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Exploring Science and Occultism in the Theosophical Society (1893-1895)


 
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1. Title Title of document Exploring Science and Occultism in the Theosophical Society (1893-1895) - The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya
 
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country John Crow; Florida State University;
 
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Elizabeth Harris; Liverpool Hope University; United Kingdom
 
3. Subject Discipline(s) Buddhist Studies
 
4. Subject Keyword(s) Allan Bennett; Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya; Buddhism in the West; Buddhism in the UK; Alistair Crowley; The Wisdom of the Aryas; The Religion of Burma and Other Papers; occult; The Buddhist Society; spread of Buddhism
 
6. Description Abstract This is the first biography of Allan Bennett, one of the first British men to gain higher ordination as a Buddhist monk and one of the seminal figures in the development of Buddhism in the UK.


Bennett rejected Christianity early in his life and turned to late nineteenth century new religious movements, namely theosophy and the Order of the Golden Dawn. His involvement in the latter led to friendship with Alistair Crowley. His main spiritual interest at this point in his life was the occult and the esoteric. After he travelled to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1899 for health reasons – he had chronic asthma - he was attracted to Buddhism. Believing Buddhism in Burma (Myanmar) was purer than in Sri Lanka, he opted for ordination there in 1902.


From Burma, he created an international Buddhist network, founding an international Buddhist association, the Buddhasāsana Samāgama and starting a journal, Buddhism – An Illustrated Quarterly Review. In 1908, he led a Buddhist mission to England. Convinced that the West needed Buddhism as an antidote to growing materialism, he became a prolific writer. Two volumes of his writings were published. The first recorded a series of talks he gave in London in 1917-1918, published just two months before he died (The Wisdom of the Aryas). The second was published posthumously (The Religion of Burma and Other Papers). Controversy has surrounded his life, particularly in western Buddhist circles, because of his early involvement with the occult.
 
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
 
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
 
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Nov-2020
 
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
 
11. Type Type
 
12. Format File format PDF
 
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier https://journals.equinoxpub.com/books/article/view/36333
 
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.36333
 
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya
 
16. Language English=en en
 
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
 
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd