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Esoteric Encounters: Queen of Sheba in Solomon's Temple

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ESOTERIC ENCOUNTERS:
QUEEN OF SHEBA IN
SOLOMON’S TEMPLE
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
andreas.onnerfors@gu.se

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First edition
1851,
Nerval
travelled to
Lebanon and
Turkey in 1843

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Frame narrative (recurs and
breaks into the chapters): ‘Une
légende dans un café'
1 Adoniram
2 Balkis
3 Le Temple
4 Mello
...

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Esoteric Encounters: Queen of Sheba in Solomon's Temple

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A lecture on Nerval's version of the Hiramic legend

A lecture on Nerval's version of the Hiramic legend

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Esoteric Encounters: Queen of Sheba in Solomon's Temple

  1. 1. ESOTERIC ENCOUNTERS: QUEEN OF SHEBA IN SOLOMON’S TEMPLE Dr. Andreas Önnerfors andreas.onnerfors@gu.se
  2. 2. First edition 1851, Nerval travelled to Lebanon and Turkey in 1843
  3. 3. Frame narrative (recurs and breaks into the chapters): ‘Une légende dans un café' 1 Adoniram 2 Balkis 3 Le Temple 4 Mello 5 La Mer d’Airain 6 L’ Apparition 7 Le Monde Souterrain 8 Le Lavoire de Siloe 9 Le trois Compagnons 10 L’Entrevue 11 Le Souper du Roi 12 Makbénach
  4. 4. BALKIS: descendent of Noah SOLOMON: descendent of Abel ADONIRAM descendent of Tubal-Kain / Kain / Satan? Orpheus/Prometheus/the Artist, Nerval himself?
  5. 5. The Temple A play written by playwright Peter Oswald (2009) (1843) 1851 1875 / 1897 1904 / 2009
  6. 6. What are Nerval’s potential motives and the potential of the legend’s motifs? ◦ Simply recounts a novel told in an Istanbul café? (frame narrative creates the impression that it is just documentary, spontaneous and performative) ◦ Makes a statement about the source of the Hiramic legend in freemasonry? Oriental and links to Islamic mysticism? ◦ Or: re-introducing the figure of Balkis into the story (which is present rudimentary in some masonic traditions and moreover has a strong Renaissance legacy) brings the occult dimensions of the conflict between Cain and Abel to life. ◦ In extension: re-charging the legend with a theosophical/mystical/esoteric dimension opens up for performance and expression => literature as inspiration for esoteric practices ◦ Picked up in anthroposophy, it served Steiner as a vehicle of addressing gender-specific qualities in his teachings, potentially as an element in his Esoteric School ◦ Nerval transformed into a theatre play, The Temple, in 2008/2009 by renown English playwright Peter Oswald, which highlights its performative potential.

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