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Blavatsky and Monotheism: Towards the Historicisation of a Critical Category

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Madame Blavatsky (1831–1891), the influential occultist, transvalued the category of monotheism, abandoning, in The Secret Doctrine (1888), the positive interpretation that it had been given in Isis Unveiled (1877). This reversal of the prevailing Enlightenment-based valuation of monotheism was related to Blavatsky’s construction of identity as an esotericist. Her discussions must be situated within a wider “invention” of monotheism as a category (taking place most significantly from the early-nineteenth century), and they can be contextualised in relation to the contemporaneous philological, Egyptological, and Orientalist scholarship on which she drew.

Affiliations: 1: Kretiman Fellow, Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, 8410501, Beer Sheva, Israel,


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