On the basis of the definition of esotericism given by A. Feivre, the article attempts to find parallels of this phenomenon in the history of culture by means of consideration from ethnographic (E. Taylor, R. Marett), myth and anthropological (Ya.E. Golosovker, L. Lévy-Bruhl, K. Lévi-Strauss), and paleo-psychological (B.F. Porshnev) points of view within an interpretation of esotericism as the mythological metaphysics remaining an important component for monotheism as well. The skeptical view considering esotericism as only the imagined ideological construct (V. Hanegraaff) formed by the dominating Christian tradition is questioned in the article. The paper in terms of the essentialist approach offers structural and anthropological interpretation of esotericism as certain universal of thinking, allowing considering it as a full-fledged subject of academic religious studies. The lines of esoteric perception emphasized by Feivre are reinterpreted as an integral part of a so-called mythological paradigm. This paradigm includes an esoteric idea of mesocosm as the escaping thing uniting the interconnected oppositions and forming universal language of correspondences, appreciably important for esoteric metaphysics.

Key words: esotericism, animism, romanticism, primitive mentality, law of participation, diplasty

DOI: 1022250/2072-8662.2017.1.62-72 

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About the author


Matvey M. Fialko – PhD (Philosophy), Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies, Russian Christian Academy for Humanities;

15 Naberezhnaya reki Fontanki str., St. Petersburg, Russia, 191023; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.