The Traditions of Western Esotericism in Polish Research – conference report

On May, 30-31 Cracow’s Collegium Broscianum hosted a conference dedicated to the state of research in Western Esotericism in Poland. Esoteric traditions in Europe existed alongside the orthodoxy, making expression of what was outside the boundaries of official doctrines. Their roots reach to the antiquity, the birth of Gnostic worldview. Presence of these currents in contemporary culture shows that, looking for answers for crucial life questions, people eagerly reach outside the boundaries created by the established traditions.

The aforementioned conference in Cracow was, so to speak, probing the field. It showed, that research in Western Esotericism isn’t just a domain of a handful of „initiates” (pun intended), but are a strong and inspiring current in Polish science. This meeting proved a wonderful opportunity not only for academic exchange of thought, but also to share views, reflections and doubts. Especially inspiring were panel discussions, sometimes very vigorous. The speakers presented a wide range of subjects, from the very methodology of the subject, through its historical boundaries to research in contemporary esoteric thought. Equally interesting were presentations concerning the presence of esoteric themes in literature, both foreign and Polish, and also demonological motiffs.

Second day of the conference ended with the General Meeting of Polish Association for the Study of Western Esotericism, during which new Board and Council Members were elected. The Meeting also accepted the plan for next year’s works and meetings. The success of this conference proves that the research in esoteric traditions may be a vital field in the humanities, since it broadens our anthropological knowledge with different modes of human existence.