Exile in Kabbalah: A Visit to The Old Tzfat Cemetery

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria ben Shlomo Ashkenazi (1534-1572), also known as the ‘Ari’ or ‘Lion of Safed’, was taught by the influential Rabbi Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (1522-1570). Known for instigating a new school of Kabbalistic thinking in Palestine known as Lurianic Kabbalah, Luria himself writes very little, and his work becomes known through its reference …

In Rasputin’s hand: Images of the Mad Monk

During the summer of 1914, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (1869-1916) was stabbed in the stomach by a 33-year-old peasant woman named Chionya Guseva, outside his home in Pokrovskoye, along the Tura River in the Tobolsk guberniya (now Tyumen Oblast), Siberia. A former prostitute, Guseva purportedly screamed 'I have killed the Antichrist!'. Rasputin, near dead, was chased …

The death announcement of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (18 January 1743 – 13 October 1803)

The text below was published in the broadsheet 'Journal des débats' on November 6, 1803. "M. de Saint-Martin, who had founded in Germany a religious sect known as the Martinists, has just died at Aunay, near Paris, at the home of Senator Lenoir-Laroche. He had acquired some celebrity for his bizarre opinions, his attachment to …

Teaching RE to Refugees: Hot-pants and Headscarves – The Dialectics of Identity.

The ‘Othering’ phenomena is something that is clearly reproduced, reinforced, and experienced by people all around the world, regardless of their race, language, gender, class, nationality, or religion. In classrooms made up of truly diverse groups of children, what are the challenges faced by RE teachers and how do they tackle the ‘Othering’ impulse? With …

Identity, Belonging and Justice: Learning to be Scottish

Since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, political debate in Scotland has continuously highlighted a commitment to the ideal of a ‘fairer society’ (Mooney and Scott, 2012, p.2). Perceived as something of a cornerstone in the grand narrative of Scottish national ‘identity’, this notion of ‘fairness’ is one often identified alongside that other …

The Many Sacred Veils: Language, Text and Esotericism in Initiation

Abstract: In the following paper I intend to illustrate the inherent importance of Plato’s 'Allegory of the Cave' in the Western Esoteric Tradition. Plato's Allegory has for centuries been read as representing the idea of a process in increased hermeneutical understanding; as a turn towards to the Sun, to the alchemical 'unus mundus', as it were - in other words, …

Nietzsche Wept: Stiftung Weltethos (The Global Ethic Foundation) of Tübingen

It was with great pleasure that we found ourselves spending the week on the top floor of a beautiful old sixteenth-century house in the heart of Tübingen. Situated in the footsteps of Hohentubingen Castle (Schloss), our apartment looked out over the old school house of Hegel and Joseph Schelling. Known as the Tübinger Stift, the …