Access to Western Esotericism

Front Cover
SUNY Press, Dec 5, 1994 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 369 pages
1 Review
This is the first systematic treatment of esotericism to appear in English. Here is also a historical survey, beginning with the Alexandrean Period, of the various esoteric currents such as Christian Kabbalah, Theosophy, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and Hermeticism. Common characteristics of these currents are the notion of universal interdependency and the experience of spiritual transformation. The author establishes a rigorous methodology; provides clarifying definitions of such key terms as “gnosis,” “theosophy,” “occultism,” and “Hermeticism;” and offers analysis of contemporary esotericism based on three distinct pathways.

The second half of the book presents a series of studies on several important figures, works, and movements in Western esotericism—studies devoted to some of the most characteristic and illuminating aspects that this form of thought has taken, such as theosophical speculations on androgyny, rosicrucian literature, and Masonic symbolism.

The book is completed by a rich and selective Bibliography conceived as a means of orientation and a tool for research.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

METHODOLOGY AND REFLEXIONS
3
II Some Key Concepts
19
III Reflections on Tradition or The Three Paths of Esotericism Today
35
A SHORT HISTORY OF WESTERN ESOTERIC CURRENTS ESSAY ON PERIODIZATION
49
Ancient and Medieval Sources of Modern Esoteric Currents
51
II Escotericism in Medieval Thought
53
III Initiatory Quests and Esoteric Arts
55
Esotericism at the Heart of the Renaissance and in the Flames of the Baroque
58
A Ontological Androgyny
203
B Primitive Adam and Failed Androgyny
216
Dialects and Oppositions
232
Philosophies and the Life of the Couple
245
E Knowledge and Reintegration
258
F Badder and His Time
272
Neognostic Cosmologies and Traditional Gnosis
275
Introduction
298

Naturphilosophie and Theosophy
61
III Reading the World and Myth
66
Esotericism in the Shadow of the Enlightenment
71
II From the Arts of Reading to the Art of Subtle Fluids
74
III A Century of Initiations
78
From Romantic Knowledge to Programmatic Occultism
82
II Universal Tradition and Occultism
86
III Esotericism in Initiatory Societies and in Art 18481914
90
TwentiethCentury Esotericisms
95
II The Four Winds of the Tradition
100
III Arts and Humanities
105
Faith and Knowledge in Franz von Badder and in Modern Gnosis
113
The Inner Church and the Heavenly JerusalemFoundation of a Cosmic Anthropology According to Franz von Badder and Christian Theosophy
135
The Temple of Solomon in EighteenthCentury Masonic Theosophy
147
The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz as Pilgrimage of the Soul
163
Aspects of the Chivalric Imagination in EighteenthCentury Alchemy Freemasonry and Literature
177
Love and Androgyny in Franz von Badder
201

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

Antoine Faivre, the most prominent scholar of esotericism to have appeared since Mircea Eliade, is Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes(Section des Sciences Religieuses, Sorbonne), University Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Haute-Normandie, and director of the Cahiers de l'Hermetisme (Albin Michel). His other books in english translation include Access to western Esotericism and Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition: STudies in Western Esotericism.

Bibliographic information