The Occult Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Present Day
A comprehensive history of the occult from earliest times to the present. Is the universe alive? Are there hidden connections within it, revealed in history and in sacred texts? Can we understand or even learn to control these secrets? Have we neglected an entirely separate science that works according to a different set of principles? Certainly by the time of the Renaissance in Europe, there were many thinkers who answered in the affirmative to all of these questions. Despite the growth of modern science and a general disenchantment of the world, the 'occult' or 'esoteric' tradition has evolved in the West, manifesting itself in such diverse groups as the Freemasons, the Mormons, Christian Scientists, the Theosophists, New Age, and American Fundamentalism. Paradoxically, the turn to science and the triumph of evolution in the nineteenth century produced an explosion of occultism, increasing its power as a kind of super-science. Gothic, fantastic, and supernatural fiction flourished, while Spiritualism emerged as a serious inquiry into the possibility of contacting the dead. After all, if you could communicate with the living at great distances, why should a similar teletechnology not be possible to the other world? Disciplines had not yet hardened, and the borders were as yet undefined between parapsychology and psychology, between mythology and anthropology. Mesmerism became hypnotism, and the subconscious came to be recognized as more than a medium's stomping ground. This book describes the growth and meandering path of the occult tradition over the past five hundred years, and shows how the esoteric world view fits together.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Religion Magic and the Occult Tradition
Conspiracy and Enlightenment from the Rosicrucians
6 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
alchemy American ancient appeared argued astrology became believed Bible biblical Book of Mormon Cagliostro called Cambridge Christ Christian Church concept Corpus Hermeticum cosmos divine early earth Egyptian emphasised England English esoteric esotericism famous Ficino France Frances Yates Frazer Freemasonry Freemasons Freud God's Gothic novel Greek heaven Hebrew Hermes Trismegistus hermetic Hermeticism human ideas idem Isaac Newton Jesus Jewish Jews John Joseph Smith Kabbalah kabbalistic knowledge later Latin living Lodge London Madame Blavatsky magic Masonic Max Miiller medium modern Mormon Myers mystical Nature Neoplatonism Newton nineteenth century occult tradition occultist organisation original Oxford philosophy Pico Plato prophetic Psychical Research published Pyramid religion religious Renaissance Revolution Rosicrucian scholars scientific Scripture secret societies soul spiritual story supernatural Swedenborg Swedenborgianism telepathy Templars temple theology Theosophical Society things thought Thule Society tion translation universe Victorian William James words writings Yates York