Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Theosophy

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_696

“Divine Wisdom,” is a system of thought emphasizing mystical insight into the inner workings of the divine nature. The term is often used more restrictively to refer to the modern movement inaugurated by the creation of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1975. The principal founders were the enigmatic Russian noblewoman Helena P. Blavatsky (1831–1891) and the US lawyer and journalist Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907).

Blavatsky articulated an ideological basis for modern Theosophy in her writings, especially the monumental Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888). Olcott in turn was the first president of the organization. In his inaugural address of 1875, he referred to the conflict between religion and science which so disturbed many Victorian minds, perceiving both pulpit and laboratory as, in his day, representing shallow, dogmatic views of truth. The real solution, he contended, lays in the rediscovery of an “Ancient Wisdom” known in former times but now nearly...

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Bibliography

  1. Ashcraft, W. M. (2002). The dawn of the new cycle; point Loma Theosphists and American culture. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
  2. Blavatsky, H. P. (1877). Isis unveiled. New York: J. W. Bouton.Google Scholar
  3. Blavatsky, H. P. (1888). The secret doctrine. London: Theosophical Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Blavatsky, H. P. (1889). The key to theosophy. London: Theosophical Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, B. F. (1980). Ancient wisdom revived: A history of the theosophical movement. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ellwood, R. (1986). Theosophy: A modern expression of the wisdom of the ages. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Prothero, S. (1996). The white Buddhist: The Asian odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA