I plan on discussing the religious phenomenon of Theosophist Annie Besant, a social reformer who challenged and fought for the independence and religious rights of women. I will also clarify what Theosophy means in terms of their beliefs, practices, and manners of life. Besant was a member of the National and Secular Society, which I will also address in my paper. Besants main involvement was with a women's society called the Theosophical Society.
Annie Besant joined The Theosophical Society on 21 May 1889, and became a devoted pupil and helper of HPB, pledging her loyalty to the President-Founder, Col. H. S. Olcott, and the cause of Theosophy. She became the most brilliant exponent of Theosophy, both as orator and author. In 1893 she represented…show more content… Helena Blavatsky’s writings became the first exposition of what is today known as modern Theosophy. “Wherever thought has struggled to be free, wherever spiritual ideas, as opposed to forms and dogmatism, have been promulgated, there is to be discerned that great surge of moral, evolution which H. P. Blavatsky described and named as the Theosophical Movement.” (The Theosophical Movement: Chp.1) There were many important figures in this movement, but I am looking at one lady in specific, named Annie Besant, “a social reformer and Theosophist who advocated for the independence and religious rights of women” (The Theosophical Press). Annie wasn't at all unfamiliar with these traditional religious practices. In fact, she married a man named Frank Besant, at 19. She started questioning the extreme traditional religious views her husband viewed, and in response he kicked her out of their family, home, and church. Annie became very involved within the Theosophical Society. She supported and helped organize a strike for a number of female workers' demonstrations for better working conditions. The strike was held in 1888, which was for the female workers at the May and Bryant match factory in London. The movement “may be considered simply as the path of spiritual progress, individually and collectively, of human beings” (The Theosophical Movement). Annie was the president of the Theosophical while Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a spiritualist, founded the Theosophical Society in 1885. The two ideologies that drive the movement are gender equality and feminism. Gender ideology is concerned