Theosophical Enlightenment

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SUNY Press, Oct 28, 1994 - Religion - 448 pages
6 Reviews
This is an intellectual history of occult and esoteric currents in the English-speaking world from the early Romantic period to the early twentieth century. The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875 by Helena P. Blavatsky, holds a crucial position as the place where all these currents temporarily united, before again diverging. The book’s ambiguous title points to the author’s thesis that Theosophy owed as much to the skeptical Enlightenment of the eighteenth century as it did to the concept of spiritual enlightenment with which it is more readily associated.

The author respects his sources sufficiently to allow that their world, so different from that of academic reductionism, has a right to be exhibited on its own terms. At the same time he does not conceal the fact that he considers many of them deluded and deluding.

In the context of theosophical history, this book is neither on the side of the blind votaries of Madame Blavatsky, nor on that of her enemies. It may, therefore, be expected to mildly annoy both sides.
  

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Review: The Theosophical Enlightenment

User Review  - Keely - Goodreads

Bah, I lost my copy of this in the move--and I was enjoying it, too. Read full review

Review: The Theosophical Enlightenment

User Review  - Goodreads

Bah, I lost my copy of this in the move--and I was enjoying it, too. Read full review

Contents

The Worship of the Generative Powers
1
The Cult of the Sun
27
The Blasphemers
49
The Shoemaker and the Squire
67
Magicians and Revolutionaries
93
Neophytes and Initiates
115
Artists and Astrologers
131
Animal Magnetism
151
Rosicrucian Pretenders
247
Enter Madame Blavatsky
277
Wisdom from the East
307
The Hermetic Reaction
333
The Parting of East and West
363
Transcription of Raja Rammohun Roy s letter to Robert Dale Owen
381
Transcription of Hargrave Jenningss letter to BulwerLytton
383
Notes
387

Visions in the Crystal
169
Hydesville and After
187
From the Orphic Circle to the Golden Dawn
205
The Way to Christ
227

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About the author (1994)

Joscelyn Godwin is a Professor at Colgate University. His previous works include Arktos; Robert Fludd; Athanasius Kircher; Mystery Religions in the Ancient World; Harmonies of Heaven and Earth; The Mystery of the Seven Vowels; and L’Ésotérisme musical en France.

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