Monday, 11 July 2022

New project on the interactions of traditions of magic between the Islamicate world and Latin Europe

A group of scholars from Japan and Liana Saif (ENSIE and University of Amsterdam) have received a grant from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the Ministry of Education for a three-year KAKEN research project that addresses the interactions of various traditions of magic, astrology and alchemy between the Islamicate world and Latin Europe during the medieval and early modern periods. 

The title of the project is "Traditions of Magic in the Medieval and Early Modern Islamicate World and Europe."

The research team will explore the texts attributed to Jābir, Ikhwān al-Safā’, the work known as Ghāyat al-ḥakīm, and the pseudo-Aristotelian Hermetica. In addition, it will study the medieval and early modern reception of such works in translation - Picatrix, Liber vaccae, Liber aneguemis - and their impact on Marsilio Ficino, Heinrich Agrippa, Paracelsus or Ps.-Paracelsus. In addition to reinforcing scholarly networks via series of publications and workshops, the team is planning an international conference to commemorate the works of Keiji Yamamoto, world renowned historian of Arabic astrology, to be held in Kyoto 2024.

The members of the team are:

  • Amadeo Murase – Project Leader: (Seigakuin University): Paracelsianism, early modern alchemy.
  • Liana Saif (University of Amsterdam): Arabic and Islamic occult sciences. 
  • Hiroaki Ito (Senshu University): Medieval and Renaissance mysticism. 
  • Junichi Ono (Jichi Medical University): Islamic mysticism. 
  • Yuki Nakanishi (Jichi Medical University/Keio University): Islamic theology and magic. 
  • Hiro Hirai: (Jichi Medical University/Columbia University): Renaissance alchemy.

Friday, 6 May 2022

New publication on the Pseudo-Aristotelian Hermetica

ENSIE member Liana Saif has just published "A Preliminary Study of the Pseudo-Aristotelian Hermetica: Texts, Context, and Doctrines" in Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā 29 (2021): 20-80, available 

The pseudo-Aristotelian Hermetica are an understudied yet influential group of texts surviving in Arabic that claim to record conversations between Aristotle and Alexander the Great. I propose a ninth-century dating for these texts on the basis of textual and contextual evidence. In them, Aristotle instructs Alexander on two major subjects to aid his royal pupil’s military career and personal life: the cosmos, the genesis of everything in it, and astral magic. This study provides a preliminary analysis of the texts’ manuscripts and content, discussing what makes them Aristotelian and Hermetic and highlighting the resonances of Zoroastrian astro-cosmogenic doctrines.

Note that all ENSIE members are welcome to send details of relevant publications to

Saturday, 5 March 2022


The three ENSIE panels for the ESSWE conference on “​Western Esotericism and Creativity: Art, Performance and Innovation” on 5-7 July 2022 are now confirmed and listed at Conference registration is open at See you in Cork!

Friday, 4 March 2022

Call for Papers: Sufi Teachings in the Postsecular West.

International Workshop at Aarhus University, 27-28 October 2022, organized by Ricarda Stegmann and Mark Sedgwick. 

Sufism attracts Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the West. This workshop is dedicated to the question of the teachings of Sufis in the 21st century in the West: What are the central contents of Sufi teachings in 21st century Europe and North America? To what extent are these conceptions an expression of global-historical entanglements? In how far do these Sufi teachings provide an answer to major individual and social questions of our time and to what extent are these responses products of and responses to the specific constellations of European and American contexts in the 21st century, which are often characterised as post-secular, neoliberal, etc.? 

 For further details, see

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Call for Papers: The Eranos Experience

A conference on “The Eranos Experience: Spirituality and the Arts from a Comparative Perspective” will be held in Venice on the 17th-18th-19th of November 2022. The conference is organised jointly by Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents (Amsterdam), in collaboration with the Chair for Literature and Cultural Studies at the ETH (Zurich). The event will take place over three days and will be complemented by three artistic events (two musical performances and one dance performance). See the full Call here.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

ENSIE3 program online

The program for ENSIE 3, the 2021 meeting of ENSIE​, “Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices”, 29 September-1 October 2021 on Zoom, is now online at

Participants will be sent a Zoom link the day before the conference starts; other members of ENSIE who wish to attend should request the link by sending an email to