Western esotericism studies

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Western Esotericism is an academic field of research, scholarship, and education that focuses on the history of European and Middle Eastern Esotericism.

As an academic field, the study of Western Esotericism was greatly influenced by the work of Antoine Faivre. In 1999 a specific centre was established at the University of Amsterdam, led by Wouter Hanegraaff. Chairs for the study of esotericism also exist at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, with Jean-Pierre Brach as its current holder, and, until recently, at the University of Exeter in England, which was held by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke until his untimely death in 2012. Other universities pursue the study of these topics as part of History or other faculties.

Schools[edit]

The following Universities have academic chairs in the subject:

Specific degrees that can be granted include:

  • MA, MPhil, PhD in Western Esotericism, from University of Exeter.
  • MA and MRes in Religious Studies: Mysticism & Western Esotericism track, from University of Amsterdam
  • PhD in Religious Studies: Mysticism, Gnosticism & Esotericism Concentration, from Rice University.

Subjects[edit]

University courses in Western Esotericism may cover some or all of these subjects: alchemy, astrology, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Renaissance magic, German Naturphilosophie, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, Christian Kabbalah, Hermetic Qabalah, the New Age movement, theosophy, mysticism and numerology, among others.

Academic legitimacy[edit]

Degrees in Western Esotericism usually focus on the history of esotericist currents. The aim of research in Western Esotericism is to discover the interactions between esotericism and society at large and to study the history and spread of esotericist currents and movements.

Societies[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]