The “Aliter” journal presents a Russian translation of Chapter 3 from Wouter Hanegraaff’s “Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed”. Wouter Hanegraaff is one of the most important scholars in the study of Western Esotericism and is one of the founders of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). The “Guide for the Perplexed” is conceived as a practical and accessible introduction to Western Esotericism as a field of study, meant to furnish its readers with basic knowledge and tools necessary for further autonomous exploration of the subject. Chapter 3 is an exploration of discourses that led to the creation of Western Esotericism as a category of knowledge which are little known to the general public. The chapter follows esotericism's story from Catholic and Protestant “genealogies of darkness” and to the Enlightenment’s battle against superstition and paganism.
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