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La Rénovation Religieuse. Doctrine et Pratiques de Haute Initiation par un Serviteur du Christ.
Librairie Fischbacher, Paris 1901 - Hardcover. Large 8vo. 400pp. Maroon binder's cloth with gilt titling to spine, index. Original wrappers bound in. From the library of A.E. Waite, and inscribed to him by the author [Abbé Petit] on the first blank: "A Monsieur A. E. Waite, Redacteur au journal The Light. Respectueux hommage de l'auteur [signed] Abbé J. A. Petit." The book appears to be a completely rewritten version (well over triple the length) of "La Rénovation religieuse, ouvrage édité par la Desse de Pomar (Lady Caithness)" that was published in 1895. The anonymous author was Abbé Joseph-Alphonse Petit (1842-1921), a Priest who was prone to having visions, notably of Mary Queen of Scots, Louis XVI, and Marie-Antoinette, as well as of some more conventional religious figures. Petit developed a great interest in various aspects of the occult, including what would now be termed "psychic phenomena," spiritualism, telepathy, mesmerism, etc. He was active in French and British occult and spiritualist circles, and was acquainted with Maria Mariategui, Lady Caithness (1830 - 1895) the London-born Duchesse de Medina Pomar, who was deeply involved in Parisian spiritualist and occult circles and under whose editorship "La Rénovation religieuse" was first published in 1895. This greatly expanded edition contains some theological matter, but is has much of a hermetic or occult nature, examining subjects such as the world of angels, the origin of spirits, communication with spirits, the guardian angel, dangers of psychical activity, etc. etc. It is said that when it became known that Petit was responsible for the work his Bishop ordered him to renounce all ties with the occult and leave Paris. (Caillet Vol. III, 8570) Some of the books in Waite's personal library, including this volume, were given to the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia - the occult fraternity which begat the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - and this volume also has the contemporary London S.R.I.A. library stamp to front endpaper. This and various other books were later de-accessioned and sold when the collection was scaled back in 1984. Endpapers lightly foxed, pages browned especially at edges and outer margins, text clean. Overall a tight VG copy of a scarce title with an interesting provenance. [Attributes: Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Weiser Antiquarian Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-09-24           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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