Esotericism, Art, and Imagination [NOOK Book]


Esotericism, Art, and Imagination is a uniquely wide-ranging collection of articles by scholars in the field of Western esotericism, focusing on themes of poetry, drama, film, literature, and art. Included here are articles illuminating such diverse topics as the Gnostic fiction of Philip Pullman, alchemical images, the Tarot, surrealism, esoteric films, and much more. This collection reveals the richness and complexity of the intersections between esotericism, artistic creators, and their works. Authors include ...
See more details below
Esotericism, Art, and Imagination

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.49 price
(Save 40%)$20.95 List Price


Esotericism, Art, and Imagination is a uniquely wide-ranging collection of articles by scholars in the field of Western esotericism, focusing on themes of poetry, drama, film, literature, and art. Included here are articles illuminating such diverse topics as the Gnostic fiction of Philip Pullman, alchemical images, the Tarot, surrealism, esoteric films, and much more. This collection reveals the richness and complexity of the intersections between esotericism, artistic creators, and their works. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Cathy Gutierrez, M. E. Warlick, Eric Wilson, and many others. The first in a series of volumes on Western esotericism, this book emerged from international academic conferences held by the Association for the Study of Esotericism (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870139635
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,347,692
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Arthur Versluis is Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities at Michigan State University. He is author of numerous books, including Magic and Mysticism, The New Inquisitions, Restoring Paradise, The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance, Wisdom’s Children, and American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions. He has published articles on topics ranging from comparative federalism to Christian esotericism. Editor of the journal Esoterica, he is also co-editor of JSR: Journal for the Study of Radicalism.

Lee Irwin is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He has studied world religions intensively, with an emphasis on Native American religions, Western esotericism, transpersonal psychology, and contemporary spirituality—particularly in the area of dreams and visions. Among his many published works are: The Dream Seekers: Native American Visionary Traditions of the Great Plains, Visionary Worlds, The Making and Unmaking of Reality, Awakening to Spirit: On Life, Illumination, and Being, and Alchemy of Soul: The Art of Spiritual Transformation.

John D. Richards is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at West Virginia State University.

Melinda Weinstein is Associate Professor and Chair of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication at Lawrence Technological University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction John Richards Richards, John Arthur Versluis Versluis, Arthur

Esoteric Theaters

Theater and Initiation: Euripides' Bacchae Melinda Weinstein Weinstein, Melinda 5

Esoteric Cinema Eric G. Wilson Wilson, Eric G. 23

Hex and the City: Texts for Occult Performance in Late Capitalism Lance Gharavi Gharavi, Lance 47

Esoteric Art

Philosophic Mercury: Evolution of the Alchemical Feminine M. E. Warlick Warlick, M. E. 61

Le Jeu de Marseille: The Breton Tarot as Jeu de Hasard Giovanna Costantini Costantini, Giovanna 91

The Esoteric Art of Cecil Collins Arthur Versluis Versluis, Arthur 113

Esoteric Poetry

William Blake, George Cumberland, and the Visionary Art of Exotic Erotica Marsha Keith Schuchard Schuchard, Marsha Keith 125

Vladimir Solovyov's Poems of Wisdom, Mystery, and Love George M. Young Young, George M. 145

Mirror, Mask and Anti-self: Forces of Literary Creation in Dion Fortune and W. B. Yeats Claire Fanger Fanger, Claire 161

Esoteric Fiction

Esotericism without Religion: Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Joscelyn Godwin Godwin, Joscelyn 185

"Knowing In Terms of Togetherness": D. H. Lawrence and Esotericism Glenn Alexander Magee Magee, Glenn Alexander 203

Faux Catholic: The History of a Gothic Subgenre from Monk Lewis to Dan Brown Victoria Nelson Nelson, Victoria 225

Esoteric Photography

Dark Materials: The Chemical Wedding of Photography and the Esoteric Chris Webster Webster, Chris 251

A Mirror with a Memory: Spirit Photography and the Future of Ghosts Cathy Gutierrez Gutierrez, Cathy 267

Esoteric Gardens

Enlightenment and Freemasonry in Eighteenth-century Venice: The Hermeticism ofQuerini's Garden at Altichiero Patrizia Granziera Granziera, Patrizia 281

Advent Garden and the Waldorf Imagination: Esotericism, Ritual, and Childhood Sarah W. Whedon Whedon, Sarah W. 303

About the Editors 319

Index 321

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    varied ways Western art reflects eroticism through the ages

    Sixteen essays disclose esotericism in the range of Western art, from theater to fiction to the visual arts and others. The four editors are from the fields of arts and letters, religious studies, sociology and philosophy, and humanities. The fields of the essays' authors are not given, and one assumes they are from the same or similar interdisciplinary fields. The earliest work of art is the play Bacchae by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. Though esotericism in Western culture preceded the play in the Greek mystery religions. The essays do not treat general themes though. They bring out the esotericism in individual works of art or esoteric beliefs in particular artists. Among the diverse artists are Blake, H. P. Lovecraft, Homer, and Dan Brown and the psychologists Freud and Jung. Philip Pullman is a contemporary novelist of popular fiction based on the esoteric notion that '[b]efore our present world was created, some of the [already existing] angels, followers of wisdom, rebelled against the [duplicitous] Authority and were cast down...[but] continued to work for his downfall and for the opening of the minds he sought to close.' This is not simply an idea for antagonistic, epic fiction, but a version of the belief held by some esoterics of an anthropomorphic reality exerting its will or nature on the cosmos, including individual lives with the corresponding belief that the movement to know this reality as much as this is possible is the substance of individual lives. The modernist arts of photography and film are covered too. These are tied in with older esoteric beliefs as appropriate. Some saw these art forms as modern-day means of expressing esoteric ideas which believers of previous eras would have expressed by incantation or ritual. 'From its inception the medium of photography was quickly associated with the genesis of the extension of self, a fragment of the soul, captured in the silver [which developed the negative].' The Matrix, The Truman Show, Dark City, and Pleasantville are seen as movies revealing 'a recent obsession with gnosis,' the view that the experienced, lived, world is a 'corrupt copy of a spiritual plenitude of which the ignorant maker is not aware.' Robocop and Blade Runner are two 'cabalistic' films. The Harry Potter series, with American Beauty and Agnes of God, have alchemical aspects. One surprising subject is certain gardens which are related as scenes, or contexts, of initiation into esoteric beliefs. This is the first volume in the publisher's planned Studies in Esotericism Series. Its articles 'indicate the range and depth of this emerging field, and show how it is intimately linked to the humanities tradition that is itself also distinctively Western.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)