ESSWE home

  • 2016-04-06 08:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The research project is an Initial Training Network (ITN) established by six universities and ninenon-academic partner organizations across Europe and engaging scholars and PhD students from various disciplines. The ITN will trace the roots and transformations of the human values of dignity and freedom in theological and philosophical traditions, among other things with the aim of understanding modern debates and conflicts about these values. In modern western societies, the ideal human being has the right to think, believe, and express itself freely without fearing retribution and to be treated as an autonomous and dignified individual. But such a conception is not shared by all – and never was. Its long history has been formed through a continuous battle between two theological and philosophical traditions going back to Origen of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo, respectively. Origen saw humans as free, valuable, and dignified beings, while Augustine saw them as predestined, sinful, and bound to servitude. The project’s research will continuously circle this battle between the opposing negative and positive views on humanity that we encounter in various contexts from antiquity to modern times. Thereby, the project will raise awareness of how ancient philosophical and religious tenets still shape political, moral, and anthropological categories and modes of thinking as well as principles of human conduct. Find more information on the project website

    This project has received funding from the European Union's H2020 research and innovation program

  • 2016-03-29 18:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Call for scholars of the Middle Ages with interests in hidden esoteric motifs and spirituality in the literature of the period

    We are extending a cordial invitation to scholars who are in a position to submit a manuscript for a special issue of the journal Arcanum with the title, Hidden Esoteric Motifs and Spirituality in the Literature of the Middle Ages.

    The goal of the special issue is to make a case for a renewed interest in scholarly research and a reappraisal of traditional interpretations of the literary works in the period.

    The first of two main sections of the issue will consist of overview papers which would each provide insights into one of the esoteric currents and aspects of spirituality that we know of from the Middle Ages and that authors during this period could have been well aware of, such as ...


    The second of two main sections will consist of research papers which will focus on works of literature of the Middle Ages that provide clues that their authors were aware of one or more of the prevailing esoteric currents.

    An introductory paper will provide a brief overview of the papers in the issue in a way that helps to provide the context within which they will serve as contributions to the literature. A concluding paper will highlight promising new research directions.

    Co-volume Editors: Ingrid E. Lotze (Arcanum) and Albrecht Classen (University of Arizona)

    Indexing: Arcanum is indexed in the International Medieval Bibliography.

    Inquiries from authors who would like to discuss their research and manuscript ideas are welcome.

    Point of contact ... ... Phone: 207-546-2821, Ext. 4

  • 2016-03-16 20:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Estonian Society for the Study of Religions

    announces a call for papers for the conference

    Religion and Nation(alism): Entanglements, Tensions, Conflicts

    University of Tartu, Estonia, 10-11 November 2016

    Recent developments throughout the world have shown that the connections between ethnic and religious identity have not lost their actuality. The relationships between religion and nationalism are multifaceted and interactive; their dynamics is influenced by social and political conditions. The politisation of religion may support ethnic and national unity, whereas religion may lead to particular forms of political activism. The concurrence of ethnic and religious identity (or the lack of it!) may result in nation building or the shaping of an ideology of the ‘chosen people’. Moreover, religious identities may offer possibilities for the formation of communities that cross national borders.

    Studying the role that religion plays in these complex relationships will offer us insights into the formation, development or disintegration of certain groups and their choices, both in individual and public spheres. Thus, we welcome scholars from all fields of study (anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, folkloristics, history, political and religious studies, etc.) who study the connections between (ir)religion and nationalism or group identities. Particularly interesting aspects include:

    diachronic and contemporary aspects of the relationships between nationalism and religion

    regional aspects of religion and nation(alism)

    ideological entanglements of religion and nation(alism)

    religious tensions and conflicts between ethnic groups both past and present

    the relationships between (ir)religion, nationalism and group identity

    discursive intersections of religion and nationalism with gender, sexuality, race, class, culture and history

    the religious aspects of secular nationalism and secular sources of the public authority of religious institutions and traditions

    migration and religion, expatriate relationships with nation(alism) and religion

    conspiracy theories about the religious background of migrants

    neo-pagan and esoteric movements in the context of nation building


    The language of the conference will be English, the length of papers 20 minutes. A conference fee of 80€will be applied for meals and materials; participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation.


    Please submit your abstract of 250-300 words to the conference e-mail address: before 31.05.2016. Pre-arranged panels will also be considered. Notification of acceptance, and the opening of registration, not later than: 01.07.2016.


    For inquiries please contact the Secretary of the conference, Piret Koosa ( Current information about the conference can be found at our home page

    The Conference is being organised by the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions in cooperation with the University of Tartu (School of Theology and Religious Studies, Institute of Cultural Research and Arts) and the Estonian Literary Museum.

    Organising committee: Madis Arukask, Alar Kilp, Piret Koosa, Katre Koppel, Mare Kõiva, Jaan Lahe, Atko Remmel, Ülo Valk, Ergo-Hart Västrik

  • 2016-03-14 09:58 | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    (Saint Petersburg)

    Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

    Department of Religious Studies

    Research Centre for Esotericism and Mysticism



    With the support of

    European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism


    Mystic and Esoteric Movements

    in Theory and Practice:




    24 – 26 March, 2016, Saint Petersburg (Russia)

  • 2016-03-03 22:52 | Egil Asprem (Administrator)
    Applications for the first round of ESSWE’s Sponsorship Programme for Independent Scholarly Initiatives have now been evaluated. Out of five applications received, the committee has decided to award two projects:


    • The open-access journal Correspondences: € 380 to cover three years of OASPA membership and web hosting, providing professionalization and stability for an important independent initiative.
    • The conference Trans-States: The Art of Crossing Over: € 200 to cover travel costs for an esotericism specialist to give a keynote at an experimental, transdisciplinary conference of potentially high visibility.


    We congratulate the winners of this very first run of the Sponsorship Programme!

    ESSWE will shortly announce a second round of application, for funding in autumn of 2016. Please check the website or our Facebook page for updates.  

  • 2016-01-11 09:56 | Mark Sedgwick

    Boaz Huss, ESSWE's Vice President, has been appointed webmaster in succession to Peter Forshaw, who has been webmaster ever since ESSWE's foundation. Thanks to Peter, and welcome to Boaz! Anyone with news or agenda items for the website is asked to email them to Boaz.

  • 2015-04-09 21:28 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The full programme for the ESSWE5 conference later this April in Riga, Latvia is now available. Click HERE to download.

  • 2015-02-13 21:23 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Dear Friends,

    We regret to announce that the seminar in Biella on Spiritualist Artists and the connected exhibition on Giuseppe Maffei and Rosazza have both been cancelled.

    The local organizing entity who had agreed to provide the funding for the seminar and the exhibition experienced severe financial hardships and finally was placed under a court-controlled administration, which immediately blocked all projects and expenses. Incidents of this kind are unfortunately not uncommon in Italy, where the end of the financial crisis is not on sight.

    We apologize to all those concerned, although the events in Biella developed rapidly and completely outside the control of CESNUR.

    We know that some of you had prepared interesting papers and projects. The CESNUR conference in Tallin, Estonia had a call for papers expiring on January 23, 2015.

    We are however keeping open for you the possibility to submit the papers for Tallinn until January. 31, next. Please let me know within this time whether you are interested in resubmitting the papers for Tallinn and we will organize a special session on the same theme.

    Best regards
    Massimo Introvigne

  • 2015-01-30 18:51 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The University of Manchester invites applications for a Research Associate on the exhibition project “Magic and the Expanding Early Modern World”. The exhibition will be staged at the John Rylands Library in Manchester and co-curated by Dr Jenny Spinks and Dr Sasha Handley, both Lecturers in Early Modern History at the University of Manchester. You will be based in the History division of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, and will work extensively with early modern materials in Manchester collections. You will have a PhD in early modern history or a related discipline, expertise in early modern print and/or manuscript culture, and demonstrable familiarity with the history of supernatural beliefs and debates c. 1400–1800. The role will primarily involve research on items to be included in the exhibition, the preparation of a range of catalogue and display texts, and assistance in planning for the exhibition and associated academic and community events. You will work under the supervision of Dr Jenny Spinks, with the position funded through her Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Fellowship on “Magic, Diabolism, and Global Religion in European Print Culture, 1500–1700”.

    For more information, click HERE.

  • 2014-10-29 08:00 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    A revised version of the ESSWE Spring 2014 Newsletter is now available, one which includes an apology concerning statements made in the original issue, plus the sincere regrets of the Board and President of the ESSWE concerning this unfortunate incident. The closure of the University of Exeter's EXESESO programme was indeed a great loss to the field of the study of Western Esotericism and we hope that ESSWE board and members, including EXESESO scholars and students can now join together in working for the future of the field.

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