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Theosophy across Boundaries
Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on a Modern Esoteric Movement
Theosophy across Boundaries
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Hans Martin Krämer - Editor
Julian Strube - Editor
SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 486 pages
Release Date: November 2020
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8041-1



Offers a new approach to Theosophy that takes into account its global dimensions and its interaction with highly diverse cultural contexts.

Theosophy across Boundaries brings a global history approach to the study of esotericism, highlighting the important role of Theosophy in the general histories of religion, science, philosophy, art, and politics. The first half of the book consists of seven perspectives on the activities of the Theosophical Society in very different regional contexts, ranging from India, Vietnam, China, and Japan to Victorian Britain and Israel, shedding new light on the entanglement of “Western” and “Oriental” ideas around 1900. The second half explores specific cultural influences that Theosophy exerted in the spheres of literature, art, and politics, using case studies from Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Japan, Ireland, Germany, and Russia. The examples clearly show that Theosophy was part of a truly global movement, thus providing an outstanding example of the complex entanglements of the global religious history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

“This book successfully demonstrates that the Theosophical Society and its derivatives crossed all sorts of intellectual and cultural boundaries, and it makes a strong case that these phenomena—long ignored because of their heterodox nature—must be given the attention they deserve. The volume will appeal to those with an interest in the history of New Age and esoteric thought, but its many strengths include that it reveals Theosophy’s broader historical relevance, thereby introducing the movement to a wider audience.” — Julie Chajes, author of Recycled Lives: A History of Reincarnation in Blavatsky’s Theosophy

Hans Martin Krämer is Professor of Japanese Studies at Heidelberg University, Germany, and the author of Shimaji Mokurai and the Reconception of Religion and the Secular in Modern Japan. Julian Strube is a Research Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Münster, Germany.

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