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Archive for the "Western esotericism" Category

Patheos Book Review: The Paranormal Conspiracy

A volume at the Patheos Book club recently caught my attention. It is The Paranormal Conspiracy: The Truth About Ghosts, Aliens and Mysterious Beings (Chosen Books, 2015) by Timothy Dailey, Ph.D. An excerpt from the book and an interview with the author are available at Patheos. From time to time we explore the paranormal at […]

"Nosferatu" director's stolen head, and occult ritual?

In a previous post I discussed an article in Fortean Times that mentioned connections between Western esotericism and an individual connected to the classic silent horror film Nosferatu. Just yesterday the media, in places like The Guardian, reported about a grave robbery in the form of someone stealing the head from the corpse of Nosferatu's […]

The Esoteric "Nosferatu"

The May 2015 issue of Fortean Times caught my eye when I was in the bookstore on Friday. On the cover was Max Shrek made up as Count Orlok in the silent horror film classic Nosferatu as the illustration for a story by Brian Robb titled "Nosferatu: The Vampire and the Occultist." As a scholar […]

Visions of Enchantment: Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture

Although the deadline for this has passed, I wanted to make readers aware of the conference and the subject matter, art and esotericism. CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline for submission: 31 October 2013) We invite proposals from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, provided that they present innovative insights into visual, symbolic or material aspects of […]

Titles of Interest: Bewitched Again

This title of interest is Bewitched Again: Supernaturally Powerful Women on Television, 1996-2011 (McFarland, 2013) by Julie D. O'Reilly. Starting in 1996, U.S. television saw an influx of superhuman female characters who could materialize objects like Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, defeat evil like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and have premonitions like Charmed’s Phoebe. The extraordinary […]

"After Earth" and the Scientology Dimension

After Earth, the new science fiction film starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, has largely received negative reviews by critics, and it has not done well at the box office. But recent news items provide another dimension for consideration, and that is its possible incorporation of a religious dimension, and a controversial one at […]

The Theology of Dracula: Reading the Book of Stoker as Sacred Text

  Bram Stoker's novel Dracula continues to be enjoyed by both fans, and academics, who explore its pages for entertainment as well as something more. The religious elements of Dracula have long been recognized, but recent studies are pushing in this in very different directions. In his book The Theology of Dracula: Reading the Book […]

Hellraiser and Popular Esotericism

The Academic Study of Magic list recently included a fascinating scholarly paper abstract that dovetails with the interests of TheoFantastique. Leon Marvell of Deakin University will be presenting at the International Conference on Esotericism, Culture and Religion at UC Davis with a paper titled "Under the Sign of Baphomet: Hellraiser and Popular Esotericism." Here is […]

TheoFantastique Podcast: Erik Davis on Modern Esoterica in Popular Culture

TheoFantastique Podcast 2.3 is available, an interview with Erik Davis, author of Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (YETI/Verse Chorus Press, 2010). Davis defines "modern esoterica" in his preface as "a no-man's land located somewhere between anthropology and mystical pulp, between the zendo and the metal club, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience, whether psychedelic, […]

Screened: Spock as Space Wizard, and Magus

Screened recently featured an interesting and insightful article by Andrew Gray titled "Mr. Spock, Space Wizard." The piece begins with an often ignored or overlooked function of technology in science fiction that is akin to magic. Gray then takes this a step further: Science-fiction films and television have an odd relationship with magic. They dance […]

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