Since 1986

Call for Papers

Nature, Theosophy and Related Esoteric Currents

16-17-18 November 2024 Ascona, Switzerland. 


Nature has always been a point of interest for humanity, but in recent times, it has become even more significant due to environmental issues, most notably climate change. Theosophy places significant emphasis on the importance of nature, viewing it as not only an expression of the one life, but also as containing spiritual and hidden dimensions, encouraging individuals to foster a deep connection with the natural world and to seek out the spiritual truths that can be found within it. In agreement with other esoteric currents such as hermeticism and the occult arts, Theosophical teachings maintain a strong focus on nature as a living entity and the idea that all life is interconnected. Life is embodied in numerous spiritual beings, energies, natural kingdoms and a divine will that pushes towards harmonious order and beauty.  Furthermore, as with other esoteric currents, the Theosophical Society emphasizes the importance of the study of the three-way relation between humanity, nature, and the divine as a means for humanity to live in harmony with the greater whole.

Outlines of theosophical cosmology, such as the one given in H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine (1888), were in fact presented as an ancient key to understand the universe and our place in it. Unlike the cosmology of many religions and of science, every entity is perceived not only as living and conscious but also as descending from the spiritual and evolving through the various planes of existence encompassing matter and spirit. 

This conference invites reflection and research on understanding the particular views and practices cultivated by the Theosophical and other esoteric currents concerning nature.  It also welcomes studies that are either in contrast to or in alignment with dominant views and narratives formulated by traditional religions, philosophies, or sciences.

Other issues relating to nature and previously addressed by philosophers are also welcome, including issues that are of special interest today, including the following questions:

  • Should nature be left untouched or shaped by human intervention?
  • Are humans separate from and superior to nature?
  • Is nature conscious and alive?
  • What relations exist between humans, animals, plants and nature in general?

Reflections and discussions on the theme of nature are both relevant and urgent today, given the current state of the planet.  Furthermore, studying nature reveals more clearly those genealogies of knowledge about spiritual understandings of nature that have been cultivated from the birth of the Theosophical Society and certainly throughout history.

Themes include:

Spiritual cosmology

-Living nature

-Human nature

-The relations between the kingdoms of nature, including the elemental and deva kingdoms

-Animation, animism


-Non-human animals and personhood; non-human animals, consciousness and soul; animals rights.

-Ecology, Deep Ecology, climate change

-Vegetarianism, veganism

-Practices to align with or overcome nature, including teaching and initiation


-Technology and nature

-Gardens and parks, Theosophical campuses

-Sacred places, sacred geometry

-Artistic expressions related to nature, visual art, music, literature, architecture

All interested parties are welcome to be creative and to submit proposals not listed above, but they must be related to the general theme of the Conference.  

Key-Note Speaker:

Professor Kocku von Stuckrad

Paper Proposals

Any person may submit a paper on any aspect of the subject to the conference committee. To be considered as a presenter at the Conference, please submit an abstract of 300/400 words between 700–1000  with a 50-word biography to Erica Georgiades, via email ( A limited number of online-only proposals can be accepted, so please indicate if your proposal is ‘online-only’. The conference committee will evaluate all paper proposals prior to acceptance. 


The purposes of holding the International Theosophical History Conferences are practical in nature: to maintain interest in the subject, to assess the status of research in the area, and finally to provide material for publication within The Theosophical History journal. If the presenter wishes to publish in the journal, we advise that the style of the final text and endnotes conform to Chicago Style and that a digital submission be sent for review to the editor (Tim Rudbøg in Word format no later than two months following the Conference. To visit the website of the Theosophical History journal, please


Suggested presentation time: 20 minutes + 10 minutes for questions & answers.

Important Dates 

Deadline for submission of a paper: 1 May 20 August 2024
Notification of acceptance: 20 May 1 of September 2024

Registration & Fees

The registration fee for students per day is 22 Euros.
Registration Fee per day: 30 Euros.

Registration to the 2024 ITHC will open after the programme is released. 

Accommodation costs from 16 to 18 November 2024.

To book, please contact directly the hotel

En Suite Single room (full board) CHF 220.- for the entire stay.
En Suite Double room (full board) CHF 212.- per person for the entire stay.
(The city taxes, CHF 4.50/person/day, not included in the price)

Meals are vegan full board without beverages. All the rooms have a bathroom with shower or bath, minibar, television, safe, telephone, radio and WiFi connection. The south-facing rooms have a balcony and lake view.

For information about the hotel, please visit this link


To arrive in Ascona, we suggest you travel to Milano.or Zurich.


From Zurich, take a train to Locarno. The train station is located below Terminal B. A short train ride connects to Zurich Main Station, where you may need to change for a train heading South to Locarno.


Train information from Malpensa to Locarno (c. 37,47 euros – second class). Time 2h 19 min approx.
-Take a train from Milano Malpensa (MPX, Terminal 1) to Lugano (S 50 – 1h 35 min)

-Change train from Lugano to Locarno (RE80 – regional train – 33 min)

You can buy your return tickets online. (November tickets may not be listed yet!!)

Search return tickets from Malpensa Aeroporto to Locarno, CH. Most trains leave from MPX – T1 every hour: 08:19, 09:19, etc. Seats are not allocated, so you can usually catch an earlier or later train if necessary.

(Check if you are flying into Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, and view train details to check which terminal the train departs from when purchasing your ticket. There is a free shuttle service between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 departing every 20 minutes, journey 8 minutes).


Please contact the Reception at Hotel Ascona in advance to book a shuttle to pick you up from Locarno station (between 07:30 and 16:00), or take a taxi directly from Locarno to Hotel Ascona (approx. 3 km, cost approx. CHF 30).

Hotel Ascona: Via Signor in Croce 1, Ascona, Switzerland. Tel: +41 9178 51515, e-mail:

Conference Committee 

– Conference Chair: Prof. Tim Rudbøg (Associate professor, Science of Religion, chair and 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)

– Dr. Olivia Cejvan (Senior lecturer Linnæus University, Sweden)

– Bjarke Stanley Nielsen (PhD candidate in Study of Religions, University of Copenhagen, Denmark);

– Erica Georgiades (MRes Religious Experience, University of Wales Trinity Saint David).