The Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture. New Series

Since the nineteenth century, Central and Eastern Europe has experienced rapid social, political, and economic changes, which caused transformation and upheavals in local societies. Rising nationalism culminating in the Revolutionary year 1848, echoes of the Romantic movement, ongoing industrialisation, First World War, the emergence of national states and disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, later followed by World War Two and the establishment of the socialist regimes represent some of the key milestones the region went through. New sciences emerged, and intellectuals of the region also tried to cope with the impetus of new discoveries in the Orient. Since mid-nineteenth century, the rise of occultism and its further spread throughout Europe represented a peculiar reaction to these conditions. Central and Eastern European states dealt with these occult and esoteric movements in various ways, from suppression to silent support, and the movements themselves had various ideas about the meaning and aims of the nation. We wish to investigate the links between state, power, and occult and esoteric ideas, movements, and key figures.

Focusing on occultism and esotericism in Central and Eastern Europe since the mid-nineteenth-century until now, we invite scholars to share their articles in a special issue of the Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture.

The scope of the issue includes the following topics:

• Tensions between or calls for nationalism and/or transnationalism in the occult and esoteric movements;
• Attitudes of various state bodies (republics, empires or totalitarian regimes) to occultism and esotericism, from suppression to support;
• Practising occultism or esotericism under socialist regimes;
• Case studies of influential movements, persons, or ideas either originating or being adopted in Central and Eastern Europe;
• Critical reflection of the scholarship concerning occultism and esotericism in Central and Eastern Europe.

The guest editors of the issue are Dr. Karolina Maria Hess (Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations, Jagiellonian University) and Dr. Pavel Horák (Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences). The editors will consider all manuscripts prepared according to the following criteria:

Length: 20 000 – 40 000 characters with spaces
Language: English
Deadline: November 15 th , 2022

Please send your proposed contribution to: and
For further guidelines see: