Word Origin & History
1642 (implied in theosophical), "knowledge about God and nature obtained through mystical study," from M.L. theosophia (c.880), from Late Gk. theosophia (c.500, Pseudo-Dionysus) "wisdom concerning God or things divine," from Gk. theosophos "one wise about God," from theos "god" (see
) + sophos "wise, learned." Taken as the name of a modern philosophical system (sometimes called Esoteric Buddhism), founded in New York 1875 as "Theosophical Society" by Madame Blavatsky and others, which combines teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism.