The White Buddhist

The White Buddhist : The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott

4.23 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Denounced by the New York Times as an "unmitigated rascal" while simultaneously being lauded as a reincarnation of Gautama Buddha himself, Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907) was friend to Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, and an indefatigable reformer and culture broker between East and West. Olcott helped bring about a new spiritual creation, Protestant Buddhism, a creative creolization of American Protestantism, traditional Theravada Buddhism, and other influences. Stephen Prothero's portrait of Olcott is an engaging study of spiritual quest and cross-cultural encounters.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 421.84g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 13 b&w illus.
  • 0253222761
  • 9780253222763
  • 669,867

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Universal Reformer
2. From Spiritualism to Theosophy
3. An Errand to Asia
4. The Sinhalese Buddhist Revival
5. A United Buddhist World
6. The Indian Renaissance
7. Things Fall Apart
Selected Bibliography
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Review quote

An important study of a remarkable 19th-century American. * Choice * Prothero's study should interest not only scholars in the field but students of Asian religions and American religious history generally. * Journal of American History * The first scholarly biographical study of [this] influential figure; its use of "creolization" theory adds to ongoing conversations about how to understand contact, colonialism, and conversion. * Religious Studies Review * Prothero has succeeded in creating a portrait of Olcott that will shape future scholarship. . . . Engaging and succinct. * Gnosis Magazine * A meticulous story of a very colorful subject. In the process, [Prothero] assists the understanding of religious pluralism in our current age. * Church History *
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About Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero is Professor of Religion at Boston University. His books include God is Not One: The Eight Religious Rivals that Run the World; American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon; and the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--and Doesn't, which won a 2007 Quill Book Award. Prothero blogs for CNN's Belief Blog and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, Slate, and Salon.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3)
4 77% (10)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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