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"The Soldier and the Seer: J.F.C. Fuller, Aleister Crowley, and the British Occult Revival" - colloquium June 23

June 11, 2014
J.F.C. Fuller, military strategist

J.F.C. Fuller, military strategist

Aleister Crowley, occultist

Aleister Crowley, occultist

THe Rutgers University Libraries invite members of the Rutgers community and the general public to attend a colloquium: "The Soldier and the Seer: J.F.C. Fuller, Aleister Crowley, and the British Occult Revival" on June 23 in the Alexander Library.

J.F.C. Fuller, the renowned military strategist, and Aleister Crowley, the infamous occultist, forged an unlikely friendship and literary collaboration in the first decade of the twentieth century.  British-born Major General John Frederick Charles Fuller (1878–1966) was a veteran of the Boer War who became one of the major military theorists of all time, who is studied alongside Clausewitz in military academies around the world. Fuller discovered the poetical and philosophical writings of the British occultist Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), and subsequently wrote a book, The Star in the West: A Critical Essay upon the Works of Aleister Crowley (1907). Crowley played a pivotal role in Fuller's future career by introducing him to Clausewitz’s English translator, and appointing him co-editor of the literary and occult journal The Equinox from 1909 to 1910. Fuller was also a contributor and principal illustrator for The Equinox, proving himself to be an unusually gifted draftsman and artist. J.F.C. Fuller became the founding chancellor of the spiritual order Argenteum Astrum (Silver Star), which Crowley co-founded to reform the British occult society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Although Fuller had an abrupt falling-out with Crowley in 1911, he had already been instrumental in helping Crowley launch his spiritual movement, Thelema.

This unusual relationship is documented in the J.F.C. Fuller Collection at Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. Objects from this collection can be viewed in Special Collections current exhibition, Unheard-of Curiosities: An Exhibition of Rare Books on the Occult and Esoteric Sciences, curated by Erika B. Gorder. Two of Fuller's paintings illustrative of the spiritual system of the Argenteum Astrum are included in the exhibition. For more information about the exhibition, please see http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/news/occult-and-esoteric-sciences-exhibition-alexander-library-opens-february-17.

"The Soldier and the Seer" colloquium features an international panel of scholars including Henrik Bogdan and Christian Giudice of the University of Gothenburg, Gordan Djurdjevic of Simon Fraser University, Richard Kaczynski of Yale University, and Robert Stein of State University of New York, Purchase. The program will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014 from 9:30 am to 5:30 p.m. in the Remigio U. Pane Room on the first floor of the Archibald Stevens Alexander Library, at 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information or assistance with parking, please contact Fernanda Perrone at hperrone@rulmail.rutgers.edu or 848-932-6154.

This colloquium is co-sponsored by Academia Ordo Templi Orientis.