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About the Association for the Study of Esotericism

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Call for Papers:
ASE 2018


Eros, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Esoteric Traditions

The Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) is seeking paper and panel proposals for its seventh International North American Conference on Esotericism to be held at Rice University, in Houston, Texas, May 24-27, 2018.

We are seeking proposals for papers exploring 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.

We are also interested in papers on Western esoteric practices, including theories, representations and methods of practice viewed from cultural, practical, religious and aesthetic fields of inquiry. We encourage papers that address the conference theme in terms of diverse types of representation, including arts and literature, as well as methods that reflect specific theories of esotericism, either historically or in a contemporary context. We invite proposals on magic, alchemy, astrology, ritual practice, mysticism, spiritualism, occultism, hermeticism, neo-paganism, contemporary esoteric movements and teachers, Asian influences on Western traditions, and other relevant topics. We are interested in panels specifically on mysticism, contemplative practice, and other topics related to the conference theme. ASE regards esotericism as an interdisciplinary field of research and we invite scholars from all disciplines to share their research and writings in support of a cross-fertilization of perspectives.

Our deadline for panel or paper proposal submission is December 15th, 2017.
If you wish to submit a paper proposal or a thematically focused panel proposal (with three presenters and short descriptions included) for review and possible presentation at the conference, please send it by email to ASEconference@rice.edu

Association for the Study of Esotericism
www.aseweb.org

Click here for our ASE Newsletter from Fall 2017

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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, Melinda Weinstein (Lawrence Technological University) Secretary, M. E. Warlick (University of Denver), Claire Fanger (Rice University), Phillip Lucas (Stetson University) and Nell Champoux (Syracuse University).

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.