10th International Conference «Mystic and Esoteric movements in theory and practice: Sacred geography, Mysticism, and Esoterism», April 22–25, 2018, Stavropol, Russia

North-Caucasus Federal University (Stavropol, Russia)

Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism

10th International Conference




April 22 – 25, 2019

First Call for Papers

Sacred places — that is, places which followers of certain teachings believed possessed special qualities — historically played an important role in mystical and esoteric currents. From Stone Age caves, where tribe initiations were held, to today’s “places of power” visited by representatives of a wide array of esoteric groups, sacred places became centers around which esoteric practices congregated and where secret traditions were passed on from initiator to initiate.

The role of sacred places extends beyond particular sacred sites: for many mystic and esoteric currents, sacred geography in a wider sense — for example, an understanding of how the cosmos works, of the holy character of the cardinal directions, and so on — plays a large role in their philosophy. That philosophy, in turn, is often reflected in the architecture of temples, lodges, and other centers of mystic and esoteric traditions, and are integrated into ritual symbols and iconography of esoteric currents.

This conference aims to consider sacred geography as it is studied in history, anthropology, cultural studies, and psychology. The organizing committee will accept papers on the history of places considered to be both sacred and linked with mystical and esoteric currents, on such places’ status in contemporary culture, on psychological aspects of the influence such sites have on people, and on other topics linked to sacred geography in mystical and esoteric currents.

Sample topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • methodological and terminological problems of the scholarly study of sacred geography in the context of mysticism and esotericism;
  • sacred geography in the East;
  • sacred places in Western mystical and esoteric traditions;
  • the sacred in the structure of the cosmos and the sacred character of cardinal directions in the history of esotericism;
  • mystical and esoteric sacred geography in literature and art.

Working languages: Russian, English

Applications for the conference for participants from CIS countries are to be sent to the address of the organizing committee esoterra.asem@gmail.com by 01.02.2019.  Due to possible visa concerns, we request that applications from participants outside of the CIS are sent by 01.12.2018. We kindly request participants to provide the following information:

  1. Full name:
  2. Date of birth:
  3. Academic degree (if applicable):
  4. Home address:
  5. Place of work/study (if applicable):
  6. Position:
  7. Telephone number:
  8. E-mail:
  9. Need of an official invitation to receive an entry visa to the Russian Federation (yes/no):
  10. Necessary equipment for your presentation (yes (specify)/no):
  11. Title of paper:
  12. Abstract:
  13. Language of paper:

For Russian-speaking participants, entries 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12 need to be filled out both in Russian and English. The applicant is also required to attach a photo of themselves, no more than 1Mb in size.

Applications for panels are accepted until 01.02.2019. Panel applications need to follow the general application form outlined above. Additionally, the panel organizer needs to provide the approximate number of panel participants and a preliminary program.

A completed application does not guarantee acceptance to the conference. The organizing committee reserves the right to ask for additional information from applicants to specify unclear applications. Decisions on applications are made by the organizing committee within a week after the application deadline. Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision by e-mail.

Remote participation in the conference is not provided for.

A conference program including information about participants and their abstracts will be published and provided to the participants before the start of the conference. It will also be available on the ASEM website.

The conference fee is differentiated according to ASEM membership and geographical location of the participant (see table below):

Conference participants ASEM members ASEM non-members
Post-Soviet countries (excepting the Baltic countries) 500 roubles 1000 roubles
Residents of non-Post-Soviet countries 10 Euros 30 Euros

The organizational fee will be used to cover the costs of organizing the conference as well as the publication of conference papers, which is planned after the conference takes place. The collected conference materials will include papers that have been presented at the conference and accepted for publication up to 20 000 characters in length. The conference fee is paid at the time of registration.

The organizational fee does not include transportation, lodging, food or possible additional services (tours, museums, and so on). The organizing committee does not provide lodging for conference participants; however, it will provide information on local options at the request of an accepted participant.

The organizing committee is open to propositions of material and informational support from interested physical and legal persons.

Conference address: Stavropol (Russia), North-Caucasus Federal University. All inquiries about the conference are directed to: esoterra.asem@gmail.com.

Organizing committee:

Organizing committee chair: Sergey V. Pakhomov

Organizing committee members: Yuri Y. Zavhorodniy, Roman V. Nutrikhin, Stanislav A. Panin, Birgit Menzel, Yuri F. Rodichenkov, Evgeni L. Kuzmishin

Download annonce: pdf.