Enchanted Modernities

Keynote Speakers

Wouter Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam)

Wouter Hanegraaff PhotoWouter Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as President of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) from 2005 to 2013. Alongside numerous articles, he is the author of New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought (Leiden 1996/Albany 1998); Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents (Tempe 2005; with Ruud M. Bouthoorn); Swedenborg, Oetinger, Kant: Three Perspectives on the Secrets of Heaven (West Chester 2007); Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture (Cambridge 2012); and Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed (London 2013). He has also (co)edited seven collective volumes, including the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Leiden 2005) and Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (New York 2011; with Jeffrey J. Kripal).

Joy Dixon (University of British Columbia)

Joy Dixon PhotoJoy Dixon is an Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus.  She is the author of Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) along with a number of articles.  Her current project – tentatively titled Sexual Heresies: Religion, Science, and Sexuality in Modern Britain – explores the ways that new formulations of the sexual were constitutive of religious change and, conversely, that the effort to “modernize" spirituality was in many cases as crucial a contribution to the emergence of modern sexual identities as were the new sciences of sexuality. Like her earlier study of theosophy, this project attempts to open up new ways of thinking about the complex relationships between the making of knowledge, spirituality, and modernity.