- For the town in Armenia, see Yeranos.
is an intellectual discussion group dedicated to the study of spirituality
which has met annually in Switzerland
The name is derived from an ancient Greek word, meaning a banquet to which the guests bring contributions of food, a no-host dinner. The group was founded by Olga Froebe-Kapteyn in 1933, and these conferences have been held annually on the grounds of her estate (on the shores of Lago Maggiore near Ascona in Switzerland) ever since. For over seventy years this event has served as a point of contact for thinkers from disparate fields of knowledge ranging from depth psychology and comparative religion to history, literary criticism and folklore, and provides a setting and a congenial group within which to discuss all things spiritual. Each conference takes place over eight days, during which time all participants eat, sleep and live together, thereby promoting a camaraderie which fosters an atmosphere of free and open discussion. Each year a new theme is addressed, and each participant scholar delivers a two hour lecture on a topic of his choice relating to the theme — his/her contribution to the ‘banquet’ of ideas — thereby attempting to draw these multifarious thinkers into productive intellectual discourse.
Froebe-Kapteyn established this group at the suggestion of the eminent German religious historian, Rudolf Otto
. Froebe-Kapteyn was the Dutch foundress of the Table Ronde
, an association which is indicative of the Eranos’ ‘spiritualist’ bent. Indeed Eranos was from its very outset interested in these issues and its first theme, ‘Yoga and Meditation in East and West’, was a truly pioneering subject in the early 1930's. Past themes include Ancient Sun Cults and the Symbolism of Light in the Gnosis and in Early Christianity (1943), Man and Peace (1958), Creation and Organization (1966) and The Truth of Dreams (1995). Participants over the years have included Heinrich Zimmer
(Indian religious art), Karl Kerényi
(Greek mythology), Mircea Eliade
(history of religions), Carl Jung
and Erich Neumann
(analytical psychology), Gilles Quispel
(gnostic studies), Gershom Scholem
(Jewish mysticism), Henry Corbin
(Islamic religion), Adolf Portmann
(biology), Herbert Read
(art history), Max Knoll
(physics), and Joseph Campbell
(comparative mythology). The Eranos conferences have resulted in the publication of a number of books. Anyone may attend the lectures upon payment of a small fee.
- BARONE, Elisabetta , et al., "Pioniere, Poeten, Professoren - Eranos und Monte Verità in der Zivilisationsgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts", Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2004 [articles in English, German, Italian].
- HAKL, Hans Thomas, "Der verborgene Geist von Eranos – Unbekannte Begegnungen von Wissenschaft und Esoterik – Eine alternative Geistesgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts", Scientia nova-Verlag Neue Wissenschaft, Bretten 2001.
- QUAGLINO, Gian Piero, ROMANO, Augusto, & BERNARDINI, Riccardo (Ed.), "Carl Gustav Jung a Eranos 1933-1952", Antigone Edizioni, Torino 2007, ISBN 978-88-95283-13-5.
- REIBNITZ, Barbara von, “Der Eranos-Kreis – Religionswissenschaft und Weltanschauung oder der Gelehrte als Laien-Priester”, in: FABER, Richard, & HOLSTE, Christine (Ed.), "Kreise, Gruppen, Bünde – Zur Soziologie moderner Intellektuellerassoziation", Könighausen + Neumann, Würzburg 2000, pp. 425-440.
- SCHABERT, Tilo, "Une herméneutique intercivilisatrice: L`École d`Eranos", in: WEILL, Nicolas (Ed.), "Existe-il une Europe philosophique?", Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Rennes 2005, pp. 297-302.
- WASSERSTROM, Steven M., "Religion after religion. Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos", Princeton University Press, Princeton 1999, ISBN 0-691-00539-7.