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Glen Alexander Magee

Glenn Alexander Magee

Chairman, Department of PhilosophyProfessor of Philosophy

B.A., George Mason UniversityM.A., Ph.D., Emory University


If there is a unifying theme to my scholarship and my teaching, it is this: I am interested in the relationship of philosophy to "the irrational." Mysticism claims to provide wisdom in a non-discursive form and typically rejects philosophy's insistence that all truths must be established by reason. However, as my scholarly work demonstrates, throughout history philosophers have in fact been influenced by the mystics, and there are points in their work where the line between philosophy and mysticism—and myth and poetry—becomes blurred.

My first book, "Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition," was published by Cornell University Press in 2001. (A revised, paperback edition was brought out by Cornell in 2008.) The thesis of the book is that Hegel was influenced by the Hermetic "counter-tradition" in intellectual history, which has its roots in the "Corpus Hermeticum," a collection of anonymous philosophical and mystical texts originating in Alexandrian Egypt. Over the course of the centuries, and especially in the Renaissance, Hermeticism became fused with such "esoteric" currents of thought as alchemy, Kabbalism, magic, millenarianism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and Christian mysticism.

I have since developed my ideas in a number of articles and conference presentations. Perhaps the best short summation of my research is my article "Hegel and Mysticism" in "The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy," edited by Frederick Beiser.

I have also pursued my interest in mysticism and German philosophy along separate tracks. In early 2011 my book "The Hegel Dictionary" was published by Continuum. It is a lexicon of Hegelian terminology aimed at undergraduate philosophy majors. I am currently editing "The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism." This volume is encyclopedic in scope and will consist of 35 articles, most of them by major scholars. The volume will likely appear in 2012.


German Philosophy from Kant to Heidegger, Western Mysticism, Esotericism


Editor, "The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism" (2016)
Author, "The Hegel Dictionary" (2011)
Author, "Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition" (2001; revised paperback, 2008)
Author, "The Dark Side of Subjective Spirit: Hegel on Mesmerism, Madness, and Ganglia," published in "Essays on Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit" (2012)
Author, "Architectonic, Truth, and Rhetoric," published in Philosophy and Rhetoric  (2009)
Author, "Hegel's Philosophy of History and Kabbalist Eschatology," published  in "Hegel and History" (2009)
Author, "On the Will in Nature: Schopenhauer, Animal Magnetism, and Magic," published in "Esotericism, Religion, and Nature"(2009)
Author, "Hegel on the Paranormal: Altered States of Consciousness in the Philosophy of Subjective Spirit," published in Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism  (2008)
Author, "Hegel and Mysticism," published in "The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy" (2008)


Recipient, David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching (2008)
Honorary Inductee, Phi Eta Sigma, National Honor Society (2006)
Recipient, Lewis White Beck Fellowship, Emory University (1996)

Professional Affiliations

Member, American Philosophical Association
Member, Hegel Society of America
Member, Association for the Study of Esotericism
Member, European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism
Member, Editorial Board, Regional Consultant for the US and Canada, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 
Member, Editorial Board, Clio Hegelian Research Series
Assistant Editor, New Vico Studies (1996-2003)


Conference on Jacob Boehme, Oxford University ( 2010)
International Conference on "Enlightenment and Esotericism—Ways into Modernity," Germany (2010)
The Hegel Society of America, Twentieth Biennial Meeting, University of South Carolina (2008)
Keynote Address, Myth: A Graduate Conference in German and Scandinavian Studies, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (2008)
The Hegel Society of America, Nineteenth Biennial Meeting, DePaul University (2006)