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The ‘illuminated’ Foire La Foire ‘illuminated’: Esoterism, conspiracy theory, extremism

Books and book chapters

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KeywordsTriple Keywords
Novellas (Short novels)
Stories
Metafiction
Fiction
Novels
Fiction--Philosophy
Drama--Plot
Scenarios
Dramatic plots
Plots (Drama, novel, etc.)
Fiction--Plots
Conspiracies
Science, Political
Government
Politics
Political science
Political theory
Administration
Commonwealth, The
Civil government
Political thought
Human emotions
Feelings
Passions
Emotions
Films
Feature films--History and criticism
Motion pictures
Moving-pictures
Cinema
Movies
Fraternities
Secret societies
Popular arts
Pop culture
Mass culture
Popular culture
Culture, Popular
Urban legends
Legends
Traditions
Folk tales
Religion
Religion, Primitive
Anthropology
Worth
Values
Axiology
History and anthropology
Anthropology and history

Abstract

What is common between the novels of Dan Brown, Esoterico-religious thrillers that have become international best-sellers, and the mass of extreme right pamphlets denouncing conspiracy organised by hidden or semi-hidden powers to establish a ‘global government’? What beliefs and passions share the amateurs of the X-Files TV series, the fans of films, BD or video games featuring secret societies or invasions of extraterrestres, the immoderate consumers of ‘esoteric’ food of all kinds, and the semi-savers can the world of ‘alternative historians’, who are fanatical supporters of the ‘global conspiracy’? By providing answers to these questions, Pierre-André Taguieff invites us to explore the new popular culture that is widely disseminated on the Internet, which is called the Esoterism Bazar. It starts from a finding that: the fictions signed by Dan Brown, among many who have not been equally successful, draw on the same symbolic fund as a multitude of conspiracy pamphlets published since the early 1980s. This stock of rumours, legends and beliefs — sometimes born more than two centuries ago, such as the legend of the Illuminati — continues to be exploited by cultural entrepreneurs specialising in ‘Esoterism’ in the usually vague and catch-all sense of the term, referring to ‘everything exhale a perfume of mystery’. The ‘illuminated’ Foire refers to the production, circulation and reception of these eco -complotist cultural products that are usually neglected or misled by academic work. This book is a demanding reflection on contemporary forms of believing outside the strict boundaries of the institutional religion, no less than the ideological-political field. It is part of the series of works published by Pierre-André Taguieff since The Force of Prefect (1988), whose common ambition is to develop a historical anthropology of modernity, by analysing the representations, values and beliefs seized in their origins and metamorphoses. (Presentation of the publisher)

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