This website describes an AHRC-funded research project assessing “the rise of spiritualism in contemporary technological culture through the lens of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”. The project will consider the historical and contemporary relationship between spiritualism, technology and culture, exploring the potential of spiritualism to “be witness of” a particular time. To this end the project intends to develop a network between the University of Westminister’s English and Photography department; other academics with literary, cultural, historical and political interests; visual artists and curators; archivists and specialists in the field (through partnering the Society for Psychical Research). The website gives further details about the project’s intended activities, including a seminar programme in 2008/2009.
The website of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) provides information about the organisation, which describes itself as 'an international network of associations of scholars working in the field of new religious movements'. Covering themes such as New Age religions, cults, 'brainwashing', fundamentalism and radical sects the site is an attempt to understand the phenomenon of non-traditional religions, and includes many articles on their roles in recent international events. Osama Bin Laden is, therefore, the subject of a number of papers that are available at the CESNUR site, in a section on Islamic fundamentalism. However, the site also has an enormous amount of material that extends to early Christian heresies and radical Christianity at the time of the Reformation, for example. Also featured is information about the network; an online catalogue of the centre's library; many electronic texts and case studies relating to new and historically 'eccentric' religious movements; details of conferences; and book reviews. This is not always the easiest of sites to navigate, but there is plenty of useful material for those willing to spend a few minutes browsing through what's on offer. The site may be of interest to theologians, political theorists and sociologists.
'Concerning the Spiritual in Photography' is a website that accompanied a 2004 gallery exhibition at the Photographic Resource Center of Boston University. The exhibition consisted of the work of contemporary photographers alongside "historical spirit photographs and ephemera from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin." The website contains an introduction by the curator, an essay "Concerning the Spiritual in Photography", and two background texts on "Spiritualism and Spirit Photography" and "The Medium and the Magician". Each of the eight artists contributes a short statement and one image. The website has a set of external Web links.
The website "The Damned Art" describes an exhibition of books related to the history of witchcraft and demonology, originally displayed in 1985 at the University of Glasgow. The collection of books was drawn predominantly from the Ferguson Collection, named after the Regius Professor of Chemistry, John Ferguson (1837-1916), which features books on chemistry, alchemy, astrology, Cabbalism, Rosicrucians, magic, and witchcraft. The website lists the editions of the books displayed and provides brief comments on the author and the work. Images from some of the books are also included. This is an invaluable collection for anyone carrying out primary research on demonology or the intellectual, social and cultural history of the witchcraft persecutions of the early modern period. The works are divided into those on England, New England, Scotland, and the Continent. There are five pre-1500 copies of the Malleus Maleficarum, and classic works by authors such as Molitor, Nider, Weyer, Bodin, Rémy, Del Rio, Scott, and Gifford. However the collection also has more unusual and rare editions such as Cassini's "Questione de le Strie", possibly one of three extant copies. The website is a good bibliographical reference and introduction to the literature of what is now being termed "witchcraft theory" rather than demonology. However, users should bear in mind that as this exhibition dates from 1985, the section on further reading does not take into account more recent developments in the historiography of witchcraft scholarship.
'Demonic Texts and Textual Demons: the demonic tradition, the self, and popular fiction' is a free online ebook, by Frans Mayra. Mayra is Professor of Hypermedia at the University of Tampere in Finland. This book was originally published in 1999 by the Tampere University Press. It is presented online in English, and the Web page for it is cleanly and elegantly designed. Individual chapters are in PDF format. Chapter titles include: 'The Ancestry of the Demonic'; 'Demons of Horror: Intimations of an Inner Alien'; 'Mothering a Demon: Rosemary’s Baby'; 'The Inarticulate Body: Demonic Conflicts in The Exorcist'; and 'Good at Being Evil: the Demons of The Vampire Chronicles', among others.
Esoterica (ISSN: 1534-1224) is a freely available, online peer reviewed electronic journal which publishes full length studies, articles, and reviews relating to the study of Western esotericism, including: alchemy; astrology; Gnosticism; gnosis; magic; mysticism; and Rosicrucianism, together with their effects on art history, history, literature, and politics. Topics of past articles have included: freemason symbolism; William Blake; Aleister Crowley; magic and cyberspace; western esotericism and eastern spirituality; and an edition of the Prologue to the Liber Visionum of John of Morigny. Older articles are available in HTML format, while the contents of newer issues can be downloaded as PDF documents (unfortunately, however, it does not always seem to be possible to download an individual article, which may inconvenience those with a slower Internet connection). The journal is published by the College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University. The website also offers an image library which includes engravings from Jacob Böhme's Theosophia Revelata (1730), details of an email announcement list, and links to other online resources for research and teaching.
'GOLEM: Journal of Religion and Monsters' is a full-text peer-reviewed ejournal. At February 2009 there are two issues online, featuring articles such as: 'Smiting Goliath: Giants as Monsters in the Ancient Near East'; 'Religious Themes of George Romero’s Zombie Movies'; and 'The Doomsday Body, or Dr. Strangelove as Disabled Cyborg', among others. The journal also contains a section titled "Gremlin", for student work, and invites submissions for "Monster Tracks", a section that allows fans to... "contribute a succinct reflection on a monster, without writing an entire article". All articles are offered as PDF files. The journal is edited from Cape Breton University, and the website contains full details of the editorial board and submissions procedure.
This very detailed and well-presented website is "intended to be a resource of information...about the extraordinary personality that was Harry Price (1881-1948) - psychic researcher, bibliophile, numismatist, conjuror, engineer & photographer - essentially the father of modern popular ghost-hunting...". It is constructed by Paul Adams (1966- ) and Eddie Brazil (1956- ) (authors of 'The Borley Rectory Companion' Stroud: The History Press, 2009) and contains an introduction to Price by the parapsychologist, author, and President of the Ghost Club, Peter Underwood (1923- ). The biography section includes articles by Adams; Brazil; the author Colin Wilson (1931- ); and others. A very detailed timeline is added and a gallery of photographs. Concise biographies of people associated with Price are included in the 'Profiles' section. Details of famous cases are provided and there is a section devoted to Borley Rectory ('The most haunted house in England'), a case that occupied Price for the last nineteen years of his life. There is also a bibliography of books and articles by; books and articles about; related publications of interest; and access to an online library of Price's papers and articles. A page of links is provided and a 'News Blog' keeps the whole site up-to-date.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
The home page for the J. R. Ritman Library (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica) provides information about the library's collections and activities. This private library (unaffiliated to any university or other institution, but freely accessible to the public) houses materials relating to the Hermetic-Christian tradition (Hermeticism is a set of religious and philosophical beliefs based on a body of writings attributed to the mythical philosopher and alchemist, Hermes Trismegistus). Topics covered include: alchemy; mysticism; Rosicrucianism; and Hermetic philosophy. It is possible to search the library's catalogue online, and a digitisation project is underway, although at time of review the works were not yet available via the website. The site also offers a series of articles on subjects relating to the Hermetic tradition, a bibliography of other relevant works, and access to the library's online exhibitions.
This is the homepage of the official journal for the Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies Association (ASANAS)(ISSN: 1750-3205). It contains the full-text of all materials published since 2005. These include: articles; research notes; conference reports; and book reviews. Among the topics featured are: 'Modern Paganism in the UK'; Towards a Sacramental Understanding of Dextromethorphan'; 'Spiritual Direction, Life Coaching and Culture'; 'New Age in South Korea'; 'New Age Thinking in the Light of CG Jung's Theory of Synchronicity'; and 'The Rise of Mind-Body-Spirit Publishing: Reflecting or Creating Spiritual Trends?'. The journal is published once a year by Kempress Ltd. It is edited by Dr Marion Bowman of the Open University and Dr Daren Kemp of Kempress Ltd.
The Mystica.org is the home of two electronic encyclopaedias maintained by Alan Hefner. The first, Mystica, covers a wide array of occult and mystical topics, while the other, Mythical-Folk, deals with mythology and folklore. At the time of writing, these two resources comprise well over a thousand articles. The entries range from the brief to the substantial, and all contain references to sources and cross-references to other entries where appropriate. Some of the more robust topics include divination, witchcraft, magic, ancient sects, and the paranormal. Public submission of new entries (which are vetted by the editorial board) is encouraged. The encyclopaedias may be of particular use to those studying New Age and occult religious movements in the modern western society, or the history of folk belief.
Science, the Occult, and Religion is part of the online facsimile archiving project at the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI) of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. It offers a small collection of digital facsimiles of printed texts and manuscripts from the 15th to the 18th centuries, relating to natural philosophy, magic, alchemy, and religion. The works reproduced include: Robert Boyle's 'Sceptical Chymist' (1661); Joseph Priestley's 'Disquisitions Relating to Matter and Spirit' (1777); Samuel Clarke's 'Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God' (1706); and Elias Ashmole's 'Theatricum Chemicum Britannicum' (1652). The scanned images are finely detailed and carefully produced; background information is provided where appropriate, although there are no transcripts. Access is also provided to the Edgar Fahs Smith Collection of online scientific images. Unfortunately, this part of the SCETI site is no longer being maintained, but it nevertheless remains a useful resource.
The home page of the Theosophical Society provides information about this organisation. Theosophy (from the Greek 'theos' (god) and 'sophia' (wisdom)) is a philosophy based on the concept of the essential oneness of all life, and the Theosophical Society states that its primary purpose is to demonstrate this oneness. The site offers information about the founders of the theosophical movement (H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, and W. Q. Judge), the objectives and history of the Society, an overview of the basic principles of theosophy, and resources for further study. There are details of correspondence courses, plus links to the Theosophical University Press online (which offers full-text versions of many important works on theosophy) and to the online edition of Sunrise, the Society's magazine.
Theosophical University Press online is a publishing arm of the Theosophical Society. Theosophy (from the Greek 'theos' (god) and 'sophia' (wisdom)) is an esoteric philosophy based on the concept of the essential oneness of all beings. This website contains numerous books and essays by and about H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and other theosophical writers, including Blavatsky's 'The Key to Theosophy' and 'The Voice of the Silence'. The full texts are available to read online; some can also be accessed as downloadable zip files. Other resources on this site include fifteen introductory theosophical manuals, the online version of Sunrise, the journal of the Theosophical Society, and an Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary - although it is easy to miss this last unless one is looking for it, as the title is hidden among the other works of its editor, G. de Purucker. The majority of the texts are in English, but are offered in Spanish and Russian. Author and title indexes aid navigation, but there does not appear to be a search function.