them in relation to current developments in science and new knowledge of non-Westernfaiths. In doing so,
reflected many contemporary controversies such asDarwin's theories on evolution and its impact on religion, and engaged in a discussion
that appealed to intelligent individuals interested in religion but alienated fromconventional Western forms. The work was also significant as a first statement of ideasamplified in later Theosophical writings.
Detractors often accuse the book of extensive unattributed plagiarism,a view first
seriously put forth by William Emmette Coleman shortly after publication. Indeed,
makes use of a large number of sources popular among occultist at the time.However, rather than plagiarism, scholars argue, "Blavatsky was a person who had anoriginal set of insights but who lacked the literary skills and knowledge of Englishsufficient to create a work on her own. Relying on written sources and help fromfriends, she formulated a unique and powerful expression of occult ideas."
Santucci, James A., ‘Blavatsky, Helna Petrovna’, in Dictionary of Gnosis & Western
Esotericism, ed. by Wouter J. Hanegraff (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2006), pp. 1802.
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology
(Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1999),vol. I. p. vii.3.
The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction
(Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 215-217.4.
Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement
(Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1980), pp. 35-38.5.
Clarke, Nicholas, ‘The Coming of the Masters: The EvolutionaryReformulation of Spiritual Intermediaries in Modern Theosophy’, in
ConstructingTradition: Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism
, ed. Andreas B.Kilcher (Leiden & Boston, MA: Brill, 2010).