Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fifth International Conference: Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice

Historical and Philosophical Aspects of
the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism

2-5 December, 2011 - St Petersburg (Russia)

Keynote lecture: Dr. Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam)

The historical approach plays a highly important role in the study of mystical and esoteric movements as all other approaches are to an extent reliant on it. The extraordinary importance of historical analyses requires, however, special attention. It is well-known that over the course of the history of western culture mystical and esoteric phenomena have been to a great extent excluded from the cultural mainstream and have often been oppressed by dominant ‘exoteric’ discourses. This is because historians of esotericism and mysticism are often confronted with the discursive nature of historical witnesses and descriptions and are called for "not confusing our constructs with historical reality” (W. J. Hanegraaff). Could a supposedly realistic description of some esoteric phenomenon merely be a result of polemical discourse? Do clichés or even pure inventions appear in place of expected historical analysis? How do discursive formations influence the way mystical and esoteric aspects of religious culture have been perceived and represented during a particular period of time in history? How can a historian ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ in (self)descriptions of mystical and esoteric phenomena? These and other related issues still call for more awareness and conceptualization within historical and philosophical research of deviant religious and cultural phenomena.

Conference Languages
Russian & English

Conference Fee
The conference fee is 40 Euro (for participants who are not from countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States). The fee for non-CIS citizens who plan to arrive in Russia by opening a tourist visa is 30 Euro. The fee is to be paid upon registration.
Addresses of the Conference
191023 Saint-Petersburg, 15 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.
Phone: +7 812 3143521 and +7 921 3843029
Conference E-mail and Homepage

For additional information about the conference, please send an e-mail to the conference organizers (esot.conference2011@gmail.com).
The latest information about the conference will be published at the homepage of the Association for the study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM) http://asem.ucoz.org/

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