Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-religion

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Sophia Perennis, 2004 - Literary Collections - 335 pages
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Since the late nineteenth century, the Theosophical Society has been a central force in the movement now known as the New Age. Just as the Communist Party was considered 'old hat' by peace activists in the '60s, so the Theosophical Society was looked upon by many in the 'spiritual revolution' of those years as cranky, uninteresting, and passe. But the Society, like the Party, was always there, and-despite its relatively few members-always better organized than anybody else. important role in today's global interfaith movement, and, since the flowering of the New Age in the '70s, has established increasingly intimate ties with the global elites. And its various spinoffs, such as Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Summit Lighthouse, and Benjamin Creme's continuing attempt to lead a 'World Teacher Maitreya' onto the global stage-just as the Society tried to do in the last century with Krishnamurti-continue to send waves through the sea of 'alternative' spiritualities. more to Theosophy than to Hinduism or Buddhism, provides a clear picture of the charlatanry that was sometimes a part of the Society's modus operandi, and gives the early history of the Society's bid for political power, particularly its role as an agent of British imperialism in India. It is fitting that this work should finally appear in English just at this moment, when the influence of pseudo-esoteric spiritualities on global politics is probably greater than ever before in Western history.
 

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Contents

Theosophy and Theosophism
1
Madame Blavatskys Antecedents
5
The Origins of the Theosophical Society
11
The Theosophical Society and Rosicrucianism
25
The Question of the Mahatmas
35
The Society for Psychical Research Affair
51
Madame Blavatsky and Solovioff
61
Madame Blavatskys Power of Suggestion
68
Esoteric Christianity
158
The Duchess of Pomar
164
The Future Messiah
172
The Trials of Alcyone
182
The Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner
194
The Order of the Star of the East and its Annexes
208
The Old Catholic Church
216
Theosophy and Freemasonry
235

Madame Blavatskys Last Years
73
The Sources of Madame Blavatskys Works
82
Esoteric Buddhism
90
Principal Points of Theosophical Teaching
97
Theosophy and Spiritism
111
Theosophy and the Religions
124
The Oath in Theosophy
132
Mrs Besants Antecedents
142
At the Parliament of Religions
151
Auxiliary Organizations of the Theosophical Society
244
Theosophical Moralism
259
Theosophy and Protestantism
267
The Political Role of the Theosophical Society
273
Conclusion
291
Reviews of Books and Articles
298
Index
331
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