Call for Papers n. 2 (2020): L’altro lato della società. Teorie della cospirazione nella religione e nell’esoterismo./The Other Side of Society. Conspiracy Theories in Religion and Esotericism


An elective affinity links the fields of religion and Western esotericism, on the one hand, and that of conspiracy theories, on the other. From the typical perspective of religion/esotericism and of conspiracism reality is articulated in two different realms: the ordinary and immanent world of everyday life, and an invisibile, hidden world beyond or behind the conventional society. Within this secondary reality, both religions and conspiracy theories place supernatural beings, occult or mystical forces, and secret organizations driving the course of historical events intentionally.   Despite this close connection there are very few studies extensively devoted to the multiple convergences and structural analogies between religion and conspiracy theories, among which the recent Handbook of Conspiracy Theory and Contemporary Religion edited by A Dyrendal, D.G. Robertson and E. Asprem (Brill, 2018).       

For this monographic issue of the journal La Rosa di Paracelso, we accept proposals for theoretical, methodological or empirical articles focusing on conspiracy theories and religion, with special attention to new religious movements, Western esoteric currents, New Age and alternative spiritualities. Authors are welcome to submit articles in the most common languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish) on the following themes:


- Conspiracism about the future: millennialism and beliefs on the destiny of humankind, society, environment;

- Conspiracism about the past and pseudohistory;

- Rhetorical dimension of conspiracy language in media and public communication;

-  Conspiracism and theodicy: the problem of evil and the construction of enemy;

- UFO, aliens and paleoastronautics; 

- Representation of conspiracy theories in fiction and popular culture (movie, TV, literature, comics, videogames, and so on);

- Function of secrecy, imagination and belief in the conspiracy storytelling;

- Contesting authority and power: conspiracy criticism against mainstream institutions (religion, science, politics, economics and so on);

- Emotional aspects involved in conspiracy discourse;  

- Methodological concerns and approaches in the study of conspiracy theories.



Deadline for abstracts: 20 March

Abstract lenght: 500 words max

CV lenght: 300 words max

Both abstract and CV must be in the language chosen for the article and in English

Deadline for the articles: 7 June

Online publication: 30 September

Please indicate the language used for the article

All abstracts should be sent to the editorial board.

Michele Olzi:

Roberto Revello:

Nicola Pannofino: