Announcing The New NSEA Website: AncientEsotericism.org!

I am ridiculously beyond thrilled to announce the new website for the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity (NSEA), AncientEsotericism.org!

Pssst…NSEA is a thematic network of ESSWE.

The website is designed as a one-stop resource for pretty much every thing you might want to study in antiquity. (Seriously, the amount of things we have collected in one place is massive!) Even more, it is hoped that through the contributions of others working in the field the website will continue to grow.

I would like to thank Dylan Burns of the University of Copenhagen for trusting me with the project as well as his immeasurable help putting everything together.  The “official”  press release is below.

NSEA Announces Website for Scholars of Esotericism in Antiquity

January 15, 2013

The Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity (NSEA) is happy to announce our new website, AncientEsotericism.org. With continually-updated online resources news, and conference announcements, AncientEsotericism.org is intended to be a one-stop location for scholars and students of the field.

What is esotericism in antiquity? This is a broad term that governs the use of secrecy, concealment, and revelation to talk about the really important stuff—from the true identity of the creator of the cosmos (Gnosticism) to the keys to the heavenly palaces (Hekhalot literature) to how to talk about the indescribable One (Neoplatonic mysticism), etc. So if the subject involves arcana celestial and subterrestrial, it’s ancient esotericism. Scholars in various disciplines have struggled to describe a spike in “secret revelations” in Hellenistic and Late Antique religion (Hengel) or the trend towards mythology in the “Underworld of Platonism” (Dillon)—what all this diverse material has in common is an interest in secrecy and revelation for dealing with the divine, and a common reception-history in “esotericism” in the modern era, ranging from Renaissance Platonism to the New Age.

The website is intended provide a guide to the wonderful, but dizzying, online resources available for the study of this vast and difficult body of literature. My goal (in collaboration with Sarah Veale) was to create the website I would have died to see when I was an undergraduate and just starting to get excited about this material, but totally confused about how to go about studying it, what scholarship was already out there, and, most importantly, where to find the most useful primary sources and reference materials on the web. A lot of the resources gathered here will be familiar to you—but perhaps not to your students, or colleagues in an adjoining field, or a friend. So, if someone has come your way who is starting to get into Nag Hammadi, or Iamblichus, or the apocalypses, etc. and asks you for some guidance to what’s out there, please consider making this one of the links you pass on to them. We will do our best to make it worth your while.

We encourage those interested in these fields to submit calls for papers, workshop notices, conference announcements, and other pertinent news and resources for inclusion on the website. You can submit by email or through our online submissions form. Those wishing to get involved with NSEA are invited to contact us for more information.

With best wishes to you and yours,
Dylan M. Burns, University of Copenhagen
Coordinator, Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity
dylanburns93@yahoo.com, dmb@teol.ku.dk

NSEA Website: Ancientesotericism.org

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NSEA is a thematic network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), the pre-eminent European academic organization for the study of Western esotericism. NSEA aims to bring together scholars who specialize in esoteric phenomena in antiquity, regardless of discipline, in an effort to create a dialogue about shared issues and research while providing the necessary resources to facilitate further study.

Contact information:

Dylan Burns, NSEA Coordinator, University of Copenhagen
dylanburns93@yahoo.com, dmb@teol.ku.dk

Sarah Veale, Website Coordinator, York University
sveale@sarahveale.com, sarahvea@yorku.ca

3 thoughts on “Announcing The New NSEA Website: AncientEsotericism.org!
  1. Reblogged this on Heterodoxology and commented:
    Sarah Veale has done an exquisite job on the recently released website of NSEA (Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity). The network itself, as you can read more about in Sarah’s post at Invocatio and at the website itself, is organised on the initiative of Dr. Dylan Burns, and is another thematic network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. Now that NSEA is up and running, with an excellent online resource database, the ESSWE suddenly has a special-interest network for both of the two historical periods that have most often been neglected by historians of esotericism: antiquity and the present day.

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