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Major Trends in Post-Enlightenment Esotericism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at some of the more important groups, individuals, and approaches that have emerged since the Enlightenment, specifically dealing with their relevance for Dragon Rouge in particular and late modern esotericism in general. The impact of Enlightenment ideals is apparent in the three core goals stipulated at the foundation of the Theosophical Society: In aiming to 'form the core of an universal brotherhood of man, independent of Faith, race, gender or social position', Theosophy demonstrates the Enlightenment ideal of universalism; the aims to 'encourage the study of all religions, philosophy and science' and to 'study the laws of Nature and the psychic and spiritual powers of man' demonstrate the influence of scientism, as discussed by Olav Hammer, in an obvious turn away from religious rhetoric in favour of a science-like one.

Keywords: Dragon Rouge; Enlightenment; esotericism; philosophy; Theosophical Society

10.1163/9789004274877_004
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