Order of the Living Christ

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The Order of the Living Christ was an attempt to merge Christianity and Theosophy. "The group believed in reincarnation, but adopted the externals of Anglo-Catholicism (traditional Anglicanism or American Episcopalianism). They revered the works of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her associates, but also had a deep fascination with early Christian mysticism. Members saw it as perfectly acceptable to be a part of the Order and still participate in the life of, for instance, the Episcopal Church."[1]

In the 1920s Genevieve Ludlow Griscom (wife of the industrialist Clement Acton Griscom, Jr.) bought a property in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and built a religious retreat, Chapel Farm, which became the center of activity for the Order.[2] A mansion was built with marble fireplaces in every room, two-story bay windows and a library that once held more than 30,000 books. In 1969, the religious order sold the property to Manhattan College, which in turn granted a 99-year lease on the mansion to Mr. Jerry Galuten.[3]

Online resources



  1. Matthew Namee, "Orthodoxy and Theosophy: the Vera Johnston Story" August 5, 2010 posting at Orthodoxhistory.org.
  2. Post on Orthodoxy and Theosophy: the Vera Johnston story at Blavatsky News Blog
  3. Hold the McMansions: Fieldston’s Nasty Land War at The New York Observer