Irving Steiger Cooper

Irving Steiger Cooper (1882-1935) was born in Santa Barbara, California in1882, the son of Augustus Steiger Cooper and Mary Felds Cooper. He graduated from the University of California. In 1927 he married Susan L. Warfield.


Cooper joined the Theosophical Society, and travelled to Adyar in 1911 where he worked as an assistant to Leadbeater.


Dick Balfour Clarke, Irving Cooper, Fabrizio Ruspoli and Leadbeater (and cat) working on The Lives of Alcyone, Adyar, 1911.

He also underook that role in Australia, and on 3 February 1918, Leadbeater ordained him as a Priest. Cooper was consecrated as a Bishop on July 13, 1919 in Sydney by Bishops Wedgwood, Leadbeater, and Mazel, and appointed Regionary Bishop for the USA – see:  Photographs of that consecration were used as illustrations in Leadbeater’s The Science of the Sacraments (1920).


Cooper assisted Wedgwood and Leadbeater in the compilation of the liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church, and wrote the standard volume on Liberal Catholic ritual and ceremonial: Ceremonies of the Liberal Catholic Rite (1934).

On his return to the USA in 1920 he was appointed National Lecturer for the Theosophical Society, and travelled extensively in that role and as a Liberal Catholic Bichop, establishing and supporting congregations. A detailed account of Cooper’s work for the Church in the USA can be found in: Robert Norton The Willow in the Tempest: A brief history of the Liberal Catholic Church in the United States of America from 1917 to 1942 Saint Alban Press, Ojai CA,1990


Cooper was enthusiastically involved in the Theosophical Adventist movement centered on Krishnamurti, and in the 1920s travelled throughout the USA with Mrs Besant promoting the movement.

Cooper’s publications include:

Methods of Psychic Development (with a foreword by Leadbeater)(1911)

Ways to Perfect Health (1912)

The Secret of Happiness (1913)


Theosophy Simplified (1915) – digital version available on-line at:

Reincarnation, The Hope of the World (1920)

Theosophy Simplified (1928)

Ceremonies of the Liberal Catholic Rite (1934, 2nd edition 1964)

The Secret of Happiness (1948)

See also: “Cooper, Irving Steiger (1882-1935)” in The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology Available on-line at:,_Irving_Steiger

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