Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam


Developing new knowledge about the complexities of Western culture

Research at HHP

The mission

The HHP Centre is devoted to critical historical and empirical research in the domain of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, also referred to as Western Esotericism. Our research covers the entire history of Western Esotericism, from antiquity to the present. Reflecting the field’s interdisciplinary nature, our researchers work from perspectives ranging from history of science and intellectual history to religious studies and art history. As part of the University of Amsterdam, our research falls under the umbrella of the  Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) at the Faculty of Humanities. As part of the Religious Studies unit the HHP Centre participates in the interdisciplinary research group on Religious Dynamics and Cultural Diversity.


The presence in Amsterdam of the famous Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, situated in the Embassy of the Free Mind, and of the rich material of the Amsterdam University Library’s Special Collections (Bijzondere Collecties) provides important research facilities for our staff.

The HHP’s strong emphasis on historical research of primary sources is greatly advanced by these libraries and collections.

Journals, book series, and international activities

The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) was founded in Amsterdam in 2005, and the staff  at the HHP Centre continues to be deeply involved with the further development of this international learned society. Our staff has also been instrumental in setting up and running the leading peer-reviewed journal devoted to Western esotericism, Aries, and the Aries Book Series – both published by Brill under the auspices of the ESSWE. The HHP Centre is thus an intrinsic part of a larger international network that promotes, creates and distributes peer-reviewed academic research in the interdisciplinary field of Western esotericism.

Read more: Current research projects