Magic And Mysticism / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.77
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 9%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $20.77   
  • New (7) from $20.77   
  • Used (2) from $56.99   


Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteric Traditions is a concise overview, from antiquity to the present, of all the major Western religious esoteric movements. Topics covered include alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and many more. Magic and Mysticism is ideal for students of Mysticism and New Religious Movements, as well as for general readers of Metaphysics and Esoterica.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

David Appelbaum
Arthur Versluis’ prolific writings on Western esoteric thought continue to shape and define the field. His current work, Magic and Mysticism, provides lucid insight into a scarcely known tradition that continues to exert a tremendous influence on the way we see our lives, and beyond. The breadth of his coverage alone is a reason to read the book.
Elliot R. Wolfson
Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteric Traditions is an ambitious recasting of the gnostic insight that has inspired and influenced countless writers through the ages. Arthur Versluis, one of the generation's more prolific scholars of esotericism, has produced a volume that is both comprehensive in scope and exacting in detail. Moving beyond previous studies that separate mysticism and magic, Versluis argues that these two products of human imagination, which are not entirely reducible to rational analysis, need to be juxtaposed, as they help us define the larger spectrum of the esoteric. I have little doubt that this work will be of great interest to specialist and non-specialist alike, to historians of mysticism and esotericism in particular, and to students of comparative religion more generally.
Alison Coudert
Persecuted throughout the ages by orthodox Christians and marginalized by scholars until recently, esotericism and esotericists have finally come into their own. In this succinct, deftly organized, and lucidly written account, Arthur Versluis presents a history of western esotericism from antiquity to the present. His book will appeal to anyone interested in the 'third' or 'gnostic' component of western thought, which provided and still provides a middle path between faith and reason for those striving for spiritual enlightenment.
Richard Smoley
A remarkably clear, erudite, and concise guide to a field that has been far too long neglected. Versluis manages to compress an enormous amount of research and insight into a short space. This will be an extremely useful tool for scholars and seekers alike.
Mark Stavish
Versluis brings a delightful balance between scholarly attention to detail and a warm understanding of the subject and the characters involved. Magic and Mysticism is joy to read and ideal for anyone who wants to understand the importance of esotericism on Western culture and why it is still important to us today.
Jay Kinney
Arthur Versluis has written a wonderfully concise overview and analysis of Western esotericism. The scholarship is wide-ranging and up to date, yet the tone is quite readable and not overly academic.
Lee Irwin
This newest work by an outstanding American scholar of Western Esotericism offers an integrative interpretation of three critical themes: gnosis, magic, and mysticism. Surveying the intertwined histories of these themes, the author provides a multitude of insights on the creative interactions between various historical schools, individuals, and historic periods, all set against the social dynamics of anti-esoteric and heresiophobic rhetoric. This is a crucial, transdiciplinary review that brings new definition and nuance to the study of Western Esotericism. In addition, the section on Theosophy give new scope and depths to that topic and shows its formative influence on contemporary esoteric thought and practice. Highly recommended.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742558366
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 188
  • Sales rank: 396,187
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Versluis is the founder and president of the Association for the Study of Esotericism and editor of the journal Esoterica. He is the author of many books and is a professor of writing, rhetoric, and American cultures at Michigan State University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Antiquity Chapter 3 Late Antiquity: Hermetism, Gnosticism, Jewish Mysticism, Christian Gnosis Chapter 4 The Medieval Era Chapter 5 The Renaissance Chapter 6 Early Modern Esoteric Currents Chapter 7 Modern Christian Theosophy Chapter 8 Western Esotericism Today Chapter 9 Conclusion

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
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

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