010038 VU The Theosophical Society (2019S)
- Anmeldung von Fr 01.02.2019 10:00 bis Do 02.05.2019 10:00
- Abmeldung bis Do 02.05.2019 23:59
Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert
Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung
Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel
The language of instruction and discussion is English. Students are expected to engage in class discussion.General Guidelines:
1. The medium of instruction for the course will be English.
2. Students are expected to attend all the classes which will be helpful for them to grasp the subject.
3. Students are also expected to prepare at least three questions from the reading materials. These questions has to be sent to the instructor via email (M.Mukhopadhyay@uva.nl) before the beginning of the course. In each class, one question sent by each student can be read out. These questions will be selected by their relevance to the particular day’s theme.
Point number 2 and 3 of the guidelines will contribute to the students’ classroom participation (20% of the total grade).
Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab
Course assessment comprises of three items:
1. Class participation (20%)
2. A 90-minutes written examination on the last day of the course (30%)
3. Term Paper: One 1500-words essay for post-course submission (50%)
1. Questions for written examination (any one):
A. How did the Theosophical Society became a global phenomenon in the late 19th and early 20th century?
B. Discuss the role of some of the key figures of the Theosophical Society and their contribution to modern Occultism.
C. Which primary sources/records you consider important for constructing a historical narrative of the Theosophical movement? Mention why and how you will engage with those records.
2. Term Paper: Students are free to write a well-researched paper on any topic of their choice on the basis of lecture contents and readings. It is recommendable to engage with primary sources while writing this paper.
A. Class 1:
1. Michael Gomes, The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, Wheaton, Il: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987.
• H.P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, London: The Theosophical Publishing Company Limited, 1889.
B. Class 2:
1. Joscelyn Godwin, “Blavatsky and the First Generation of Theosophy”, in Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein (eds.), Handbook of the Theosophical Currents, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013, 15-32.
2. Catherine Wessinger, “The Second Generation Leaders of the Theosophical Society (Adyar)”, in Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein (eds.), Handbook of the Theosophical Currents, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013, 33-50.
C. Class 3:
1. Karl Baier, “Theosophical Orientalism and the Structures of Intercultural Transfer: Annotations on the Appropriation of the Cakras in early Theosophy”, in Julie Chajes and Boaz Huss (eds.), Theosophical Appropriations: Esotericism, Kabbalah and the Transformation of Traditions, Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 2016, 309-354.
2. Michael Bergunder, “Experiments with Theosophical Truth: Gandhi, Esotericism, and Global Religious History”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82 (2014), 398-426.
3. Mriganka Mukhopadhyay, “Occult and the Orient: Theosophical Society and the Socio-Religious Space in Colonial India” , in: Presidency Historical Review, Vol.1, Issue 2, December 2015, 9-37.
4. Marco Pasi, “Oriental Kabbalah and the Parting of East and West in the Early Theosophical Society”, in: B. Huss, M. Pasi, and K. von Stuckrad (eds.), Kabbalah and Modernity: Interpretations, Transformations, Adaptations, Brill: Boston – Leiden, 2010, 151-166.
• Annie Besant, The Case for India, Presidential address to the Indian National Congress at the Thirty-Second Annual Session, Calcutta, December 26, 1917. Krotona, Theosophical Publishing House, 1918.D. Class 4:
1. Catharina Brandt and Olav Hammer, “Rudolph Steiner and Theosophy”, in Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein (eds.), Handbook of the Theosophical Currents, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013, 113-134.
2. Perry MYERS, “Colonial Consciousness: Rudolf Steiner’s Orientalism and German Cultural Identity”, Journal of European Studies, 36:4 (2006), 389-417.
• Rudolf STEINER, lecture 10 from: The Mission of Folk-Souls (in Connection with Germanic Scandinavian Mythology). A Course of Eleven Lectures, London – New York, Anthroposophical Publishing Company – Anthroposophic Press, 1929. Online version at:
E. Class 5:
1. Olav Hammer, “Theosophical Elements in New Age Religion”, in Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein (eds.), Handbook of the Theosophical Currents, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013, 237-258.