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Afdeling Kunst-, Religie- en Cultuurwetenschappen HISTORY OF HERMETIC PHILOSOPHY
5.2. Lectures and Conference Participation 1. Introduction
After the particularly successful year 2005, the year 2006 has been a solid and good one in terms of both research and teaching. The increase of the number of Master 2. Personnel
As of 1 June 2006, drs. Osvald Vasicek has been appointed as Ph.D. student at GHF, Osvald Vasicek was born 1st of January 1980 in Brno, Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia). He studied Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam from 1999 to 2004, and specialized in History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents. His research project is titled The Beginnings of Christian Kabbalah in Renaissance Germany: Johannes Reuchlin’s Synthesis of Cusanian Neoplatonism and Jewish Kabbalah. The project investigates Reuchlin’s synthesis of the neoplatonic philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa and elements from the Jewish mystical tradition (especially the Kabbalah). Special points of attention are the history of neoplatonism in Germany (Eckhart, Berthold of Moosburg, Cusa), and the relation of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewry within the Jewish literature used by Reuchlin. Reuchlin’s work is in more than one respect a crossroads of different discourses present in Germany in the early modern period. This project will describe and analyse the interaction between Jewish, Christian and neoplatonic discourse. 3. Teaching
3.1. Teaching Program
The BA minor “Westerse esoterie” has been expanded. It now consists of four modules: Hermetica I: Inleiding Westerse esoterie (taught by Hanegraaff, Pasi, von Stuckrad), Hermetica II: Oudheid/Middeleeuwen (taught by von Stuckrad), Hermetica III: Vroeg moderne periode (taught by Hanegraaff) and Hermetica IV: 19e/20e eeuw (taught by Pasi). Furthermore, von Stuckrad has again taught the introductory course of Religious Studies in the Bachelor. As for the MA “Mysticism and Western Esotericism”, Hanegraaff taught “Contested Knowledge I: Altered States of Consciousness and Western Esotericism”; von Stuckrad taught “Renaissance Esotericism I: Jewish and Christian Kabbalah”; and Pasi taught “Occult Trajectories II: Women and Gender Issues in Modern Western Esotericism”. In addition, Pasi coordinated the MA core module “Key Publications in Religious Studies” and von Stuckrad taught the module “Religious Pluralism in Europe” (with Rob Pauls).
3.2. Level of participation

2nd semester 2005-2006
• Master Trajectory Mysticism and Western Esotericism Occult Trajectories II: Women and Gender Issues in Modern Western Esotericism • Master Trajectory Mysticism and Western Esotericism States of Consciousness and Western Esotericism Renaissance Esotericism I: Jewish and Christian Kabbalah Kocku von Stuckrad Key publications in Religious Studies: Core Course 1 4. Research
4.1. Research Program

The previous research program focus on “magic and modernization” has been
Western Esotericism: Continuities and Discontinuities
Questions relating to the construction of “tradition” are central to the study of Western esotericism, and this in several regards. On the one hand, the idea of a “chain of superior knowledge and revelation”—often referred to as prisca theologia or philosophia perennis—has been a powerful element of esoteric identities from the Middle Ages through modernity. On the other hand, the attempt to construct an esoteric “tradition” has been central to many scholarly approaches in the history of religion: it was often taken for granted that there is a characteristic “Gnostic” or “Hermetic” tradition that shaped European culture and contributed to the formation This research program, understood as a framework for individual research projects carried out by the staff members of the chair, addresses both the methodological issues involved and concrete historical cases that enhance our understanding of the complex dynamics of shaping “tradition”. The aim is to differentiate continuities in the history of Western esotericism—for doing so, the concept of longue durée may serve as a suitable instrument of analysis—and discontinuities that are an often underestimated feature of historical development. As a methodological background, all projects depart from the assumption that Western culture is best described as pluralistic. Three assumptions in particular are essential for this approach: (a) from antiquity on, Western culture has been characterized by a religious pluralism that fostered identities by constructing an opposing “other”; (b) critical reflection on and negotiation of religious truth claims have been influenced by interaction between different cultural systems (such as religion, science, art, literature, politics, law, economics, etc.); (c) competing ways of attaining knowledge of the world are a key to understanding the role of esotericism Discursive Transfers: Interferences between Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Pagan Esotericism in Early Modern Europe (Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad, 2003-2007) This project takes up recent discussions about religious pluralism and the nature of European history of religion. Using a discursive methodological approach—thus including social, political, juridical, economic, and other factors—the project focuses on interferences and common themes between different religious traditions in the early modern period. Esotericism is a particularly good example of the transfers of knowledge and semantics between different religions and from one cultural system to another. Often, these transfers are strong elements of active differentiation, polemic, and rhetoric of identity, being an indication of a ‘hot’ pluralistic situation. One aim of this project is to show the importance of Jewish, Muslim, and ‘Pagan’ traditions for the shaping of early modern esotericism. From the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries these religions were actively involved in cultural processes. To illustrate these involvements, a double strategy will be applied. On the one hand, paradigmatic persons will be scrutinized that stand on the interface between different traditions (for instance, Isaac Abarbanel, Guillaume Postel, Knorr von Rosenroth, or Johann Heinrich Alsted). On the other hand, the analysis of important cultural concepts will lead to a better understanding of the interferences between and the common interests of different religious traditions. One such concept is ‘apocalypticism,’ because the charging of history with meaning and the subsequent application of astrology is of paramount importance for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim discourses alike. Another concept is ‘tradition,’ being a rhetoric device to construct superior historical narratives and religious identities on a pluralistic field of discourse. This project has already resulted in a monographic study of Western esotericism and several articles; for 2006 and 2007, it will be combined with the research project “Locations of Knowledge.” Locations of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Western Esotericism and Dynamics of Distancing European history of religion is characterized not only by a pluralism of religious ‘traditions,’ but also by a variety of systems of knowledge that are critically opposed to one another. Claims of higher or universal knowledge have been based, for instance, on empiric research, on individual experience, or hermeneutics of sacred text. If we consider science, philosophy, mysticism, philology, art, and literature as distinct yet interacting ‘cultures of knowledge’ we will gain a better understanding of the role esotericism played in an ongoing discourse of higher truth. This project combines an historical with a theoretical approach: claims of superior knowledge of the world are located in cultural systems that developed between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. At the same time, the project addresses the instruments of analysis that post-Enlightenment scholars have applied in order to make sense of the historical development. It is shown that claims of ‘tradition’ did not only serve early modern identities, but that historiography also constitutes identities of modern culture. Scholarly descriptions are themselves discursive formations, as they construct disjunctions between ‘premodern’ and ‘modern.’ The project scrutinizes these ‘disjunctive strategies,’ working in the hands of modern identities, with regard to influential dichotomies that had been introduced in the 19th century. Science versus pseudo-science, rationality versus superstition, science versus religion, religion versus magic, astronomy versus astrology, chemistry versus alchemy, image versus art, myth versus history: all these disjunctions reveal a discourse of Othering that fostered images of modernity and enlightenment vis-à-vis the past. The project runs from 2006 through 2008 and will result in a major monograph. Konx Om Pax: The History of a Mysterious Formula This research concerns processes of what may be termed the “esoterisation” of themes and ideas. It focuses on the history of the alleged Eleusinian formula “Konx Om Pax”. It is an example of an interesting phenomenon of “migration” of ideas, symbols and themes, which have been historically rejected by mainstream scholars and scientists, and are at one point adopted by esoterical discourses. This connects also to the relationship between secularisation and contemporary esotericism, because one can see in these migrations of ideas an almost paradoxical effort at re-enchanting what had never been enchanted before. This project should result in the publication of a scholarly monograph. The Problem of Magic in the History of Western Culture This project aims at writing a broad, historical overview of the role played by the idea of magic in Western culture, and it builds up on previous research done for my Ph.D. dissertation, which focused mainly on the idea of magic in occultist circles between the 19th and the 20th century. This overview would apply, obviously on a larger scale, the methodological tools that have been proposed and used in this dissertation. It should result in Georges Le Clément de Saint-Marcq and the History of Belgian Spiritualism This project investigates the life and works of one of the most interesting figures in the history of European spiritualism: the Belgian G. Le Clément de Saint-Marcq (1865-1956). He became famous around 1912 in occultist and spiritualist circles after the publication of a pamphlet in which he argued that the history of Christianity, and more particularly the ritual of the Eucharist, was based on the practice of spermatophagy, as instituted during the Last Supper by Jesus Christ himself. The polemics generated by this publication put an end to Le Clément’s brilliant career as military officer, freemason and spiritualist. This research will throw light on a figure whom has been virtually ignored so far by scholars and will also allow to sketch an historical overview of the development of occultism and spiritualism in Belgium at the turn of the century (itself an understudied topic). The project will result in the (Prof.Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, 2006-2008) The goal of this project is to write an introduction to the study of Western esotericism as an academic field of research, which outlines the history of the discipline and addresses central theoretical and methodological issues related to it. The project relies partly on thoroughly revised and updated articles and chapters about method and theory in the study of Western esotericism published by the author between 1995 and the present. The book will consist of four parts: (1) An introductory overview of the study of Western esotericism as it currently exists; (2) An historical overview of how the concept of what is nowadays referred to as Western esotericism has developed since its origins in the 17th century up to the present; (3) An argument for perceiving Western esotericism as the historical outcome of what may be referred to as the “Grand Polemical Narrative“ basic to Western culture; (4) A perspective on how the study of Western esotericism might develop on such foundations, and its wider implications for our understanding of Western religion and culture. The Presence of Gods: Monotheism and the Animation of Images (Prof.Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, 2005-2009) This project investigates the history in Western culture of the belief that images (e.g. statues, pictures, amulets, and signs) may become “animated” by a spiritual or demonic force or presence. A classic example is the description in the Hermetic Asclepius of how the ancient Egyptians used to “make gods” by drawing down higher powers into their temple statues. Due largely to the condemnation of such practices by Augustine in his De Civitate Dei, the hermetic animation of statues became a central issue in various debates concerning the relation between biblical monotheism and “pagan” traditions. While the animation of images might at first sight look like a subject of somewhat minor importance to the history of religions, it will be argued that it is in fact central to the “Grand Polemical Narrative” of Western culture, because it is crucial to most of the oppositions that have structured its development, notably monotheism versus paganism, religion versus magic, Protestantism versus Roman Catholicism, materialism versus animism, doctrinal belief versus ritual practice, and even science and rationality versus art and the irrational. The field nowadays referred to as “Western esotericism” is the result of a complex historical process in which Western culture has been (and keeps) defining its own identity by excluding certain kinds of belief and practice and enclosing them into the domain of the imagined “other”. For a variety of reasons, images are central to this domain, in particular if combined with the idea that they may be animated. By tracing the notion of animated images through its main stages of historical development, this project explores the relevance of this notion to the history of Western esotericism, and the implications for our understanding of monotheism, rationality, science
Altered States of Consciousness in Western Esotericism
(Prof.Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, 2006-2010) This project investigates the textual and empirical evidence for so-called “altered states of consciousness” (ASC) as a crucial, but traditionally underestimated, dimension of Western esotericism. With origins in early-20th century approaches to the study of religion such as notably that of William James, the concept of ASC was coined in the 1960s in the wake of the “psychedelic revolution” of that period, and has been adopted notably by transpersonal psychology. As a result of these backgrounds, the concept of ASC is still quite strongly associated with the countercultural agendas of the 1960s, and the subject has accordingly been neglected by mainstream academic research (in this regard, the parallel with “Western esotericism” is a close one). This is highly unfortunate, because the concept of ASC in fact stands for a domain of study in the history of religions that is widely documented in the textual sources and particularly relevant to the history of Western esotericism, but is easily overlooked because of the absence in academic research of an appropriate scholarly terminology and theoretical apparatus. The research project seeks to highlight the relevance of ASC for the history of Western esotericism, with examples such as e.g. the platonic “frenzies” and their reception in Christian contexts; the notion of “gnosis” as noetic experience in gnostic, hermetic and related contexts; religious practices such as e.g. theurgy; visionary trance phenomena reported from contexts such as Christian theosophy; practical techniques for inducing ASC in the wake of mesmerism; and the use of psychoactive substances for inducing ASC in esoteric and occultist contexts in the 19th and 20th centuries. While the emphasis will be on analyzing textual sources, the research will also include empirical research into contemporary use of ASC in esoteric contexts, such as e.g. channeling and neo- shamanism. Central to the analysis of materials will be how ASC are related to ideas on the one hand, and to practices on the other. 4.2. Research Output.
The Story of ESSWE. Newsletter of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism ‘”Everybody is Right”: Frank Visser’s Analysis of Ken Wilber’ Aleister Crowley und die Versuchung der Politik. Graz: Ares Verlag, 335 pp. Exégèse et sexualité: l’occultisme oublié de Lady Caithness, Politica Hermetica 20, pp. Aux origines du mystère des mystères: Konx Om Pax. In : Jean-Pierre Brach and Jérôme Rousse-Lacordaire (eds.), Etudes d’histoire de l’ésotérisme: Mélanges offerts à Jean-Pierre Laurant pour son soixante-dixième anniversaire. Paris: Les éditions du La construction d’un système magique dans l’occultisme anglais (1875-1900). In: Annuaire: Résumé des conférences et travaux, Paris: Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes / Section des Sciences Religieuses, vol. 112, pp. 343-349. La notion de magie dans le courant occultiste en Angleterre (1875-1947). In: Annuaire: Résumé des conférences et travaux, Paris: Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes / Section des Sciences Religieuses, vol. 112, pp. 439-441. Review of José Antonio Antón Pacheco, Los testigos del instante: Ensayos de hermeneutica comparada, Madrid 2003. In: Politica Hermetica 20, pp. 185-187. On Nests, and How to Fly away from Them (not Being a Cuckoo). In : Christel Vesters, Tessa Giblin and Karina Hof (eds.), Catalyst, Amsterdam: Vlaams Cultuurhuis Visual Gods: From Exorcism to Complexity in Renaissance Studies. Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 6:1, pp. 59-85. Die Esoterik in der gegenwärtigen Forschung: Überblick und Positionsbestimmung. Moderne Astrologie: Hermeneutik der Seele. In: Alfred Bellebaum & Detlef Herbers (eds.), Glücksangebote in der Alltagswelt. Münster: Aschendorff, pp. 207-227. Die Rede vom “Christlichen Abendland”: Hintergründe und Einfluss einer Meistererzählung. In: Christian Augustin, Johannes Wienand & Christiane Winkler (eds.), Religiöser Pluralismus und Toleranz in Europa. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 235-247. Review of Linda Simonis, Die Kunst des Geheimen. Esoterische Kommunikation und ästhetische Darstellung im 18. Jahrhundert. In: Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 6:1, pp. 90-93. S.v.: Aaron, Aaroniden, Aaronitischer Segen, Abot de-Rabbi Nathan, Abraham, Abraham-Apokalypse, Abraham ibn Daud (ben David), Abulafia, Achtzehn- Gebet, Adam, Adam-Bücher, Adonaj, Ahasver, Akiba, Alchemie, Altes Testament, Am ha-arets, Amoräer, Amos, Amulett, Antijudaismus, Antisemitismus, Artapanus, Asarjagebet, Asasel, Aschkenasim, Asidäer, Astralkult, Astralreligion, Astrologie, Avicebron, Baal schem tôb, Babylonische Gefangenschaft, Bachja ibn Pakuda, Baeck, Leo, Bar/ Bat- Mizwah, Baraita, Bar-Kochba, Baruchschriften, Bat Qôl, Beelzebub, Behemoth, Belial/Beliar, Bema, Benjamin, Besant, Annie, Beschneidung, Beschwörung I (Juden), Beschwörung II, Bethel, Bhagvan Shri Rajneesh, Bibel (Juden), Bilderverbot, Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna, Buber, Martin, Bund, Cassirer, Ernst, Chanukka, Channelling, Chassede Aschkenas, Chassidismus, Danielbuch, David, Deuterojesaja, Deuterokanonische Schriften, Deuteronomisten, Deuteronomium, Diaspora, Divination, Dodekaprofeton, Dreizehn Middôt des Rabbi Jischmael, Ebed Jahve, Ebenbild Gottes, Eden, Edomiter, Ekstase, El(ohim), Elia, Eliasapokalypse, Elisa, Eljôn, Elkesaiten, Elohim, Elohist, Esoterik, Esra, Esrabücher, Essener, Esther, Eva, Exodus, Exorzismus, Freimaurer, Fundamentalismus, Gabriel, Gad, Gamaliel I., Gebetsriemen, Geheimnis, Gemara, Gemeinderegel, Genesis, Geniza, Geomantik, Geonim, Ghetto, Gideon, Gikatilla, Joseph ben Abraham, Gog, Goldenes Kalb, Golem, Habakuk, Haftara, Hagar, Haggada, Haggai, Halacha, Hallelujah, Hanif, Hasmonäer, Heiligkeitsgesetz, Hekhalôt, Helal, Henoch, Henochbücher, Hermeneutik, Hermes Trismegistos, Hermetik, Herodes, Hesekiel, Herzl, Theodor, Hexenglaube, Hexenreligion, Hillel, Himmelsreise, Jenseitsreise, Hinnomtal, Hiob, Hiskia, Hoherpriester, Hoher Rat, Hohes Lied, Horeb, Hosea, Hosiannah, Ibn Gabirol, Immanuel, Isaak, Israel, Israelitisch- jüdische Religion, Jahve, Jahvist, Jakob, Jakobsleiter, Jakobssegen, Jalkut, Jehova, Jehovist, Jehu, Jehuda ben Samuel Halevi, Jehuda ha-Nasi, Jeftha, Jeremia, Jeremiasbrief, Jeremias Paralipomena, Jerusalem, Jesaja, Jesus Sirach, Jezira, JHWH, Jochanan ben Zakkaj, Joel, Jom Kippur, Jored Märkabah, Joseph (Sohn Jakobs), Josephus, Flavius, Josia, Josua, Jubiläenbuch, Jude, der Ewige, Juden, Judithbuch, Jugendreligionen, Kabbala, Kanon, jüdischer, Karäer, Kerubim, Ketubîm, Kiddusch, Kimchi, David, Klagelieder, Klippôt, Knecht Gottes, Königebücher, Königtum Jahves (Gottes), Koheleth, Koscher, Kriegsrolle, Krishnamurti, Lamechlied, Levi, Leviathan, Levirat, Leviten, Levitikus, Lokale Religion, Märkabah, Magie, Maimonides, Makkabäer, Makkabäerbücher, Maleachi, Manasse-Gebet, Manna, Mantik, Marranen, Massada, Mazzenfest, Mechilta, Megilloth, Menetekel, Meïr ben Baruch, Memra, Menorah, Messias, Metatron, Micha, Micha ben Jimla, Michael [Erzengel], Midrasch, Mikrokosmos, Makrokosmos, Mikwe, Mischna, Moed, Moloch, Mose, Mosesbücher, Mosessegen, Mündliche Torah, Mysterium, Nahum, Naschim, Nasiräer, Nathan, Nebî’îm, Nebo, Nehemia, Neopaganismus, Neues Heidentum, Neue Religionen, New Age, Neziqin, Nimrod, Noah, Noachitische Gebote, Numeri, Obadja, Okkultismus, Onan, Oniaden, Onias, Ofannim, Parasche, Passah, Pentateuch, Pesikta, Pharisäer, Philo von Alexandria, Pijût, Pison, Profeten, Psalmen, Purim, Qodaschim, Qumran, Rabbiner, Rabbi, Rambam, Raphael, Raschi, Rechabiten, Repha’îm, Responsen, Richter, Ruth, Saadja, Sabbatai Zwi, Sabbath, Sabbathjahr, Sabbatianismus, Saboräer, Sacharja, Sadduzäer, Salomo, Salomonische Oden, Salomonische Psalmen, Samarien, Samaritaner, Samuel, Samuelbücher, Sanhedrin, Satanismus, Saul, Schaddaj, Schamanismus, Schammaj, Schawuot, Schekhina, Scheol, Schma, Scholem, Gerschom, Schriftgelehrte, Schriftrollen vom Toten Meer, Schriftgelehrte, Schulchan aruch, Seder, Sefär Chasîdîm, Sefirah, Sefardim, Septuaginta, Serafim, Seth, Sichem, Sieben Regeln Hillels, Sifra, Sikkarier, Simson, Sinai, Sintflut, Sohar, Spiritismus, Sprüche Salomos, Sternenkult, Sündenbock, Sukkot, Synagoge, Talmud, Tamar, Tanach, Tanchuma, Tannaiten, Targum, Tarot, Tempel, Tempelkult, Tempelrolle, Tefillin, Testamente der 12 Patriarchen, Testamentum Salomonis, Tetragramm, Theosophie, Theosophische Gesellschaft, Theurgie, Thora, Thronwagenspekulation, Tikkun, Tobitbuch, Toharot, Tohuwabohu, Torah, Tosafisten, Tosefta, Uriel, Versöhnungsfest, Völkische Religion, Wassermannzeitalter, Weisheit Salomos, Wicca, Wochenfest, Zadok, Zadokiden, Zauber, Zebaoth, Zeloten, Zelt, heiliges, Zera'im, Zion, Zionismus, Zunz, Leopold, Zwölfprofetenbuch. In: Christoph Auffarth, Hans G. Kippenberg & Axel Michaels (eds.), Wörterbuch der Religionen, Stuttgart: 5. Further Activities
5.1. Conference Organization
Hanegraaff, W.J. and J.J. Kripal. Organization of Conference Hidden Truths, Novel Truths: Fiction in Western Esotericism. Esalen Institute, California. 14-19 May. Hanegraaff, W.J. and A.P. Coudert. Organization of Group Sessions “Western Esotericism”, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA. 18-21 Pasi, M., with Eugen Ciurtin. Organization of session series “Hermetic Currents and Esotericism” as part of the 6th Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions, Bucharest (Rumania). 20-23 November. Stuckrad, K. von and S. Engler. Organization of Group Sessions “Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion”, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 5.2. Lectures and Conference Participation
What, if Anything, is Hermetic Gnosis? Ways of Knowing in Renaissance Hermetism. Conference: Hermetism and Rationalism in an Era of Cultural Change, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 24 Februari. Giovanni da Correggio’s De Quercu. Conference: 52nd Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, San Francisco, USA, 25 March. De grote polemiek: Westerse esoterie als product van de monotheïstische verbeelding. Spring meeting of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (Nederlands Genootschap voor Godsdienstwetenschap), Utrecht, The Netherlands, 8 April. Reason, Faith and Gnosis: Three Knowledge Systems and their Struggle for Hegemony in the Course of European History. Villa Bosch Symposia Series “Knowledge and Space”, First Symposium Clash of Knowledges. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Fiction in the Desert of the Real: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Conference: Hidden Truths, Novel Truths: Fiction and Western Esotericism, Esalen Institute, California, Pseudo-Lullian Alchemy and the Mercurial Phoenix: Giovanni Mercurio da Correggio’s De Quercu Iulii Pontificis, sive de lapide philosophico. Conference: International Conference on the History of Alchemy and Chymistry, Chemical Heritage Swedenborg aus der Sicht von Kant und der akademischen Kant-Forschung. Conference: Internationaler Kant-Swedenborg-Worshop, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung, Forschergruppe “Die Aufklärung im Bezugsfeld neuzeitlicher Esoterik”, Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Magnetic Gnosis: Somnambulism and the Quest for Absolute Knowledge. Conference: Die Enzyklopädie der Esoterik: Allwissenheitsmythen und Universalwissenschaftliche Modelle in der Esoterik der Neuzeit, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Magnetic Gnosis: Somnambulism and the Quest for Absolute Knowledge. Invited lecture at the Institute für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene e.V. Early Homeopathy and the Medical Establishment in Germany. Conference: American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, 18 Arthur Machen’s Panic Fears: Western Esotericism and the Irruption of Negative Epistemology. Conference: Hidden Truths, Novel Truths: Myth and the Work of Fiction in Western Esotericism, Esalen Institute, California, USA, 18 May. The Sociability of Occultism at the Turn of the 20th Century. Conference: Geloof, gezelligheid en gemeenschapszin, Huizinga Institute, Amsterdam, 24 May. Vérités des anges, séductions des démons: Les entités spirituelles à l’épreuve de l’ésotérisme contemporain (XIXe-XXe siècle). Conference: De Socrate à Tintin: Anges gardiens et démons familiers de l’Antiquité à nos jours, Université d’Orléans, The Study of Esotericism: Between Orientalism and Occidentalism. Session Hermetic currents and esotericism as part of the 6th Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions, Bucharest, Rumania, 23 September. From the Stake to the Stoel: Western Esotericism and Witchcraft. Invited public Lecture, Museum de Heksenwaag, Oudewater (Netherlands), 13 October. Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588–1638): Aristotelianism, Hermeticism, and Universal Reform in a Time of Crisis. Conference Hermetism and Rationalism in an Era of Cultural Change at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 23 February. Das andere Wissen - das Andere wissen: Die Esoterik in der Europäischen Kulturgeschichte. Series of lectures on Knowledge at the Fachhochschule Interferential Patterns: Ernst Haeckel between Scientific Darwinism, Philosophical Monism, and Devotion of Nature. Inaugural conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, Gainesville, Florida, The Mystical Body: The Shekhinah as Role Model from the Zohar to Madonna. Conference Constructing Gender in Religious Symbolic Systems at the University Astral Magic in Jewish Discourse: Reception, Absorption, Transformation. Workshop Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition (Near Eastern, Hellenistic and Early Medieval) at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, St. Petersburg Tea Party: The European Enlightenment Encounters the Shaman’. 6th conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion EASR, session of the Research Network on European History of Religions NEUR on The Reception of the East, Bucharest, Romania, 22 September. Die Geburt der Philologie aus dem Geiste der Esoterik. Conference Die Enzyklopädik der Esoterik: Allwissenheitsmythen und universalwissenschaftliche Modelle in der Esoterik der Frühen Neuzeit, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany, Esotericism and Mysticism: What Is the Difference? Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Washington, DC, USA, 20 November. 5.3. Editorial Activities
Aries Book Series: Texts and Studies in Western Esotericism. Leiden & Boston: Brill. Hanegraaff, W.J., R. Edighoffer and A. Faivre (eds.) (2006). Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, Leiden & Boston: Brill. Member European editorial board Religion, Academic Press. Member editorial board Numen. Leiden & Boston: Brill. Member editorial Board Esoterica. Member editorial advisory board Journal of Contemporary Religion. Carfax publ. Mmember editorial board, section New Religions, Religion Compass Book review editor Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism. With Gustavo Benavides (eds.) Religion and Society. Berlin & New York: Walter de With Steven Engler, Kim Knott & Pratap Kumar (eds.) (2006). Numen Book Series (Studies in the History of Religions). Leiden: Brill. With Gary Trompf & Iain Gardner (eds.) (2006). Gnostica Series. London: Equinox


THE STORY FOR KIDS: Later Elementary PARENTS’ PAGE: Lesson 20 Timeless Truth: God can change the hearts of rulers who show their faith. Bible Basis: Esther 1–9 Key Verse: What if you don’t say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your family will die. Who knows? It’s possible that you became queen for a time just like this.

A miracle cure

A Miracle Cure The theme of medicinal plants has been extensively explored in the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and was one of the themes for a joint study day at the Museum in December. The accompanying activities are designed to make the relevance of science clearer and give an insight into how scientists really work, as well as reveal more about the origin of medicines and the processes o

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