June 6th, 2012


Birri-Tomovska, Kristina
Jews of Yugoslavia 1918-1941: A History of Macedonian Sephards
Bern еtc., Peter Lang, 2012, 304 pp.
Print: ISBN 978-3-0343-1166-3 pb.
SFR 49.00 / €* 40.20 / €** 41.40 / € 37.60 / £ 34.00 / US$ 52.95
Order online: www.peterlang.com

Book synopsis

The investigation on the history of the Yugoslav and Macedonian Jews between the two world wars was developed through a number of researches in the archives in Macedonia, Serbia, Greece and Israel. The project itself was based on three levels and approaches; from an
international position of the Jews, after WWI; the regional, within the history of the Yugoslav Jewry; and the position of the Sephardic Jewry on a local level, i.e. in Macedonia itself. The international context required a use of international acts brought in regard to minority rights protection, after the WWI during the Paris Conference and the establishment of the Geneva System. The second level observed the position of the Macedonian Sephards within the overall Yugoslav Jewry, which was consisted of Ashkenazim, Sephardim as well as of the Orthodox Jews, as a separate group. The third level deals with the everyday life of the Macedonian Sephards from 1912 to 1941, as well as their social, cultural, political and economic development in one micro environment. The inter-ethnic relations, which were part of the political, social and Jewish reality in Macedonia, were also investigated in this study.


Sephardic Jewry Heritage during the Iberian and Ottoman Eras - The Wars and Their Aftermath - National and International - Building Yugoslav Jewry - Ashkenazim and Sephardim: The Question of Assimilation - The Macedonian Sephards - Road to Treblinka.

About the author

Kristina Birri-Tomovska studied languages and political sciences in Skopje and Athens. In 2000 she obtained a Master of Arts (MA) and in 2008 a PhD at the University of Basel. During her studies, she worked and took part on international conferences. She also published articles, in German, English and Macedonian language related to the history and the culture of the Yugoslav and Macedonian Jews and other minorities during the interwar period.


Egil Asprem
Arguing with Angels: Enochian Magic and Modern Occulture
Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 2012, 230 pp.
SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4191-7
Price: $75.00


An exploration of John Dee’s Enochian magic of angel contact, its reinterpretation over the years, and its endurance to the present day.

This fascinating work explores John Dee’s Enochian magic and the history of its reception. Dee (1527–1608/9), an accomplished natural philosopher and member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, was also an esoteric researcher whose diaries detail years of conversations with angels achieved with the aid of crystal-gazer Edward Kelley. His Enochian magic offers a method for contacting angels and demons based on secrets found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

Examining this magical system from its Renaissance origins to present day occultism, Egil Asprem shows how the reception of Dee’s magic is replete with struggles to construct and negotiate authoritative interpretational frameworks for doing magic. Arguing with Angels offers a novel, nuanced approach to questions about how ritual magic has survived the advent of modernity and demonstrates the ways in which modern culture has recreated magical discourse.


“Arguing with Angels is a major contribution to the study of Western esotericism in general, and to the study of Enochiana in particular. It places the history and reception of the Enochian tradition within the broader context of Western esotericism, thereby making Enochiana relevant. Egil Asprem not only shows a thorough familiarity with relevant theories, but also relates to them critically and argues convincingly for his own interpretations and conclusions.” — Henrik Bogdan, author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation


Egil Asprem is a Research Fellow at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Table of Contents

List of Tables
1. The Magus and the Seer
2. Whispers of Secret Manuscripts
3. Victorian Occultism and the Invention of Modern Enochiana
4. The Authenticity Problem and the Legitimacy of magic
5. The Angels and the Beast
6. Angels of Satan
7. The Purist Turn
8. Enochiana without Borders


Robert P. Ericksen
Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, 280 pp.
ISBN: 9781107663336
Price: £18.99


In one of the darker aspects of Nazi Germany, churches and universities – generally respected institutions – grew to accept and support Nazi ideology. Robert P. Ericksen explains how an advanced, highly educated, Christian nation could commit the crimes of the Holocaust. This book describes how Germany's intellectual and spiritual leaders enthusiastically partnered with Hitler's regime, thus becoming active participants in the persecution of Jews, and ultimately, in the Holocaust. Ericksen also examines Germany's deeply flawed yet successful postwar policy of denazification in these institutions. Complicity in the Holocaust argues that enthusiasm for Hitler within churches and universities effectively gave Germans permission to participate in the Nazi regime.

Table of contents

1. Why the Holocaust matters in a century of death
2. Churches and the rise of Hitler
3. Universities and the rise of Hitler
4. Consent and collaboration: the churches through 1945
5. The intellectual arm: universities through 1945
6. Repressing and reprocessing the past: denazification and its legacy of dissimulation
7. A closer look: denazification at Göttingen University
8. Implications.


'Based on decades of his own research and complete mastery of both German- and English-language scholarship in the field, Robert Ericksen demonstrates convincingly how a critical mass of churchmen and academics in Germany enthusiastically embraced the Nazi regime and provided the rationalizations and adjustment of moral norms that permitted ordinary Germans to accept and even implement the regime's brutal and murderous policies.'
Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

'Robert P. Ericksen has given us a masterful comparative study of the churches and the universities in Nazi Germany. Two institutions entrusted to foster the collective conscience and intellect of the German people are revealed to have compromised their integrity by collaborating in the Holocaust, despite the fact that Jews had been crucial in creating Christianity (Jesus and Paul) and enhancing German academic scholarship.'
Susannah Heschel, author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (2008)