Friday, 11 November 2022

ENSIE Call for Papers for ESSWE9


is again organising panels for the biannual conference of ESSWE, which in 2023 will be in Malmø, Sweden from Monday 26 June to Wednesday 28 June. The theme of the conference is "Western Esotericism and Practice." Proposals are therefore invited for papers dealing with any aspect of Islam, esotericism, and practice. ​Practice includes, but is not limited to, ritual, initiation, textual practices, preparation and consumption of food and beverages, amulets, and techniques for generating exceptional states of consciousness. ENSIE will then assemble proposals for papers into proposals for sessions, and forward these to ESSWE. Each session will have four papers. 


ENSIE will also be holding an additional ENSIE workshop with round-tables purely for ENSIE members in conjunction with the ESSWE conference, on Sunday 25 June, in Malmø.  


Proposals for ESSWE panels and/or the ENSIE workshop should be submitted by 9 December 2022 to It is possible to participate in both events, but only one paper may be submitted. Please include name, title, and institutional affiliation, and then 3-5 keywords and, for paper proposals, a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words. 


For further information, visit and

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Change to status of ENSIE

When the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE) was established in 2016, it was a network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). Since then, ENSIE has worked well as a scholarly network, not only within ESSWE but also independently, with three ENSIE conferences and one book. 

The ENSIE management committee has now decided, in agreement with ESSWE, that it would be better for ENSIE to proceed as an independent scholarly association, still affiliated to ESSWE, but independent of it. In some ways this means that nothing will change--ENSIE will continue doing what it has been doing since 2016. However, the change will also allow us to expand our activities, and we are about to launch an expanded blog/newsletter and an additional ENSIE workshop in years where there is not an ENSIE conference. It also changes financial arrangements. Previously, there has been no fee for being a member of ENSIE, because it was assumed that members of ENSIE were also members of ESSWE who had paid the ESSWE fee. In fact, many ENSIE members were never actually members of ESSWE, and that is now no longer required. Instead, we are asking ENSIE members in future to pay a small annual fee (€10/£10/200TRY/US$10) to ENSIE to pay for administration costs and support ENSIE initiatives. This fee will apply from January 1, 2023. As a member of ENSIE, you will be able to attend ENSIE conferences and workshops, receive the new ENSIE Newsletter, and vote for members of the ENSIE board in future years.

If you are already registered as an ENSIE member, all you need to do is pay the fee to one of the following accounts before 31 December 2022. If you are unable to pay the fee because you reside in a country that is cut off from the international financial system by sanctions, please email the treasurer at and we will offer you free membership. If you do not wish to pay the fee, please email the secretary at so that we can remove you from the membership list and avoid sending you emails requesting payment in future. If you are unable to pay the fee for some other reason but wish to remain a member, please also email the secretary.

Payments may be sent to:

In euros, ENSIE, IBAN BE07 9674 3342 5466, BIC TRWIBEB1XXX (address: Bank Wise, Avenue Louise 54, Brussels1050, Belgium),

in pounds sterling: ENSIE, sort code 23-14-70, account number 85764464 (address: Bank Wise, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ).

in Turkish Lira, ENSIE, IBAN TR02 0010 3000 0000 0049 4253 80, no other details required.

in US dollars: ENSIE, routing number 084009519, account number 9600009305579785 (address: Wise US Inc, 30 W. 26th Street, Sixth Floor, New York NY 10010).

For other currencies, please contact the treasurer,

Friday, 7 October 2022

Call for articles on the contemporary uses of Ibn ʿArabī

Call for Articles – Special Issue – Religiographies, Vol. 3, n. 1, May 2024: "Reviving Muḥyiddīn: The contemporary uses of Ibn ʿArabī’s thought and the reinventions of Islam."

The intellectual and spiritual legacy of Muḥyiddīn Ibn ʿArabī (d. 1240) has been the object of multiple socio-political and religious interpretations. The fact that his thought is at the same time intensely innovative and deeply rooted in the tradition may explain in part why it had such a lasting influence, both among followers and detractors (Knysh 1999). 

In the West, Ibn ʿArabī appears today as a central reference in contemporary debates concerning Islamic spirituality, and his thought is one of the main sources of inspiration of the proponents of various creative adaptations of traditional Sufism in contemporary societies, ranging from the most conservative forms to openly New Age and syncretic movements (Morris 1986; Sedgwick 2017). 

This special issue aims to explore and analyze contemporary cases of the use of Ibn ʿArabī’s thought, and to shed light on the motivations, dynamics and methods underlying its interpretations. 

We invite scholars from all backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences, as well as social and political actors and artists, to propose contributions focusing on Ibn ʿArabī in connection with one or more of the following topics: 

  • Sufism, Sufi institutions, and the spiritual path 
  • Theology, metaphysics, and epistemology 
  • Anthropology, cosmology, and world vision 
  • Normativity, Islamic law, and rituals  
  • Ethics, ecology, and politics 
  • Social issues, gender, and diversity 
  • Art, media, and creativity 

Download the call – Reviving Muḥyiddīn 

Guest Editors:

  • Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University)
  • Gregory Vandamme (Université catholique de Louvain

Deadline: 5th of January 2023

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.