Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies [http://www.esoteric.msu.edu] invites you to peruse our most recent issue, and to consider submitting an article on one of the themes below.
In our current issue, we offer two full-length studies: one, an exceptional examination of Renaissance magic by Wouter Hanegraaff entitled "Sympathy or the Devil," the other, a groundbreaking article by Marsha Keith Schuchard entitled "Why Mrs. Blake Cried: Swedenborg, Blake, and the Sexual Basis of Spiritual Vision." We also feature the online audio premiere of composer Paul Wesley Hofreiter's "Mystical Sonata #19," with the composer's commentary and much more, including numerous book reviews and announcements of forthcoming and recent conferences, as well as listings of all recent doctoral dissertations and many recent books in the field.
The word “esoteric” traditionally refers to spiritual, initiatory, or inner knowledge. Our primary emphasis is the scholarly investigation of esoteric spiritual traditions, with a special emphasis on Western esotericism. Western esoteric traditions are of a remarkable variety, ranging from Gnosticism and Hermeticism to alchemy, magic, Christian mysticism, Kabbala, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and other secret or semi-secret societies. Investigation in this field is by nature transdisciplinary, drawing upon such diverse disciplines as history, religious studies, and literature, without belonging solely to any of these.
Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies does not endorse any particular methodological approach to the study of esoteric traditions, but does discourage reductionism - that is, the denigration rather than the study of esoteric traditions or figures. The scholarly study of esotericism as a field is still relatively new, and we encourage a variety of approaches to this rich field of inquiry as well as open discussion of methodological differences, while bearing in mind our common aim of broadening and deepening our understanding of the vast range of esoteric works and figures.
This is an academic, peer-reviewed journal, and our goals are to act as a means for communication among existing scholars in the field, to be a resource for those in academia encountering this field for the first time and considering introducing their students to it, to encourage new scholars in this emerging discipline, and to offer a reliable source of knowledge to all who are interested in esoteric studies.
More than most, this field of inquiry lends itself to electronic media because it is so replete with illustrations, music, and often enigmatic writings. We are not simply placing written materials online, but seeking to offer a new form of scholarship that takes advantage of technology to present a fuller understanding of the ambience of any given work or figure. In this way, our journal will be of benefit not only to researchers in this field, but also to those who wish to draw upon our resources in order to study and teach this field in university and college classrooms.
We invite you to join us.
On behalf of the Editorial Board
Dr. Arthur Versluis
235 Bessey Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
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