Download Contemporary Esotericism by Egil Asprem PDF
By Egil Asprem
The research of latest esoteric discourse has hitherto been a principally ignored a part of the hot educational box of Western esotericism. modern Esotericism offers a extensive evaluate and evaluation of the complicated international of Western esoteric inspiration this present day. Combining historiographical research with theories and methodologies from the social sciences, the quantity explores new difficulties and provides new percentages for the learn of esoterica. modern Esotericism experiences the interval because the Nineteen Fifties yet specializes in the final twenty years. the wide variety of essays are divided into 4 thematic sections: the intricacies of esoteric appeals to culture; the position of pop culture, smooth communique applied sciences, and new media in modern esotericism; the influence and impact of esotericism on either spiritual and secular arenas; and the hot 'de-marginalization' of the esoteric in either scholarship and society.
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Extra info for Contemporary Esotericism
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. See especially Lewis & Hammer, The Invention of Sacred Tradition, which explicitly forms an expansion of Hobsbawm and Ranger’s project – thematically to the field of religion, and historically beyond the modern period.
23 As Olav Hammer and James R. Lewis note, every single known religious system cultivates invented traditions of one sort or another. g. Siddhartha, L. g. g. 24 As we shall see later in this chapter, this kind of attribution has been a central part in the making of esoteric genealogies of higher knowledge, emphasizing prisci theologi (whether mythical or real) like Hermes and Zoroaster, or referring to entirely fictitious “secret traditions”, such as in Rosicrucianism. While Hobsbawm focused on how invented traditions “inculcate certain values and norms of behaviour by repetition”, analyses of such inventions in esotericism have typically focused on the function they play in legitimating authority and establishing an aura of unique authenticity.
The recent proceedings of the inaugural conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), entitled Constructing Tradition,29 may serve as an example. Despite its title, and with a few notable exceptions,30 this volume focuses more on the internal (emic) conceptualizations of tradition, their related philosophies, theologies and mythologies, than on attempts to develop the critical analysis of appeals to “tradition” in esotericism vis-à-vis etic historiography. 31 Knowing more about the social and material basis for actual transmissions of knowledge is obviously of value, but the continued neglect of a clear critical stance to the invention of tradition is regrettable.