The ESSWE4 conference in Gothenburg is only a month and a half away, and judging from the conference website it is looking quite promising. As previously mentioned, there will be a ContERN panel session at the conference. We are happy to announce that a time for this event has now been confirmed: June 28, at 13.00-14.00. A full description of the panel event follows below.
ContERN Panel Discussion: Problems and Potentials in the Study of Contemporary Esotericism
(Convened and moderated by Egil Asprem & Kennet Granholm)
In 2012, the hitherto neglected study of contemporary esotericism was put firmly on the research agenda of esotericism scholars: The year saw the foundation of the Contemporary Esotericism Research Network (ContERN), the organization of the 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism in Stockholm, and the publication of a major collected volume, Contemporary Esotericism (Equinox / Acumen, eds. Asprem & Granholm). This panel discussion, arranged by ESSWE’s ContERN network, is intended as a platform to continue the open scholarly conversation on challenges and possibilities in the study of contemporary esotericism. The panelists will discuss questions such as: What are the boundaries of contemporary esotericism? Where do we find it? How do we study it? How is it related to processes of social change, the emergence of social networking, new media and new communication technologies, changing patterns of globalization, social migration and mobility? How can we stimulate the interdisciplinarity that is needed for a successful study of contemporary esotericism? How does (or ought) such a study relate to developments in neighbouring disciplines, such as the study of new religious movements? How can a systematic study of contemporary esotericism reflect and impact on the historical study of esotericism? The main goal of the panel is to encourage open discussion and critical reflection. Ample time will therefore be left to engage in group-discussion where the audience and the panelists can interact freely.
Participants: Dr. Kennet Granholm (University of Stockholm, co-founder of ContERN) & Dr. Egil Asprem (University of Amsterdam, co-founder of ContERN); Dr. Massimo Introvigne (managing director of CESNUR); Dr. Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam); Prof.Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam, president of ESSWE); Dr. Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg, organizer of ESSWE4).
Posted in Conferences
The ESSWE4 conference website has just been launched, and registration for the conference is now open. Browsing through the list of accepted papers you will see quite a few papers dealing with aspects of contemporary esotericism.
We are also happy to announce that a special ContERN roundtable has been planned, where we will continue the theoretical and methodological reflections on contemporary esotericism started in Stockholm last year. The roundtable will include the specialists of modern and contemporary esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Marco Pasi, and Henrik Bogdan (who is also the conference organizer), with a special appearance of new religious movements scholar Massimo Introvigne. More information later!
The new Correspondences journal is currently receiving submissions for its second issue (to appear in December). This would be a good opportunity for students and researchers of contemporary esotericism to get some papers published. Correspondences being an open-access online journal, it has the sort of immediacy of publication that lacks in traditional academic outlets, but which is really necessary for the study of contemporary phenomena. So do consider submitting something before the deadline on August 1! Meanwhile, we look forward to the due publication of Correspondences 1.1 in less than two months.
It is already two months since the 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism in Stockholm was concluded. Today, we upload the first installment of the cyberproceedings from the event. You can find a new link to “cyberproceedings” in the top bar on this site. We start with four papers, on topics spanning contemporary Freemasonry in Canada, initiatory societies in Norway, occulture in Brazilian pop music, and methodological issues in the study of contemporary Satanism. More papers will be added shortly. Do check it out!
ContERN will arrange special sessions at ESSWE4, which will be held at University of Gothenburg on June 26-29, 2013. We are particularly interested in papers dealing with esotericism, CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine), and conspiracy culture, but other themes related to contemporary esotericism will be considered as well. Please send your abstract (approximately 250 words, with title and academic affiliation) to conterncontact[at]gmail.com by January 15, 2013 at the latest.
The general theme of next year’s ESSWE conference is esotericism and health. A full call for papers is available at the ESSWE website.
The 1st International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism, which took place at Stockholm University on August 27-29 2012, was the launching event of the ContERN network. A few reviews of the conference have been published over the month that has passed. The two most relevant so far:
Review by Venetia Robertson, for the Religious Studies Project
Review by Sasha Chaitow, for Phoenix Rising Academy
Members of a Dutch esoteric order called the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight were also present at the conference, and published the result of their experience with “going native in reverse” in three installments, here, here and here.
If you come across any other reviews or mentions of this event, don’t hesitate to leave a comment to this post!