (une herméneutique). Le secret n’est alors qu’un autre terme pour désigner la connaissance elle-même — la « Gnose » — qui est par nature incommunicable au travers de la rationalité ou du langage discursif (d’où l'utilisation de formes d’expression imagées, symboliques et mythiques). Dans un second sens, le secret peut porter sur les moyens ou les techniques (physiques ou mentales) utilisés pour atteindre cette connaissance (qui mènerait à l'expérience spirituelle ou l'illumination). Par conséquent, l’ésotérisme n’est pas limité aux domaines de la religion et la philosophie. Il est au contraire largement ouvert aux arts visuels — théâtre, danse ou cinéma —, à la musique, à la littérature, ou encore à l’architecture et aux arts martiaux, pour ne donner que quelques exemples. De plus, en raison de l’accent qui est mis sur l’idée de connaissance (de Dieu, de l'Homme, mais aussi de la Nature), les perspectives ésotériques sont devenues partie intégrante de l'histoire des sciences modernes. Enfin, dans le contexte des révolutions politiques qui ont instauré une séparation entre les institutions étatiques et cléricales, les démocraties occidentales ont connu une prolifération des sociétés ésotériques, ainsi qu’une vulgarisation de certaines doctrines qui semblent aujourd’hui répondre à une certaine « demande de spiritualité ». Les éditeurs souhaitent, en croisant différentes approches, examiner la pertinence du concept de « secret » entendu comme une des composantes majeures des discours et des modes de pensée ésotériques. Éditeurs : Baudouin DECHARNEUX (Maître de recherches FNRS, CIERL – ULB, Belgique), Olivier SANTAMARIA (FNRS, Chercheur au CIERL – ULB, Belgique) dans le cadre du Groupe de Recherche et d’Étude sur les Mouvements Maçonniques et Esotériques (GREMME). Les articles seront rédigés en français ou en anglais. Échéances : pour le 31 mars 2010 : le titre (provisoire) + 1500/2000 signes (le résumé ou un chapitre). Le 30 juin 2010 : première version du texte définitif (25000 signes, notes comprises). Contact : Olivier Santamaria ( )

  • 2011-02-03 17:25 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Guidelines for ESSWE travel bursaries 1. General aspects 1.1. A fund has been created by the ESSWE in order to assist students and/or members from economically disadvantaged countries through travel bursaries. The fund is used primarily for facilitating participation in ESSWE conferences, and secondarily for participation in ESSWE workshops and other academic activities whose purpose is in accordance with the aims and goals of the ESSWE. 1.2. If the budget of the ESSWE allows, a number of bursaries of € 300 each will be granted to applicants for participating in the regular ESSWE conference, held every two years. The remaining amount, divided into bursaries of € 200 each, will be allocated for applicants attending other workshops or conferences. 1.3. Bursaries for participating in conferences will be reserved for applicants who will present a paper. In other cases, such as workshops, active participation will be valued, but will not be a requirement. 1.4. The bursaries will be made available under the following conditions: a) The applicant must be a paid-up member or a paid-up student member of the ESSWE. b) The applicant must have sought funding from other sources as well, such as the applicant’s home university or national funding organizations, if available. c) Preference will be given to students and/or full members from the former Eastern European bloc. d) If the bursary is intended for participation in a conference, the applicant must be duly registered as a participant and present a paper. e) When the applicant is a student member, s/he must present a CV and a letter of recommendation, preferably from a full member of the ESSWE, or, as an alternative, from the student’s PhD supervisor or any other senior scholar. f) Preference will be given to those who have not received a bursary in previous years. g) The bursaries are intended for reimbursement of costs, and will in no case be paid in advance. After the event, the applicant will submit to the Treasurer the receipts in their original form. Only three types of receipts will be considered: travel tickets, accommodation bills, and payment of registration fees. The submitted documents must amount to at least 80% of the total value of the bursary, that is, € 240 for the standard bursaries of € 300. If the receipts do not reach that amount, only their upfront value will be reimbursed. Therefore, if the total of the receipts amounts to € 239 or less, only that amount will be reimbursed. 1.5. The evaluation of the applications and the decision on awards will be made by the Executive Committee of the ESSWE. 2. ESSWE conference bursaries 2.1. The number of bursaries available for participating in a regular ESSWE conference will be announced on the website of the ESSWE in good time before the conference. 2.2. The application deadline will normally be 2 to 4 months before the beginning of the conference. 3. Bursaries not related to ESSWE conferences Applications for bursaries not related to a regular ESSWE conference may be submitted at any time. Before submitting an application, prospective applicants are recommended to check with the Treasurer that at that moment the budget allows for such bursaries.

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