30th-31st May 2014
Collegium Broscianum, Grodzka 52 Street
The organisers: The Centre for the Comparative Studies of Civilisations JU, The Laboratory of Spirituality at the Department of Humanities (AGH University of Science and Technology)
The esoteric traditions constitute an incredibly important aspect of Western culture, beginning with the ancient gnostic conceptions and concluding with the modern idea of the Age of Aquarius. These systems, being an alternative to orthodoxy, express conceptions and longings, without which the image of our civilisation would remain incomplete. The research of esoteric ideas enjoys a great interest in many significant academic centres such as the Centre for the History of the Occidental Esotericism at Sorbonne University (currently a part of École pratique des hautes études), the Warburg Institute in London, the Centre for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the Amsterdam University, the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) and many more.
In the Western Esoteric traditions, myths and legends often substitute history; intuition displaces rational means of cognition, and the analysis of the ambiguous symbolism can not be reduced to obvious conclusions. This discipline is an exceptionally demanding area of research and it is far easier to criticise it or overestimate its factual significance. The main purpose of the conference was to elaborate on the most important questions connected to the issue of Western Esotericism, beginning with the presentation of the current research, the most important phenomena conceived within this framework and the scholarly methods applied in the research.
The organisers would like to express their gratitude to the students who helped in preparing the event and taking care of the guests. Many thanks go to (in alphabetical order):
Dominika Beim, Magdalena Bryła, Przemysław Ćwik, Ida Dawidowicz, Agnieszka Dąbel, Małgorzata Dulska, Dominika Frączek, Monika Kadłuczka, Natalia Kłeczek, Magdalena Koziel, Wiktoria Krupska, Dominika Pauly, Olaf Stachowski, Paulina Trębaczewska, Tymoteusz Wojciechowski, Paulina Żakieta.
Special thanks go to Krzysztof Skwara who proved capable of trilocation and thus immortalised the event in pictures. We also thank our PhD students: Anna Kuchta and Joanna Puchalska for their precious time. Last but not least, we thank the staff of the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations for enduring the turmoil resulting from the change in the scheduled rooms.
On behalf of the organizers, Renata Iwicka