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Denmark, Theosophy in

In 1893 Georg Howitz (Councillor of State) formed the very first Theosophical Lodge in Denmark (“The Copenhagen Lodge”). In 1918 the Theosophical Society (TS) in Denmark was chartered and its first General Secretary was Countess Ellen Bille-Brahe-Selby (1918-22). A few years later many books by Annie BESANT and Charles W. LEADBEATER were translated into Danish by Franta Lexow, who was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his work. During the following decades The Secret DoctrineThe Voice of the SilenceAt the Feet of the Master and books by C. JINARĀJADĀSA, Nilakanta SRI RAM, Mabel COLLINS, Geoffrey HODSON and Geoffrey Barborka (The Divine Plan) were published in Danish.

Since 1928 the magazine Theosophia was published with 9 issues a year. In 1991 the membership was about 500. The number of lodges had reached 17 but decreased during the later years, as new members prefer to remain unattached.

From 1975 the Danish Section’s headquarters was situated in Copenhagen, comprising a library (approx. 10,000 volumes), a lecture room holding 70 people, a kitchen and a small office. From 1945-1981 numerous theosophical summer-schools were held at Gammel Praestegaard; here an old former vicarage dating from about 1600 was acquired by Jørgen Winde and Birgitte Valvanne in 1945 and turned into a foundation for this purpose.

In the spring of 1989 the White Lotus Lodge applied for direct affiliation to Adyar. In August 19, 1989, Radha BURNIER, The International President, dissolved the TS in Denmark and later Uffe Vilstrup instituted legal proceedings against a certain individual who, it was alleged, had appropriated the assets of the Theosophical Society in Denmark and transferred them to a new Foundation. The legal challenge failed on a point of Danish law.

At the time of writing this entry, 2004, there was no Presidential Representative in Denmark and the small number of members were classified as “Members at Large” who are directly attached to the Theosophical Society Headquarters at Adyar.


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