Esotericism

Esotericism or Esoterism signifies the holding of esoteric opinions or beliefs, that is, ideas preserved or understood by a small group or those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest. The term derives from the Greek ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos), a compound of ἔσω (esô): "within", thus "pertaining to the more inward", mystic. Its antonym is "exoteric".

The term can also refer to the academic study of esoteric religious movements and philosophies, or more generally of alternative or marginalized religious movements or philosophies whose proponents distinguish their beliefs, practices, and experiences from mainstream institutionalized traditions.

Examples of esoteric religious movements and philosophies include Alchemy, Astrology, Anthroposophy, early Christian mysticism, Gnosticism, Magic, Mesmerism, Rosicrucianism, Taoism, Swedenborgianism, Spiritualism, the Alawites, the Christian Theosophy of Jacob Böhme and his followers, and the Theosophical currents associated with Helena Blavatsky and her followers. There are competing views regarding the common traits uniting these currents, not all of which involve "inwardness", mystery, occultism or secrecy as a crucial trait.

Read more about Esotericism:  Etymology, Definition, History, Methodology

Other articles related to "esotericism":

Western Esotericism Studies - Academic Legitimacy
... Degrees in Western Esotericism usually focus on the history of esotericist currents ... The aim of research in Western Esotericism is to discover the interactions between esotericism and society at large and to study the history and spread of esotericist currents and movements ...
Esotericism - Methodology
... for research and teaching in the field of Western Esotericism ... of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism ... to the newly emerging academic field of esotericism.” Secondly, Hanegraaff follows a distinction between an “emic” and an “etic” approach to ...
Antoine Faivre
... in Reims June 5, 1934) is a prominent French scholar of Western esotericism ... Faivre was the first to define Western esotericism as a field of interdisciplinary academic study ... an honorary member, of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism ...
Theosophy - Common Characteristics
... a specific flow of thought, current, stream or tradition within the modern study of esotericism ... He discovered that the first four characteristics of esotericism are always present, while the latter two are sometimes present ... Along with these six characteristics of esotericism, he identified three characteristics of theosophy ...
Sir John Woodroffe - Mahānirvāṇatantraṃ
... of this magical literary identity and contextualizes by making reference to western esotericism, Holy grail, quest, occult secrets, initiations and ... future King") a narrative, motif and archetype that pervades the two traditions of entwined esotericism, East and West ...