Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Books

* Paul Ivey’s Radiance from Halcyon: A Utopian Experiment in Religion and Science is scheduled for an April 1, 2013, release from University of Minnesota Press.

 Radiance from Halcyon is an intriguing account of how the little-known utopian religious community Halcyon—located on California’s central coast in the early 1900s—profoundly influenced modern science. Paul Eli Ivey’s narrative offers a wide-ranging cultural history, encompassing Theosophy, novel healing modalities, esoteric architecture, Native American concepts of community, socialist utopias, and innovative modern music. 

Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1898, The Temple of the People moved to Halcyon in 1903 where it still exists. It has not received as much coverage as other Blavatsky inspired Theosophical groups, and Ivey, an associate professor of art history at the University of Arizona, will certainly remedy the situation with his new book.

* Up till now, Wong Chin Foo (1847-1898) has remained an elusive figure in the early history of modern Theosophy. He visited Mme. Blavatsky in New York in 1877, even delivering a lecture in her rooms (one of the few to do so).

Hong Kong University Press will be publishing the first full length study on him. The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo by Scott D. Seligman is scheduled for a June 1, 2013, release and features a chapter on his interaction with the Theosophists. He was one of the first to employ the term Chinese American. A web site for the book can be viewed here.

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