H.E.R.M.E.S. Academic Press





Tim Rudbøg

The Academic Study of Western Esotericism: Early Developments and Related Fields,

Introduction Series to Western Esotericism, Vol. 1,

Copenhagen: H.E.R.M.E.S. Academic Press, 2013 (pp. 242)





































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This first volume in the Introduction Series to Western Esotericism serves as a handbook for students and scholars who seek a better understanding of the academic treatment of central ideas and theses concerning mysticism, the hermetic tradition, traditionalism, the occult, Gnosticism, magic, Kabbalah, and related currents.
In The Academic Study of Western Esotericism: Early Developments and Related Fields, Dr. Rudbøg outlines the main theoretical developments relevant to the academic study of Western esotericism as they emerged prior to Antoine Faivre’s foundational model of Western esotericism as a form of thought first formulated in 1992. Preceding the burgeoning growth of the field in the last two decades of the twentieth century, several specialized academic subjects relevant to the discipline had already been well researched and some had even been established as academic categories with their own methodology and specific areas of research. These earlier develop- ments form the basis of this book and will be explored in eight chapters dealing with:
1. the occult revival from 1800 to 1950
2. the sociology of the occult
3. the traditionalists and ‘perennial philosophy’
4. the academic study of magic and religion
5. the history of science and the hermetic tradition
6. studies in mysticism
7. the academic study of Kabbalah
8. studies in Gnosticism and gnosis
More recent academic developments, including Faivre’s typology, will be covered in subsequent volumes of the series.
Dr. Tim Rudbøg holds an MA research degree in the History of Religion with Philosophy from the University of Copenhagen (thesis: Constructing Kabbalah: From Mysticism to Western Esotericism) and has recently received his PhD from the University of Exeter (thesis: H. P. Blavatsky’s Theosophy in Context: The Construction of Meaning in Modern Western Esotericism). Dr. Rudbøg lectures on and has published several articles related to esotericism, philosophy and the history of religion and has a long-standing interest in these interrelated fields. Dr. Rudbøg is also internationally known as a specialist in rare occult books and the proprietor of H.E.R.M.E.S.’ Antiquarian.


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