Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blavatsky at the Universities

Prof. Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad from Groningen University in the Netherlands was the guest lecturer on February 23, 2010, at Dr. Hans G. Kippenberg’s class, “Pioneers of Religious Revival,” at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. His subject was “Helena Blavatsky: Birth of Modern Esotericism.” The course description says:

The rise of the social power of religions in the modern world is closely linked to intellectuals who lend new credence to religious world views and practices. At the very same moment, when traditional authorities in Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam were losing respect and support among the believers, charismatic often heterodox spokesmen mobilized them by speaking a new type of religious language, by transmitting their messages in non-traditional media and by critically reflecting on experiences of modern culture.

The course focuses on Muslim pioneers Abu Ala Mawdudi, Sayyid Qutb, Ayatollah Fadlallah, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Tariq Ramadan, Fathullah G├╝len; on the Hindu spokesmen Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi; on Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society; on the Jewish thinkers Martin Buber, Abraham and Zvi Yehudah Kook; and on the Christian preacher Martin Luther King.

The first half of the class featured Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad, who, along with Prof. Kippenberg (Professor of Comparative Religious Studies at Jacobs University), offered an appraisal of HPB’s contribution. The course is part of the Integrated Cultural Studies program.

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