ACTIVITIES OF THE RUSSIAN BRANCHES OF THE INTERNATIONAL THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN EMIGRATION (1926-1938)

Abstract


The article is devoted to the history of origin and functioning of the national sections of the International Theosophical Society - the Russian Theosophical Society in emigration. It is shown that this organization ideologically and structurally continued in emigration the work of the Russian Theosophical Society, registered in Russia in 1908, created under the influence of the teachings of H.P.Blavatsky, Annie Besant. The author has reconstructed the general picture of the work of the departments of the organization in Europe, Asia and America in 1920-30 years. The article shows that the Russian National Section was one of 41 national sections. The connection between lodges and prominent representatives of the movement with the International Society is shown through a system of congresses, meetings, joint lectures, sponsorship. The author has shown the organization’s links with international inter-confessional organizations, the role of society in propaganda of theosophical teaching among emigrants and youth. It is proved that, on an ideological basis, it was an occult-mystical organization whose unconventional religiosity was a consequence of the spiritual crisis of the first third of the 20th century. Emigrant sections of the society were also places of meeting with compatriots for Russian emigrants, moral support, performed a compensatory function. It is established that the ideological views of the Theosophists were not Christian, although they positioned themselves as such. Theosophists proposed eclectic knowledge combining occultism, scientological (scientific-like) views and oriental cults, which is the basis of modern non-religious religiousness, the ideological basis for the activity of many new religious movements.


About the authors

Elena V Kriazheva-Kartseva

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.
Email: cat76@bk.ru
6 Mikluho-Maklaya St., Moscow, Russia, 117198

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