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Initiating the Millennium – The Avignon Society and Illuminism in Europe - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Initiating the Millennium: The Avignon Society and Illuminism in Europe

Robert Collis and Natalie Bayer


This book, the first of its kind in English, examines an initiatic society known by various names—Illuminés d’Avignon, the Avignon Society, the Union, the New Israel Society—that flourished in Berlin, Avignon, Rome, and St. Petersburg, between 1779 and 1807. The founding members of this society forged a group that embraced strands of Western esotericism (particularly alchemy and arithmancy) within an all-pervading millenarian worldview. Whilst the society incorporated aspects of high-degree Freemasonry, it was never merely a para-masonic fraternity. Instead, it offered entry into a religious c ... More

Keywords: millenarianism, illuminism, Illuminés d’Avignon, prophecy, western esotericism, initiatic society

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190903374
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190903374.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Collis, author
Visiting Professor of History, Drake University

Natalie Bayer, author
Associate Professor of History, Drake University