Workshop: Science, Aesthetics, and Politics of the Occult


"New Perspectives on the Study of Esotericism" vom 10.-11. März 2017. (In Englisch)

For the longest time, esotericism has been regarded as a system of beliefs and even superstitions representing the very antithesis to modernization. This dichotomy is largely the result of a concept of esotericism based on methods and objectives pertaining to the study of religion. In this workshop, we will critique this false dichotomy by changing the perspective. Esotericism, we hold, is complexly involved in processes of social, cultural, religious, and political modernization and therefore a generative force in the production of knowledge. The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries will provide us with the historical arena to make this point. Specifically, we will focus on figurations of the occult in certain scientific, aesthetic, and political movements of that period.


Egil Asprem, University of Stockholm

Juan Marin, ETH Zürich

Julian Strube, Universität Heidleberg

Robert Matthias Erdbeer, Universität Münster

Wouter Hanegraaff, University of Amsterdam

Helmut Zander, Université de Fribourg

Andreas Kilcher, ETH Zürich


Date: 10 and 11 March 2017

Venue: Villa Hatt, ETH Zurich

The workshop is fully booked. It is not possible to register anymore.



Detailed program (PDF, 415 KB)

Flyer (PDF, 31 KB)



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