Freitag, 23. November 2018, 09:00 - 19:00 iCal

Occult South Asia

From the 19th to the 21st Century

Aula am Campus der Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4 / Hof 1.11, 1090 Wien

Tagung, Konferenz, Kongress, Symposium

Weitere Termine

Samstag, 24. November 2018, 09:00 - 15:00

The workshop aims to contribute to a critical and nuanced understanding of occult and esoteric currents and their practitioners in modern South Asia and of the impact of South Asian ideas and practices on modern esoteric and occult currents on the global stage. South Asia thus will be viewed as a theme as well as a site for the study of esotericism and occultism.

In the academic study of esoteric currents, the topic ‘India’’ has remained a strong undercurrent since the early days. There have been discussions around the concept of the ‘Mystic East’ or “Magic East” and its influence towards Western esotericism from the very beginning. Since the 19th century occult movements shaped the idea of India in two ways: (1) currents which have viewed South Asian ideas and characters as active agencies and have placed India at the center of their discourse; (2) currents which have perceived Indian culture and its historical figures as passive subject whose history should be controlled by the West. This dual tendency has been reflected in the contemporary study of esotericism as well. In recent times approaches that emphasize the interaction of South Asian and foreign occult cultures in colonial and postcolonial times are of increased importance.


Institut für Religionswissenschaft


Dagmar Hofko
Institut für Religionswissenschaft