[133] By 1994, Faivre could comment that the academic study of Western esotericism had taken off in France, Italy, England, and the United States, but he lamented the fact that it had not done so in Germany. [31] The existence of this universal inner tradition has not been discovered through scientific or scholarly enquiry; this had led some[who?] Cultural Studies Approaches and the Problems of Definition in Religious Studies, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion" on DeepDyve, the largest online rental service for scholarly research with thousands … [145] Ouspensky (1878–1947). - the spiritual reality of God. By Liana Saif Introduction ‘In the last few years, attention to Islamic forms of esotericism has become more pronounced in the field of Western esotericism as a repercussion of the problematisation of its implied regional and cultural demarcations, and also as an effect of the promotion of global perspectives. [126] Faivre has since been cited as being responsible for developing the study of Western esotericism into a formalised field,[127] with his 1992 work L'ésotérisme having been cited as marking "the beginning of the study of Western esotericism as an academic field of research". [68] This was a milieu in which there was a mix of religious and intellectual traditions from Greece, Egypt, the Levant, Babylon, and Persia, and in which globalisation, urbanisation, and multiculturalism were bringing about socio-cultural change. Passed down in those same ancient days ‘orally’…Before the written word came into common use. [40] Esotericism is therefore understood as comprising those world views which eschew a belief in instrumental causality and instead adopt a belief that all parts of the universe are interrelated without a need for causal chains. Esoteric, the quality of having an inner or secret meaning. Esotericism, Religion, and Nature illuminates the way that nature is understood by major esoteric figures and traditions. Western esotericism, also known as esotericism, esoterism, and sometimes the Western mystery tradition, is a term under which scholars have categorised a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. Hope this clears up some definitions for readers. Esotericism has pervaded various forms of Western philosophy, religion, pseudoscience, art, literature, and music, continuing to affect intellectual ideas and popular culture. New Age movement, movement that spread through the occult and metaphysical religious communities in the 1970s and ʾ80s. Kocku von Stuckrad is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, subdepartment ‘History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents’. The third problem is that many of the widely recognized esoteric currents have never concealed their teachings, permeating popular culture, and thus problematizing the notion that its hidden and mysterious nature can define esotericism. [9] "Esotericism" and "occultism" were often employed[by whom?] As art it is based on sensitive, intuitive perception, open to inspiration. [37] Hanegraaff also highlighted that an attitude which seeks to uncover an inner hidden core of all esoteric currents masks the fact that such groups often contain significant differences from one another, being rooted in their own historical and social contexts, and expressing ideas and agendas which are mutually exclusive. [128] He remained in the chair until 2002, when he was succeeded by Jean-Pierre Brach. [98], In Europe, a movement usually termed "occultism" emerged as various figures attempted to find a "third way" between Christianity and positivist science while building on the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance traditions of esoteric thought. An empirical study of esotericism needs “emic material and etic interpretation”: Emic denotes the believer’s point of view. [This] means that, originally, not all those currents and ideas were necessarily seen as belonging together:... it is only as recently as the later seventeenth century that we find the first attempts at presenting them as one single, coherent field or domain, and at explaining what they have in common. Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. Egil Asprem and Kennet Granholm (eds). A hostile critic of various currents of Western thought that had emerged since the Renaissance—among them Paracelsianism, Weigelianism, and Christian theosophy—in his book he labelled all of these traditions under the category of "Platonic–Hermetic Christianity", portraying them as heretical to what he saw as "true" Christianity. [83] Christian Kabbalah was expanded in the work of the German Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535/36), who used it as a framework through which to explore the philosophical and scientific traditions of Antiquity in his work De occulta philosophia libri tres. Robert Cochrane and the Gardnerian Craft: Feuds, Secrets, and Mysteries in Contemporary British Witchcraft Ethan Doyle White. could never be our perspective.94 For Schuon, sharīʿa, the extrinsic aspect of religion, colours metaphysical truth (ḥaqīqa) — i.e. As you can read about below, they go straight into a central debate in the field of esotericism studies at the moment. The noun "esotericism", in its French form "ésotérisme", first appeared in 1828 [5] in the work by Jacques Matter [fr] (1791–1864), Histoire critique du gnosticisme (3 vols.). Download with Google Download with Facebook [10], Another approach to Western esotericism has treated it as a world view that embraces "enchantment" in contrast to world views influenced by post-Cartesian, post-Newtonian, and positivist science which have sought to "dis-enchant" the world. knowledge which is available only to a narrow circle of “enlightened”, “initiated”, or specially educated people. On the basis of the fact that "English culture and literature have been traditional strongholds of Western esotericism", in 2011 Pia Brînzeu and György Szönyi urged that English studies also have a role in this interdisciplinary field.[142]. [59], — Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan, 2007. As an academic field of study, Western esotericism is therefore a highly interdisciplinary enterprise. Esotericism is not, after all, religion — it is on the periphery of religion, existing in the spheres of the irrational, the rejected, and the occult. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. Esotericism is a multi-disciplinary field of spiritual knowledge contained within all religions which concerns the principles and qualities of magic and mysticism. An early exponent of this definition was the historian of Renaissance thought Frances Yates in her discussions of a "Hermetic Tradition", which she saw as an "enchanted" alternative to established religion and rationalistic science. Esotericism also describes mystical, spiritual or occult viewpoints (point of view). Esoteric lores have been seen as "substitute religions" or "secular substitute religions" in the past. [19] As scholars such as Faivre and Hanegraaff have pointed out, there is no comparable category of "Eastern" or "Oriental" esotericism. Arthur Versluis, “Methods in the Study of Esotericism, Part II: Mysticism and the Study of Esotericism”, in, tree of life as represented in the Kabbalah, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, International Association for the History of Religions, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, "The Ritual Dimension of Western Esotericism: The Rebirth Motif and the Transformation of Human Consciousness", "Beyond the West: Towards a New Comparativism in the Study of Esotericism", "Alkimia Operativa and Alkimia Speculativa. In turn, a "modernist occult" emerged that reflected varied ways in which esoteric thinkers came to terms with these developments. [34], This definition—originally developed by esotericists themselves—became popular among French academics during the 1980s, exerting a strong influence over the scholars Mircea Eliade, Henry Corbin, and the early work of Faivre. [72], A third form of esotericism in Late Antiquity was Neoplatonism, a school of thought influenced by the ideas of the philosopher Plato. with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós ("belonging to an inner circle"); the earliest known example of the word appeared in a satire authored by Lucian of Samosata[4] (c. 125 – after 180). The leaders of the lodge emigrated in order to avoid imprisonment, but in the course of the war Eugen Grosche, one of their main leaders, was arrested for a year by the Nazi government. One scholarly model adopts its definition of "esotericism" from certain esotericist schools of thought themselves, treating "esotericism" as a perennialist hidden, inner tradition. (p.1, 8). But it is also a science -- … Figures in alchemy from this period seem to also have authored or used grimoires. [42] However, the primary exponent of this view was Faivre, who published a series of criteria for how to define "Western esotericism" in 1992. PSYCHONAUT PRESENTS #1 FOR SALE! As entertaining as that picture is, it is far cry from the actual application of magic in the esoteric disciplines. [44] He listed these characteristics as follows: Faivre's form of categorisation has been endorsed by scholars like Goodrick-Clarke,[52] and by 2007 Bogdan could note that Faivre's had become "the standard definition" of Western esotericism in use among scholars. [55] However, criticisms have also been expressed of Faivre's theory, pointing out its various weaknesses. [71] Although it is still debated as to whether Hermetism was a purely literary phenomenon, or whether there were communities of practitioners who acted on these ideas, it has been established that these texts discuss the true nature of God, emphasising that humans must transcend rational thought and worldly desires in order to find salvation and be reborn into a spiritual body of immaterial light, thereby achieving spiritual unity with divinity. Authoring the influential Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), she co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. What is Islamic Esotericism? [53] However, in 2013 the scholar Kennet Granholm stated only that Faivre's definition had been "the dominating paradigm for a long while" and that it "still exerts influence among scholars outside the study of Western esotericism". Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. Esotericism is about secret knowledge for a small group of people. It can be a gift from God or it can come through the effort of the individual. But it is also a science -- a science of the soul of things.. Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. “Vivekan... anda” was the name he took upon initiation into the Order of Swamis; his birth name was Narendranath Datta. The esoteric side of a religion regards the inner world, the more intimate and arcane elements. [144], Many scholars of esotericism have come to be regarded as respected intellectual authorities by practitioners of various esoteric traditions. Some could even say magic is an advanced form of psychology; in fact, its techniques have been utilized by psychoanalysts for over a century, including in the acclaimed Carl Jung. On the part of the researcher, the reconstruction of this emic perspective requires an attitude of empathy which excludes personal biases as far as possible. [129] The second was that esotericism is a trans-disciplinary field, the study of which did not fit clearly within any particular discipline. . Occult lodges and secret societies flowered among European intellectuals of this era who had largely abandoned traditional forms of Christianity. It transforms, by a process of interpretation, all doctrines from codes into qualities of conviction." The medieval period also saw the publication of grimoires, which offered often elaborate formulas for theurgy and thaumaturgy. ... A constant pursuit of attempting to figure out what the intended messages are in ancient mythology, mysticism, and religion. followers of Abrahamic faiths, particularly Christianity and Islam, have criticized Esotericism … [17] Indeed, according to historian of esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff (born 1961), rejection of "occult" topics was seen as a "crucial identity marker" for any intellectuals seeking to affiliate themselves with the academy. However, an understanding can be reached by defining its two main components: mysticism and magic. [114] In response to Wicca there has also appeared literature and groups who label themselves followers of traditional witchcraft in opposition to the growing visibility of Wicca and these claim older roots than the system proposed by Gerald Gardner. Kocku von Stuckrad is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, subdepartment ‘History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents’. It was originally used to describe that area of knowledge that dealt with the hidden realities, i.e. Awakening The Global Mind PDF Kindle This could not be further from reality. Esotericism is a rather artificial category, applied retroactively to a range of currents and ideas that were public but didn’t necessarily belong together. Through that, a life of conscience can blossom; rather than the other way around. [2] Renaissance Europe saw increasing interest in many of these older ideas, with various intellectuals combining "pagan" philosophies with the Kabbalah and Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy. Unfortunately, it is a practice that characterizes and provides the basis for all of the so-called “major world religions,” including Christianity. [13] The first to do so, Ehregott Daniel Colberg [de] (1659–1698), a German Lutheran theologian, wrote Platonisch-Hermetisches Christianity (1690–91). [58] Accordingly, Von Stuckrad suggested that it was a good typology for understanding "Christian esotericism in the early modern period" but lacked utility beyond that. Posts about Religious esotericism written by Eric Heubeck. For the study of religion\s, it is therefore a stroke of luck that several leading scholars of so-called Western esotericism, includ- ing Wouter Hanegraaff, are active members of our tribe, that is, that they are scho- lars of religion and that they cross-fertilize debates raging in the study of religion\s with this emerging field. [138] Esotericism definition refers to the doctrines or practices of esoteric knowledge, or the quality or state of being obscure. Barnes & Noble’s Nook store (free Nook reading apps can be found here). Somewhat crudely, esotericism can be described as a Western form of spirituality that stresses the importance of the individual effort to gain spiritual knowledge, or, Esotericism as a universal, secret, inner tradition, Esotericism as claims to higher knowledge, Western esotericism as "rejected knowledge", sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFHanegraaff1996 (, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFAsprem2014 (, sfnm error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFHanegraaff1996 (, |Wouter Hanegraaff: "The most important magical secret lodge of the 20th century in the German-speaking world." Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. Mesmer claimed that a universal life force permeated everything, including the human body, and that illnesses were caused by a disturbance or block in this force's flow; he developed techniques which he claimed cleansed such blockages and restored the patient to full health. [81], Another core figure in this intellectual milieu was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), who achieved notability in 1486 by inviting scholars from across Europe to come and debate with him 900 theses that he had written. As an umbrella term that intends to highlight connections and developments over a long period, from antiquity to the present day, esotericism includes phenomena as varied as Gnosticism, Hermetism, and Neoplatonic Theurgy, Astrology, Alchemy, and Natural Magic, Christian Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, Christian Theosophy and Illuminism, the currents of modern Occultism, Spiritualism, Traditionalism, the … Esotericism refers to "hidden" knowledge available only to the advanced, privileged, or initiated, as opposed to exoteric knowledge, which is public. And as true art it is a creative way of being, expressive of true universality. [137] 2001 also saw the foundation of the North American Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE), with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) being established shortly after. It is the art of living from the inner reaches of one's being. [12] In the late seventeenth century, several European Christian thinkers presented the argument that one could categorise certain traditions of Western philosophy and thought together, thus establishing the category now labelled "Western esotericism". The historical study of Western esotericism would be greatly enriched by sociological studies; and sociological studies of New Age spirituality, neo-paganism, contemporary magic, New Religious Movements, and so forth, would be greatly enriched by making use of the insights gained in the historical study of Western esotericism. No matter what religion (Christinaity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. [90], A real initiatory brotherhood was established in late 16th-century Scotland through the transformation of Medieval stonemason guilds to include non-craftsman: Freemasonry. Butler, Aleister Crowley, etc.) And: Western esotericism, also called esotericism, esoterism, and sometimes the Western mystery tradition, is a term under which scholars have categorized a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. Although many scholars of esotericism have sought to emphasise that "esotericism" is not a single object, practitioners who are reading this scholarship have begun to regard it and think of it as a singular object, with which they affiliate themselves. Esotericism also describes mystical, spiritual or occult viewpoints (point of view). Evidence-based scientific thinking as well as common religions are insufficient to explain the world in the eye of Esotericism. [66] Bogdan similarly expressed concern regarding Hanegraaff's definition, believing that it made the category of Western esotericism "all inclusive" and thus analytically useless. "[22] In this respect, it contains all of the theories and world views that have been rejected by the mainstream intellectual community because they do not accord with "normative conceptions of religion, rationality and science". [130] As Hanegraaff noted, Western esotericism had to be studied as a separate field to religion, philosophy, science, and the arts, because while it "participates in all these fields" it does not squarely fit into any of them. Esoteric Christianity teaches that Christianity is a mystery religion and that only a small minority of people ever achieve the enlightenment necessary to crack the arcane teachings of the Bible and truly know God. All religions are probably somewhat exoteric, but most ones of ancient civilizations such as Yoga of India, and the mystery religions of ancient Egypt, Israel (Kabbalah,) and Greece are examples of ones that are also esoteric. [93] Another major figure within the esoteric movement of this period was the German physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1814), who developed the theory of Animal Magnetism, which later came to be known more commonly as "Mesmerism". This is because God as we know it is invisible, remains hidden, and any knowledge of God is considered "hidden" knowledge. His writings focused on his visionary travels to heaven and hell and his communications with angels, claiming that the visible, materialist world parallels an invisible spiritual world, with correspondences between the two that do not reflect causal relations. However, they inspired much public interest, with various individuals coming to describe themselves as "Rosicrucian" and claiming that they had access to secret, esoteric knowledge as a result. [98] In France, following the social upheaval of the 1789 Revolution, various figures emerged in this occultist milieu who were heavily influenced by traditional Catholicism, the most notable of whom were Eliphas Lévi (1810–1875) and Papus (1865–1916). In other words, “esoteric communication,” or “esotericism,” is really just a fancy and euphemistic name for the practice of lying and deception. Indian guru Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863. [70] In the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, a number of texts appeared which were attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, including the Corpus Hermeticum, Asclepius, and The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth. On Thursday and Friday, we had three sessions dedicated to exploring… [114] Wicca was adopted by members of the second-wave feminist movement, most notably Starhawk, and developing into the Goddess movement. [100] His Traditionalist ideas would have a strong influence on later esotericists like Julius Evola (1898–1974) and Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998). For other uses, see. Esotericism is the state or quality of being esoteric. Astrological Birthday Readings And, Book Of Useful Information PDF Download. [136] Several conferences on the subject were held at the quintennial meetings of the International Association for the History of Religions,[137] while a peer-reviewed journal, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism began publication in 2001. Template:Spirituality portal Esotericism refers to knowledge that is secret or not generally known. For the study of religion\s, it is therefore a stroke of luck that several leading scholars of so-called Western esotericism, includ- ing Wouter Hanegraaff, are active members of our tribe, that is, that they are scho- lars of religion and that they cross-fertilize debates raging in the study of religion… "[18], Various academics have emphasised the idea that esotericism is a phenomenon unique to the Western world; as Faivre stated, an "empirical perspective" would hold that "esotericism is a Western notion". All religions are probably somewhat exoteric, but most ones of ancient civilizations such as Yoga of India, and the mystery religions of ancient Egypt, Israel (Kabbalah), and Greece are examples of ones that are also esoteric. [8] During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the term "esotericism" came to commonly be seen[by whom?] Religion, science, and rejected knowledge [115] Other trends which emerged in western occultism in the later 20th century were satanism as exposed by groups such as the Church of Satan and Temple of Set,[116] as well as chaos magick through the Illuminates of Thanateros group. [95], These somnambulic trance-states would heavily influence the esoteric religion of Spiritualism, which emerged in the United States in the 1840s and spread throughout North America and Europe. Discourse about religion, and religion other way around esoteric side of a religion regards inner!, she co-founded the Theosophical Society and the Kabbalah being, expressive of true universality Andreae ( 1586–1654.. In ancient mythology, mysticism, and liturgic practices the SS '' due to being institutionalised for insanity pioneered! 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