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Edges of Freemasonry II: Lived Esotericism and the Western Modernity

University of Tampere will be hosting a second international Edges of Freemasonry conference on 30 August – 1 September, 2019. This three-day event focuses on the history of Western esotericism. It aims to study the long-lasting process of Western modernisation – starting roughly from the 17th and 18th centuries and ending somewhat to the present day – by exploring fields of esoteric and masonic traditions as well as other heterodox spiritualities. The conference brings together scholars from various scientific disciplines, but will also be open for students and post-graduate students as well as for general public.

The main organizer of the event is University of Tampere Faculty of Social Sciences/History Programme in association with Research Lodge Minerva No. 27 of the Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Finland. Edges of Freemasonry II: Lived Esotericism and the Western Modernity will be a continuation of the first Edges of Freemasonry conference, which was held at the University of Tampere in 2012.

The organizers have the honor to announce that the keynote speakers of the 2019 conference are Professor Joy Dixon (University of British Columbia, Vancouver), Professor Egil Asprem (University of Stockholm), Fabio Venzi (Grand Master of the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy) and Architect Msc. Antti Talvitie (Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Finland, Provincial Grand Master of the Royal Order of Scotland). Keynote speakers have published extensively on history of modern Western esoteric and occult ideas as well as on history of Freemasonry.

The thematic aim of the conference is to study the variety of ways in which esoteric currents and ideas have participated in the construction of Western modernity. Our special point of interest is, how esoteric and occult conceptions and identities have become intertwined with the personal and shared experiences of modernity and modern life. In relation to this, we look forward to study the meaning of ritual, experientiality and initiation as part of masonic traditions as well as wider field of modern spiritualities. We also want to emphasize the connections between Western esotericism and modern social and cultural phenomena. In this respect, we are interested in interaction between esoteric ideas and modern emancipatory or counter-cultural policies and identities, Western esotericism as part of transnational and orientalist practices, and the dynamics between esoteric ideas and modern knowledge.

The conference board welcomes all scholarly papers considering the topics mentioned above, but will also consider other themes related to the academic study of modern Western esotericism and history of Freemasonry.

We kindly ask to send proposals for the conference sessions by 28 February 2019 with an electronic form (https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/edges2_callforpapers) The proposals should include contact information, the title of the presentation and a short abstract (400–600 words).