The main SHWEP podcast is a roughly-chronological historical narrative: it starts way-back-when and moves forward from there. However, Episodes 0-4 are introductory materials. If you are a newcomer to the podcast, Episode Zero introduces the concept behind it. If you are a newcomer to the history of western esotericism, check out Episodes One, Two and Three, which provide a lot of useful background. If you want to skip the intro and start exploring the nitty-gritty of the history of western esotericism, start with Episode Four and go from there.
If you want to explore further, be sure to check out the SHWEP Oddcast, which features interviews with specialists that have not yet been integrated into the main SHWEP chronology.
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Episode 4: Richard Seaford on the Origins of the Soul
The idea of an inner self, a soul, arises more or less simultaneously in Greece and India in the sixth century BCE. Why? Richard Seaford has a theory.
Members only: Kocku von Stuckrad on Western Esotericism
Kocku von Stuckrad, Professor of Religious Studies at the Universiteit van Groningen, reflects on the methodological issues involved in the study of (what is called) western esotericism, and on the academic field devoted to it in the larger academic context.
Members only: Matthew Melvin-Koushki on ‘The West’
What do we mean by 'the west' when we talk about western esotericism? In this special episode we discuss what a cogent model of the west might look like, in terms of the history of ideas, and arrive at a radical reorientation (or rather reoccidentation).
Members only: Wouter Hanegraaff on Western Esotericism
Professor Wouter Hanegraaff expands on the history of Renaissance Hermetism and gives an insider account of the history of the modern academic study of western esotericism.
Episode 3: Wouter Hanegraaff on Western Esotericism
Professor Wouter J. Hanegraaff, head of the Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, on researching western esotericism, the history of the field, and ‘rejecting the rejection of rejected knowledge’.
Episode 2: A Secret History of Secret History, Part II
We continue our survey of the history of western esotericism, from the medieval era to modern times. More esoteric cocktails are mixed and, in the process, we gain some insight into the contours of the later western esoteric traditions.
Episode 1: A Secret History of Secret History, Part I
A lightning summary of key major elements of western esotericism from late antiquity up to the middle ages, featuring a foray into the esoteric art of imaginal cocktail-mixing.
An introduction to the podcast, discussing briefly what we mean by ‘western esotericism’. This episode also answers the burning question, ‘What’s so “secret” about The Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast?’ and features a short quiz to test your knowledge of western esoteric history.