Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-religion

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Sophia Perennis, 2003 - Religion - 335 pages
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Many readers of Guenon's later doctrinal works have longed to hear the tale of his earlier entanglement, and disentanglement, from the luxuriant undergrowth of so-called esoteric societies in late nineteenth-century Paris and elsewhere. The present work documents in excoriating detail Guenon's findings on what did, and did not, lie behind the Theosophical Society founded by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in 1875. Much further information has of course come to light during the 80 years since this book was written, but it has never been superseded as a fascinating record of the path of a master metaphysician through this maze. A sampling of chapter titles will convey a sense of the depth of this remarkable work: 'Madame Blavatsky's Antecedents', 'The Theosophical Society and Rosicrucianism', 'The Question of the Mahatmas', 'The Society for Psychical Research', 'Esoteric Buddhism', 'Esoteric Christianity', 'The Future Messiah', 'The Trials of Alcyone', 'The Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner', 'The Order of the Star of the East', 'Theosophy and Freemasonry', 'The Political Role of the Theosophical Society'. A particularly unusual feature is its extensive treatment of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, which has recently attracted the attention of scholars of the occult. The Collected Works of Rene Guenon brings together the writings of one of the greatest prophets of our time, whose voice is even more important today than when he was alive. Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions, etc.
 

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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
At the Parliament of Religions
151
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

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
138
The Beginning of Mrs Besants Presidency
142
Theosophy and Freemasonry
235
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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