In this Book

  • Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism
  • Book
  • Wouter J. Hanegraaff
  • 2011
  • Published by: Fordham University Press
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summary
From rumors about gnostic orgies in antiquity to the explicit erotic symbolism of alchemical texts, from the subtly coded eroticism of medieval kabbalah to the sexual magic practiced by contemporary occultists and countercultural translations of Asian Tantra, the history of Western esotericism is rich in references to the domains of eros and sexuality. This volume, which brings together an impressive array of top-level specialists, is the first to analyze the eroticism of the esoteric without sensationalism or cheap generalizations, but on the basis of expert scholarship and attention to textual and historical detail. While there are few domains where the imagination may so easily run wild, the various contributions seek to distinguish fact from fiction-only to find that historical realities are sometimes even stranger than the fantasies. In doing so, they reveal the outlines of a largely unknown history spanning more than twenty centuries.

Table of Contents

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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Things We Do Not Talk About
  2. pp. ix-xxii
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  1. Sexuality and Sexual Symbolism in Hermetic and Gnostic Thought and Practice (Second - Fourth Centuries)
  2. pp. 1-23
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  1. Conceiving Spirits: The Mustery of Valentinian Sex
  2. pp. 24-48
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  1. Sexual Intercourse Between Humans and Demons in the Islamic Tradition
  2. pp. 49-64
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  1. Murmuring Secrets: Eroticism and Esotericism in Medieval Kabbalah
  2. pp. 65-110
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  1. Ta'Anug: Erotic Delights from Kabbalah to Hasidism
  2. pp. 111-152
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  1. Complications of Eros: The Song of Songs in John of Morigny's Liber Florum Celestis Doctrine
  2. pp. 153-174
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  1. Under the Mantle of Love: The Mystical Eroticisms of Marsilio Ficino and Giordano Bruno*
  2. pp. 175-208
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  1. Revealing Analogies: The Descriptive and Deceptive Roles of Sexuality and Gender in Latin Alchemy
  2. pp. 209-230
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  1. Probing Women and Penetrating Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe
  2. pp. 231-280
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  1. Sensuous Relation with Sophia in Christian Theosophy
  2. pp. 281-308
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  1. Deadly Dates: Bodies and Sex in Spiritualist Heavens
  2. pp. 309-332
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  1. Sexual Mysticisms in Nineteenth Century America: John Humphrey Noyes, Thomas Lake Harris, and Alice Bunker Stockham
  2. pp. 333-354
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  1. Paschal Beverly Randolph and Sexual Magic
  2. pp. 355-368
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  1. The Knight of Spermatophagy: Penetrating the Mysteries of Georges le Clément de Saint-Marcq*
  2. pp. 369-400
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  1. The Yoga of Sex: Tantra, Orientalism, and Sex Magic in the Ordo Templi Orientis
  2. pp. 401-444
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  1. The Theory and Practice of Sexual Magic, Exemplified by Four Magical Groups in the Early Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 445-478
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  1. The Roar of Awakening: The Eros of Esalen and the Western Transmission of Tantra
  2. pp. 479-520
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  1. List of Contributors
  2. pp. 521-528
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  1. Index of Persons
  2. pp. 529-539
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  1. Index of Subjects
  2. pp. 540-546
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