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Esotericism Unit and Mysticism Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

The 19th and 20th centuries saw a boom in what might today be considered “spiritual but not religious” movements. Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, to name only a few, synthesized – often uncritically – post-Protestant Christianity with imported traditions from central and south Asian yoga and tantric traditions, along with a vast array of symbolic and mythological themes drawing from gnosticism to medieval alchemy to astrology. How might contemporary scholars locate much less “define” the boundaries between “mysticism” and “esotericism” – and, are these terms even useful in organizing and categorizing these areas? This panel invites papers which address issues of hybridization in mysticism and esotericism, particularly from outside of European traditions, as well as challenge methodological and definitional assumptions, particularly a too rigid separation of “the esoteric” from “the mystic.”



Steering Committee Members


Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection