Association pour la Recherche et
l’Information sur l’Esotericisme (ARIES)
The Association pour la Recherche et l’Information sur
l’Esotericisme (ARIES) is both an international scholarly association
and periodical focused upon defining and researching
the Western esoteric tradition, especially as it has manifested
since the Renaissance. The leading personality in the emergence
and development of ARIES has been Antoine Faivre.
Through the 1990s, Faivre, a senior professor of the religious
studies faculty at the University of Paris (the Sorbonne) has
been holding the only academic chair devoted primarily to the
study of esotericism in the world, the chair in the ‘‘history of
Western Esoteric and Mystical Currents in Modern and Contemporary
Europe.’’ Through the 1980s and 1990s, Faivre
wrote and edited a series of books that have explored the intellectual
currents and tradition formed by the esoteric thinkers
from the sixteenth century to the present. These books have attempted
to distinguish the various currents of esoteric thought
and to define criteria for approaching and studying the form
of thought proper to these currents. ARIES was founded in
1985 with Faivre, R. E. Deghaye, and Pierre Deghaye serving
as its three co-directors.
ARIES, the professional association, sponsors symposia and
colloquies irregularly. ARIES, the journal, is issued biannually.
Each issue includes several articles on modern Western esotericism
by scholars from around the world. It is explicitly multilingual,
contributions being accepted in German, French, or
English. A significant portion of each issue is devoted to book
reviews and surveys of periodicals concerned with various issues
(theosophy, alchemy, hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, Christian
kabbalah, etc.).
Study of the esoteric tradition as an important subdiscipline
in religious studies was given a significant boost at the end of
the 1990s when the University of Amsterdam established a new
chair in the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents
as part of its Department of TheologyReligious Studies.
That chair is now held by Wouter J. Hanegraaff. Beginning in
2000, E. J. Brill of Leiden, The Netherlands, assumed responsibility
for publishing ARIES. These two events have led to the
development of a second center of primary activity for ARIES.
Hanegraaff now serves with Antoine Faivre and Roland
Edighoffer as an editor of the journal.
The association ARIES may be contacted at 8 Chemin
Scribe, 92190 Meudon, France. The journal ARIES may be
contacted at 76, rue Quincampoix, 73003 Paris (for issues
1–22, 1985–99, and the Proceedings), and at E. J. Brill, P.O.
Box 9000, 2300 PA Leiden, The Netherlands (for current subscriptions).
Sources
ARIES. Paris, France, n.d.
Faivre, Antoine. Access to Western Esotericism. Albany State
University Press of New York, 1994.
———. Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition Studies in Western
Esotericism. Albany State University Press of New York, 2000.
Faivre, Antoine, and Jacob Needleman, eds. Modern Esoteric
Spirituality. New York Crossroad, 1992.
Hanegraaff, Wouter J. New Age Religion and Western Culture
Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. Leiden E. J. Brill,
1996.

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