Dr. Trevor Luke
Dr. Trevor Luke is an Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classics at Florida State University in the United States. His research focuses on the role of religion in Roman imperial politics and society from the Late Republic to the third century CE. His first book, Ushering in a New Republic: Theologies of Arrival at Rome in the First Century BCE (University of Michigan Press, 2014), explored the staging and narration of divine involvement in the arrivals of the great commanders from Sulla to Augustus at Rome. His current book project, Healing and Empire, will elucidate the Roman emperor’s role as healer. Dr. Luke researches the ancient roots of Western Esotericism as well as the reception of antiquity in Western Esotericism. His interest in this field was initially sparked by childhood visits to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, which architect Harvey Wiley Corbett modeled on the ancient Pharos of Alexandria. Dr. Luke has also delivered public lectures on esoteric aspects of the career of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism.
Dr. Pinchas Giller
Dr. Pinchas Giller was brought up in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He was ordained at Yeshiva University and received his doctorate at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Rabbi Giller has written extensively on Judaism and his field of expertise, Jewish Mysticism or Kabbalah. He has written four books, The Enlightened Will Shine: Symbolism and Theurgy in the Later Strata of the Zohar (State University of New York Press, 1993), Reading the Zohar (Oxford University Press 2000), Shalom Shar’abi and the Kabbalists of Beit El (Oxford University Press 2000) and Kabbalah: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum Press; 2012). He has also edited Beur Moshe al ha-Torah, a Bible commentary by his great-great Grandfather, the Vilna grammarian Moses Reicherson. Dr. Giller is chairman of the Jewish Studies department of the American Jewish University, Los Angeles.
Dr. Christopher McIntosh
Dr. Christopher McIntosh is that rara avis, a scholar who is also a fiction writer, an artist, a romantic dreamer and a connoisseur of the bizarre and the other-worldly. He was born in England in 1943 and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and German at London University, later returning to Oxford to take a doctorate in history with a dissertation on the Rosicrucian revival in the context of the German Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment. After working in London in journalism and publishing he spent four years in New York as an information officer with the United Nations Development Programme, then moved to Germany to work for UNESCO. In parallel he has pursued a career as a writer and researcher specialising in the esoteric traditions. His books include The Astrologers and their Creed (1969); Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival (1972); The Rosicrucians (latest edition 1997); The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason (1992), based on his D.Phil. dissertation; The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria (latest edition 2003); and Gardens of the Gods (2005). His fictional work includes the occult novel Return of the Tetrad (2013), the spy thriller The Lebensborn Spy (2017) and the short story collections Master of the Starlit Grove (2014), The Wyrde Garden (2015) and The Sorceress of Agartha (2017). With his wife, Dr. Donate McIntosh, he produced a new translation of the Rosicrucian Fama Fraternitatis (2014). He has lectured widely and was on the faculty of the distance M.A. programme in Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter, England. His home is in Bremen, North Germany.
Dr. Elke Morlok
Dr. Elke Morlok holds a position at the Institute of Judaic Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt and is a LOEWE postdoctoral fellow specializing in "Religious Positioning in the Context of Salvific Expectations among Jews and Christians towards the End of Time". After studying Protestant theology and Jewish studies in Tübingen and Heidelberg, she obtained an MA in Jewish Civilization and Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University Jerusalem. She received her doctorate on "Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla's Hermeneutics" under the guidance of Professor Moshe Idel. Dr. Morlok participated in the DFG project "Cultural Transfer in New Style: The Renaissance Preacher Yehuda Moscato" at the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. She was a research associate at the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg and at the Department of Jewish Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University. She has also held various teaching assignments in Basel, Salzburg, and Tübingen. Dr. Morlok is currently editing her book on Isaac Satanow (1732-1804), a Jewish thinker of the early modern period of the Jewish Enlightenment focusing on Kabbalah.
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors is an Associate Professor and Reader in intellectual history at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Additionally, Dr. Önnerfors is a Research Associate at the Centre for Fascist, Anti-fascist and Post-fascist Studies at the Teesside University, UK. On behalf of the German state government and a Nordic inter-governmental research organization Dr. Önnerfors carried out surveys on PhD education. Lund university library employed Andreas Önnerfors for a project of provenance in their rare book collections. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg, Austria. Dr. Önnerfors research interests focus mainly on expressions of early modern fraternalism, in particular initiatory societies, the intellectual history of the enlightenment between public and secret spaces and of trans-national cultural encounters.
Photo credit: Elin Widfeldt
Alexander Maykapar is a renowned Russian harpsichordist, organist and pianist, grandson of the famous composer and pianist Samuel Maykapar, who combines a dense concert schedule with extensive writing, translation and teaching work. Having graduated from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music as a pianist and from the Moscow Conservatory as an organist, he has been performing since 1970, with an emphasis on early music. In his concerts, research, teaching and editing activities, J.S. Bach stands out as one of the central figures; he has performed Bach’s complete harpsichord music (15 concerts), as well as that of François Couperin (8 concerts), and all keyboard works by Joseph Haydn. The English record label Olympia published five CDs by Maykapar in The Origins of Russian Piano Music series. Alexander is the author of over two hundred works on music history, the art of performance, painting, and musical iconography, in which he reveals the deeper hidden meanings of famous masterpieces. His translations into Russian include such important works as Wanda Landowska’s book On Music (1991, 2nd ed. 2005), Bach’s Ornaments by Walter Emery (1996), and the Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art by James Hall (1996), followed by Alexander’s own work in the field of symbology and iconography – a popular compendium New Testament in Art (1997). Alexander currently lectures at music schools and colleges, and performs in concert cycles under the umbrella name The Anthology of Harpsichord Music: the year 2014 was dedicated to Couperin, and in the 2015-16 season, Alexander is going to play 200 sonatas by Scarlatti. His most recent published work is the two-volume essay collection The Facets of Classical Music (2013-14) in which he explores a vast range of subjects and periods, from the musical culture of Ancient Egypt through Renaissance and Baroque periods and up to Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus, offering an unusual comparative approach and illuminating the reader with unexpected revelations along the way.
Jean-Michel Mathonière was initially trained as a designer in building and civil engineering. His early passion for cathedral builder’s traditions resulted today in him being recognized as a specialist in the history of craft guilds and journeymen stonemasons in France. Jean-Michel has published numerous articles and books on these subjects, including the prehistory of Freemasonry, stonecutter’s marks, and printer’s emblems of the 15th and 17th centuries. Jean-Michel is a founder of the Study Center in Avignon, France. He has organized various exhibitions on stereotomy and journeymen stonecutters and on other various related topics to the themes of compagnonnage and architecture. In 2017, Jean-Michel was awarded Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms) a national order of France for distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education.