Ассоциация исследователей эзотеризма и мистицизма

Call for Papers 2011

Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism
 in collaboration with:
Russian Christian Academy for Humanities (Saint-Petersburg),
H. S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
Ukrainian Association of Religion Researchers
Research Center for Mysticism and Esotericism (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Fifth International Conference
Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice

Historical and Philosophical Aspects of
the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism

December 2 – 5, 2011 - St Petersburg (Russia)

Keynote lecture:

Dr. Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff
(University of Amsterdam)

The historical approach plays a highly important role in the study of mystical and esoteric movements as all other approaches are to an extent reliant on it. The extraordinary importance of historical analyses requires, however, special attention. It is well-known that over the course of the history of western culture mystical and esoteric phenomena have been to a great extent excluded from the cultural mainstream and have often been oppressed by dominant ‘exoteric’ discourses. This is because historians of esotericism and mysticism are often confronted with the discursive nature of historical witnesses and descriptions and are called for "not confusing our constructs with historical reality” (W. J. Hanegraaff). Could a supposedly realistic description of some esoteric phenomenon merely be a result of polemical discourse? Do clichés or even pure inventions appear in place of expected historical analysis? How do discursive formations influence the way mystical and esoteric aspects of religious culture have been perceived and represented during a particular period of time in history? How can a historian ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ in (self)descriptions of mystical and esoteric phenomena? These and other related issues still call for more awareness and conceptualization within historical and philosophical research of deviant religious and cultural phenomena.
The conference organizers hope that this conference will contribute significantly to the awareness of the problem. The critical historical research of esotericism and mysticism may lay the ground for further developments in the field of study in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

We invite suggestions for panels as well as paper proposals dealing with the study of this phenomenon through various academic disciplines. Papers can be submitted on, but are not limited to the following sub-themes:
  • general methodological issues in the study of esotericism and mysticism;
  • peculiarity of the historical approach to the study of esotericism and mysticism;
  • the problem of a historical reconstruction of esoteric movements;
  • esoteric scholars as an object of the study of esotericism;
  • constructing of the ‘own’ history in esoteric circles;
  • current developments of mystical and esoteric movements;
  • mystical experience and its ‘historical’ representations by mystics;
  • influence of discursive formations on the study in esotericism.

Conference Languages

Russian & English

Application Form

Applications for the conference are to be sent to the address of the organizing committee esot.conference2011@gmail.com by 25 October 2011. We kindly request to fill in the forms in the following manner:
  1. Full name:
  2. Date of birth:
  3. Academic degree:
  4. Home address:
  5. Place of work:
  6. Current position:
  7. Contact phone:
  8. E-Mail:
  9. Need of an official invitation to receive a private (humanitarian) visa for the entry into Russian Federation (yes/no):
  10. Need of technical equipment for your report presentation (yes (please, specify which equipment you need)/no):
  11. Paper title:
  12. Short paper abstract (approx. 200 words):
  13. The language of the paper presentation:
Applications for organizing panels and round tables are to be sent by 25.10.2011, as well. These applications need to be filled in the same way as the general applications (entries 1-13). Additionally, an organizer should specify the estimated number of participants and provide a preliminary program.

Sending an application and text does not mean an automatic inclusion into the conference program. The decision on the applications will be communicated within a week after the deadline via e-mail.

Style sheet

The organizing committee plans to publish selected papers in the conference proceedings (minimum editing in cooperation with authors will take place where required).  The papers of authors who do not present their papers during the conference cannot be published.
The size of the full paper text including footnotes and bibliography should be between 15.000 and 20.000 characters including spaces (calculated e.g. by the MS Word feature). The text is to be sent to the organizing committee in electronic form (accepted formats are *.doc or *.rtf), and is to be formatted after the model text. The model text can also be sent per e mail upon request.

Conference Fee

The conference fee is 40 Euro (for participants who are not from countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States). The fee for non-CIS citizens who plan to arrive in Russia by opening a tourist visa is 30 Euro. The fee is to be paid upon registration.

Addresses of the Conference

191023 Saint-Petersburg, 15 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.
Phone: +7 812 3143521 and +7 921 3843029

Conference E-mail and Homepage

For additional information about the conference, please send an e-mail to the conference organizers (esot.conference2011@gmail.com).
The latest information about the conference will be published at the homepage of the Association for the study of Esotericism and Mysticism (ASEM) http://asem.ucoz.org.

The Organizing Committee

Chair: Dr. Sergey Pakhomov (Saint-Petersburg, Russia),  Prof. Dr. Roman Svetlov (Saint-Petersburg).
Members: Prof. Dr. Andrey Zabiyako (Blagoveshchensk, Russia);  Prof. Dr. Ludmila Filipovich (Kyiv, Ukraine), Prof. Dr. Julia Shabanova (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine); Prof. Dr. Dmitri Shmonin (Saint-Petersburg); Prof. Dr. Birgit Menzel (Mainz, Germany); Dr. Vadim Zhdanov (Erlangen, Germany); Dr. Vitaly Vovchenko (Orel, Russia); Dr. Yuriy Zavhorodniy (Kyiv, Ukraine); Dr. Sergey Kapranov (Kyiv, Ukraine).


The organizational committee will carefully consider any offers by interested persons for material and/or informational support of the conference.