By Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
Western esotericism has now emerged as an educational research in its personal correct, combining spirituality with an empirical remark of the wildlife whereas additionally touching on the humanity to the universe via a harmonious celestial order. This advent to the Western esoteric traditions deals a concise evaluation in their old development.
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke explores those traditions, from their roots in Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism, and Gnosticism within the early Christian period as much as their reverberations in modern medical paradigms. whereas the research of Western esotericism is generally restrained to the historical past of rules, Goodrick-Clarke examines the phenomenon even more greatly. He demonstrates that, faraway from being a strictly highbrow move, the unfold of esotericism owes greatly to geopolitics and globalization. In Hellenistic tradition, for instance, the empire of Alexander the nice, which stretched throughout Egypt and Western Asia to provinces in India, facilitated a blending of jap and Western cultures. because the Greeks absorbed principles from Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, they gave upward push to the 1st esoteric movements.
From the overdue 16th to the eighteenth centuries, post-Reformation spirituality discovered expression in theosophy, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. equally, within the sleek period, dissatisfaction with the hegemony of technological know-how in Western tradition and an absence of religion in conventional Christianity led thinkers like Madame Blavatsky to appear East for non secular suggestion. Goodrick-Clarke additional examines sleek esoteric proposal within the mild of recent clinical and clinical paradigms besides the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. This ebook strains the full heritage of those hobbies and is the definitive account of Western esotericism.
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Extra resources for The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction
Deborah E. Harkness, John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the top of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge collage Press, 1999). The Heptarchia Mystica of John Dee, edited by way of Robert Turner (Wellingborough: Aquarian, 1986). Moshe Idel, “The Magical and Neoplatonic Interpretations of the Kabbalah within the Renaissance,” in Jewish suggestion within the 16th Century, edited by means of Bernard Dov Cooperman (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard collage Press, 1983), pp. 188–200. Ingrid Merkel and Allen G. Debus (ed. ), Hermeticism and the Renaissance: highbrow historical past and the Occult in Early sleek Europe (Cranbury, N. J. : linked collage Presses, 1988). Charles G. Nauert, Agrippa and the problem of Renaissance inspiration (Urbana: college of Illinois Press, 1965). Henry Morley, The lifetime of Henry Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, physician and Knight, 2 vols. (London: Chapman and corridor, 1854). François mystery, Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de los angeles Renaissance (Paris: Dunod, 1964). Lewis W. Spitz, “Pythagoras Reborn,” within the non secular Renaissance of the German Humanists (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard collage Press, 1963), pp. 61–80. Gerald Suster, John Dee, Western Esoteric Masters sequence (Berkeley, Calif. : North Atlantic Books, 2003). György E. Szönyi, John Dee’s Occultism: Magical Exaltation via strong symptoms (Albany, new york: kingdom college of latest York Press, 2004). ———, “John Dee,” in Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, edited through Wouter Hanegraaff et al. , 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2005), Vol. 1, pp. 301–309. Robert Turner, Elizabethan Magic: The artwork and the Magus (Shaftesbury: point, 1989). Michaela Valiente, “Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa,” in Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, edited by way of Wouter Hanegraaff et al. , 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2005), Vol. 1, pp. 4–8. Brian Vickers (ed. ), Occult and medical Mentalities within the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge collage Press, 1984). 70 the western esoteric traditions Benjamin Woolley, The Queen’s magican: The technological know-how and Magic of Dr. Dee (London: HarperCollins, 2001). Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the airtight culture (Chicago: college of Chicago Press, 1964), chap. 7. ———, The Occult Philosophy within the Elizabethan Age (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979), chaps. three, five, and eight. Charles Zika, “Reuchlin’s De verbo mirifico and the Magic Debate of the past due 15th Century,” magazine of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 30 (1976): 104–138. four Alchemy, Paracelsus, and German Naturphilosophie Alchemy performs a wide half in Renaissance esotericism. Parallel with different Hellenistic assets of Western esotericism, alchemy originated in Egypt in the course of the first few centuries B. C. and was once later transmitted to Europe via Greek and Arabic resources. The notice “alchemy” is derived from the Arabic identify of the artwork, alkimia, the place al is the convinced article. whereas many alchemical texts have been to be had within the past due center a while, the interval 1550–1650 witnessed a awesome surge in alchemical and medico-chemical publishing in Europe. This fast diffusion of alchemy relates on to its mix with Neoplatonic and airtight techniques to nature, and particularly to the talk surrounding Paracelsus (1493–1541), the pioneer of chemical drugs, whose inspiration and perform have been grounded in such an procedure.