Central and Eastern European Network for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism (CEENASWE)
A regional network, affiliated with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE)

Hereby the undersigned founders establish a regionally organized network in East-Central- and South-Eastern Europe (ECE and SEE, including the following countries in order from North to South: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece) for the academic study of Western esotericism – abbreviated as CEENASWE – and propose it to be an affiliated regional group of ESSWE.

A) the Objectives of the Network (Its Mission and Goals)
– To increase academic interest among scholars of various fields in the countries listed above in undertaking the study of Western esotericism in its manifold manifestations, including cultural and religious phenomena of the premodern as well as the modern periods.
– To show the close and (by our Western European colleagues) often overlooked connections between esoteric currents in this part of Europe and elsewhere. Beyond the influences of Western esotericism in ECE and SEE, phenomena specific to the region will also be studied and com- municated to the international scholarly community.
– A challenging task will be the cultural definition of the categories ECE and SEE which might also yield a re-definition of the concept of “Western Esotericism”. This work will be connected to the intercultural research of esotericism (Catholic-Protestant milieus, Jewish community in the region, unique position of “Mitteleuropa”, concepts of Byzantine commonwealth, Slavia orthodoxa, Slavia latina, Islam on the Balkans, etc.).
– The network should facilitate the introduction or enhancement of teaching esotericism in university curricula and the working out of joint programs.
– To supply scholarly and factual information elicited from sources in languages which are usually inaccessible to researchers from other areas.
– To cooperate closely with ESSWE in all matters organizational and represent it in local academic structures.

B) Membership
– Membership requires academic background (including PhD students) and scholarly engagement with interdisciplinary fields related to esotericism.
– Membership is not restricted to citizens of the designed region, rather, it depends on the relevant research area of the participants.
– There is no membership fee but CEENASWE expects its members to be registered members of ESSWE.

C) Official Foundation of the Network
The official foundation of the network took place at the Central European University in Budapest on
the occasion of the thematic colloquium, Western Esotericism in East-Central Europe – Over the Centuries,held on the 4th and 5th ofJuly, 2014. On this occasion the participants were identified as founding members and a steering committee was elected.

D) The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee consists of Karolina Maria Hess (Jagellonian University, Cracow); Dr. Rafał Prinke (Eugeniusz Piasecki University, Poznań); Nemanja Raduović (University of Belgrade); Dr. György E. Szönyi (University of Szeged / Central European University, Budapest) and will be chaired by Professor Szönyi.

E) Founding Members

Dulska, Małgorzata Alicja (Jagellonian University, Cracow)

Elezović, Nadežda (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka)

Florek, Michał (Jagellonian University, Cracow)

Földvári, Sándor (Debrecen University)

Gondos, Andrea (Tel-Aviv University)

Koppel, Katre (University of Tartu)

Kotkowska, Karolina Maria (Jagellonian University, Cracow)

MacMurphy, John M. (University of Amsterdam)

Meroz, Ronit (Tel-Aviv University)

Olzi, Michele (University of Milano)

Péter, Róbert (University of Szeged)

Petritakis, Spyros (University of Crete)

Pölcz, Róbert (University of Szeged)

Prinke, Rafał T. (Eugeniusz Piasecki University, Poznań)

Putnik, Noel (Central European University, Budapest)

Radulović, Nemanja (Belgrade University)

Stoyanov, Yuri (University of London)

Szentpéteri, Márton (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest)

Szönyi, György Endre (University of Szeged; CEU, Budapest)

F) How the Network Will Operate and Be Organize
– It will aim at integrating academics and students interested in studying various facets of esotericism from all the ECE and SEE countries, defined as including the countries listed above). 8The network will (by definition) have no hierarchy except of the above mentioned leader of the Steering Committee who will represent it in any formal contacts with the ESSWE Board.
– It will primarily operate via the Internet (website, FB, blog, Zotero bibliography site, etc.), however regular conferences and workshop are also envisaged.

– It is desirable to compete in international scholarship- and founding projects, such as ERC, Horizont 2000, EURIS, etc. in order to promote the high quality academic study of Western Esotericism in our region.

In Central and Eastern Europe, July 5, 2014.

György E. Szönyi

on behalf of the above listed founding members