Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

Are you interested in the history of ‘alternative Christianities’? Ever wondered how occultism and magic shaped modern science and psychology? Or whether New Age is indeed new?University of Groningen

Knowledge of the mystical and esoteric currents in the history of religion in Europe, as well as the impact of Hermetic and Gnostic spirituality, is important for a better understanding of European religious and cultural identities.

This Master’s degree programme is unique due to its multidisciplinary nature. It combines philological, religious-comparative and cultural-historical approaches. In addition, we offer the first diachronic overview of esotericism from the very beginnings of our Western Culture in ancient Greece to its latest manifestations in modern multicultural society.

After a solid introduction to ancient philosophical esotericism, and to Hermetic and Gnostic lore, you will:

  • learn about mystical traditions and the influence of Kabbalistic esotericism in Western culture from Late Antiquity down to the present day
  • be able to analyse and understand ancient and modern esoteric discourses
  • study the processes of exchange between East and West that have shaped contemporary religious landscapes
  • uncover underlying connections between ancient and modern religiosity and ponder the persistence or rebirth of religious conceptions and rituals.
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