Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system. The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence, which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars. While some scholars in the middle of the 20th century tried to assume an influence between the Cathar "gnostics" and the origins of the Kabbalah, this assumption has proved to be an incorrect generalization not substantiated by any original texts.
Arthur Edward WaiteA.E. WaiteWaite
Arthur Edward Waite (2 October 1857 – 19 May 1942) was an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. As his biographer R. A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism—viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion." Waite was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States. Waite's father, Capt. Charles F.
PapusGerard EncausseGérard Encausse, ''Papus
Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and Martinist activities he was also a spiritual student of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe, "Maître Philippe de Lyon". Despite his heavy involvement in occultism and occultist groups, Encausse managed to find time to pursue more conventional academic studies at the University of Paris.
Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge University Press; Reprint 2014. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic 2013. Hoeller, Stephan A. On the Trail of the Winged God: Hermes and Hermeticism Throughout the Ages, Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Traditions (Vol. 40, Summer 1996). Also at. Published Posthumously. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge University Press; Reprint 2014. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic 2013. Hoeller, Stephan A.
Kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances. Kabbalah emerged, after earlier forms of Jewish mysticism, in 12th to 13th century Southern France and Spain, becoming reinterpreted in the Jewish mystical renaissance of 16th-century Ottoman Palestine.
Some groups listed have been dissolved or are no longer operating. • Anthroposophy • Ashrama Hall and Christchurch Garden Theatre • Behmenism • Bogomilism • Brethren of Purity • Catharism • Druzism • Essenes • Gnosticism • Manichaeism • Martinism • Michał Sędziwój • Neoplatonism • Numerology • Parabola Allegory • Pythagoreanism • Rosicrucian cipher • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum • Rudolf Steiner • Western esotericism • Western Esotericism (academic field) Old editions Publications Essays Fictional literature Conspiracy literature Lectorium Rosicrucianum, 1924. Archeosophical Society, 1968. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 1801.
Esoteric Buddhism. Isis Unveiled. Itchasakti. Mahatma Letters. Man: Whence, How and Whither. Max Beckmann's sketches to The Secret Doctrine. New Age Spirituality. New Thought. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. Round (Theosophy). Theosophy. Triple manifestation., introduction by Manly Palmer Hall. Keightley, Archibald Account of the Writing of "The Secret Doctrine". Kuhn, Alvin Boyd (1930) Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom, PhD Thesis. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Chap. viii "The Secret Doctrine", pp. 193–230. ISBN: 9781564591753. Wachtmeister, Constance Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine".
Catholic Encyclopedia "Occult Art, Occultism". Catholic Encyclopedia "Witchcraft".
TheosophicalThe Theosophical SocietyTheosophy
Bowen, (author and teacher of practical occultism) and later still to Bowen's long time student Dorothy Emerson. The current leadership of this group were students of Emerson. The independent Dublin organisation should not be confused with a similarly named group affiliated to Adyar which is based in Belfast but claims an all-Ireland jurisdiction.
The affiliation of the Parapsychological Association (PA) with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, along with a general openness to psychic and occult phenomena in the 1970s, led to a decade of increased parapsychological research. During this period, other related organizations were also formed, including the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine (1970), the Institute of Parascience (1971), the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (1973), the International Kirlian Research Association (1975), and the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (1979).
Esoteric Christians regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened", "initiated", or highly educated people. Some of the esoteric Christian institutions include the Rosicrucian Fellowship, the Anthroposophical Society, and Martinism. Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, and a large portion of the population of the Western Hemisphere can be described as cultural Christians.
New Age. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Romanticism. Tripartite classification of authority. Urbanization.
Theosophy is considered part of Western esotericism, which believes that hidden knowledge or wisdom from the ancient past offers a path to enlightenment and salvation. Christian theosophy belongs essentially to the Judeo-Christian tradition. The foundation of Christian theosophy is usually attributed to the German philosopher Jakob Böhme. Jewish Kabbalah was also formative for Christian theosophy from Boehme on. In 1875, the term "theosophy" was adopted and revived by the Theosophical Society, an esoteric organisation which spawned a spiritual movement also called Theosophy. In the twentieth century, theosophy became the object of study for various scholars of Western esotericism.
The Kabbalah Centre, which employs teachers from multiple religions, is a New Age movement that claims to popularize the kabbalah, part of the Jewish esoteric tradition. Jews in Islamic countries: * A. Khanbaghi. The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran (IB Tauris, 2006). See also Torah database for links to more Judaism e-texts. ;Wikimedia Torah study projects Text study projects at Wikisource. In many instances, the Hebrew versions of these projects are more fully developed than the English. Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Rabbinic literature. Mesorah. Targum. Jewish Biblical exegesis (also see Midrash below).
Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism, and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists, but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition. Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, organised by planet, as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians. The earliest Vedic text on astronomy is the Vedanga Jyotisha; Vedic thought later came to include astrology as well.
new religious movementsnew religionsmodern religious movements
New Age movement. Religious pluralism. Sociological classifications of religious movements. Greco-Roman mysteries. Secret society. History of religion. Theosophy and visual arts. Barrett, David B., George T. Kurian, and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World, 2 vols. 2nd edition, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Clarke, Peter B. (2000). Japanese New Religions: In Global Perspective. Richmond : Curzon. ISBN: 978-0-7007-1185-7. Hexham, Irving and Karla Poewe, New Religions as Global Cultures, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997. Hexham, Irving, Stephen Rost & John W.
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, published in 1877, is a book of esoteric philosophy and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's first major work and a key text in her Theosophical movement. The work has often been criticized as a plagiarized occult work, with scholars noting how Blavatsky extensively copied from many sources popular among occultists at the time. However, Isis Unveiled is nevertheless also understood by modern scholars to be a milestone in the history of Western esotericism.
Supreme BeingLordnature of God
An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the image of God, and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made ; for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the "Children of God". During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship. This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship.
SteinerDr. Rudolf SteinerSteiner, Rudolf
Central principles of his understanding include: In Steiner's esoteric cosmology, the spiritual development of humanity is interwoven in and inseparable from the cosmological development of the universe. Continuing the evolution that led to humanity being born out of the natural world, the Christ being brings an impulse enabling human consciousness of the forces that act creatively, but unconsciously, in nature. Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places, and include gnostic elements. However, unlike many gnostics, Steiner affirms the unique and actual physical Incarnation of Christ in Jesus at the beginning of the Christian era.
Wicca is also a form of Western esotericism, and more specifically a part of the esoteric current known as occultism. Academics like Wouter Hanegraaff and Tanya Luhrmann have categorised Wicca as part of the New Age, although other academics, and many Wiccans themselves, dispute this categorisation. Although recognised as a religion by academics, some evangelical Christians have attempted to deny it legal recognition as such, while some Wiccan practitioners themselves eschew the term "religion" – associating the latter purely with organised religion – instead favouring "spirituality" or "way of life".
Enlightenmentthe EnlightenmentFrench Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment) was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
Wouter J. HanegraaffWouter J[acobus] Hanegraaff
European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.
Kabbalah (literally "receiving"), is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought of Judaism. Its definition varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, from its religious origin as an integral part of Judaism, to its later Christian, New Age, or Occultist syncretic adaptations. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a religious denomination in itself.
Today, among these unorganised circles, Spiritualism is similar to the new age movement. However, theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor of the 20th century new age movement. Today's syncretic Spiritualists are quite heterogeneous in their beliefs regarding issues such as reincarnation or the existence of God. Some appropriate new age and neo-pagan beliefs, while others call themselves "Christian spiritualists", continuing with the tradition of cautiously incorporating spiritualist experiences into their Christian faith.
Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Śruti ("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Āgamas.