Seekers of the spiritual art and higher wisdom

Editorial of Approaching Religion, Vol. 11 Issue 1,  based on a two-day seminar arranged in Helsinki in August 2020 by the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation under the title ‘Clear-sighted Art – Open Mind? Encounters between Art and Esoteric…

Artists as truth-seekers

This article focuses on the concept of the seeker and considers how the analytical tool of seekership, defined and developed in the sociology of religion, could be applied to the study of art and esotericism. The theoretical argument is made more tangi…

‘Mirages and visions in the air’

Around the year 1900, European discourse on art was becoming increasingly ‘esotericized’. The 1890s saw esoteric art salons create a sensation in Paris, and art critics and theorists painted a picture of the true artist and the esotericist as overlappi…

Decadence and occulture

This article contributes to the understanding of relations between occulture and Decadence in Finnish art at the turn of the twentieth century, focussing on occulture and Decadence in the works of the Finnish artist Oscar Parviainen (1880–1938). The ai…

Architectural visions

In this article I examine the architecture and architectural thinking of Finnish Academician Reima Pietilä (1923–93) in relation to his design methodology. Pietilä was an architect with an original, creative, artistic personality, who set out early in …

Dance as a contemplative practice

This article analyses ethnographic material gathered in Sweden amongst dancers in the Church of Sweden. With the help of the writings of Sarah Coakley and Simone Weil I explore if, and how, dancing could be considered a contemplative practice in the Ch…

Christianity, Presence, and the Problem of History

In this article, I compare two forms of Christian temproality in the Faroe Islands. In so doing, I problematize some of the ways in which the idea of history has been applied theoretically to studies of churches and congregations in the country. As a r…

Hyper-ideal Sociality

Within the literature on ‘rushing rituals’ at institutions of higher education, there is a dominant focus on the creation of cohesion or communitas (Turner 1969) between students. This focus causes these rituals to be treated analytically as disjointed…