Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism - 2013 - English

Ассоциация исследователей эзотеризма и мистицизма

2013 - English

All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature
Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism

in collaboration with
Institute "Russian Anthropological School” of the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow), the Research Centre for Esotericism and Mysticism at Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities (St. Petersburg), the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), the Scientific-Educational Centre "Free Philosophical Society”

and supported by
the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE),

International academic symposium

Ways of Gnosis:
Mystical and Esoteric Traditions
from Antiquity to the Present Time

10-13 April 2013.
Call for papers (1st version)

One of the most important elements of mystical and esoteric traditions is the phenomenon of gnosis, defined as prophetic knowledge with soteriological value for its bearers. The gnostic worldview, its symbols and motives can be found in masterpieces of Western art and literature. Over the past two millenniums, Western spiritual culture has been consistently influenced by gnostic thought, and it is now difficult to imagine the history of Western art, literature, science, philosophy and religion without gnosis, that has certain parallels in structure and ideas with some Eastern cultures (for example, India).

The international academic symposium "Ways of Gnosis” plans to examine this phenomenon from different points of view (phenomenological, hermeneutical, and historical); to show its real significance in Eastern and Western mystical and esoteric traditions; to investigate the meeting of worldviews in "Alexandrian gnosis” and the interrelation of "gnostic” currents to each other; to point out the influence of different aspects, symbols, and images of gnostic traditions in daily life; to show the historical continuity of gnostic ideas in the European cultural tradition; to compare different forms of gnosis in Eastern and Western culture; to elucidate different approaches to the phenomenon of gnosis, and, finally, to demonstrate the role of gnostic doctrines in the history of Russian culture.

This symposium brings together two regular conferences previously held separately – "Russia and Gnosis,” organized by the Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow) and "Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice,” the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM). Thus, the symposium simultaneously hosts the Sixth International Conference "Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice” and the Tenth "Russia and Gnosis” Conference. There will be one joint plenary session and one joint thematic session; however, the two conferences will otherwise have separate programs.

During the symposium, Masonic relics and manuscripts from the Russian collection of the “Museum of Freemasons’ Symbols and History” will be exhibited by the “Free Philosophical Society”, which will also organize a round-table discussion about “Traditions of Freemasonry and Its Implications for Today”.

Working languages: Russian and English. Translation into English will be provided for those not fluent in Russian.

Applications should be sent to the following E-mail: before February 20, 2013 (January 15, 2013, if you require our assistance with documents for the Russian visa formalities). Please fill in the following form:

1. Full name;
2. Date of birth;
3. Academic degree;
4. Home address;
5. Place of work/study;
6. Position;
7. Contact telephone number;
8. E-mail address;
9. Is an official invitation required (for a Russian visa)? (yes / no);
10. Specify the conference the paper will be read in:
a. Mystical and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice;
b. Russia and Gnosis;
c. Whichever the organizing party decides best thematically suits my text.
(Please note that, unless your paper is read at a joint session, it will only be presented at one of the two joint conferences, not both);
11. Is any kind of technical support (computer/overhead projector/etc) required for your presentation? If yes, please specify the exact equipment.
12. Paper title;
13. Abstract (approx. 100-200 words);
14. Language that the paper will be be read in;
15. Whether an invoice for the fee is required (yes / no).
The organizing committee will not provide accommodations for the participants; however, it can point them towards some types of accommodations not far from the place of the symposium. This information is provided upon the request of participants.

Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings after the conference. The full text of the paper, including footnotes and bibliography, should be 3,000 - 4,000 words. An example text demonstrating the required formatting is provided on demand. The full text of the paper can be sent in either together with the conference application or at a later date (to be specified several months before the conference).

The sum of the participation fee for non-residents of Russia and other countries of Commonwealth of Independent States is variable: 1) The fee for participants requiring aid of the org. committee in acquiring a Russian visa will be 40 Euro. The application and certain documents (list is provided separately upon request) must be sent in before January 15, 2013.
2) The fee for participants organizing their own arrival is 30 Euro. The application deadline in this case is February 20, 2013. There is a 50% discount for ASEM members. In both cases, the fee is to be paid during the registration, which will take place on April 10, 2013 (before the official opening), at the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, Nikoloyamskaya street, 1.
The symposium will be hosted in two locations. On April 10-11, 2013, work will proceed at the Library for Foreign Literature (Nikoloyamskaya St., 1). On April 12-13, 2013, the symposium will transfer to Miusskaya square, 6 (the Russian State University for the Humanities), rooms 103–105.

Any changes will be announced in a second version of this call for papers, to be published in 2-3 months.

President of the Organizing Committee: Ekaterina Genieva, Head of the Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow).
Members of the Organizing Committee: ESSWE President Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Birgit Menzel (Mainz, Germany), Georgy Dergachev (Moscow, Russia), ASEM President Sergey Pakhomov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Alexander Petrov (Moscow, Russia), Irina Protopopova (Moscow, Russia), Roman Svetlov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Yuriy Zavhorodniy (Kiev, Ukraine), Vadim Zhdanov (Erlangen, Germany).

Organizing Committee Secretaries: Alexander Rychkov (Moscow, Russia), Kateryna Zorya (Kiev, Ukraine), Darya Lotareva (Moscow, Russia), Yuriy Khalturin (Moscow, Russia).

Postal address:  Nikoloyamskaya St., 1. Moscow, Russia 109189. Library for Foreign Literature, Centre for Religious and Russian Émigré. Symposium "Ways of Gnosis”.

Contact E-mail:

Contact phone numbers: +7 (495) 915-79-86, 8-921-384-30-29.