International Theosophical History Conference
We live in a time in which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. A steady growing number of people from all around the globe directly participate in this by travelling to faraway destinations, meeting people from various cultures, by using the various media platforms, which the internet has made available, or by following global news. This interconnectedness does, however, not only take place by our current population becoming geographically closer but also manifests itself through time. Historical awareness also brings the past into the present. Increased historical study of the great variety of cultures from around the world and their histories thus facilitate a global interconnectedness through time. Global history, as a relatively new approach to world history, for example, seeks to cultivate the richness of past, present, and cross-cultural perspectives by taking the globe as the point of departure.
The Theosophical Society (est. 1875) and the many groups, events, and cultural dynamics that make up the broader “Theosophical Movement” has almost from the outset been globally oriented.
Primary spokespersons of the Theosophical Society have for example been keen on combining ideas and concepts from a wide variety of cultures and from different time-periods. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s works are for example figuratively speaking tightly woven textual carpets build of numerous references to ancient Egypt, India, Tibet, China, Greece and to traditions such as Platonism, Hermetism, spiritualism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Modern philosophers and scholars of various scientific disciplines are also a part of this texture. There is interconnectedness and an attempt to synthesize the global cultural heritage in Theosophy. In a certain respect, Theosophy is a reflection of global history and modern globalism.
This global tendency of the Theosophical Society also has a more contemporary geographical dimension. Blavatsky (born in Russia) was by nature already a world-citizen having travelled extensively and having become an American citizen. The global outlook was a part of her awareness and together with Henry S. Olcott, she singled out India as the right place for the headquarters of the society. Due to this early global outlook, the Theosophical Society has members from many different countries and thereby now has a global history. The Theosophical Society has likewise influenced global politics, as is well known in relation to the independence of India and has been instrumental as a carrier of cultural elements both from Europe and America to Asia as well as from Asia to Europe and America.
This thematic focus on the Theosophical movement in relation to globalism, therefore, welcomes a global array of papers from an equally broad array of disciplines. Some theoretical keywords are interconnections, innovations, differences, comparisons, ideologies and entanglements; and some of the central questions that we want to address are:
Karl Baier (Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Austria).
Any person may submit a paper to the conference committee on any aspect of the subject. Summaries of no more than 200 words and 50 words biography should be sent to the secretary of the ITHC Erica Georgiades via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All paper proposals will be evaluated by our scientific conference committee prior to acceptance.
Suggested presentation time 30 minutes including questions and answers.
• Deadline for submission of a paper: 1 June 2021
• Notification of acceptance: 1 July 2021
The conference is free of charge and everyone is welcome.
The online registration to the 2021 ITHC will open when the programme is released. The conference zoom link will be announced alongside the programme. For more information, please send an email to email@example.com
Online – Zoom Platform.
Date 8-10 October 2021
The conference schedule will be based on different time zones. Specifics will be available when the full programme is released.
• Conference Chair: Prof. Tim Rudbøg (Associate professor, Science of Religion, director of the Copenhagen Centre for the Study of Theosophy and Esotericism, University of Copenhagen)
• Prof. James Santucci (Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at California State University, Fullerton.)
• Prof. Karl Baier. Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Austria
• Erica Georgiades (MRes Religious Experience Cand, University of Wales Trinity Saint David; PgD Merit Ancient Religions UWTSD; BA, Hons, Philosophy and Psychological Studies OU)..