Category Archives: Uncategorized

First academic review of Letters to the Sage

“Johnson has been a neglected figure, known only to scholars of Neoplatonism and esotericism. This most useful, well produced volume—and forthcoming volumes—will provide new source material for scholars and introduce him to a wider public.”– Jay Bregman, University of Maine, … Continue reading

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Abijah Alley of Long Holler, Virginia

The July 2017 edition of the American Communal Societies Quarterly  features a 40 page article which is the first investigation by academic scholars of a remarkable 19th century Virginian, Abijah Alley (1791-1866) of Long Hollow (aka holler) in Scott County. … Continue reading

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Alice Barr Johnson in the Journal of the Johnson Library and Museum

One of the unexpected discoveries made in my visit to Osceola is how vividly Alice Barr Johnson is remembered by the family and community, and how strongly her presence is felt in the Johnson Library and Museum and the St. … Continue reading

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Troubled Emissaries

In 2016, Alexandria West, a non-profit based in Turlock, California, published Troubled Emissaries: How H.P. Blavatsky’s Successors Transformed the Theosophical Society from 1891 to 1895 by Brett Forray. The conflicts over spiritual authority leading to eventual breakup of the Theosophical … Continue reading

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At Long Last Osceola

More than four years have elapsed since I began collaborating with Patrick Bowen on the transcription, annotation, and biographical sketches for Letters to the Sage. But only last week did I finally get to Osceola, Missouri where Thomas Moore Johnson, … Continue reading

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Hermeticism in Expect Great Things by Kevin Dann

A new study of Henry David Thoreau sheds more light on the Hermetic underpinnings of Transcendentalism. In Expect Great Things, Kevin Dann notes that the figure in the Concord milieu most influential in promoting Hermetic ideas was Bronson Alcott, who … Continue reading

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Aphrodite's Daughters by Maureen Honey

This new study from Rutgers University Press provides the longest and most informative publication to date about Angelina Weld Grimké, one of three Harlem Renaissance poets discussed by Maureen Honey. Here is the summary from the publisher’s website: The Harlem … Continue reading

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Fruitlands by Richard Francis

Bronson Alcott seems to lurk around every corner in my research into the New England Transcendentalist background of the Thomas Moore Johnson correspondence. His “Western tours” to Missouri and Illinois lit the flame of the movement called the “Missouri Platonists” … Continue reading

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Quest Magazine Review of Letters to the Sage vol. 1

The Winter 2017 issue of Quest, published by the Theosophical Society in America, includes a substantial review of Letters to the Sage by Jay Kinney. Full issues become available online after a year, but for now only subscribers can read … Continue reading

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Deterritorialization and Reterritorialization

While working on the Alexander Wilder letters to Thomas Johnson, I was struck by a common trait the two men shared in the 1880s which reminds me of the New Age scene of the 1980s. In each case, deterritorialization beginning … Continue reading

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The Solitaire Platonist

The second volume of Letters to the Sage is a step nearer completion as of the beginning of 2017. Last month I completed a first draft of a chronology of the letters. This year, I will be completing the editing of the … Continue reading

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Western Sufism: From the Abbasids to the New Age

Oxford University Press consistently publishes cutting edge scholarship on esotericism and related movements and is the gold standard of academic writing in religious studies. November 16 was publication date for this book covering nearly two thousand years of history. As … Continue reading

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Treasures from Lily Dale

IAPSOP.com has announced the sixth release of the Standard Spiritualist and Occult Corpus (SSOC), the online archive of esoteric texts which has now grown to more than 6700 titles.  There are also more than fifty new or expanded periodicals holdings, … Continue reading

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Letters to the Sage, first Amazon review

It will probably be 2017 before any print reviews appear, but we now have our first Amazon review and it is very gratifying.  One correction: much as I would like to share credit for Patrick Bowen’s excellent introduction to Volume … Continue reading

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Norman Astley Handwriting

Five years ago, I gave a presentation to the biennial Church of Light convention in which I suggested that Norman Astley, who married Genevieve Stebbins in 1892 and with her was a major influence on Elbert Benjamine until her death … Continue reading

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