A History of the Theosophical Movement in Russia, 1875-1922
Author: Maria Carlson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Among the various kinds of occultism popular during the Russian Silver Age (1890-1914), modern Theosophy was by far the most intellectually significant. This contemporary gnostic gospel was invented and disseminated by Helena Blavatsky, an expatriate Russian with an enthusiasm for Buddhist thought and a genius for self-promotion. What distinguished Theosophy from the other kinds of "mysticism"—the spiritualism, table turning, fortune-telling, and magic—that fascinated the Russian intelligentsia of the period? In answering this question, Maria Carlson offers the first scholarly study of a controversial but important movement in its Russian context. Carlson's is the only work on this topic written by an intellectual historian not ideologically committed to Theosophy. Placing Mme Blavatsky and her "secret doctrine" in a Russian setting, the book also discusses independent Russian Theosophical circles and the impact of the Theosophical-Anthroposophical schism in Russia. It surveys the vigorous polemics of the Theosophists and their critics, demonstrates Theosophy's role in the philosophical dialogues of the Russian creative intelligentsia, and chronicles the demise of the movement after 1917. By exploring this long neglected aspect of the Silver Age, Carlson greatly enriches our knowledge of fin-de-sicle Russian culture. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
First published in 1879, “Marriage - As It Was, As It Is, and As It Should Be” is a short pamphlet written by British writer and activist Annie Besant on the subject of marriage and women's marital rights. Within it Besant outlines the contemporary British marriage laws, which consider women to be merely property of their husbands, and offers suggestions as to how the law can be improved to furnish women with equal rights to men. Despite having been published well over a hundred years ago, Besant's opinions are surprisingly modern and some of her ideas related to shared parenting post-divorce have only recently been ratified in British law. Annie Besant (1847–1933) was a British theosophist, socialist, writer, activist, orator, and staunch advocate for Irish and Indian independence. She was a prolific author, writing more than three hundred books and pamphlets during her life. Other notable works by this author include: “Karma; A Study in Consciousness”, “The Seven Principles of Man”, and “Some Problems of Life”. Read & Co. Great Essays is republishing this classic essay now in a new edition complete with a specially-commissioned new biography of the author.
The Bhagavad-Gita is probably the most popular - and certainly the most frequently quoted and widely studied - work of the Hindu scriptures. This book investigates the relationship between the various interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita and the Hindu tradition. Taking into account a range of influential Indian and western thinkers to illustrate trends in writing about the Bhagavad-Gita including Western academic; Indian activist; Christian theological; Hindu universalist; perennialist mystical and contemporary experiental accounts. Examining the ideas of such influential figures as F Max Muller, M K Ghandi, Bede Griffiths, Swami Vivekananda, Aldous Huxley and Swami Bhakivedanta, this book demonstrates the inextricable link between different interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita and images of the Hindu tradition. This accessible book aptly demonstrates the relevance of the Bhagavad-Gita for an understanding of Hinduism as a modern phenomenon.
[A]n attempt is made to distinguish the essential from the non-essential in each religion... For every religion in the course of time suffers from accretions due to ignorance not to wisdom, to blindness not to vision.-from the ForewordAnne Besant was one of the most popular and beloved voices of the theosophical movement of the early 20th century, and here she turns that occult philosophy, which sought to find the underlying universal truths in all religions, on religion itself. This series of lectures, published in book form in 1906, was intended to help members of each religion recognize the beauty and truth in the faiths not his own. On Hinduism's "complete presentment of spiritual truth," Zoroastrianism's "perfect practical purity," the secret of the Buddha, and the spirit of Jesus' teachings, she is passionate and enlightening in demonstrating the primal essence that unifies them all.British social reformer and writer ANNIE BESANT (1847-1933) was an early public advocate of birth control and women's health care, as well as an active proponent of theosophy. Among her books are The Ancient Wisdom (1897), Death and After (1901), and Occult Chemistry (1919).
Having already published a bibliography on Annie Besant, Theodore Besterman in this book continued with the story of her life. She was a prominent British Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator who lived between 1847 and 1933. Originally published in 1934, this work is fascinating for anyone with an interest in Annie Besant's life specifically or in any of the areas in which she became a household name.
Or, How European Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism
Author: Tomoko Masuzawa
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The idea of "world religions" expresses a vague commitment to multiculturalism. Not merely a descriptive concept, "world religions" is actually a particular ethos, a pluralist ideology, a logic of classification, and a form of knowledge that has shaped the study of religion and infiltrated ordinary language. In this ambitious study, Tomoko Masuzawa examines the emergence of "world religions" in modern European thought. Devoting particular attention to the relation between the comparative study of language and the nascent science of religion, she demonstrates how new classifications of language and race caused Buddhism and Islam to gain special significance, as these religions came to be seen in opposing terms-Aryan on one hand and Semitic on the other. Masuzawa also explores the complex relation of "world religions" to Protestant theology, from the hierarchical ordering of religions typical of the Christian supremacists of the nineteenth century to the aspirations of early twentieth-century theologian Ernst Troeltsch, who embraced the pluralist logic of "world religions" and by so doing sought to reclaim the universalist destiny of European modernity.
Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism—all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country’s Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, Restless Souls explores America’s abiding romance with spirituality as religion’s better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.
Kim tells the story of Kimball O’Hara, an orphaned Irish boy growing up in late nineteenth-century India, and his quest for identity as he strives to reconcile his Western inheritance with the Indian life he has always known. This edition sets the novel in the context of the historical period and addresses Kipling’s ambivalent relationship with India, the Empire’s treatment of the “other” classes and races who worked to maintain the British presence in India, and the place of Kim in Kipling’s career as a writer. Appendices include contemporary reviews of the novel and historical documents on Britain’s and Russia’s struggle for control of Asia, Indian colonization, and the writing of Kim.
University of California (System). Institute of Library Research