What follows is a series of announcements in the field of esotericism, which clearly is flourishing.  A reminder that the Call for Papers for the Second Association for the Study of Esotericism [ASE] Conference, to be held June 8-11, 2006 at the University of California, Davis, can be found at  If you wish to present a paper, it would be a good idea to send in an abstract to the Conference Committee soon, since space at the conference will be limited.


Esoterica will be taking on a new format with its next issue, as part of a series of changes concerning the journal and the ASE.  More news on this will follow.


We offer our congratulations to Prof. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, now holder of a Chair in Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter, where there is a new Master's program in the field.  And we also congratulate the organizers of the new AAR section devoted to Western Esotericism, as well as the organizers of the new program in Cosmology at the University of Kent.  As is now self-evident, the field of Western Esotericism is now one of the liveliest areas of contemporary interdisciplinary academic research.

With all good wishes

Prof. Arthur Versluis





From Prof. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke:


As you may know, took up my duties as Chair of Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter, the leading university of West England on August 1st, 2005, and have been working since to develop the Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) of which I am the Director, and the launch of a Master's programme in Western Esotericism, in which Christian theosophy, Hermeticism, Alchemy, Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism and Pietism have a prominent place.  For your information, I attach a weblink which will take you to EXESESO, then a link to the staff of the Centre, then to the MA in Western Esotericism.   A full program specification in that page leads to the individual modules in the degree and their full syllabus.


My own reception at Exeter has been highly positive.   EXESESO is located in the newly-constituted School of Humanities and Social Sciences, headed up by Dr Jonathan Barry, an energetic historian with a gift for leadership.  My new academic colleagues are charming, highly intelligent and responsive, seminars are envisaged and collaborations nurtured.  One important aspect of the degree you'll note is that a number of other staff at Exeter, Dr. Barry, Prof. Walsham, Revd. Dr. Logan, Prof. Morris (an associate of Prof. Faivre and Henry Corbin), all international authorities on their subjects, have "lent" modules to the degree, thus signalling their support and involvement in the new project. Taken together, it means that the degree has a dozen modules, thus offering students plenty of choice within the subject of Western Esotericism.


A key feature of the MA program, of special interest to US residents, is its distance-learning delivery, whereby enrolled students may complete the degree over two to three years while based at home, with the option of attending study-conferences at Exeter (two each semester) as they choose. Essays, dissertation are otherwise all supported by Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offering regular student-tutor contact and dialogue.


I bring all this to your attention as I feel sure that readers of Esoterica may have an interest in acquiring a Master's degree from a prestigious British University in a subject close to their heart and in which they already have significant grounding.




From Dr. Angela Voss:


I would like to bring to your attention two developments at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.  We are beginning a new MA programme in Cosmology and Divination  in

September 2006, to be announced and inaugurated by a Conference on Cosmology  and Divination, SEEING WITH DIFFERENT EYES, 28th-30th April 2006


  Dr Angela Voss

  Religious Studies

  Cornwallis NW21O

  University of Kent CT2 7NF

  (01227) 824411




As of 2005, the American Academy of Religion annual conference has begun to regularly feature panels of papers devoted to Western esotericism under the direction of Prof. Allison Coudert and Prof. Wouter Hanegraaff.  What follows is a preliminary version of the coming Call for Papers for the 2006 AAR conference.


The Western Esotericism group seeks to reflect and further stimulate the current process (reflected in the recent creation of new chairs and teaching programs, international associations, journals, monograph series, and reference works) of professionalization and scholarly recognition of Western esotericism as a new area of research in the study of religion.  For more information on the field, see notably the websites of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE:, and the Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE):

The Western Esotericism Group at the AAR invites proposals for papers dealing with European and American esoteric traditions (e.g. alchemy, astrology, hermeticism, kabbalah, magic, mysticism, rosicrucianism, secret societies, occultism) and their ramifications in art history, history, literature, politics, and religion. We welcome scholars from a wide range of perspectives, including critical theory, anthropology, American studies, art history, history, history of religions, literature, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, and the full range of academic disciplines and fields that bear upon this area of study.

For 2006, we especially welcome papers on the following topics as related to Western esotericism: (1) Method and theory, (2) Altered States of Consciousness, (3) Theurgy, (4) Ritual and religious practice. However, proposals on any other appropriate topic are welcome as well.




And finally:


Just to let you all know that the Academic Study Magic e-list is back by popular demand after its regrettable demise earlier this year. The list is now being managed and moderated by Amy Hale and myself, Dave Green. We felt that the list, despite its difficulties and personality clashes, was a valuable and exciting resource for academics and others interested in all forms of magical practice from any period of history, any geographic area and any disciplinary background. Most of you are former members of the list and we wanted to take the opportunity to welcome you back to list (hopefully "blind copied" - I have the technology but ...) and hope that we can resurrect all of the good things about the old list whilst leaving the personality clashes in the recycle bin. The new moderators want to foster an open and tolerant attitude to what will always be an interdisciplinary topic with many divergent views - long may it stay so and let us learn from these differences.  


If you wish to rejoin you can do so at this url: