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(3,536 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
1. Esoteric The adjective “esoteric” …

Jewish Influences

(11,826 words)

Author(s): Leicht, Reimund | Dan, Joseph | Kilcher, Andreas B. | Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Jewish Influences I: Antiquity The nature and exten…

Correggio, Giovanni da

(1,523 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Correggio, Giovanni da, * ca. 1451? (Bologna)?, † after 1503 (place unknown)…

Intermediary Beings

(12,281 words)

Author(s): Broek, Roelof van den | Fanger, Claire | Brach, Jean-Pierre | Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Intermediary Beings I: Antiquity 1. Introduction …

Lazzarelli, Lodovico

(2,984 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Lazzarelli, Lodovico, * 4 Feb 1447 (San Severino), † 23 Jun 1500 (San Severino) Italian humanist, poet, Christian hermetist, and pioneer of Christian kabbalah [→ Jewish Influences III]. Lazzarelli was born the youngest son of a physician, Alessandro Lazzarelli, in San Severino. His father died soon after his birth, and his mother moved with her children to Campli, where Lodovico began his studies under a certain Christoforo da Montone. Introduced by the latter to a typical humanist curriculum, he turned out t…

Kerner, Justinus Andreas Christian

(1,706 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Kerner, Justinus Andreas Christian, * 18 Sep 1786 (Ludwigsburg), † 21 Feb 1862 (Weinsberg) German Romantic poet and writer, physician, and early investigator of occult phenomena. Born as the sixth and …

Roberts, Jane

(2,377 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Roberts, Dorothy Jane, * 8 May 1929 (Saratoga Springs, New York), † 5 Sep 1984 (Elmira, New York)…

New Thought Movement

(2,969 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Originally known under many names – such as Mental Science, Divine Science, Spiritual Science, Religious Science, Christian Science, Unity, Mind Cure, Science of Being, Home of Truth – the popular American self-help psychology known as New Thought began to spread during the 1870s and had secured a mass audience by the end of the century. The term “New Thought” itself was introduced in the 1890s and was eventually adopted by its main organizational body, the International New Thought Alliance (IN…


(8,134 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
1. Introduction Primarily in Western esoteric contexts, but not exclusively there, a wide range of terms have been used to refer to the idea that there exists an enduring tradition of superior spiritual wisdom, available to humanity since the earliest periods of history and kept alive through the ages, perhaps by a chain of divinely inspired sages or initiatory groups. In tracing the development of this idea through its main historical stages, we will restrict ourselves to those authors and curren…


(8,671 words)

Author(s): Van den Doel, Marieke J.E. | Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
According to a tradition derived from Aristotle, the imagination (Greek phantasia; Latin: imaginatio) is a faculty of knowledge intermediary between the senses and the intellect or rational intelligence. Together with the “common sense” ( to krinon or sensus communis) and the memory it belongs to the so-called “interior senses”; but one also sometimes encounters it as equivalent to these different senses taken together. Aristotle says that phantasia derives from φῶς (light, or glow) and is primarily visually oriented. Its function is to transform sensory impre…


(3,251 words)

Author(s): Brach, Jean-Pierre | Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
1. Introduction The idea that reality consists of multiple “levels” which in some manner mirror one another is extremely widespread in all traditional societies: it is basic to the various → divinatory arts, → magic, and → astrology; but can also be found e.g. in the architectural design of premodern villages, cities, temples and court complexes; in the ways that the orders of gods, angels or demons are imagined; in systems of → number symbolism; and in various cosmologies, including notions of th…

Champier, Symphorien

(1,090 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Champier, Symphorien, * early 1470s (Saint-Symphorien-le-Château), † 1539 or 1540 (Lyons) French humanist, neoplatonist, physician, and author on medicine and occult sciences. Champier's father was a notary and apothecary. Symphorien studied for some time at the university of Paris, and next attended medical school in Montpellier, where he matriculated in 1495. Soon after, he was practicing medicine and teaching the liberal arts in the Dauphiné and probably the Bourbonnais. In 1498 he published his first book, Janua logicae et phisicae, largely devoted to Plato and Aristot…


(3,540 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Although the various terms and expressions based upon the latin “occultus” (“hidden, secret”, from occulere, “to cover over, hide, conceal”) tend to be used indiscriminately and are often confused in common parlance, they are the reflection of a historical development in the various stages of which they refer to different things. It is of particular importance to distinguish between the original adjective “occult”, and the substantive “occultism” that made its first appearance in the 19th century. 1. Occult Qualities In the context of the medieval reception of Aristotelian…


(2,104 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J. | Versluis, Arthur
Novalis, (ps. of Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg), * 2 May 1772 (Oberwiederstedt), † 25 Mar 1801 (Weissenfels) A jurist, philosopher, mining engineer and famous Romantic poet, von Hardenberg was raised in a large family. His father, having gone through a religious crisis following the death of his first wife in 1769, raised his children in the spirit of Herrnhut → Pietism. From 1790 to 1794 von Hardenberg studied law, philosophy, history and mathematics at the Universities of Jena, where he got into contac…


(4,190 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Problems of Definition The Greek word gnôsis means ‘knowledge,’ and refers more specifically to a salvational knowledge of one's own Self and its divine origin. Emphasis on gnosis is found not only in the late antique currents and ideas that have become known as ‘gnosticism,’ but also in e.g. Clement of Alexandria and, notably, in → Hermetism/Hermeticism. Until recently, it was widely assumed that the ‘heretics’ attacked in the second and third centuries CE by orthodox Christian authors such as Justinus Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Hippolytus of Rome, a…


(1,365 words)

Author(s): Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
The New Age Movement and Channeling Popular in the context of the New Age movement, the term ‘channeling’ refers to the conviction of contemporary psychic mediums that they are able, under certain circumstances, to act as a channel for receiving and transmitting information from sources other than their normal selves. In less technical terms, channeling means the reception and transmission of messages from invisible intelligent beings, often referred to as ‘entities.’1 The practice of channeling presupposes a worldview in which embodied existence on our planet is …