Since the publication of the critically acclaimed Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (ed. W.J. Hanegraaff) in 2005, there has been a lively debate about how best to define and demarcate the expanding field of "esotericism". This reference work addressed the Hellenistic culture of Late Antiquity, esotericism in Christian culture, and post-Christian developments in the context of modernization, with a dominant focus on English, French, German, and Italian culture. The Brill Esotericism Reference Library builds upon those foundations while significantly expanding them as well. The series as a whole will take a global perspective, and individual volumes will feature dimensions of esotericism and gnosis that have come to the forefront in recent years. The Brill Esotericism Reference Library is the first encyclopaedic series of its kind, and strives to be the most reliable source of historical and factual information on esotericism and related fields of study.
The series has published one volume over the last five years.
Wouter J. Hanegraaff is Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He has published extensively on modern and contemporary Western esotericism, including a book devoted to the 15th-century Christian Hermetist Lodovico Lazzarelli and a monograph on the New Age movement.