The idea that the human body consists of 'subtle bodies' - psycho-spiritual essences - can be found in a variety of esoteric traditions. This radical form of selfhood challenges the dualisms at the heart of Western discourse : mind/body, divine/human, matter/spirit, reason/emotion, I/other. 'Angels of Desire' explores the aesthetics and ethics of subtle bodies. What emerges is an understanding of embodiment not exclusively tied to materiality. The book examines the use of subtle bodies across a range of traditions, yogic, tantric, theosophical, hermetic and sufi. 'Angels of Desire' shows the relevance of the subtle body for religion, philosophy, art history and contemporary feminist religious studies and theories of desire.
Glenn Alexander Magee's pathbreaking book argues that Hegel was decisively influenced by the Hermetic tradition, a body of thought with roots in Greco-Roman Egypt. Magee traces the influence on Hegel of such Hermetic thinkers as Baader, Böhme, Bruno, and Paracelsus, and fascination with occult and paranormal phenomena. Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition covers Hegel's philosophical corpus and shows that his engagement with Hermeticism lasted throughout his career and intensified during his final years in Berlin. Viewing Hegel as a Hermetic thinker has implications for a more complete understanding of the modern philosophical tradition, and German idealism in particular.
Exploring the intersection of religious sensibility and creativity in the poetry and prose of the American modernist writer, H.D., this volume explores the nexus of the religious, the visionary, the creative and the material. Drawing on original archival research and analyses of newly published and currently unpublished writings by H.D., Elizabeth Anderson shows how the poet's work is informed by a range of religious traditions, from the complexities and contradictions of Moravian Christianity to a wide range of esoteric beliefs and practices. H.D and Modernist Religious Imagination brings H.D.'s texts into dialogue with the French theorist Hélène Cixous, whose attention to writing, imagination and the sacred has been a neglected, but rich, critical and theological resource. In analysing the connection both writers craft between the sacred, the material and the creative, this study makes a thoroughly original contribution to the emerging scholarly conversation on modernism and religion, and the debate on the inter-relation of the spiritual and the material within the interdisciplinary field of literature and religion.
Alternative Religions, Popular Narratives, and Digital Cultures
Author: Danielle Kirby
Religion and spirituality are being transformed in our late modern and secularising times. New forms of belief proliferate, often notable for not being limited to traditional systems of reference or expression. Increasingly, these new religions present worldviews which draw directly upon popular culture - or occulture - in fiction, film, art and the internet. Fantasy and Belief explores the context and implications of these types of beliefs through the example of the Otherkin community. The Otherkin are a loosely-affiliated group who believe themselves to be in some way more than just human, their non-humanity often rooted in the characters and narratives of popular fantasy and science fiction. Challenging much current sociological thinking about spirituality and consumption, Fantasy and Belief reveals how popular occulture operates to recycle, develop, and disseminate metaphysical ideas, and how the popular and the sacred are combining in new ways in today's world.
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 esotericismstudies 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.
"An excellent overview of spiritual movements throughout the last few centuries . . . a superb panorama" (The Book Reader), this book covers esoterica from its ancient beginnings through the alchemists to Gurdijeff and Jung.
Author: Arthur Versluis,Lee Irwin,John Richards,Melinda Weinstein
Pubpsher: MSU Press
Esotericism, Art, and Imaginationis a uniquely wide- ranging collection of articles by scholars in the field of Western esotericism, focusing on themes of poetry, drama, film, literature, and art. Included here are articles illuminating such diverse topics as the Gnostic fiction of Philip Pullman, alchemical images, the Tarot, surrealism, esoteric films, and much more. This collection reveals the richness and complexity of the intersections between esotericism, artistic creators, and their works. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Cathy Gutierrez, M. E. Warlick, Eric Wilson, and many others.