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Prof. Dr. Victoria Ferentinou, University of Ioannina
“Colours are things”: the visionary art of Frixos Aristeus
Start: 2021-05-18, 18:00 CEST
The lecture will focus on the underrated Greek painter Frixos Aristeus (1879-1951) whose work reflects a religious and epistemological search responsive to the turn-of-the-century occult revival. It will contextualise Aristeus’s oeuvre by highlighting the historical specificities of the interaction between occultism and Greek symbolism in the early twentieth century. It will be specifically concerned with the ways Aristeus integrated theosophical and spiritualist ideas into his art theoretical treatise, Light from Darkness and Darkness from Light (mid-1930s). Aristeus preferred a representational art expressive of spiritual ideas that also characterised the work of other theosophically-influenced artists of his era. In this theorising, he absorbed occult concepts about colours and their qualities elaborating on their value as spiritual principles. The lecture aspires to situate Aristeus’s theoretical enterprise in the context of modern art theory, shedding light on questions of figuration and abstraction, and by extension the aestheticisation of occult tropes by contemporary visual artists.
This lecture series is organized by Chloë Sugden, Jonas Stähelin and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kilcher as part of the SNSF project, "Scientification and Aestheticization of 'Esotericism' in the long 19th century".
Please register by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is mandatory for participants.
Event website: lit.ethz.ch/occultism
FURTHER INFO ON THE LECTURE SERIES
Aesthetic and Scientific Epistemologies of the Occult in the XIX Century
ETH Online Lecture Series, Spring 2021
We invite you to the Spring 2021 edition of our ongoing lecture series, as we continue our enquiry into aesthetic and scientific epistemologies of the occult during the long nineteenth century. On Tuesday evenings in May, through our second online series, we present approaches to the subject that combine methodologies drawn from art history, religious studies, media theory, anthropology and science studies. In our first lecture, anthropologist, Ehler Voss will take a look at the opposing views of two Californian magicians by relating them to nineteenth-century debates surrounding the credibility of magical practices. In the second lecture, with an approach similarly grounded in religious anthropology, Erin Yerby will investigate the role of the body as medium in the American Spiritualist tradition, which she contextualizes within broader Protestant-inflected iconoclastic tradition. In our third lecture, art historian, Victoria Ferentinou will explore the influence of esoteric discourses on artistic theory and practice of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her focus will be on the painting and theory of the Greek symbolist, Frixos Aristeus (1879-1951). Finally, in the fourth lecture, historian of religion, Marco Pasi will consider the presence of occult-related themes in the oeuvre of the late contemporary artist, Chiara Fumai (1978-2017).
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Prof. Dr. Ehler Voss, University of Bremen
“Magic Tipping Points. On Deceptions and Detections.”
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Dr. Erin Yerby, Rice University
“The Body as Spectral Shape: Spiritualist Mediumship and Anglo-American Iconoclasm.”
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Prof. Dr. Victoria Ferentinou, University of Ioannina
“‘Colours are Things’: The Visionary Art of Frixos Aristeus.”
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Prof. Dr. Marco Pasi, University of Amsterdam
“‘Witchcraft with Capital W’: The Magical Art of Chiara Fumai.”
ESSWE Online Lecture Series 2021
What is the “Child” in new religious movements? This lecture explores the esoteric identities (Hanegraaff 2013) ascribed to children in NRMs, ranging from world saviour, endtime warrior, reincarnated saint, to alien hybrid babies.
Based on archival and qualitative research, this study offers an analyses of the mythopoeic models and the symbolism associated with children in spiritual communes and apocalyptic sects. It is proposed that the pure, androgynous body of the child might recall a lost Eden (Olson 2015); represent a “perfect vessel” resistant to external contamination and assimilation (Douglas 1970); or become a symbol of hope and salvation for the new millennium (Duymaer Van Twist 2015).
This study is part of the Children in Sectarian Religions and State Control research project supported by the Social Science and the Humanities Research Council of Canada (http://spiritualchildhoods.ca)
Zoom Webinar start at 19:00 CEST
For more information on ESSWE Online Lecture Series 2021, please visit lit.ethz.ch/ESSWE-OLS2021
Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices
Call for Papers
2021 Meeting of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE): 29 September-1 October 2021 on Zoom
The European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE) invites proposals for its 2021 meeting, to be held on Zoom 29 September-1 October 2021. The theme for the meeting is “Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices.”
Religious studies, and especially the study of esotericism, tend to focus on text production and ideas. Societies, politics, practices—and also economics, social forms, and the material—are often neglected in the study of esotericism, partly due to methodological challenges. We would therefore like to invite scholars to submit proposals focusing on these dimensions of Islam and esotericism, of esotericism and Islam, and of Islamic esotericism.
We especially invite proposals from sociologists and anthropologists, as well as other scholars. The chronological scope stretches from medieval to contemporary times.
We invite papers that engage with these aims, but—as usual—proposals relating to Islam and Esotericism that do not relate to the meeting theme are also welcome.
The meeting will be held over successive afternoons to make it possible for both European scholars and scholars in American time zones to participate.
There is no fee for attending the meeting.
The meeting is being held in 2021 rather than 2022 (when it would normally be held, following ENSIE’s standard practice) because the 2021 meeting of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), of which ENSIE is a thematic network, has moved its 2021 conference to 2022 because of Covid, and ENSIE’s 2022 meeting will therefore be part of ESSWE’s 2022 conference.
By 15 May 2021, please send to email@example.com
The meeting is organised by
Updates at http://ensie.site/conferences.html.
The Theosophical Movement and Globalism
Interconnections, Innovations, and Comparisons
Online via zoom 8-10 October 2021
We live in a time in which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. A steady growing number of people from all around the globe directly participate in this by travelling to faraway destinations, meeting people from various cultures, by using the various media platforms, which the internet has made available, or by following global news. This interconnectedness does, however, not only take place by our current population becoming geographically closer but also manifests itself through time. Historical awareness also brings the past into the present. Increased historical study of the great variety of cultures from around the world and their histories thus facilitate a global interconnectedness through time. Global history, as a relatively new approach to world history, for example, seeks to cultivate the richness of past, present, and cross-cultural perspectives by taking the globe as the point of departure.
The Theosophical Society (est. 1875) and the many groups, events, and cultural dynamics that make up the broader “Theosophical Movement” has almost from the outset been globally oriented.
Primary spokespersons of the Theosophical Society have for example been keen on combining ideas and concepts from a wide variety of cultures and from different time-periods. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s works are for example figuratively speaking tightly woven textual carpets build of numerous references to ancient Egypt, India, Tibet, China, Greece and to traditions such as Platonism, Hermetism, spiritualism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Modern philosophers and scholars of various scientific disciplines are also a part of this texture. There is interconnectedness and an attempt to synthesize the global cultural heritage in Theosophy. In a certain respect, Theosophy is a reflection of global history and modern globalism.
This global tendency of the Theosophical Society also has a more contemporary geographical dimension. Blavatsky (born in Russia) was by nature already a world-citizen having travelled extensively and having become an American citizen. The global outlook was a part of her awareness and together with Henry S. Olcott, she singled out India as the right place for the headquarters of the society. Due to this early global outlook, the Theosophical Society has members from many different countries and thereby now has a global history. The Theosophical Society has likewise influenced global politics, as is well known in relation to the independence of India and has been instrumental as a carrier of cultural elements both from Europe and America to Asia as well as from Asia to Europe and America.
This thematic focus on the Theosophical movement in relation to globalism, therefore, welcomes a global array of papers from an equally broad array of disciplines. Some theoretical keywords are interconnections, innovations, differences, comparisons, ideologies and entanglements; and some of the central questions that we want to address are:
Karl Baier (Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Austria).
Any person may submit a paper to the conference committee on any aspect of the subject. Summaries of no more than 200 words and 50 words biography should be sent to the secretary of the ITHC Erica Georgiades via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All paper proposals will be evaluated by our scientific conference committee prior to acceptance.
Suggested presentation time 30 minutes including questions and answers.
Registration & Fees
The conference is free of charge and everyone is welcome.
The online registration to the 2021 ITHC will open when the programme is released. The conference zoom link will be announced alongside the programme. For more information, please send an email to email@example.com
Online – Zoom Platform.
Date 8-10 October 2021
The conference schedule will be based on different time zones. Specifics will be available when the full programme is released.
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