Hans Martin Krämer and Julian StrubeOct 12, 2021
Theosophy across Boundaries
Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on a Modern Esoteric Movement
SUNY Press 2020
Theosophy across Boundaries: Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on a Modern Esoteric Movement (SUNY Press, 2020) 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.
Hans Martin Krämer is Professor of Japanese Studies at Heidelberg University in Germany.
Julian Strube is Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Vienna.
Samee Siddiqui is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945.