Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam

Meet the Staff

Who is who at the HHP?


Academic Staff

Prof. Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff

Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents and Head of the Center HHP.

Hanegraaff was born in Amsterdam in 1961. He studied classical guitar at the Conservatory of Zwolle and Cultural History at the University of Utrecht, where he obtained his Ph.D. (cum laude) in Religious Studies in 1995. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the department for Study of Religion at the University of Utrecht, and he has held his present position at the University of Amsterdam since 1999. In 2006 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW).


Dr. Peter J. Forshaw

Peter J. Forshaw  is Associate Professor in History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period.

Peter graduated in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Indian Philosophy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1986), then worked in France, India, Thailand, and Japan, before returning to the UK to take an MA in Renaissance Studies (1998), followed by a PhD in Early Modern Intellectual History (2004) at Birkbeck, University of London. His doctorate was on the complex hieroglyphic and theosophical figures and the interplay of alchemy, magic and cabala in the  Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae – Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom (1595/1609) of Heinrich Khunrath of Leipzig (1560-1605). This was followed by postdoctoral fellowships researching the history of ritual magic, alchemy, and astrology at the universities of London, Strathclyde and Cambridge. Peter has been at HHP since 2009 and specialises in the intellectual and cultural history of learned magic and its relation to religion, science and medicine. He is editor-in-chief of Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, editor of The Word and the World: Biblical Exegesis and Early Modern Science (2007) and Laus Platonici Philosophi: Marsilio Ficino and his Influence (2011) and is preparing a monograph, The Mage’s Images: Occult Theosophy in Heinrich Khunrath’s Early Modern Oratory and Laboratory, for Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History. He serves on the academic councils of SHAC (Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry) and ESSWE (European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism).

Dr. Marco Pasi

Marco Pasi (1968) is Associate Professor of Western Esotericism in the Modern Period at HHP.

Pasi graduated in philosophy at the University of Milan (1994). He then obtained his PhD in religious studies, specializing in the history of western esotericism, at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (2004).

He has been a Frances Yates Fellow at the Warburg Institute and a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS).



Mriganka Mukhopadhyay, MA

Mriganka Mukhopadhyay is a PhD researcher in the Modern Period at HHP.

Mriganka was born in Kolkata in 1990. He pursued BA (honours) in History from Kolkata’s erstwhile Presidency College (2012) and completed his MA in History from Presidency University (2014) where he was awarded with a gold medal for coming first in his batch. He then pursued MPhil from Ambedkar University Delhi (2017) where he wrote a dissertation on the history of the Bengal Theosophical Society and Bengali intellectual elites’ interest on esotericism. His academic interests include history of the Theosophical Society in colonial India and the activities of Indian theosophists in that period. In the PhD project his particular focus is on the theosophical movement in Bengal. He examines how theosophical ideas disseminated in Bengal and influenced it’s social, political, religious and cultural life in the 19th and 20th centuries.



John M. MacMurphy, rMA

John M. MacMurphy is a PhD student at HHP.

MacMurphy holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Research MA in Religious Studies (Western Esotericism) from the University of Amsterdam where he focused on Jewish esotericism. His RMA thesis titled “Abraham Abulafia and the Academy: A Reevalution” was supervised by Peter Forshaw and Wouter Hanegraaff. Current primary research interests include Jewish alchemy, altered states of consciousness and the reception of ecstatic or prophetic Kabbalah within western esotericism.



Antoinette Rutten

Antoinette Rutten is the secretary of HHP.

Antoinette studied Old Greek and Latin at the University of Amsterdam; after the minor she switched to Ancient History, Papyrology and Swedish. However, after finishing her studies she finally realised that she didn’t want to be a teacher or scholar, instead she became a secretary.