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Access to Western Esotericism
Author: Antoine Faivre
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791421783
Pages: 369
Year: 1994-12-05
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This is the first systematic treatment of esotericism to appear in English. Here is also a historical survey, beginning with the Alexandrean Period, of the various esoteric currents such as Christian Kabbalah, Theosophy, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and Hermeticism. Common characteristics of these currents are the notion of universal interdependency and the experience of spiritual transformation. The author establishes a rigorous methodology; provides clarifying definitions of such key terms as “gnosis,” “theosophy,” “occultism,” and “Hermeticism;” and offers analysis of contemporary esotericism based on three distinct pathways. The second half of the book presents a series of studies on several important figures, works, and movements in Western esotericism—studies devoted to some of the most characteristic and illuminating aspects that this form of thought has taken, such as theosophical speculations on androgyny, rosicrucian literature, and Masonic symbolism. The book is completed by a rich and selective Bibliography conceived as a means of orientation and a tool for research.
Western Esotericism
Author: Antoine Faivre
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438433794
Pages: 136
Year: 2010-10-01
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An overview of Western esoteric currents since late antiquity, with an emphasis on the last six centuries. Widely received in France, this brief, comprehensive introduction to Western esotericism by the founder of the field is at last available in English. A historical and pedagogical guide, the book is written primarily for students and novices. In clear, precise language, author Antoine Faivre provides an overview of Western esoteric currents since late antiquity. The bulk of the book is laid out chronologically, from ancient and medieval sources (Alexandrian Hermetism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism), through the Renaissance up to the present time. Its coverage includes spiritual alchemy, Jewish and Christian Kabbalah, Christian theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Illuminism, “mystical” Freemasonry, the “occultist” current, Theosophical and Anthroposophical Societies, the Traditionalist School, and “esotericism” in contemporary initiatic societies and in New Religious Movements. Faivre explores how these currents are connected, and refers to where they appear in art and literature. The book concludes with an annotated bibliography, which makes it an essential resource for beginners and scholars alike. “A characteristically erudite, sweeping brief survey of the field of Western esotericism, at once accessible and bristling with details. This is a valuable overview, from the inimitable perspective of the field’s founder, for those who wish to delve into this fascinating and thriving area of contemporary scholarship.” — Arthur Versluis, author of Restoring Paradise, Wisdom’s Children, and Magic and Mysticism “The classic survey of Western esotericism by the most knowledgeable and influential scholar of his generation is now finally accessible to English readers, in an updated edition that takes account of current developments. This small but precious volume will be indispensable for anybody who wishes to be well informed about the historical backgrounds and development of esoteric currents from antiquity to the present.” — Wouter J. Hanegraaff, University of Amsterdam
Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition
Author: Antoine Faivre
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 079144435X
Pages: 269
Year: 2000-02-17
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A historical and interpretive study of three aspects of Western esotericism from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.
Western Esotericism
Author: Kocku von Stuckrad
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134957270
Pages: 180
Year: 2016-04-15
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Esotericism is the search for an absolute but hidden knowledge accessed through mystical vision, the mediation of higher beings, or personal experience. In Western cultural history esoteric approaches to religion have often been in conflict with - and suffered at the hands of - more established forms of religious belief and practice. 'Western Esotericism' presents a very broad and engaging history of the people and ideas which have shaped occult history from antiquity to today. Throughout the history of esotericism the dynamic of concealment and revelation has characterized the search for secret knowledge. Pursued both publically and privately, esotericism has come to influence more mainstream religious practice and culture and has significantly shaped our understanding of modernity. Today, esotericism continues to be practised by a range of both established and new religious movements. 'Western Esotericism' presents the essential guide to one of the most fascinating, provocative, and sustained of religious traditions.
Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed
Author: Wouter J. Hanegraaff
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441146741
Pages: 192
Year: 2013-02-14
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Western esotericism has been a pervasive presence in Western culture from late antiquity to the present day, but until recently it was largely ignored by scholars and surrounded by misconceptions and prejudice. This accessible guide provides readers with the basic knowledge and tools that will allow them to find their way in this bewildering but fascinating field. What is it that unites phenomena as diverse as ancient gnosticism and hermetism, the "occult sciences" of astrology, alchemy, and magic, rosicrucianism, as well as Christian theosophy, occultism, spiritualism, and the contemporary New Age spiritualities? What can the study of them teach us about our common cultural and intellectual heritage, and what is it that makes them relevant to contemporary concerns? How do we distinguish reliable historical knowledge from legends and fictions about esoteric traditions? These and many other questions are answered clearly and succinctly, so that the reader can find his way into the labyrinth of Western esotericism and out of it again.
Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times
Author: R. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 079143611X
Pages: 402
Year: 1998
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This volume introduces what has sometimes been called "the third component of western culture". It traces the historical development of those religious traditions which have rejected a world view based on the primacy of pure rationality or doctrinal faith, emphasizing instead the importance of inner enlightenment or gnosis: a revelatory experience which was typically believed to entail an encounter with one's true self as well as with the ground of being, God. The contributors to this book demonstrate this perspective as fundamental to a variety of interconnected traditions. In Antiquity, one finds the gnostics and hermetics; in the Middle Ages several Christian sects. The medieval Cathars can, to a certain extent, be considered part of the same tradition. Starting with the Italian humanist Renaissance, hermetic philosophy became of central importance to a new religious synthesis that can be referred to as Western Esotericism. The development of this tradition is described from Renaissance hermeticists and practitioners of spiritual alchemy to the emergence of Rosicrucianism and Christian theosophy in the seventeenth century, and from post-enlightenment aspects of Romanticism and occultism to the present-day New Age movement.
Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion
Author: International Association for the History of Religions. Congress, Antoine Faivre
Publisher: Peeters Publishers
ISBN: 9042906308
Pages: 309
Year: 1998-01-01
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This volume is based upon papers read during the innovative section "Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion" organized at the 17th International Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) in Mexico City, August 5-12, 1995. The section was created in order to fill a long-standing hiatus in the academic study of religions: whereas phenomena such as gnosticism and hermetism in antiquity, and even the occult sciences of that period, have long been recognized as subjects worthy of serious investigation, the history of similar and related phenomena in more recent periods has hardly received the same measure of scholarly attention and recognition. The present volume is devoted to the academic emancipation of these areas as constituting a legitimate domain of research, which may be referred to by the generic label "western esotericism". Preceded by an introductory essay on the birth of this new discipline in the study of religion, the volume provides a sample of current research in the field and devotes special attention to some central methodological questions.
Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation
Author: Henrik Bogdan
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791480100
Pages: 247
Year: 2012-02-01
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Historical exploration of Masonic rituals of initiation.
Modern Esoteric Spirituality
Author: Antoine Faivre, Jacob Needleman, Karen Voss
Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Co.
ISBN: 0824514440
Pages: 448
Year: 1995-01-01
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"An excellent overview of spiritual movements throughout the last few centuries . . . a superb panorama" (The Book Reader), this book covers esoterica from its ancient beginnings through the alchemists to Gurdijeff and Jung.
Magic and Mysticism
Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0742558363
Pages: 179
Year: 2007-01-01
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Provides overview, from antiquity onwards, on various Western religious esoteric movements. This book includes topics such as: alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and more.
Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism: I
Author: Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Antoine Faivre, R. van den Broek, Jean-Pierre Brach
ISBN: 9004143726
Pages: 1228
Year: 2005
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Covers every aspect of pagan, Jewish, and Christian religious discourses and phenomena traditionally labeled gnosticism, hermeticism, astrology, magic, the "occult sciences," esoteric religion, and more. Contains articles about the life and work of all the major personalities in the history of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, discussing their ideas, significance, and historical influence.
New Age Religion and Western Culture
Author: Wouter J. Hanegraaff
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791438546
Pages: 580
Year: 1998
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Presents the first systematic analysis of the structure and beliefs of the New Age movement, and the historical emergence of "New Age" as a secularized version of Western esoteric traditions.
Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism
Author: Henrik Bogdan, Martin P. Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199863091
Pages: 406
Year: 2012-09-20
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Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr offer the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most distinctive occult iconoclasts, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), one of the most influential thinkers in contemporary western esotericism.
Wisdom's Children
Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791443302
Pages: 370
Year: 1999-09-30
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Provides an in-depth introduction to the Christian theosophic tradition that began with Jacob Bo¬hme, bringing us into a startling new world of Christian experiential spirituality that is the Christian equivalent of Sufism and Kabbalism.
Constructing Tradition
Author: Andreas Kilcher
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004191143
Pages: 474
Year: 2010-10-05
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This volume of conference proceedings investigates the various ways and patterns with which esoteric writings and groups establish their own tradition. This involves concepts of origin and memory, ways of legitimising esoteric tradition as well as techniques and practices of knowledge transmission in esotericism.

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