Ritman Research Institute

The Ritman Research Institute is dedicated to studying the history of hermetic streams of thought.

Named for the founder of the library, Joost R. Ritman, the Ritman Research Institute is dedicated to studying the history of hermetic streams of thought, especially those in which the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica has strong holdings: hermetica, mysticism, Christian theosophy, heterodoxy, alchemy, Rosicrucians, Freemasonry, Jewish and Christian Kabbala, comparative religion and Western Esotericism. Read more about the collecting areas here.

Today, the importance of “esoteric” thinkers is widely recognized in academia, but that is a recent development. For a long time, the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica was one of the few places to study this tradition. Some of the first scholars associated with the Ritman Research Institute like Roelof van den Broek and Gilles Quispel translated foundational writings, such as the Corpus Hermeticum, the texts of the legendary figure Hermes Trismegistus, and the Gnostic texts, making these writings available to both specialists and the general public for the first time. The Institute’s research has been especially strong in the area of Rosicrucian studies, a field dominated internationally by our longtime researcher and librarian, Carlos Gilly.

The Ritman Research Institute engages with other scholars and the public through conferences, lectures, publications, and cooperative exhibitions with our associated museum, The Embassy of the Free Mind. This is the case, for example, with a series of international exhibitions on the mystical philosopher Jacob Boehme, yet another important focus of our research activity.

The public is welcome to attend our events and we expressly invite interested scholars to contact us about collaboration. It is also possible to do your own research in our reading room.

11 - 12 November 2022 - Conference 'Amsterdam as Haven' (call for papers deadline 9 May)



Dr. Lucinda Martin
(works from Germany)

Lucinda Martin's research treats religious minorities in the 16th-18th centuries, primarily Radical Pietists and spiritualists. Her fields of specialization include religious correspondence networks; religion and gender, visual art in texts, and the religious roots of human rights. She is curator of a series of international exhibitions on Jacob Böhme and is preparing edited volumes on Böhme and on Global Religious Translation, an edition of the letters of the Philadelphian Society and a monograph on the Philadelphian movement.

To see Lucinda Martin's publications, click here.

Dr. Carlos Gilly
Senior Researcher

Carlos Gilly has been a pillar of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica for over thirty years and has a distinguished career as a researcher of Early Modern Hermetism and religious dissidence. He has published dozens of books and articles in multiple languages on theosophy, Gnosis and alchemy, but he is especially known for his studies on Rosicrucianism which are fundamental to the field.

To see Carlos Gilly’s publications, click here.

Corey Andrews
Junior Researcher

Corey Andrews's interests include early modern esoteric thought, evolutionary psychology, the neurobiological underpinnings of religious belief, dream symbolism, and the reception of Rosicrucian thought in twentieth century psychoanalysis. His current research focuses on Pansophia (universal wisdom), especially in Rosicrucianism in early modern Europe. In addition to leading tours of exhibitions, he recently published an article exploring the symbolism of a seventeenth-century Rosicrucian manuscript.

To see Corey Andrew's publications, click here.

Kyra Gerber
Junior Researcher

Kyra Gerber is pursuing two Master’s degrees in Jewish Studies and History (Research) at the University of Amsterdam. She received the Heinrich Heine Prize for Young Research in 2019 and has published academic articles on Jewish history. Her research interests include the writings of Heinrich Heine, Judaism, Freemasonry, and Alchemy. She aims to start her PhD on Jewish masculinity after her graduation. 

To see Kyra Gerber's publications, click here.