Western esotericism

The Gnostic Trope in Contemporary Media Culture

The article applies the Gnostic trope as the most suitable tool for analyzing religious components of contemporary mass culture. Christopher Partridge’s theory of occulture serves as a methodological framework. The Gnostic trope includes the following elements: the idea that our world is a prison created for the torment of man; that it is controlled by the evil Creator of this world — the demiurge; that some exceptional persons, the Gnostics, are able to unravel the deceptive nature of reality and offer gnosis — a kind of extra‑rational experience.

There Is Nothing New under the Sun: The Concept of “Gnosis” in Studies of Western Esotericism

This article analyzes the tradition of using the category of «gnosis» in studies of Western esotericism. The origins of the understanding of «gnosis» as a special form of spiritual experience is related to non-traditional religiosity connected with the works of the members of the Eranos circle (H-C. Puech, G. Quispel, H. Corbin). Because of Corbin, the category of «gnosis» appeared in A. Faivre’s concept of Western esotericism as a form of thought. At the same time, among American researchers gnosis became a central category in the description of Western esotericism.

Occultism and Romanticism as Two Forms of “Secularized Esotericism” of the 19th – Early 20th Centuries

Kant’s Philosophy and the Idea of Renovation of the Science in Esoteric Literature in the Second Half of the 19th and the Beginning of the 20th Century

The Modernity of Occultism: Reflections on Some Crucial Aspects

In this article the author analyzes a number of popular concepts about the relationship between occultism and various phenomena of social life in the end of the 19th and in the early 20th century. The author shows that the idea of a link between occultism and fascism, which was popular in the middle of the 20th century, is largely false. As an alternative, the author suggests a perspective in which occult societies are described as a virtual space for social and cultural
experimentation and innovation. 

Integral Traditionalism: Between Politics and Esotericism

This article describes various interpretations of the so called integral traditionalism and its role in the political and religious movements of the 20th century. Looking at political movements and individuals who associated themselves with traditionalism, the author concludes that the integral traditionalism can not work as a political ideology, since its main objectives are otherworldly; in fact, the actual role of these movements in politics was minor. It makes more sense

The Origins of Gerald Gardner’s Views on Witchcraft