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Ironic Esotericism: Alchemy and Grail Mythology in Thomas Mann’s Zauberberg

Richard Caron, Joscelyn Godwin, Wouter J. Hanegraaff & Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron, Ésotérisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique: Mélanges offerts à Antoine Faivre, Peeters: Louvain 2001, 575-594.

In this article I show that in the early phases of writing Der Zauberberg, Thomas Mann was thinking of Hans Castorp as a Grail seeker, but having read a book about alchemy in 18th-century Freemasonry he changed his focus and began using alchemical metaphors, with the Magic Mountain as the vessel of transmutation.

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Beyond the Yates Paradigm:

The Study of Western Esotericism between Counterculture and New Complexity

Aries 1:1 (2001), 5-37.

Based on the argument of my inauguration speech of 1999, in this first issue of the new edition of Aries I argue that we need to revise Frances Yates' grand narrative of "the Hermetic Tradition".

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A Woman Alone: The Beatification of Friederike Hauffe née Wanner (1801-1829)

Anne-Marie Korte (ed.), Women and Miracle Stories: A Multidisciplinary Exploration, Royal E.J. Brill: Leiden/Bos­ton/Köln 2001, 211-247.

An abridged english version of a very long article that so far has been published only in German (2000, 2004), about one of my major fascinations: the case of Friedrike Hauffe, "the Seeress of Prevorst" and her physician, the Romantic poet and physician Justinus Kerner.

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Prospects for the Globalization of New Age: Spiritual Imperialism versus Cultural Diversity

Mikael Rothstein (ed.), New Age Religion  and Globalization, Aarhus University Press 2001, 15-30.

I'm rather pleased to say that already around the turn of the century I already saw the shadows sides of neoliberal globalisation. In this quite critical article I emphasise the negative sides of imposing a Western form of spirituality on the rest of the world and call it "universal," at the expense of respect for local traditions.