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Plato and the Theatre of the Occult Revival: Edouard Schuré, Katherine Tingley, and Rudolph Steiner

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This article illuminates a modern shift in the relationship between theatre and religion that became apparent during the Occult Revival that thrived in Europe and the United States between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It does this by exploring how Edouard Schuré, Katherine Tingley, and Rudolf Steiner combined theatre with an early-modern legend concerning Plato’s involvement in a primordial religion to the end of constructing and disseminating new esoteric religions and spiritual systems. Unlike previous artists who drew inspiration from religion as they created new works of art, Schuré, Tingley, and Steiner used theatre and esoteric lore to consciously construct religious and spiritual worldviews. The work of Schuré, Tingley, and Steiner shows that the relationship between theatre and modern occultism contributed to the proliferation of new modes of faith during the Occult Revival, and it also suggests that the types of interactions that were established between theatre and religion at that time continue to occur in the present.

Affiliations: 1: University of Toledo

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