[99] Also significant was René Guénon (1886–1951), whose concern with tradition led him to develop an occult viewpoint termed Traditionalism; it espoused the idea of an original, universal tradition, and thus a rejection of modernity. [69], One component of this was Hermetism, an Egyptian Hellenistic school of thought that takes its name from the legendary Egyptian wise man, Hermes Trismegistus. 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. One of the most notable scholars of esotericism in the 20th Century, Manly P. Hall, wrote about mysticism in his work The Mystical Christ: "Mysticism is not a sect or creed ; it is a conviction , deriving its authority from the natural instincts of the human heart. [109] While many Nazi Party leaders like Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were hostile to occultism, Heinrich Himmler used Karl Maria Wiligut as a clairvoyant "and was regularly consulting for help in setting up the symbolic and ceremonial aspects of the SS" but not for important political decisions. Esotericism is therefore the body of knowledge of alternative movements whose proponents generally distinguish their own beliefs from institutionalized religious traditions. From behind the scenes, these teachings have guided and shaped civilization after civilization, leading to all the great advances in human endeavor, be they in the sciences, politics, the arts or religion." 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. [135] Thus, by 2008 there were three dedicated university chairs in the subject, with Amsterdam and Exeter also offering master's degree programs in it. Religion, science, and rejected knowledge It transforms, by a process of interpretation, all doctrines from codes into qualities of conviction." [131] Elsewhere, he noted that there was "probably no other domain in the humanities that has been so seriously neglected" as Western esotericism. It disregards religious voices that are vibrant historical witnesses to the shaping of religious landscapes. 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. Ficino went on to translate and publish the works of various Platonic figures, arguing that their philosophies were compatible with Christianity, and allowing for the emergence of a wider movement in Renaissance Platonism, or Platonic Orientalism. In turn, a "modernist occult" emerged that reflected varied ways in which esoteric thinkers came to terms with these developments. [8], An additional definition was proposed by Hanegraaff, and holds that "Western esotericism" is a category representing "the academy's dustbin of rejected knowledge. [146] Thus, Asprem and Granholm noted that the use of the term "esotericism" among scholars "significantly contributes to the reification of the category for the general audience – despite the explicated contrary intentions of most scholars in the field. But it is also a science -- … While so many people have become interested with deconstructing the… However, Pope Innocent VIII condemned these ideas, criticising him for attempting to mix pagan and Jewish ideas with Christianity. While so many people have become interested with … Because of the fact that the esotericism existing within the traditional religions has helped to discredit the idea of religion in general, and also because of the enormous harm that it otherwise makes possible in the world, it is imperative that people learn to regard the cryptic symbolism and the obscurely allusive figures and allegories of esotericist religions not as … [74], After the fall of Rome, alchemy[75] and philosophy and other aspects of the tradition were largely preserved in the Arab and Near Eastern world and reintroduced into Western Europe by Jews[76] and by the cultural contact between Christians and Muslims in Sicily and southern Italy. [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). [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. [108] After their rise to power, the Nazis persecuted occultists. as something which was distinct from Christianity, and which had formed a subculture that had been at odds with the Christian mainstream from at least the time of the Renaissance. ), all spiritual paths have an esoteric aspect that focus on an interpersonal relationship with God, Spirit, the Divine, etc. What Hall is saying is that mysticism removes the hierarchy of institution in an organized religion and makes the religious experience personal. 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 … [39] Moreover, Hanegraaff noted that when scholars adopt this definition, it shows that they subscribe to the religious doctrines which are espoused by the very groups that they are studying. Kocku von Stuckrad is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, subdepartment ‘History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents’. [20] The emphasis on Western esotericism was nevertheless primarily devised[by whom?] Esotericism - SAGE Encyclopedia of Sociology of Religion. What is Islamic Esotericism? . The word "occult" comes from the Latin word occultus which means "hidden" or "secret." Hanegraaff follows a distinction between an “emic” and an “etic” approach to religious studies. [144], Many scholars of esotericism have come to be regarded as respected intellectual authorities by practitioners of various esoteric traditions. . [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. 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. [31] The existence of this universal inner tradition has not been discovered through scientific or scholarly enquiry; this had led some[who?] [112], In the 1960s and 1970s, esotericism came to be increasingly associated with the growing counter-culture in the West, whose adherents understood themselves in participating in a spiritual revolution that would mark the Age of Aquarius. [22] His approach is rooted within the field of the history of ideas, and stresses the role of change and transformation over time. [33] It subsequently became a popular approach within several esoteric movements, most notably Martinism and Traditionalism. FINALLY! Waite, who sought to combine their own mystical beliefs with a historical interpretation of esotericism. Subjectivisation of nature This is because God as we know it is invisible, remains hidden, and any knowledge of God is considered "hidden" knowledge. [14] Despite his hostile attitude toward these traditions of thought, Colberg became the first to connect these disparate philosophies and to study them under one rubric, also recognising that these ideas linked back to earlier philosophies from late antiquity. The academic study of Western esotericism only emerged in the late twentieth-century, pioneered by scholars like Frances Yates and Antoine Faivre. [8] The French occultist and ceremonial magician Eliphas Lévi (1810–1875) popularized the term in the 1850s, and Theosophist Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840–1921) introduced it into the English language in his book Esoteric Buddhism (1883). 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. Robert Cochrane and the Gardnerian Craft: Feuds, Secrets, and Mysteries in Contemporary British Witchcraft Ethan Doyle White. [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". After World War II they reformed the Fraternitas Saturni. In essence, all religion has two components within its make-up, regardless of denomination: the exoteric and esoteric. [67], The origins of Western esotericism are in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, then part of the Roman Empire, during Late Antiquity, a period encompassing the first centuries of the Common Era. Authoring the influential Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), she co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. Esotericism is about secret knowledge for a small group of people. [10], — The scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff, 2013. If one is to understand esotericism as a general term of identification reproduced through articulated fields of discourse, Western esotericism can be treated as a historical phenomenon without being nominalistic or idealistic, but instead as a field of discourses of interpretation interacting. He noted that, even if such a true and absolute nature of reality really existed, it would only be accessible through "esoteric" spiritual practices, and could not be discovered or measured by the "exoteric" tools of scientific and scholarly enquiry. [15], In Europe during the eighteenth century, amid the Age of Enlightenment, these esoteric traditions came to be regularly categorised[by whom?] [31] Such religionist ideas also exerted an influence on more recent scholars like Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke and Arthur Versluis. Scholars are still unsure of precisely what theurgy involved, although it is known that it involved a practice designed to make gods appear, who could then raise the theurgist's mind to the reality of the divine. ), all spiritual paths have an esoteric aspect that focus on an interpersonal relationship with God, Spirit, the Divine, etc. These spiritual currents share some common denominators, such as heterodox or heretical Christian theology; the … [43] Faivre claimed that esotericism was "identifiable by the presence of six fundamental characteristics or components", four of which were "intrinsic" and thus vital to defining something as being esoteric, while the other two were "secondary" and thus not necessarily present in every form of esotericism. [9] "Esotericism" and "occultism" were often employed[by whom?] To renounce and forget the religion of our [Christian] forefathers simply to immerse ourselves in another religion . From behind the scenes, these teachings have guided and shaped civilization after civilization, leading to all the great advances in human endeavor, be they in the sciences, politics, the arts or religion. "[30] According to this approach, "Western esotericism" is viewed as just one variant of a worldwide "esotericism" which can be found at the heart of all world religions and cultures, reflecting a hidden esoteric reality. Copernicus' theories were adopted into esoteric strains of thought by Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), whose ideas would be deemed heresy by the Roman Catholic Church, eventually resulting in his public execution. Passed down in those same ancient days ‘orally’…Before the written word came into common use. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. could never be our perspective.94 For Schuon, sharīʿa, the extrinsic aspect of religion, colours metaphysical truth (ḥaqīqa) — i.e. [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". 'Western esotericism' is not a natural term but an artificial category, applied retrospectively to a range of currents and ideas that were known by other names at least prior to the end of the eighteenth century. [97] Also influenced by artificial somnambulism was the religion of New Thought, founded by the American Mesmerist Phineas P. Quimby (1802–1866) and which revolved around the concept of "mind over matter", believing that illness and other negative conditions could be cured through the power of belief. Soon spreading into other parts of Europe, in England it largely rejected its esoteric character and embraced humanism and rationalism, while in France it embraced new esoteric concepts, particularly those from Christian theosophy. [54] The advantage of Faivre's system is that it allows varying esoteric traditions to be compared "with one another in a systematic fashion". Esotericism is a multi-disciplinary field of spiritual knowledge contained within all religions which concerns the principles and qualities of magic and mysticism. Esoteric lores have been seen as "substitute religions" or "secular substitute religions" in the past. 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.). Mysticism denotes that a true spiritual walk should not be based on formalities, but on one's passion for connection with the Divine. Scholarly discourse about religion, on the other hand, is not emic but etic. 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. 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. [56] Hanegraaff claimed that Faivre's approach entailed "reasoning by prototype" in that it relied upon already having a "best example" of what Western esotericism should look like, against which other phenomena then had to be compared. Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. [124], Faivre noted that there were two significant obstacles to establishing the field. A second perspective sees esotericism as a category that encompasses movements which embrace an "enchanted" world-view in the face of increasing disenchantment. (A Film Review of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE), Daniel's Top 5 Favorite Albums for Astral Travel, {"items":["600ae34019ed4f0017d6db24","5fa43e4d2effcc0017c63696","5f08a93ba640fd001788af13","5ec32968ad62fc0017ceba67","5eb6ae197bc8360017053625","5e341ce4dc39800017198bca","5e341c151ae1560017e02440","5e341c157d404f00180194b9","5e341c15e5a7e8001734eabe","5e341c15b36ddf0018eb6abe"],"styles":{"galleryType":"Columns","groupSize":1,"showArrows":true,"cubeImages":true,"cubeType":"max","cubeRatio":1.7777777777777777,"isVertical":true,"gallerySize":30,"collageAmount":0,"collageDensity":0,"groupTypes":"1","oneRow":false,"imageMargin":5,"galleryMargin":0,"scatter":0,"rotatingScatter":"","chooseBestGroup":true,"smartCrop":false,"hasThumbnails":false,"enableScroll":true,"isGrid":true,"isSlider":false,"isColumns":false,"isSlideshow":false,"cropOnlyFill":false,"fixedColumns":0,"enableInfiniteScroll":true,"isRTL":false,"minItemSize":50,"rotatingGroupTypes":"","rotatingCropRatios":"","columnWidths":"","gallerySliderImageRatio":1.7777777777777777,"numberOfImagesPerRow":3,"numberOfImagesPerCol":1,"groupsPerStrip":0,"borderRadius":0,"boxShadow":0,"gridStyle":0,"mobilePanorama":false,"placeGroupsLtr":false,"viewMode":"preview","thumbnailSpacings":4,"galleryThumbnailsAlignment":"bottom","isMasonry":false,"isAutoSlideshow":false,"slideshowLoop":false,"autoSlideshowInterval":4,"bottomInfoHeight":0,"titlePlacement":["SHOW_ON_THE_RIGHT","SHOW_BELOW"],"galleryTextAlign":"center","scrollSnap":false,"itemClick":"nothing","fullscreen":true,"videoPlay":"hover","scrollAnimation":"NO_EFFECT","slideAnimation":"SCROLL","scrollDirection":0,"scrollDuration":400,"overlayAnimation":"FADE_IN","arrowsPosition":0,"arrowsSize":23,"watermarkOpacity":40,"watermarkSize":40,"useWatermark":true,"watermarkDock":{"top":"auto","left":"auto","right":0,"bottom":0,"transform":"translate3d(0,0,0)"},"loadMoreAmount":"all","defaultShowInfoExpand":1,"allowLinkExpand":true,"expandInfoPosition":0,"allowFullscreenExpand":true,"fullscreenLoop":false,"galleryAlignExpand":"left","addToCartBorderWidth":1,"addToCartButtonText":"","slideshowInfoSize":200,"playButtonForAutoSlideShow":false,"allowSlideshowCounter":false,"hoveringBehaviour":"NEVER_SHOW","thumbnailSize":120,"magicLayoutSeed":1,"imageHoverAnimation":"NO_EFFECT","imagePlacementAnimation":"NO_EFFECT","calculateTextBoxWidthMode":"PERCENT","textBoxHeight":26,"textBoxWidth":200,"textBoxWidthPercent":65,"textImageSpace":10,"textBoxBorderRadius":0,"textBoxBorderWidth":0,"loadMoreButtonText":"","loadMoreButtonBorderWidth":1,"loadMoreButtonBorderRadius":0,"imageInfoType":"ATTACHED_BACKGROUND","itemBorderWidth":0,"itemBorderRadius":0,"itemEnableShadow":false,"itemShadowBlur":20,"itemShadowDirection":135,"itemShadowSize":10,"imageLoadingMode":"BLUR","expandAnimation":"NO_EFFECT","imageQuality":90,"usmToggle":false,"usm_a":0,"usm_r":0,"usm_t":0,"videoSound":false,"videoSpeed":"1","videoLoop":true,"jsonStyleParams":"","gallerySizeType":"px","gallerySizePx":1000,"allowTitle":true,"allowContextMenu":true,"textsHorizontalPadding":-30,"itemBorderColor":{"themeName":"color_12","value":"rgba(204,204,204,0)"},"showVideoPlayButton":true,"galleryLayout":2,"calculateTextBoxHeightMode":"MANUAL","targetItemSize":1000,"selectedLayout":"2|bottom|1|max|true|0|true","layoutsVersion":2,"selectedLayoutV2":2,"isSlideshowFont":true,"externalInfoHeight":26,"externalInfoWidth":0.65},"container":{"width":220,"galleryWidth":225,"galleryHeight":0,"scrollBase":0,"height":null}}, The word "occult" comes from the Latin word. 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. Through that, a life of conscience can blossom; rather than the other way around. Religion Esoteric Ism - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Esotericism studies Gnosticism, Yoga, Alchemy, Magic, Spiritualism, Hypnosis, Astrology, Meditation, Mysticism, and Occultism.Many [who?] [31] [129] The second was that esotericism is a trans-disciplinary field, the study of which did not fit clearly within any particular discipline. Kocku von Stuckrad is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, subdepartment ‘History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents’. [62] Accordingly, he believed that esoteric groups placed a great emphasis on secrecy, not because they were inherently rooted in elite groups but because the idea of concealed secrets that can be revealed was central to their discourse. Second free ebook now available My newest ebook, “Thorn Bushes and Thistles”: The Rise of Prophecy, and the Fall of Man, is now available for free at the following ebook retailers: Amazon’s Kindle store (free Kindle reading apps can be found here). Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. 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. The esoteric side of a religion regards the inner world, the more intimate and arcane elements. Esotericism definition refers to the doctrines or practices of esoteric knowledge, or the quality or state of being obscure. When one hears the word "magic," the mind is likely to conjure images of Merlin the wizard shooting fireballs from his hands. IT'S FINALLY HERE! The seventeenth century saw the development of initiatory societies professing esoteric knowledge such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, while the Age of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century led to the development of new forms of esoteric thought. This is the foundation of so-called "secret societies;" they do not retain secrecy in support of conspiracy against their fellow man, but to protect the fragile body of spiritual knowledge that they so practiced. Within a few years, Michael Bergunder expressed the view that it had become an established field within religious studies,[139] with Asprem and Granholm observing that scholars within other sub-disciplines of religious studies had begun to take an interest in the work of scholars of esotericism. In other words, “esoteric communication,” or “esotericism,” is really just a fancy and euphemistic name for the practice of lying and deception. [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. [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". [6][7] The medieval period also saw the publication of grimoires, which offered often elaborate formulas for theurgy and thaumaturgy. Some Modern Controversies on the Historiography of Alchemy", "Arte separatoria e hijos del arte en las prácticas y representaciones de Diego de Santiago (Sevilla, 1598) y el lugar de España en el Esoterismo Occidental", "Ritual Black Metal: Popular Music as Occult Mediation and Practice", "American Occultism and Japanese Buddhism. [96] Although most forms of Spiritualism had little theoretical depth, being largely practical affairs, full theological worldviews based on the movement would be articulated by Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910) and Allan Kardec (1804–1869). Indian guru Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863. [111] In 1936, the Fraternitas Saturni was prohibited by the Nazi regime. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. Figures in alchemy from this period seem to also have authored or used grimoires. I look forward to any comments, questions, or conversation about this topic. "[147], Range of related philosophical ideas and movements that have developed in the Western world, "Arcane" and "Esoteric" redirect here. [6] Lévi also introduced the term l'occultisme, a notion that he developed against the background of contemporary socialist and Catholic discourses. The idea of grouping a wide range of Western traditions and philosophies together under the category that is now termed esotericism developed in Europe during the late seventeenth century. "[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". The concept of the “esoteric” originated in the second century AD 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 (c.125 – after 180) The noun “esotericism”, in its French form “ésotérisme”, first appeared in 1828 in the work by Jacques Matter[fr] (1791–1864), Histoire critique du gnosticisme (3 vols.). [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. [114] Wicca also greatly influenced the development of Pagan neo-druidry and other forms of Celtic revivalism. [113] By the 1980s, these currents of millenarian currents had come to be widely known as the New Age movement, and it became increasingly commercialised as business entrepreneurs exploited a growth in the spiritual market. Egil Asprem. "[119], Granholm noted that esoteric ideas and images could be found in many aspects of Western popular media, citing such examples as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Avatar, Hellblazer, and His Dark Materials. to claim that it does not exist, although Hanegraaff thought it better to adopt a view based in methodological agnosticism by stating that "we simply do not know - and cannot know" if it exists or not. Esotericism is a multi-disciplinary field of spiritual knowledge contained within all religions which concerns the principles and qualities of magic and mysticism. [100], In the Anglophone world, the burgeoning occult movement owed more to Enlightenment libertines, and thus was more often of an anti-Christian bent that saw wisdom as emanating from the pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe. [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. It looked forward to a “New Age” of love and light and offered a foretaste of the coming era through personal transformation and healing. "Fraternitas Saturni" at Wouter Hanegraaff (ed). Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. Esotericism or Esoterism signifies the holding of esoteric opinions or beliefs, that is, ideas preserved or understood by a small group or those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest. Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. No matter what religion (Christinaity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. [95] Somnambulism also exerted a strong influence on the early disciplines of psychology and psychiatry; esoteric ideas pervade the work of many early figures in this field, most notably Carl Gustav Jung, although with the rise of psychoanalysis and behaviourism in the 20th century, these disciplines distanced themselves from esotericism. Spiritualism was based on the concept that individuals could communicate with spirits of the deceased during séances.