Annie Besant and Progressive Messianism (1847-1933)

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"What distinguishes this study is the author's thesis that such disparate intellectual positions and social enterprises display a consistent concern on Besant's part for the creation of a new civilization based on human unity and brought about by service and self-sacrifice. . . . Scholars in women's studies and nineteenth-century religious thought will want to read this, as will students of contemporary Theosophy." - Religious Studies Review

"What emerges from this study is a view of Annie Besant's unremitting optimism in humanity's eventual salvation. . . . Its virtue lies in its disciplined approach and the honest . . . presentation of evidence to support the theme." - The Canadian Theosophist

". . . concludes that Messianism was the ultimate concern of Besant's Theosophical thought - elements conducive to it being present in her early writings." - Studies on Women Abstracts

". . . provides a useful corrective to previous treatments of similar subjects. . . . makes sense of the apparently contradictory positions which Besant adopted at various times in her life, emphasizing her continuing commitment to social reform and the gradual development of a religious system which supported her ideals. . . . revealing the close relationship between women's religious experience and the larger world of politics, nationalism, and social reform." - Gender and History

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