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Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed,9781441136466

Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9781441136466

ISBN10:
1441136460
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
2/28/2013
Publisher(s):
Bloomsbury Academic
List Price: $27.95

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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 2/28/2013.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.

Summary

Western esotericism has been a pervasive presence in Western culture from late antiquity to the present day, but until recently it was largely ignored by scholars and surrounded by misconceptions and prejudice. This accessible guide provides readers with the basic knowledge and tools that will allow them to find their way in this bewildering but fascinating field. What is it that unites phenomena as diverse as ancient gnosticism and hermetism, the "occult sciences" of astrology, alchemy, and magic, rosicrucianism, as well as Christian theosophy, occultism, spiritualism, and the contemporary New Age spiritualities? What can the study of them teach us about our common cultural and intellectual heritage, and what is it that makes them relevant to contemporary concerns? How do we distinguish reliable historical knowledge from legends and fictions about esoteric traditions? These and many other questions are answered clearly and succinctly, so that the reader can find his way into the labyrinth of Western esotericism and out of it again.

Author Biography

Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and President of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.

Table of Contents

Introduction \ 1. What is Western Esotericism? \ 2. A Very Short History \ 3. Apologetics and Polemics \ 4. Worldviews \ 5. Knowledge \ 6. Practice \ 7. Modernization \ 8. Between the Disciplines \ 9. Sources and Resources \ Glossary


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