Alvin Boyd Kuhn - A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom (607.0 Kb)
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Since this work was designed to be one of a series of studies in American religions, the treatment of the subject was consciously limited to those aspects of Theosophy which are in some manner distinctively related to America. This restriction has been difficult to enforce for the reason that, though officially born here, Theosophy has never since its inception had its headquarters on this continent. The springs of the movement have emanated from foreign sources and influences. Its prime inspiration has come from ancient Ori... More >>>
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Since this work was designed to be one of a series of studies in American religions, the treatment of the subject was consciously limited to those aspects of Theosophy which are in some manner distinctively related to America. This restriction has been difficult to enforce for the reason that, though officially born here, Theosophy has never since its inception had its headquarters on this continent. The springs of the movement have emanated from foreign sources and influences. Its prime inspiration has come from ancient Oriental cultures. America in this case has rather adopted an exotic cult than evolved it from the conditions of her native milieu.
The main events in American Theosophic history have been mostly repercussions of events transpiring in English, Continental, or Indian Theosophy. It was thus virtually impossible to segregate American Theosophy from its connections with foreign leadership. But the attempt to do so has made it necessary to give meagre treatment to some of the major currents of world-wide Theosophic development. The book does not purport to be a complete history of Theosophy, but it is an attempt to present a unified picture of the movement in its larger aspects. No effort has been made to weigh the truth or falsity of Theosophic principles, but an effort has been made to understand
their significance in relation to the historical situation and psychological disposition of those who have adopted it.
The author wises to express his obligation to several persons without whose assistance the enterprise would have been more onerous and less successful. His thanks are due in largest measure to Professor Roy F. Mitchell of New York University, and to Mrs. Mitchell, for placing at his disposal much of their time and of their wide knowledge of Theosophical material to Mr. L. W. Rogers, President of the American Theosophical Society, Wheaton, Illinois, for cordial co-operation in the matter of the questionnaire, and to the many members of the Society who took pains to reply to the questions to Mr. John Garrigues, of the United Lodge of Theosophists, New York, for valuable data out of his great store of Theosophic information, and to several of the ladies at the U.L.T. Reading Room for library assistance to Professor Louis H. Gray, of Columbia University, for technical criticism in Sanskrit terminology to Mr. Arthur E. Christy, of Columbia University, for data showing Emerson's indebtedness to Oriental philosophy and to Professor Herbert W. Schneider, of Columbia University, for his painstaking criticism of the study throughout.
Alvin Boyd Kuhn (September 22, 1880 - September 14, 1963) was an American Theosophist. A publisher who wrote books that he published himself and a lecturer, he was a known proponent of the Christ myth theory.
Alvin Boyd Kuhn Born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Kuhn studied the Ancient Greek language at university. He obtained his B.A. in 1903 and started his career working as a language teacher in high schools. He enrolled in summer sessions at Columbia University in 1926 and 1927, and then quit teaching to devote to full-time studies in 1927. His thesis, Theosophy: A Modern Revival of the Ancient Wisdom was, according to Kuhn, the first instance in which an individual has been "permitted" by any modern American or European university to obtain his doctorate with a thesis on Theosophy. Kuhn later expanded his thesis into his first book of the same name in 1930. After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1931, he returned to teaching for one year, but then spent the next 30 years writing, lecturing, and running his own publishing house, Academy Press in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Highly influenced by the work of Gerald Massey and Godfrey Higgins, Kuhn contended that the Bible derived its origins from other Pagan religions and much of Christian history was pre-extant as Egyptian mythology. He also proposed that the Bible was symbolic and did not depict real events, and argued that the leaders of the church started to misinterpret the bible at the end of the third century.
Some modern authors including Tom Harpur and John G. Jackson are influenced by the works of Kuhn. Harpur dedicated his 2004 book, "The Pagan Christ" to Kuhn, calling him "a man of immense learning and even greater courage" and "one of the single greatest geniuses of the twentieth century" who "towers above all others of recent memory in intellect and his understanding of the world's religions." Harpur notes that Kuhn gave nearly 2,000 public lectures which were lengthy, detailed and well-attended, but claims that Kuhn's self-publishing may have resulted in a lack of attention to his work.
The author of over 150 books, essays and published papers, Kuhn completed his final book, A Rebirth for Christianity, shortly before his death on September 14, 1963, in Morristown, New Jersey. At the time if his death, he left two unfinished hand-written manuscripts. Several of his works have been published or reprinted posthumously, and many are available electronically.
Alvin Boyd Kuhn Selected bibliography:
- Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom (1930, 2009)
- The Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scriptures (1940)
- Who is this King of Glory? (1944)
- Sex as Symbol (1945)
- The Tree of Knowledge (1947, 2012)
- The Shadow of the Third Century: A Revaluation of Christianity (1949)
- India's True Voice (1955)
- A Rebirth for Christianity (1963, 1971, 2005)
- The Ultimate Canon of Knowledge (1963, 2011)
- Hark! Messiah Speaks (1985)
- Christ's Three Days in Hell (1990) Study
- Case of the Missing Messiah (1990) Study
- Esoteric Structure of the Alphabet (No Date) Pamphlet
- Easter - The Birthday of the Gods (2009)
- Mary Magdalene and Her Seven Devils (2012)
- Alvin Boyd Kuhn's Collection (2012)