Program of the conference

The following is the detailed (full) program of our conference Consciously Illicit : Transgression in Western Esotericism. Download the book of abstracts.

Wednesday, 6 June: First day of Conference


8:30Registration and refreshments
9:15Opening ceremony

9:30-10:30Keynote lecture I.

9:30Marco Pasi The art of esoteric transgression, the esoteric transgression of art
10:30Coffee break

11:00-12:30Attacking the Order: Satanism and Direct Transgression

11:00Adam Anczyk No Sympathy for the Devil? Isaac Bonewits’s satanic adventure and other stories from the life of a Reformed Druid
11:30Matouš Mokrý Animal Sacrifice in Chaos-gnosticism: Return to Tradition?
12:00Miroslav Vrzal Occult Turn in Czech Black Metal?
12:30Lunch break

13:45-15:15Approaching the Ego: Ritual Practices in Addressing the Self

13:45Tancredi Marrone Magic, Transgression and Self-development
14:45Guido Nerger Dionysus and the Beast: Aleister Crowley’s Dionysian ecstasies and magical frenzies
14:45Graham John Wheeler ”Do What Thou Wilt”: Transgression and Domestication in Twentieth Century Esoteric Religion
15:15Coffee break

15:45-17:45Occult in the heart of Europe: Insight Into Czech Esotericism

15:45Petr Kalač Documentary centre of the Czech hermetism (DCCH)
16:15Marek Dluhoš The Czech esoteric nationalism and the power of the national egregor
16:45Jana Valtrová Between Esoteric Practice and Scholarly Research: Alexandra David-Neel and her Impact in Czech Oriental Studies
17:15Matouš Vencálek Western Esotericism and Modern Paganism in the Czech Republic

18:00-22:00Conference dinner and fire in Open Garden

Thursday, 7 June: Second day of Conference

9:00-10:00Keynote lecture II.

9:00Jean-Pierre BrachIllicit Christianity: Guillaume Postel, Kabbalah and a Transgender Messiah
10:00Coffee break

10:30-12:30The Illicit in the Past: Historical Roots of Transgression in Western Spiritual Traditions

10:30Zdenko Vozár Besting the Medieval Theology: Nigromancy and Alchemy
11:00Anna Jedličková Construction of the Identity of a Learned Magician in Arbatel (1575) and Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy (1559) and Its Relation to Demonology
11:30František Novotný Luciferianism: Past and Present Ideas, Fictitious and Factual Movements
12:00Thomas Daffern Comparative Diabology and Western Esotericism: a much needed discourse
12:30Lunch break

13:45-15:15Social and Cultural Transgression: Identities and Behaviors

13:45William Redwood Totalising Transgression? Authenticity and Ambivalence in Esoteric Identities
14:15David William Mac Gillavry United we Fall; on the Pro-Social Effects of Communal Transgressions of Social Norms, and their Implications for the Study of Western Esotericism
14:45Michaela Ondrašínová From a Housewife to a Woman-Goddess? Women Circles and a (Non)Transgression of the Gender Order
15:15Coffee break

15:45-17:15Portraits of Transgression: Consciously illicit in literature and visual art

15:45Jan Miklas-Frankowski The transgressive Messiah. Jakub Frank and his followers in Olga Tokarczuk’s novel ‘The Book of Jacob’
16:15Andrej Kapcár Portrait of the Unknown: Occult Tendencies in Modern and Post-modern Visual Art Movements
16:45Ivona Schöfrová Transgression in William Blake's Art

17:15-17:30Closing ceremony

17:30-??:??Short sightseeing tour: A view over Brno from Špilberg Castle

Selected conference papers will be considered for publication in a thematic section of the international journal Religio: Revue pro religionistiku.

If you have any questions, please contact the organizers via this e-mail,

We look forward to seeing you in Brno!