Just Published: Theatre of the Occult Revival


Edmund B. Lingan’s The Theatre of the Occult Revival: Alternative Spiritual performance from 1875 to the Present was just released by Palgrave Macmillan (on November 19, says Amazon).  According to the publisher’s website:

Based on field research and archival study, this book offers an in-depth exploration of the religious foundations, political and social significance, and aesthetic aspects of the theatre created by several of the most influential leaders of the Occult Revival: Katherine Tingley, Rudolf Steiner, Marie Steiner-von Sivers, Aleister Crowley, Alexander Mathews, and Gerald Gardner. The Occult Revival was an international surge of interest in the supernatural, magic, and Eastern mysticism that thrived in Europe and the United States between the late nineteenth-century and the mid-twentieth-century. By studying the theatre that was developed in affiliation with occult movements, this book shows how theatre contributed to the complication and fragmentation of Western religious culture during the turn-of-the-century Occult Revival and how theatre continues to play a part in the development of occult rituals and beliefs.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations

1. The Occult Revival and Its Theatrical Impulses
2. Katherine Tingley and the Theatre of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society
3. The Anthroposophical Theatre of Rudolf and Marie Steiner
4. Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic Theatre
5. Rosicrucian Theatre and Wiccan Ritual
6. The Neo-Pagan Performance Current

Lingan is Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Toledo. His 2006 doctoral dissertation for the City University of New York was titled The Theatre of the New Religious Movements of Europe and America from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.

Richard Kaczynski

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2002; rev exp ed 2010), the history Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City (2019), along with a bunch of other books, articles, and chapters that you can read about at his website, www.richard-kaczynski.com.

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