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Occultism In A Global Perspective – Henrik Bogdan & Gordan Djurdjevic (2014)

Academic studies of esotericism (whether people, groups or currents) often focus on “the West”. Bogdan and Djurdjevic wanted to remedy this focussing on esotericism (or actually mostly occultism) in less-investigated areas.

This results in an interesting collection of essays of scholars known and new to me about a variety of subjects.

After an introduction of the editors, follows a somewhat technical text from Kennet Granholm about what this “West” of “Western esotericism” actually it. That is not as clear cut as it may seem at first sight.

Then follows an author that I keep running into recently Hans Thomas Hakl who wrote about the Fraternitas Saturni. After Hakl we have a text about satanism in Denmark around 1900 by Per Faxneld, so a structured form of satanism of well before Anton LaVey.

Interesting is editor Djurdjevic’s text about occultism in former Yugoslavia, which also touches on influences of Theosophy and Traditionalism. Then we turn to Italy for a text about Tommaso Palamidessi. Noone less than Arthur Versluis wrote about esoteric Hitlerism (Savitri Sevi and Miguel Serrano). After this PierLuigi Zoccatelli looks at a man I have run into many years ago: Samuel Aun Weor.

The other editor, Henrik Bogdan, investigates the case of the Holy Order of India, an Eastern order which was influenced by Western occultism rather than the other way around. We move to Japan with Emily Aoife Somers’ essay about the Japanse literary genre “Nô” (ghost/horror) and how W.B. Yeats was influenced by it, but also the other way around had his influence. The last text is about an artist and solitary Australian occultist Rosaleen Norton.

I did not find all subjects equally interesting, but as you can see a variety of subjects in a variety of countries and also texts from known and not yet known authors. The editors made an interesting compilation. It being an academic publication, the book is not cheap, but you can actually rent a Kindle edition for a fair price.

2014 Routledge, isbn 1844657167

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