Marc Demarest on the Armchair Occultist, Godfrey Higgins: Modern Occultism, and the Professionalization of History

The Armchair Occultist: Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis and Modern Occultism Lecture.
Emma Hardinge Britten Archive.

The Church, Christian Spiritualists, and the professional establishment sought to control the influence of occultists. Anacalypsis becomes a popular rediscovery of literature at the time Isis Unveiled is published. Marc Demarest explains how the tyros of Occult Literature and Mythography (1820s-1870s) become entirely “rejected knowledge,” right around the time the process in the professionalization of History c. 1880-1900s is being cemented.

“One or two of the results of the wild scheme of astronomical allegory first encountered by Dupuis in his Origins of Religions, near the close of the last century; popularized by Volney in his Ruins; adapted with variations more or less fully by Sir William Drummond in his Oedipus Judaicus; by Godfrey Higgins in the vast muddle of undigested learning, the Anacalypsis; repeated ad nauseum by men of feebler minds and even greater anti-Christian malignity, and galvanized into new life by some writers of our own day, may be cited.” (John T. Perry, The Credibility of History, July 1878.)

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