Dr. Vadim Putzu, Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at Missouri State University, brought a taste of the Ozarks to the conference table in Italy this summer, presenting his research on the nature and place of Kabbalah in the writings of Thomas Moore Johnson of Osceola, MO.
The conference, European Network for the Study of Islamic Esotericism (ENSIE), was hosted by the Cini Foundation on splendid San Giorgio Maggiore Island, across the canal from St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy. About 25 speakers from across Europe, the Middle East, and North America were selected to present their research on the topic of “Common and Comparative Esotericism: Western, Islamic, and Jewish” over the course of three days. Participants were hosted in a former 16th-century monastery and treated to many common meals, as well as a special “tour of esoteric Venice.”
Thomas Moore Johnson (1851-1919), was an American attorney and student of philosophy. Known as the “Missouri Platonist,” he lived in Osceola, MO and published The Platonist. In 1875, he became one of the first members of the Theosophical Society, founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott (TheosophyWiki).