Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam

Frontispiece of a 1825 book on astrology, geomancy & occult Science by the mysterious Raphael
The application deadline is now closed.
The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) invited applications for two PhD positions, tenable from 1 January 2023, for doctoral research in the field of the history of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents.
The HHP focuses on critical historical research into a complex of movements in the border area between religion, philosophy, and science, today studied under the umbrella term of ‘esotericism’. These include broad cultural traditions such as astrology, alchemy, and magic; and, with respect to historical periodisation, movements such as Neo-Platonism, Hermetism and Gnosticism in late antiquity; the transmission of the so-called occult sciences and the emergence of esoteric traditions in Judaism (Kabbalah) and Islam (Sufism) during the medieval period; the revival of Platonism and related currents during the Renaissance in the context of prisca theologia, philosophia perennis, and philosophia occulta; early modern and modern currents such as Paracelsianism, Christian theosophy, Kabbalah (both Jewish and Christian), Rosicrucianism, high-degree freemasonry, and illuminism; 19th-century movements such as spiritualism, occultism, and traditionalism; related popular currents of ‘alternative spirituality’ such as the New Age movement; and various forms of contemporary esotericism in popular culture.
We are particularly interested in currents and movements that have taken shape in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic contexts, both separately or in conversation with each other, […]. We will consider research proposals focusing on any of the currents, movements, and periods mentioned above.