By Egil Asprem
The research of latest esoteric discourse has hitherto been a principally missed a part of the hot educational box of Western esotericism. modern Esotericism offers a large evaluate and evaluate of the advanced global of Western esoteric suggestion at the present time. Combining historiographical research with theories and methodologies from the social sciences, the amount explores new difficulties and provides new chances for the research of esoterica. modern Esotericism reviews the interval because the Fifties yet makes a speciality of the final twenty years. the big variety of essays are divided into 4 thematic sections: the intricacies of esoteric appeals to culture; the position of pop culture, glossy verbal exchange applied sciences, and new media in modern esotericism; the influence and impact of esotericism on either non secular and secular arenas; and the new 'de-marginalization' of the esoteric in either scholarship and society.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Esotericism
39 It was a way to grant the antiquity of truth, while denying the need for reform, and a legitimate basis for it could readily be found in the apologists of the early church. 36. It has later been reinvented by Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), and popularized in the twentieth century by Aldous Huxley. The relevant locus classicus of the concept, however, is Steuco’s De Perenni Philosophia (1540). 37. , 9. 38. Augustine, quoted in Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance, 21. 39. Hanegraaff, Esotericism and the Academy, chapter 1.
As Hanegraaff also argues, the thesis has consequences for assessing the way scholars have construed their object of study in the twentieth century. We go on to discuss how the notion of an “esoteric/occult tradition” may in fact be seen as the result of these prior constructions of “ancient wisdom narratives” and their uses (pro and contra), sometimes with the overtones of perennialism still intact. These discussions culminate in a case study which emphasizes the co-production of tradition by scholars and practitioners: the construction of “shamanism” as a category by nationalistically driven folklorists, “religionist” historians of religions and anthropologists “gone native”.
26 Recognizing the strong critical potential of this notion – something which often tends to be downplayed even by some of the strictest historicists in the field – Hammer makes sure to note that the emic and etic historiographies are often in direct conflict, not only over emphasis and interpretation, but about basic facts of history as well. The origin of Rosicrucianism may stand as a clear example of this from the field of esotericism: in contemporary esoteric orders which claim a Rosicrucian heritage, such as the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) or the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one typically 23.
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