Prof. Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff

1. Anschrift

Prof. Dr. Wouter J. Hanegraaff
History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents
University of Amsterdam
Oude Turfmarkt 141-147
1012 GC Amsterdam
The Netherlands

2. Literaturauswahl

(only titles with relevance for the reception of Egypt)

  • Roelof van den Broek & Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.), Gnosis and Hermeti­cism from Antiquity to Modern Times, State University of New York Press: Albany 1998. 402 pp.
  • Het einde van de hermetische traditie [The End of the Hermetic Tradition], Vossiuspers AUP: Amsterdam 1999. 38 pp.
  • Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents [with Ruud M. Bouthoorn], Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Tempe, Arizona 2005. x + 356 pp.
  • Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2012. x + 468 pp.


  • ‘The Trouble with Images: Anti-Image Polemics and Western Esotericism’, in: Olav Hammer & Kocku von Stuckrad (eds.), Polemical Encounters: Esotericism and its Others, Brill: Leiden / Boston 2007, 107-136.
  • Paolo Lucentini, Ilaria Parri & Vittoria Perrone Compagni, Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism / La tradizione Ermetica dal mondo tardo-antico all’umanesima: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Napoli, 20-24 novembre 2001 (Brepols: Turnhout 2003), review in Aries 7:2 (2007), 227-229.
  • ‘Altered States of Knowledge: The Attainment of Gnōsis in the Hermetica’, The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 2:2 (2008), 128-163.
  • ‘Better than Magic: Cornelius Agrippa and Lazzarellian Hermetism’, Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft 4:1 (2009), 1-25.
  • ‘The Notion of “Occult Sciences” in the Wake of the Enlightenment’, in: Monika Neugebauer-Wölk, Renko Geffarth & Markus Meumann (eds.), Aufklärung und Esoterik: Wege in die Moderne (Hallesche Beiträge zur Europäischen Aufklärung 50), Walter de Gruyter: Berlin / Boston 2013, 73-95.
  • ‘Hermetism’, in: Karla Pollmann et alii (eds.), The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2013, 1135-1139.
  • ‘Jan Assmann’, in: Robin Celikates, René Gabriels, Johan F. Hartle, Pieter Lemmens & Thijs Lijster (eds.), De nieuwe Duitse filosofie: Denkers en thema’s voor de 21e eeuw, Boom: Amsterdam 2013, 480-486.
  • ‘Hermetic Statues’, forthcoming in: Egil Asprem & Joyce Pijnenburg (eds.), Similitudes of the Sublime.
  • ‘Gnosis’, forthcoming in: Glenn A. Magee (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Western Mysticism and Esotericism, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2014.
  • ‘Magic’, forthcoming in: Glenn A. Magee (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Western Mysticism and Esotericism, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2014.

3. Projekte

A History of Hermetic Philosophy

This project aims at writing a revisionist history of Hermetic philosophy in the strict sense of the word: that is to say, it will not include the history of alchemy and other currents related to the so-called “technical” Hermetica but will focus on the reception history of the textual corpus that has been categorized by modern scholars as “philosophical”. These documents represent a religious philosophy or philosophical religion ultimately aimed at salvation through a trans-rational gnosis, but this original intention was largely lost to later commentators through the middle ages, the Renaissance, and modernity. The widely divergent interpretations of what “Hermetic philosophy” was supposed to be all about reflect the preoccupations of intellectuals and, eventually, practitioners in their specific and continually changing historical and cultural contexts, so that the reception of the philosophical Hermetica can be seen as a mirror for tracing important shifts and transformations of intellectual perspective in the longue durée from late antiquity to the present. Given this perspective, modern scholarly interpretations of the “philosophical” Hermetica since the 19th and 20th centuries (including major figures such as André-Jean Festugière or Frances A. Yates) will be approached not just as instruments for but as objects of analysis that are integral parts of the reception history of Hermetic philosophy.

4. Arbeitsschwerpunkte

  • History of Western Esotericism
  • History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents
  • Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
  • European Intellectual History