Heidelberg Center for American Studies
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In order to acknowledge that esotericism played an important role in the global religious history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the current academic paradigm of a purely “Western Esotericism” requires revision. The conference will try to bring together Western Esotericism Studies and Asian Area Studies and, equally importantly, draw in contributions from other disciplines, especially History, Literary Studies, and Art History. By not just narrowly focusing on theosophy and the usual suspects thought to have been its main agents, the goal of the conference is to contextualize theosophy as a global movement, to take effects upon theosophy and effects of theosophy in unlikely places into account, and to go across (disciplinary) borders just as theosophy has also transgressed them historically.

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