Introduction 1. What is Western Esotericism? 2. A Very Short History 3. Apologetics and Polemics 4. Worldviews 5. Knowledge 6. Practice 7. Modernization 8. Between the Disciplines 9. Sources and Resources Glossary
A practical and accessible guide and introduction to the field of Western Esotericism
Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and President of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.
It is lucid, wide-ranging and extremely well researched ... this
text is a must for those who are merely curious, those who are
studious and those alternative philosophers of nature, and esoteric
... practitioners themselves. * De Numine *
Wouter Hanegraaff offers the reader here a crystallization of his celebrated scholarship on the history of Western esotericism, from the ancient world to the New Age, as the "rejected knowledge" of Western religion, culture, and science. Along the way, he strikes all the right notes, introduces key terms and figures, and traces the influence of esotericism on science, art, literature, and music. The result is an impeccable piece of historical analysis that shows why the critical study of Western esotericism should lie at the center of the academy and not in its margins. -- Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of 'Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred'