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  Thelema and Scholarly Journals
General Thelema Posted by Fra THA;M on July 10, 2001 @ 10:10 PM
from the FineArrrhgtStudent dept.

Brothers and Sisters,

I am here to enlist your aid in an academic endeavor of mine. I am required to compose a large scholarly paper for a fourth year Anthropology of Religion class. I have decided my topic is to be Crowley and Thelema. The parameters of my syllabus state that my paper must be based, in part, from articles found within repected academic journals from any of the major humanities/social science disciplines, as well as be contemporary. I have been engaged in hunting through numerous indices, but my results have been negligable. Any leads in this direction would be gratefully appreciated. Thank You.


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    Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
    by Mark Shekoyan on Tuesday July 10, @11:24PM
    93,

    I am a cultural anthropologist by training and cannot think of any formal academic articles I came across in my graduate students of the anthropology of religion. I can, however, highly recommended the Ethnography, "Persuasions of the Craft" by anthropologist Tanya Luhrman. Though largely about Wicca in 1980's England, it touches bases on elements of Ceremonial Magick.

    Anyway, I might pump an article out, but as of now I can think of no one in the field that has written anything on Crowley that is published in a referered academic journal in anthropology.

    You might need to search around in religious studies.

    If you want books on the anthropology of religion, or the anthropology of magic, just ask and I'll share what I know.

    You might want to also look into the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness.(SAC) We put on a yearly conference on topics ranging from psychedelics and shamanism, to yoga meditation states, and magical practices. This year I gave a paper on Enochian Magic, partly inspired by the creator of the Beast Bay, Xnoubis!

    Let me know if I can be of any help.

    93 93/93

    Mark

    • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
      by Fra THA;M on Wednesday July 11, @10:01AM
      Do you have information on anthropological studies of occidental examples of magic? (the Golden Dawn, etc). It seems apparent to me (then again Anthro isn't my discipline) that most ethnographies dealing with magic are being composed about more 'exotic' cultures, rather than about the many subcultures tucked away within our society. I would be releived if you could tell me different.

      I would appreciate some more information on SAC.
      Thank You,

      Fra THA;M


      • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
        by Mark Shekoyan on Wednesday July 11, @03:42PM
        Most ethnographys of magic I'm aware of are focussed on nonwestern contexts. A friend of mine, Galina Lindquist, has done studies of Western Magic practice in Russia however. I don't have any of her papers, but you should
        check out the SAC website at:

        http://sunny.moorpark.cc.ca.us/~jbaker/sac/home.html

        You can reach Galina through her e-mail:

        galina.lindquist@socant.su.se

        Also, Bruce Kapferer's book, The Feast of the Sorcerer, is a nice example of recent ethnographies of magic.

        As far as contemporary studies of Western Ceremonial Magic, its a topic I'm working on, but haven't published anything on as of yet.


        • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
          by Fra THA;M on Wednesday July 11, @10:46PM
          Re: Occidental ceremonial magick, not only are there a distinct lack of ethnographies, but most of the academicians I discuss these questions with are completely oblivious to the existance of such a thing. I sometimes think the world of academia hasn't a clue (in certain regards).


          • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
            by Mark Shekoyan on Thursday July 12, @12:22AM
            Einstein came up with his general theorys of relativity while working in a patent office. I wonder what would have happened if he got stuck early on on the academic treadmill.

            93 93/93

            Mark


    • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
      by Soror Babylon on Friday July 13, @08:37AM
      93...

      The only problem with Luhrman's book "Persuasions of the Witch's Craft" in regard to Crowley is her perception of him and lack of knowledge in regards to Thelema at all. Note:

      "Second, I had little experience with Crowley-type 'chaos' magic. These are 'ad hoc' groups organized around a sexual, somewhat violent ideology which take their inspiration from Aleister Crowley. Crowley was a brilliant man with a peculir spiritual bent and a certain literary talent, nd his works have influenced much of modern magic. The people who were my primary contacts performed his 'Gnostic Mass' four times yearly to an invited 'congregation' - the rite symbolically enacts a 'mystical marriage' - and through this means they would hear gossip about the other groups interested in Crowley. In London, I know of no such groups then practising, although there were rumors of one formed as I left. However, there were a number of groups around Leeds who used literature from the mail-order suppliers, The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This type of magic, described later, may well attract those from less economically successful backgrounds. Certainly I knew of black leather-jacketed motorcyclists whose 'heavy metal' music made reference to Crowley and who seemed interested enough in magic to buy some books. However, I am not sure how much they practice and in what style." (Pg 33-35).

      She mentions him a few more times in the book. However, she does mix up chaos magick with Thelemic Magick, so I doubt you want to use this source for your paper.

      -Soror Babylon
      93 93.93


    Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
    by Sphinx on Wednesday July 11, @12:39PM
    Here's what I was able to find from the humanities/social science/religion indexes:

    V Sachs (1983). The occult, magic and witchcraft in American culture. Information.22:6 pp 941-5.

    P A Hartman (1976). Social dimensions of occult participation: the Gnostica study[United States] [illus., bibliogr.] British Journal of sociology. 27:2 pp 169-83.

    Jorgensen, Danny L. ; Jorgensen, Lin. Social meanings of the occult. The Sociological Quarterly v. 23 (Summer '82) p. 373-89

    Campbell, Colin. ; McIver, Shirley. Cultural sources of support for contemporary occultism.
    Social Compass 34 no 1 (1987), p. 41-60

    Melton, J Gordon. Thelemic magick in America. Alternatives to American mainline churches p.67-87

    This Melton article looks like your best bet. He is also the author of a reference book entitled _New Age Encyclopedia_, that has entries on Crowley and OTO which are very, very good and highly quotable.

    If your library doesn't have these articles, be sure and ask a librarian--they'll be able to order them for you. I see what you mean about negligible results--I was surprised to get so few hits on my searches myself.

    In addition to these articles, there is a really spledid book-length dissertation on the topic by Brad Verter entitled _Dark Star Rising: Aleister Crowley and the Emergence of Modern Occultism_. I have read a copy, but I wasn't able to find it through Digital Dissertations so it may still be unpublished. However, his publicly-listed email address is Bradford.J.Verter@williams.edu--he is a professor of religion at Williams College and may be able to email you some more current journal citations.

    Good luck with your paper. I found in my own anthro classes that interviews and participant observation are your best bets for gathering data on modern American subcultures that aren't primitive/ethnic enough to be published about in academic journals.

    • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
      by Fra THA;M on Wednesday July 11, @02:38PM
      My humblest Thanks, Sphinx.

      As an addendum for those interested, I found in a digital dissertation index the following thesis. Though not relevant to my plight, it sounds fascinating, and something I've often thought about myself.

      'Magick/Liber Aba' and 'Mysterium Coniunctionis': A comparison of the writings of Aleister Crowley and C. G. Jung (Carl Jung)
      by Keane, Lloyd Kenton, MA
      CARLETON UNIVERSITY (CANADA),
      1999, 162 pages


      • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
        by Mark Shekoyan on Wednesday July 11, @03:33PM
        I don't remember his name, but an OTO member gave a discussion at the OHIO Notocon on Thelema and Carl Jung. If you dig around, I'm sure you can find his name. Also, you might try the "Psychology" guild of the OTO for his contact.


        • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
          by Fra THA;M on Wednesday July 11, @10:48PM
          ..."Psychology Guild"? I am unaware of the existence of this institution...


          • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
            by Sphinx on Thursday July 12, @06:40AM
            If you go here http://www.otohq.org/oto/contact.html
            and page down to where it says "International Bodies" under "Groups and Bodies" you'll find an email link for the Psychology Guild. In "An Intimation With Reference Toward a Constitution of the Order", Crowley describes what he envisioned for the guild system in OTO, but thus far there are only have the Psychology Guild and the Translators' Guild.

            --Sphinx


            • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
              by Fra THA;M on Thursday July 12, @08:47PM
              What is the agenda of this Guild, and their mission statement? What type of work is being undertaken by the Fraters and Sorors involved? The title is intriguing.


              • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
                by Sphinx on Thursday July 12, @11:07PM
                I don't know anything about them, actually, other than that they exist and that one presumably has to be a professional in that field to belong.

                Anyone reading this a Psychology Guild member?


                • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
                  by Fra THA;M on Friday July 13, @11:16AM
                  What a noble undertaking, and a potentially effective method to elevate Thelema from it's 'status' as a fringe ideology. Groups of educated individuals could, perhaps, bring serious attention to Thelema and it's philosophic, moral and scholarly ramifications. While it may often be empowering to be an adherant of a subculture...a token of one's individuality, I myself get extremely weary of being constantly relegated to the fringes.


              • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
                by Sphinx on Thursday July 12, @11:07PM
                I don't know anything about them, actually, other than that they exist and that one presumably has to be a professional in that field to belong.

                Anyone reading this a Psychology Guild member?


            • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
              by ChZ3 on Tuesday August 14, @07:12PM
              93

              In the interest of anthropology, and personally knowing 3 other Anthropologists in the Order (as well as a few others online), I have just set up a new Yahoo group as a forum for such. It can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Anthro-OTO

              If I had my druthers and the fiscal ability to only work freelance, indeed my area of focus would be Thelema and the subculture of secret societies, alas at the moment such work is back-burner for me until I find appropriate grants. Ah the non-academia life of social scientists!

              93 93/93
              ~Rose


    Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
    by Soror Babylon on Friday July 13, @08:45AM
    93...

    I also wanted to note that I, as well, am planning on writing my senior thesis on a thelemic-related topic. Perhaps we could site each other as sources? Drop me a line at faeriekat7@aol.com if yr. interested, Frater THA;M

    -Soror Babylon
    93 93.93

    • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
      by Agent Eggman on Wednesday April 17, @01:38PM
      93

      I as well am interested in scholarly work on Thelema. I am currently majoring in comparative religion, and have written a few minor papers for classes on the subject. If you are interested in seeing any of my other work, drop me a line. I would enjoy reading your own dissertation when you have completed it.

      93 93/93

      ~Agent Eggman


    Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
    by matt vaughn on Saturday August 04, @03:45PM
    93 everyone,

    i wanted to give the url to an essay of mine entitled "humanistic
    psychology and thelema" that was posted on beastbay a few months
    ago.
    http://www.beastbay.com/beastbay/984986138/

    and the most recent version of the essay (which includes transpersonal
    psychology) is on my website at:
    http://mattvaughn.topcities.com/thelemahumanisticessay.htm

    i plan to turn this essay into my thesis and i would like to ask
    that if anybody comes accross any thelemic info that pretains to
    psychology in anyway please let me know because im on the look out
    for sources.

    incidentally one of my proff thought my essay
    could be published in one of the humanistic
    psychology journals if i worked on it a little
    more. i havent seen anything about thelema in
    'academic' journals, and be very interested to
    see what you find in your research

    thanks, and good luck

    93 93/93
    matt
    -------
    "With so much drama in the L-B-C. It's kinda hard being Snoop
    D-O-double-G. But I, somehow, some way. Keep coming up with
    funky ass shit like every single day"
    ---Calvin Broadus aka "Snoop Doggy Dogg"
    -------
    matt vaughn
    (404) 978-1262 x6356 - voicemail/fax
    http://mattvaughn.topcities.com

    • Re: Thelema and Scholarly Journals
      by J. on Monday August 27, @09:51AM
      A few years ago I found a reference to a sociological master thesis on the O.T.O., but was not able to order through the university library. Considering the number of sociological thesis written on the subject it shouldn't be too hard to find and hopefully it'll overlap enough with the kind of anthropological material you are looking for. Sorry I can't remember more details.

      Thanks everybody for the wonderful references BTW!

      93 93/93

      J.



     
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