European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism

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The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) is Europe's only scholarly society for the study of Western esotericism. Founded in 2005, the society promotes academic study of the various manifestations of Western esotericism from late antiquity to the present, and works to secure the future development of the field.


The peer-reviewed journal, Aries, and the associated Aries book series (both Brill),are published under the auspices of the ESSWE. The society also publishes a periodic Newsletter.

International conferences[edit]

The ESSWE holds an international conference in a different European country every two years, and holds a workshop for graduate students in years in which there is no conference. Past conferences have been in Tübingen (2007), Strasbourg and Messina (2009), Szeged (2011), Gothenburg (2013), and Riga (2015). The 2017 conference is scheduled to take place in Erfurt.

Other activities[edit]

The ESSWE provides various resources on its website, awards prizes and travel bursaries to recognize and encourage younger scholars. It has three regional networks, the Scandinavian Network for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism (SNASWE), the Israeli Network for the Study of Western Esotericsm (INASWE), and the Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism (INSEP) and two thematic research networks, the Contemporary Esotericism Research Network (ContERN) and the ESSWE Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity (NSEA).


The ESSWE is an affiliated society of the Project AWE (Aesthetics of Western Esotericism), International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), and a related scholarly organization of the American Academy of Religion (AAR).[1]

Current officers[edit]

Notable past officers[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gregory D. Alles. Religious studies: a global view. USA & Canada: Routledge, 2008.
  • Kripal J.J., Hanegraff W.J. Introduction: things we don't talk about // Kripal J. J., Hanegraaff W.J. (eds.) Hidden intercourse. Eros and sexuality in the history of Western Esotericism. Leiden & Brill, 2008.


External links[edit]