Marco Pasi is Associate Professor in the History of Western Esotericism in the Modern Period and is the Director of the HHP Centre.
Marco graduated in Philosophy at the University of Milan (1994). He then obtained his PhD in Religious Studies, specializing in the History of Western Esotericism under the supervision of Antoine Faivre at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (2004).
He has been a Frances Yates Fellow at the Warburg Institute, a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) and at the Max Weber Kolleg (University of Erfurt), and has been a Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, at the University of Cagliari, and at the University of Turin. He has been the General Secretary of the European Association for the Study of Religions (2014-2019) and the Co-Chair of the Western Esotericism Group at the American Academy of Religion (AAR). He is currently the Chief Editor of the Aries Book Series (Brill).
Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor in History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents.
Peter J. Forshaw is Associate Professor in History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period.
Mriganka Mukhopadhyay is a PhD researcher in the Modern Period at the HHP Centre.
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.
In 2021, Liana Saif (PhD, 2012) joined the HHP Centre as Associate Professor in the History of Medieval Esotericism.
Dylan Burns is Assistant Professor in the History of Western Esotericism in Late Antiquity.
John holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Research MA (Cum Laude) in Religious Studies (Western Esotericism) from the University of Amsterdam where he focused on Jewish Mysticism. His RMA thesis titled “Abraham Abulafia and the Academy: A Reevaluation” was supervised by Peter Forshaw and Wouter Hanegraaff. Primary research interests include: alchemy, magic, altered states of consciousness and the reception of both theoretical and practical applications of Kabbalah within the purview of the European occult milieu and related traditions.
Hedvig Martin is a PhD candidate at the HHP Centre with a project on the Swedish occult painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), funded by the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefits. She has an RMA in History from Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden, with the thesis “Hilma af Klint and The Five 1896-1907” (2018). Related research interests include art history and occultism in fin-de-siecle Europe, Western esotericism in Sweden, and altered states of consciousness and its neuropsychology.
Giulio is pursuing a joint-Ph.D. with the University of Turin (Department of Historical Studies) and the University of Amsterdam (Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents). In 2019, he graduated in Political Sciences and International Studies in a double-degree program between the University of Padua and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. His research interests are mainly focused on the relations between political power and religious authority on the one hand, and on the influence of esoteric traditions on political and religious thought on the other. His doctoral project will have a duration of three years, from October 2020 to December 2023. The project is funded by the University of Turin. His doctoral research is devoted to the Polish mystic Andrzej Towiański (1799-1878) and his Italian disciples. The project investigates the reception of Towiański’s religious doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church, and the socio-political contribution of the Italian Towianists in the second half of the nineteenth century.
After a vocational degree in graphic design (2015) and a one year of teacher training in History (2017), Tjalling received BA (2020) and RMA degrees (2022, cum laude) in Religious Studies, the last two both at the University of Amsterdam. During his RMA, he was a founding member of the HHP Student Association. His RMA thesis, supervised and assessed by Peter Forshaw and Liana Saif, was a reception history of elementals from the sixteenth to the late nineteenth century covering both natural philosophy and literature, investigating the significance of gender and its cultural transformations. His current PhD project at the HHP, supervised by Peter Forshaw and Wouter Hanegraaff, also deals with these beings, but instead mainly focusses on how they are embedded in the natural-philosophical context of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, now looking at the relationship between humanity and the natural world, and how understanding this aspect can contribute to the history and philosophy of ecology. His overall research interests include intermediary beings, alchemy, magic and Paracelsianism in modernity broadly construed (sixteenth to early twentieth century), and how these themes and schools of thought have influenced and have been influenced by things such as (natural) philosophy, spirituality, our relationship to the environment and other topics with a social component.
Brennan Kettelle holds a Research Master’s degree in Religious Studies, with a focus on Western esotericism (University of Amsterdam, 2021, cum laude), as well as a Master’s degree in Gender & Cultural Studies (Simmons University, 2018, cum laude). Her PhD project – supervised by Marco Pasi – investigates historical associations between the religio-mythic demoness Lilith and queerness within nineteenth-century literary, artistic, and occult discourses. Aiming to foster intersectional collaboration between queer studies and esotericism studies, Brennan is more broadly interested in examining both queer currents within esoteric literature, orders, and figures, as well as esoteric themes within queer subcultures, politics, and histories. As such, her current research also focuses on the lesbian-pagan poetess Renée Vivien (1877-1909), analyzing the occult influences of her queer, satanic oeuvre. Brennan’s other academic interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century occultism, sex magic, esotericism and politics, and conspirituality.
Corey is an American with a military background and current PhD candidate at the center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam.
He received a Bachelor’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Biological Anthropology and Religious Studies from the University of Massachusetts in August of 2019 before moving to Amsterdam to pursue a two-year Research Master’s degree at the University of Amsterdam. In October of 2021 he graduated with a Research Master’s degree with Cum Laude distinction from the History of Hermetic Philosophy department at the University of Amsterdam.
His PhD project, which began in June of 2022 focuses on the theme of ‘Pansophia’ in early modern European thought and occult philosophy, especially as it relates to Rosicrucianism, John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) and esoteric Christian symbolism in 16th and 17th century book culture.
Ninian Nijhuis obtained a Cum Laude Master Degree at the HHP Centre.
Ninian L. Nijhuis obtained a Cum Laude Research Master degree in Religious Studies with the HHP Centre at the university of Amsterdam in 2021. Ninian also holds a BA in Law and a MA in Public International Law from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Ninian’s main focus is on Western Esotericism and her key fields of interest are the works and psychology of Carl G. Jung, sidereal astrology, mysticism and the interactions between spirituality and science.
She is responsible for the HHP Centre’s social media presence since 2019. Since her graduation in 2021, Ninian has been furthering her research independently and works as a sidereal astrologer and a coach. Furthermore, she has started training to become an Jungian Psychoanalyst with the NAAP and has been awarded an honorarium by the Trustees of the Kristine Mann Library for her proposal The Idea of Sacrifice in the Black Books of Carl G. Jung.
Moreover, Ninian’s RMA thesis, titled Madness and Divine Madness: The Black Books of Carl G. Jung, will be added to the Kristine Mann Library.
Antoinette Rutten is the secretary of the HHP Centre.
Antoinette studied Old Greek and Latin at the University of Amsterdam; after the bacchelor 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.
For all general information:
Ms. Antoinette Rutten (secretary)
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