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Dr. Julian Strube



DFG project: Tantra and the Global Religious History of the 19th and 20th Century

PhD thesis:
Socialism, Catholicism, and Occultism in Nineteenth-Century France. The Genealogy of the Writings of Eliphas Lévi

E-Mail: julian.strube@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de

Academic career

  • September 2016-July 2017: Associate professor at the University of Amsterdam.
  • April 2016: Project on "Tantra and the Global Religious History of the 19th and 20th Century," funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
  • May 2015: Project Coordinator/Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context," MC7: “Political Legitimation," Heidelberg University.
  • April 2015: PhD (Dr. phil.) in the Study of Religions with high distinction (summa cum laude).
  • 2011-2014: PhD scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes).

  • December 2010: Graduation, Magister Artium (grade 1,0).

  • 2009-2010: Semester abroad at the University of Amsterdam.

  • 2008-2011: Scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes).

  • 2007-2010: Studies in Medieval/Modern History and the Study of Religions, Heidelberg University.

  • 2005-2006: Studies in Medieval/Modern History and Philosophy, Heidelberg University.

  • Born in 1985 in Heidelberg.

Areas of Expertise

  • European history of religions in the nineteenth and twentieth century; modernization and secularization.
  • Global History, with a focus on Northeast India.
  • Esotericism and New Religious Movements.
  • Religion and politics: Socialism; völkisch movements and Ariosophy; National Socialism; neo-Nazism and far-right extremism; totalitarianism.
  • Religion and science in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
  • Theory and method in the Study of Religions.


  • Sozialismus, Katholizisimus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts. Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, in press.


  • "Revolution, Illuminismus und Theosophie: Eine Genealogie der 'häretischen' Historiographie des frühen französischen Sozialismus und Kommunismus," in: Historische Zeitschrift 304/1, 2017, pp. 50-89.
  • "The 'Baphomet' of Eliphas Lévi: Its Meaning and Historical Context", in: Correspondences 4, 2017, pp. 37-79.
  • "Socialist Religion and the Emergence of Occultism: A Genealogical Approach to Socialism and Secularization in 19th-Century France," in: Religion 46/3, 2016, pp. 359-388.
  • "Socialism and Esotericism in July Monarchy France," in: History of Religions, forthcoming.
  • "Occultist Identity Formations Between Theosophy and Socialism in fin-de-siècle France," in: Numen, forthcoming.
  • "Transgressing Boundaries. Social Reform, Theology, and the Demarcations between Science and Religion," in: Aries 16/1, 2016, pp. 1-11.
  • "Eliphas Lévi. Lucifer as Revolutionary and Redeemer," in: Faxneld, Per & Nilson, Johan (Hrsg.), Satanism: A Reader, New York et al.: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • "Nazism and the Occult", in: Christopher Partridge (Hrsg.), The Occult World, London/New York: Routledge 2015, pp. 336-347.
  • "Ein neues Christentum. Frühsozialismus, Neo-Katholizismus und die Einheit von Religion und Wissenschaft", in: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 66/2 , 2014, pp. 140-162.
  • "Die Erfindung des esoterischen Nationalsozialismus im Zeichen der Schwarzen Sonne", in: Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 20/2, 2012, pp. 223-268.

Edited works

Reviews and Minor Contributions
  • "René Gründer, Blótgemeinschafen. Eine Religionsethnografie des ‘germanischen Neuheidentums’", in: Aries 13/2, 2013, pp. 317-321.
  • "Tantra im Kontext der globalen Religionsgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts," in: Jahresheft Theologie 10, 2014/2015, pp. 91-99.


Courses taught

  • SS 2017: BA course on "Western Esotericism since the 18th Century" and MA course on "Esotericism between East and West"; University of Amsterdam.
  • WS 2016: Occultism between Religion and Politics; Münster, Institute for the Study of Religions.
  • WS 2014: Alternative Religious Movements in the 19th and 20th Century; Heidelberg, Faculty of Theology.
  • WS 2012: The Emergence of Modern Esotericism; Lucerne, Institute of the Study of Religions.
  • WS 2011: Occultism in the 19th and early 20th Century; Heidelberg, Institute of the Study of Religions.
  • WS 2010: Tutorial about Research and Academic Writing; Heidelberg, Institute of the Study of Religions.

  • Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft (DVRW)
  • European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE)
  • Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD)