Imagining the East: The Early Theosophical Society – eBook PDF
The Theosophical Society (est. 1875 in New York by H. S. Olcott, H. P. Blavatsky, and others) is increasingly becoming known for its influential role in moulding the alternative new cultural and religious landscape of the late nineteenth and the twentieth century, particularly as an early promoter of interest in Tibetan and Indian religions and philosophies. Despite this growing awareness, many of the central questions concerning the early Theosophical Society and the East remain largely unexplored. This ebook is the first scholarly anthology devoted to this topic. It provides many new details about the study of Theosophy in the history of modern religions and Western esotericism.
The essay in Imagining the East, (PDF) studies how Theosophists during the formative period understood the East and those of its people with whom they came into contact. The authors explore the relationship of the theosophical approach with orientalism and aspects of the history of politics, ideas, and culture at large and discuss how these theosophical or esoteric representations mirrored values and conditions current in nineteenth-century mainstream intellectual culture. The essays also consider how the early Theosophical Society’s imagining of the East differed from mainstream ‘orientalism’ and how the Theosophical Society’s mission in India was different from that of British colonialism and Christian missionaries.
“Reading through this superb collection was a wish ride — inspirational and much recommended.” — Lukas Pokorny, Religious Studies Review
“Imagining the East is a breakthrough collection. It could easily become one of the most important scholarly ebooks in the study of the Theosophical movement.” — W. Michael Ashcraft, Truman State University
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