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Rescued from the NationAnagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World$
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Steven Kemper

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226199078

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226199108.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

Dharmapala as Theosophist

Dharmapala as Theosophist

(p.52) Chapter One Dharmapala as Theosophist
Rescued from the Nation

Steven Kemper

University of Chicago Press

The Theosophical Society was a late 19th century affective community that brought together people who were unlikely to meet under other circumstances. Theosophical branches overcame the centrifugal forces of distance, nationalism, and religion. The allure was spiritual development and universal brotherhood. Blavatsky and Olcott drew on Buddhist concepts to create a transidiomatic world of adepts living high in the Himalayas and their followers. Dharmapala remained committed to those specifically Buddhist adepts throughout his life. His renunciation aside, he even contemplated what Theosophists call “spiritual marriage.” The overcoded relationship of Buddhism and Theosophy generally made it possible for Dharmapala to move easily between them. Spiritual marriage did not.

Keywords:   affective communities, theosophy, universal brotherhood, transidiomaticity, overcoding, spiritual marriage, Henry Steel Olcott, Helena Blavatsky

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