CESNUR 2005 Conference: Palermo

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CESNUR 2005 International Conference – June 2-5, 2005 – Palermo, Sicily, “Religious Movements, Globalization and Conflict: Transnational Perspectives”


Of particular interest to the readers of lashtal.com:

Session 16 / Sessione 16 – Some Esoteric Groups in Sicily and the Baltic Countries / L’esoterismo in Sicilia e nei Paesi Baltici

Chair: PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI

Martin P. STARR (Chicago, Illinois): “Thelema in Sicily: A Portrait in Black and White”

Pietro SAJA (Cefalù, Italy): “Aleister Crowley, pittore e scalatore” (in Italian)

Dr. Zoccatelli was the editor of Aleister Crowley: Un mago a Cefalù, Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee 1998. I do not have any details on Dr. Saja’s presentation but here is the abstract of my lecture:

ABSTRACT: A descriptive presentation on the “Abbey of Thelema,” an intentional community established by Aleister Crowley on April 1, 1920, in Cefalù, Sicily, and the subsequent media and governmental reaction to the New Religious Movement created by Crowley, “Thelema.” The anti-cult narrative in the British popular press which focused on the perceived moral excesses of the Thelemites was partially based on the testimony of former inhabitants of the Abbey including the Modernist novelist Mary Butts. The resulting scandal, aided by the publication of Crowley’s novel, The Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922), with its romanticized view of life at the Abbey, led to Crowley’s expulsion from Italy in 1923. Illustrated with unpublished contemporary photographs of the Thelemites and the Abbey.

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