Henry Steel Olcott

Buddhist Theosophical SocietyHenry OlcottColonel Henry Steel OlcottOlcottColonel OlcottH. S. OlcottColonel H. S. OlcottHenry Steele OlcottBuddhist CatechismCol. Olcott
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society.wikipedia
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Theosophical Society

TheosophicalThe Theosophical SocietyTheosophy
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society.
Following the death of Blavatsky, competition within the Society between factions emerged, particularly among founding members and the organisation split between the Theosophical Society Adyar (Olcott-Besant) and the Theosophical Society Pasadena (Judge).

Sri Lankan independence movement

independenceindependence movementindependence struggle
Olcott has been called by Sri Lankans "one of the heroes in the struggle of our independence and a pioneer of the present religious, national and cultural revival".
The Buddhist revival was aided by the Theosophists, led by American Col. Henry Steel Olcott, who helped establish Buddhist schools such as Ananda College, Colombo; Dharmaraja College, Kandy; Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala; Mahinda College, Galle;and Musaeus College, Colombo; at the same time injecting more modern secular western ideas into the 'Protestant' Buddhist thoughtstream.

Helena Blavatsky

Madame BlavatskyHelena Petrovna BlavatskyBlavatsky
Also in 1874, Olcott met Helena Blavatsky while both were visiting the Eddy farm.
Relocating to the United States in 1873, she befriended Henry Steel Olcott and rose to public attention as a spirit medium, attention that included public accusations of fraudulence.

Buddhism in Sri Lanka

BuddhistSri LankaSri Lankan Buddhism
Olcott was a major revivalist of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and he is still honored in Sri Lanka for these efforts.
In 1880 Henry Steel Olcott arrived in Sri Lanka with Madame Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society; he had been inspired when he read about the Panadura debate and after learning about Buddhism converted to the religion.

Theosophical Society Adyar

Theosophical SocietyAdyar School of TheosophyAdyar
The headquarters of the Society were established at Adyar, Chennai as the Theosophical Society Adyar, starting also the Adyar Library and Research Centre within the headquarters.
Its headquarters moved with Blavatsky and president Henry Steel Olcott from New York to Adyar, an area of Chennai, in 1886.

Adyar Library

Adyar Library and Research Centre
The headquarters of the Society were established at Adyar, Chennai as the Theosophical Society Adyar, starting also the Adyar Library and Research Centre within the headquarters.
The Adyar Library and Research Centre was founded in 1886 by theosophist Henry Steel Olcott.

Orange, New Jersey

OrangeOrange, NJOrange Township
Olcott was born on 2 August 1832 in Orange, New Jersey, the oldest of six children, to Presbyterian businessman Henry Wyckoff Olcott and Emily Steele Olcott.

Ananda College

Ananda College, ColomboAnanda College ColomboAnanda College of Colombo
The Theosophical Society built several Buddhist schools in Ceylon, most notably Ananda College in 1886 and Nalanda College, Colombo in 1925, Dharmaraja College Kandy in 1887, Maliyadeva College Kurunegala in 1888, Mahinda College Galle in 1892, Musaeus Girls College in Colombo and Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda.
It was established on November 1, 1886, by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott and became a government school in 1961.

William Quan Judge

W.Q. JudgeJudgeW. Q. Judge
In 1875, Olcott, Blavatsky, and others, notably William Quan Judge, formed the Theosophical Society in New York City, USA.
Like Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, he stayed in the organization when others left.

Dharmaraja College

Dharmaraja College, KandyDharmaraja College Ground Dharmaraja College Kandy
The Theosophical Society built several Buddhist schools in Ceylon, most notably Ananda College in 1886 and Nalanda College, Colombo in 1925, Dharmaraja College Kandy in 1887, Maliyadeva College Kurunegala in 1888, Mahinda College Galle in 1892, Musaeus Girls College in Colombo and Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda.
Dharmaraja College, as well as the other Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka, owes its existence to Col Henry Steel Olcott, philanthropist and the founder of the Buddhist Theosophical Society.

Mahinda College

Mahinda College, GalleMahinda
The Theosophical Society built several Buddhist schools in Ceylon, most notably Ananda College in 1886 and Nalanda College, Colombo in 1925, Dharmaraja College Kandy in 1887, Maliyadeva College Kurunegala in 1888, Mahinda College Galle in 1892, Musaeus Girls College in Colombo and Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda.
The school was established on 1 March 1892 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

Maliyadeva College

Maliyadeva College, Sri LankaMaliyadeva Boy's CollegeMaliyadeva College, Kurunegala
The Theosophical Society built several Buddhist schools in Ceylon, most notably Ananda College in 1886 and Nalanda College, Colombo in 1925, Dharmaraja College Kandy in 1887, Maliyadeva College Kurunegala in 1888, Mahinda College Galle in 1892, Musaeus Girls College in Colombo and Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda.
It is located in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, and was established in 1888 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society, led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

Buddhism and Theosophy

Theosophy and BuddhismTheosophyworks
Some theosophists like Helena Blavatsky, Helena Roerich and Henry Steel Olcott also became Buddhists.

Anagarika Dharmapala

Anagarika DhammapalaAnagārika DharmapālaAnagarika Dharmapāla
His Westernized view of Buddha influenced Sri Lankan leaders, such as Anagarika Dharmapala.
Along with Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Blavatsky, the creators of the Theosophical Society, he was a major reformer and revivalist of Sinhala Buddhism and an important figure in its western transmission.

Buddhism

BuddhistBuddhistsBuddhadharma
Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernized lens.
Early Buddhist modernist figures such as the American convert Henry Olcott (1832– 1907) and Anagarika Dharmapala (1864–1933) reinterpreted and promoted Buddhism as a scientific and rational religion which they saw as compatible with modern science.

Buddhist flag

Colombo Committeefive-colored flagflag
The Buddhist flag designed with the assistance of Olcott was later adopted as a symbol by the World Fellowship of Buddhists and as the universal flag of all Buddhist traditions.
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, an American journalist, founder and first president of the Theosophical Society, felt that its long streaming shape made it inconvenient for general use.

Katie King (spirit)

Katie King
In early 1875 Olcott was asked by prominent Spiritualists to investigate an accusation of fraud against the mediums Jenny and Nelson Holmes, who had claimed to materialize the famous "spirit control" Katie King (Doyle 1926: volume 1, 269–277).
Investigations conducted by leading Spiritualist Henry Steel Olcott in 1875 re-established the credibility of the Holmeses in the eyes of many Spiritualists.

Annie Besant

Annie BeasantDr. Annie BesantAnnie Wood Besant
Olcott's role in the Theosophical Society would still be as President, but the induction of Annie Besant sparked a new era of the movement.
The original society, then led by Henry Steel Olcott and Besant, is today based in Chennai, India, and is known as the Theosophical Society Adyar.

Christianity and Theosophy

Theosophy and ChristianityGod in Theosophy (Blavatskian)Roman Catholic Church
In 1880, Henry Olcott took it upon himself to restore true Sri Lankan Buddhism and "to counter the efforts of Christian missionaries on the island."

Catechism

catecheticalcatechistcatechisms
It is presented in the same format of question and answer used in some Christian catechisms.
Henry Steel Olcott introduced his own form of Buddhist catechism, appropriated from Christianity, to Ceylon when setting up his Buddhist education system during the late 19th century Buddhist revival on the island.

Orientalism

OrientalistOrientalistsOriental
The most Protestant of all early Protestant Buddhists, Olcott was the liminoid figure, the griot who because of his awkward standing betwixt and between the American Protestant grammars of his youth and the Asian Buddhist lexicon of his adulthood was able to conjure traditional Sinhalese Buddhism, Protestant modernism, metropolitan gentility, and academic Orientalism into a decidedly new creole tradition.
Helena Blavatsky, along with H. S. Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala, was instrumental in the Western transmission and revival of Theravada Buddhism.

Colonel (United States)

ColonelCol.Col
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society.

Religious conversion

conversionconvertconverted
Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism.

Buddhist modernism

Buddhist modernistNeo-BuddhismProtestant Buddhism
Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernized lens.

Western culture

WesternWestern civilizationWest
Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernized lens.