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About the Association for the Study of Esotericism

Click on ASE 2018 Conference Information for Conference Details –

The ASE 2018 Conference theme at Rice University is

Eros, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Esoteric Traditions

Plenary Speakers:

Angelic Love: Swedenborgian Bodies in Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove
Amy Hollywood, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School.

Amy Hollywood’s work has explored the place of mysticism (or “enthusiasm”) in relation to philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theories of gender, along the span of Christian history from medieval to contemporary. She is co-editor, with Patricia Beckman, of the Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism (2012), and author of The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart (1995), Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History (2002), and Acute Melancholia and Other Essays: Mysticism, History, and the Study of Religion (2016).

Sacred Sexuality in Some Contemporary Esoteric Groups: From Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema to MISA
Massimo Introvigne, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Torino, Italy

Massimo Introvigne is an Italian sociologist and director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), an international network of scholars who study new religious movements.  His academic interests encompass a broad array of religions and new religious movements and their influence on popular culture. His numerous groundbreaking publications have appeared in Italian and French as well English. Books include Il ritorno dello gnosticismo (1993), Les Mormons (1996), The Unification Church (2000) and most recently in English Satanism: A Social History (2016)
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Eros and the Future of the Esoteric Humanities
Arthur Versluis, Michigan State University

Arthur Versluis is professor and Chair of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. A key player in the development of Esotericism as an academic field in North America, he founded the Association for the Study of Esotericism in 2002 and remains a driving force in the organization. He has published extensively on Theosophy and American Transcendentalism. His books include American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (1993), The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance (2001), Restoring Paradise: Western Esotericism, Literature, and Consciousness (2004) and American Gurus: From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion (2014).

REGISTRATION

Here’s the link to conference registration for the Association for the Study of Esotericism [ASE] 2018 Conference at Rice University.

https://signup.rice.edu/ASE2018/

We look forward to seeing you at Rice University in Houston, Texas!

ASE MEMBERSHIP

The ASE membership page is here: https://aseweb.wildapricot.org/join-us

To join ASE, you’ll need to follow the above link: the conference registration does not include ASE membership.

The conference will explore the theme “Eros, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Esoteric Traditions.” Esoteric writings offer a range of possibilities for investigating both literal and figurative erotic and sexual configurations, from the allegorical couplings of alchemy, to the practices of Valentinian Gnosticism, to descriptions of angelic sex in Ida Craddock.  Connectedly, esoteric thinkers have described numerous unusual ways to embodiment, from phenomena of divine possession, to the making of magical children, to golems and animated statues.

Association for the Study of Esotericism
www.aseweb.org

Click here for our recent ASE Newsletter

 

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In May, 2002, the journal Esoterica hosted the First North American Symposium on the Study of Esotericism at Michigan State University. There, the invited participants created a new scholarly organization, the Association for the Study of Esotericism [ASE], along with a mission statement and a set of goals. This organization subsequently was incorporated in August, 2002, as a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The primary mission of this organization is to support excellence in scholarship and to foster communication among scholars who, though their work originates from a wide range of fields, find esotericism a common theme of their research.

Our Board includes Arthur Versluis (Michigan State University), President, Lee Irwin (College of Charleston) Vice President, Mel Draper (UC Davis) Treasurer, Secretary, M. E. Warlick (University of Denver).

THE SECOND AND THIRD VOLUMES IN THE STUDIES IN ESOTERICISM BOOK SERIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON AND OTHER RETAILERS.
Esotericism, Religion, and Nature illuminates the way that nature is understood by major esoteric figures and traditions. Taken together, these articles shed new light on the connections between humanity, nature, and religion. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Wouter Hanegraaff, Lee Irwin, Richard Smoley, Arthur Versluis, M. E. Warlick, and many others. The second in a series of volumes on Western esotericism, this book emerged from international academic conferences held by the Association for the Study of Esotericism.  In this groundbreaking collection, leading scholars in this emerging field explore how nature can be understood in a wide range of esoteric religious contexts. Included here are articles on subjects ranging from alchemy and panpsychism to music, Appalachian folk magic, and new religions.

Our third volume in the series Studies in Esotericism, Esotericism, Religion, and Politics was published in 2012.  In this groundbreaking collection, scholars explore how politics can be understood in a much wider range of esoteric religious contexts than is usually recognized. Included here are articles on subjects ranging across the modern era and from a broad geographical expanse, including Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, and North America. This is the first book to focus on how esotericism and politics intersect not only across the conventional spectrum, but also outside it. Taken together, these articles shed new light on the connections between politics and religion. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Lee Irwin, Daniel McKanan, Arthur Versluis, M. E. Warlick, and many others.  The book can be purchased here.

Please visit the website of our sister organization, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE, www.esswe.org), for information about other academic events in this field.