Christopher Partridge (Lancaster University) gave the first keynote during the First International Conference on Contemporary Esotericism at Stocholm University, August 27, 2012. In his lecture, Partridge argues that the previously deviant, occult, and hidden is becoming increasingly ordinary and everyday. In short, we are witnessing the emergence of a broadly shared “occulture”.
Partridge’s theory of occulture was first set forth in his two-volume The Re-Enchantment of the West (2004/2005), and has since been attracting increasing interest from scholars in the fields of religious studies and esotericism (see, for example, the recent special issue of Aries on “Occulture and Modern Art”. In this lecture, Partridge discusses his theory of occulture, and attempts to clarify some central issues and common misunderstandings. The video recording also includes a round of challenging questions from the audience and an ensuing discussion that provide some additional insight into the problems and possibilities of this theory.