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Western Esoterism, religion and power in the Renaissance Europe: background theoretical, methodological problems and current challenges

Grant number: 15/16836-6
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: November 30, 2015 - December 04, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Ana Rosa Cloclet da Silva
Grantee:Ana Rosa Cloclet da Silva
Visiting researcher: Juan Pablo Bubello
Visiting researcher institution: Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (PUC-CAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


"Western esotericism as a cultural phenomenon that includes the XVI-XX centuries is still under study novel that has no more than three decades. However, since Antoine Faivre proposed it in 1986, has gained broad consensus among specialists. Since then, intense discussions on methodological problems, conceptual clarifications and possible developments in theory have generated a considerable amount of literature and case studies based on edit and unpublished primary sources. At the same time, specific chairs have been created to address them at universities and courses and seminars are taught undergraduate and graduate also emerged as Aries or magazines Correspondences Journal and in the last fifteen years, have generated three major world centers that bring together leading scholars. Since 2002, Association for the Study of Western Esotericism (gathers specialists USA) since 2005, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (includes those in Europe); and, from 2011, the Center for Studies on the Western Esoteric UNASUR (which brings together the Latin American region). Now, one of the central themes is the development of "Esoterism" in a cross-Renaissance Europe by religious conflicts. It happens that, in the sixteenth century, Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Guillaume Postel, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Giordano Bruno, all linked to the hermetic tradition cultural agents, astral magic, Christian Kabbalah and natural magic, They helped shape some of the main currents of Western esotericism, promoting a network of heterogeneous but specific practices and representations. But, in parallel, in this context a complex cultural process, defined as a real war against magic (Davies, 2009) and expressed in discursive strategies to challenge and practices of persecution against these esoteric, which was driven by the Orthodox representatives developed of the various Christian Churches according to their interests. In the conflict, the representatives of esotericism basic but not only developed two tactics: 1) -and built publicaron- made apologetic speeches to legitimize their practices and representations and/or 2), sought linked in various ways, to local, regional, royal, imperial, protection towards political powers. Luck, however they were mixed: sometimes found political protection; at times, persecution, exile and if not, the stake. Thus, it is proposed, from the historical-cultural approach, on the one hand, clarify conceptually and theoretically esotericism as an object of historical study; and on the other, but at the same time address the complex and problematic relationship between esotericism, religion and politics in the specific context of the Renaissance, from critical reading of literature and current-classical medium and high complexity-and the use of representing primary sources." (AU)

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