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Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism

Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (New)

by Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (e)

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9780823233410, 0823233413

Price: $45.00


"Hidden Intercourse is a book that turns people's heads around, so that they can never think of sex the same way again." -- Joscelyn Godwin, Colgate University

"A collection of essays addressing a doubly fascinating topic, namely, the intersection of the erotic and the esoteric in western culture from ancient Greece to contemporary California -- where 'west' meets 'east,' as the American counterculture supplements its already eclectic garb with the mantle of a refashioned Asian Tantra." -- Virginia Burrus, Drew University

"A thoughtful, well-written, and extremely wide-ranging text that examines the crucial role of eros/sexuality in the western esoteric tradition." -- G. William Barnard, Southern Methodist University

From rumors about Gnostic orgies in antiquity to the explicit erotic symbolism of alchemical texts, from the subtly coded eroticism of medieval Kabbalah to the sexual magic practiced by contemporary occultists and countercultural translations of Asian Tantra, the history of Western esotericism is rich in references to the domains of eros and sexuality. This volume, which brings together an impressive array of top-level specialists, is the first to analyze the eroticism of the esoteric on the basis of expert scholarship and attention to textual and historical detail.

While there are few domains in which the imagination can so easily run wild, the various contributions seek to distinguish fact from fiction -- only to find that historical realities are sometimes even stranger than fantasies. In doing so, they reveal the outlines of a largely unknown history spanning more than twenty centuries.

Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many publications is the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred and Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion.

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