Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism by Henrik BogdanAleister Crowley and Western Esotericism by Henrik Bogdan

Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

EditorHenrik Bogdan, Martin P. Starr

Paperback | August 9, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.75 online 
$45.50 list price save 50%
Earn 114 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr offer the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most distinctive occult iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. He was born into a Fundamentalist Christian family, then educated at Cambridge where heexperienced both an intellectual liberation from his religious upbringing and a psychic awakening that led him into the study of magic. He was a stock figure in the tabloid press of his day, vilified during his life as a traitor, drug addict and debaucher; yet he became known as the perhaps mostinfluential thinker in contemporary esotericism. The practice of the occult arts was understood in the light of contemporary developments in psychology, and its advocates, such as William Butler Yeats, were among the intellectual avant-garde of the modernist project. Crowley took a more drastic step and declared himself the revelator of a new ageof individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, was a thoroughly eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawing from Western European ceremonial magical traditions as practiced in the nineteenth-century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Crowley also pioneered in his inclusion of Indicsources for the parallel disciplines of meditation and yoga. The summa of this journey of self-liberation was harnessing the power of sexuality as a magical discipline, an instance of the "sacrilization of the self"as practiced in his co-masonic magical group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religionCrowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom under the law of 'Do what thou wilt.'The influence of Aleister Crowley is not only to be found in contemporary esotericism-he was, for instance, a major influence on Gerald Gardner and the modern witchcraft movement-but can also be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and in many forms of alternativespirituality and popular culture. This anthology, which features essays by leading scholars of Western esotericism across a wide array of disciplines, provides much-needed insight into Crowley's critical role in the study of western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.
Henrik Bogdan is Associate Professor of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religions at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Martin P. Starr is an Independent Scholar in Chicago Il.
Title:Aleister Crowley and Western EsotericismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199863091

ISBN - 13:9780199863099

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

ContributorsList of FiguresList of TablesWouter J. Hanegraaff: Foreword1. Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr: Introduction2. Alex Owen: The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity3. Marco Pasi: Varieties of Magical Experience: Aleister Crowley's Views on Occult Practice4. Henrik Bogdan: Envisioning the Birth of a New Aeon: Dispensationalism and Millenarianism in the Thelemic Tradition5. Gordan Djurdjevic: The Great Beast as a Tantric hero: The Role of Yoga and Tantra in Aleister Crowley's Magick6. Richard Kaczynski: Continuing Knowledge from Generation unto Generation: The Social and Literary Background of Aleister Crowley's Magick7. Tobias Churton: Aleister Crowley and the Yezidis8. Matthew D. Rogers: The Frenzied Beast: The Phaedran Furores in the Rites and Writings of Aleister Crowley9. Martin P. Starr: Aleister Crowley: Freemason!10. Robert R. Gilbert: ''The One Thought that was not Untrue'': Aleister Crowley and A. E. Waite11. Massimo Introvigne: The Beast and the Prophet: Aleister Crowley's Fascination with Joseph Smith12. Ronald Hutton: Crowley and Wicca13. Keith Richmond: Through the Witch's Looking Glass: The Magick of Aleister Crowley and the Witchcraft of Rosaleen Norton14. Hugh Urban: The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley and the Origins of the World's Most Controversial New Religion15. Asbjorn Dyrendal: Satan and the Beast. The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Modern SatanismIndex