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Altered States of Knowledge: The Attainment of Gnōsis in the Hermetica

The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 2:2 (2008), 128-163.

Based on close reading of Corpus Hermeticum I (Poimandres), C.H. XIII and "The Ogdoad and the Ennead", I argue that these central Hermetic treatises must be understood in terms of a spiritual praxis resulting in alterations of consciousness.

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Under the Mantle of Love: The Mystical Eroticisms of Marsilio Ficino and Giordano Bruno

Wouter J. Hanegraaff & Jeffrey J. Kripal (eds.), Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism, Brill: Leiden / Boston 2008 [U.S. Paperback edition: Fordham University Press: New York 2011]. 

An analysis of why eros (love) was central to the Platonic philosophy of Marsilio Ficino, and a comparison with how Giordano Bruno understood it. Ficino's perspective was explicitly homo-erotic while Bruno's was heterosexual. Against this background I give a novel interpretation of Ficino's famous "midlife crisis".  

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Introduction: Things We Do Not Talk About

[with Jeffrey J. Kripal] in:Wouter J. Hanegraaff & Jeffrey J. Kripal (eds.), Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism, Brill: Leiden / Boston 2008 [U.S. Paperback edition: Fordham University Press: New York 2011], ix-xxii.

Introduction to the volume, about the structural commonalities between esotericism and eroticism.

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Leaving the Garden (In Search of Religion):

Jeffrey J. Kripal's Vision of a Gnostic Study of Religion

Religion 38:3 (2008), 259-276.

A review article of Jeffrey J. Kripal's monograph The Serpent's Gift.

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Swedenborg aus der Sicht von Kant und der akademischen Kant-Forschung

Friedemann Stengel (ed.), Kant und Swedenborg: Zugänge zu einem umstrittenen Verhältnis, Max Niemeyer: Tübingen 2008, 157-172. 

Swedenborg from the Perspective of Kant and Official Kant-Scholarship: an analysis of how Swedenborg has been (mis)portrayed by almost all leading Kant specialists.

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Reason, Faith, and Gnosis: Potentials and Problematics of a Typological Construct

Peter Meusburger, Michael Welker & Edgar Wunder (eds.), Clashes of Knowledge: Orthodoxies and Heterodoxies in Science and Religion, Springer Science & Business Media: Dordrecht 2008, 133-144.

A theoretical article about how the reason-faith-gnosis typology can be used without reverting to the religionist interpretation typical of its inventor Gilles Quispel.

Introduction: Swedenborg's Magnum Opus

Emanuel Swedenborg, Secrets of Heaven (New Century Edition), vol. I, The Swedenborg Foundation: West Chester, Pennsylvania 2008, 63-129.

An abridged version of my Introduction to Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia (complete version published as my short monograph Swedenborg, Oetinger, Kant: Three Perspectives on the Secrets of Heaven.

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La nascita dell’esoterismo dallo spirito del Protestantesimo

Alessandro Grossato (ed.), Forme e correnti dell’esoterismo occidentale (Viridarium 5), Medusa: Milano 2008, 125-144

Italian translation of my article later published in Aries in 2010, about the origins of the concept of "Western esotericism" in Protestant polemics (image: Johann Jakob Brucker). NO PDF AVAILABLE