Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Religious Studies – II. Practical Theology

I. Religious Studies

Especially in Germany, occultism (from Lat. occultum, “what is hidden [in the mysteries]”) became a collective term for all theories and practices dealing with “extrasensory” and “supernatural” forces after the appearance of H.P. Blavatsky’s theosophy in the 19th century. It differs from spiritualism in explaining spiritualist phenomena as being caused by an unspecified natural force. But since religions, Gnosis, and esotericism al…

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Hoheisel, Karl and Streib, Heinz, “Occultism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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