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1. Science, Politics, And Gnosticism
2. The Drama of Humanity and Other
3. Published Essays: 1940-1952 (Collected
4. On the Form of the American Mind
5. Modernity Without Restraint: The
6. Lonergan and the Philosophy of
7. Published Essays: 1934-1939 (Collected
8. Order and History (Volume 3):
9. Autobiographical Reflections (Collected
10. Worldview and Mind: Religious
12. History of Political Ideas (Volume
13. Order and History (Volume 1):
14. What Is History? and Other Late
15. Revolt Against Modernity: Leo
16. Order and History (Volume 2):
17. Eric Voegelin: The Restoration
18. Eric Voegelin and the Good Society
19. Disturbing Revelation: Leo Strauss,
20. Faith And Poltical Philosophy:

1. Science, Politics, And Gnosticism
by Eric Voegelin
Paperback: 102 Pages (2005-01-30)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$6.67
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Asin: 1932236481
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1968, Science, Politics and Gnosticism comprises two essays by Eric Voegelin (1901–85), arguably one of the most provocative and influential political philosophers of the last century. In these essays, Voegelin contends that certain modern movements, including positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism, and the "God is dead" school, are variants of the gnostic tradition he identified in his classic work The New Science of Politics. Voegelin attempts to resolve the intellectual confusion that has resulted from the dominance of gnostic thought by clarifying the distinction between political gnosticism and the philosophy of politics. Including an introduction by the noted Voegelin scholar Ellis Sandoz, this book’s brief exposition of key Voegelinian concepts makes it especially valuable for those seeking a deeper understanding of the fundamental thrust of Voegelin’s thought. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide to modern politics
Voegelin has done the public a great service by tracing a common thread of gnosticism amongst modern political philosophies.He goes to Marx's juwish roots in order to expose the theme of the golem that underlies Marxian thought as laid out in Marx's Political and Economic Manuscripts.The Kabbalistic underpinnings of socialistic philosophy forecasts these philosophies as gnostic philosophies.

Although Voegelin indulges in almost pure abstraction (characterisitic of his German education) it is quite accurate since it exposes the naked truth a la Jack Kerouac of these ideas.

The gnostic character of modern philosophies, such as Hegel, Comte, Marx, feminism and so on comes out in the theme of "alienation."Alienation from the rest of society is the result of some form of discord or disharmony.Recourse to a "secret knowledge" will reveal the solution to this problem of disharmony.Applying this secret knowledge will result in an "immanenitizing of the eschaton."

The last concept comes from Roman Catholic scholarship in defining the heresy of gnosticism.In article 676 of the Catholic catechism, it says that: "The AntiChrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism."Voegelin says that gnosticism tries to bring about a heaven on earth or "immanentize the eschaton."When Kabbalists such as Marx go to the tree of life to get enlightenment to solve problems here and now, zen buddhist like, he tries to be the divine savior of himself.

Thus, Marxism is gnostic since it teaches of alienation of the proletariat whose special knowledge of communism, as embodied in the communist manifesto, assists him in remedying this defect in the socio-economic structure, this disharmony, and the very possibility of this ability to heal his own problem is an immanentizing of the eschaton, of creating heaven on earth without God's help.

The feminist argues that there is discord in the social structure due to patriarchy.The special knowledge of the superiority of matriarchy will remedy this and bring an end to wars, domination and so on.Thus, female chauvanism is to replace male chauvanism (clearly reaching a hypocritical end).

This is just the icing on the cake.Voegelin goes through many ideas, but the aforementioned summary constitutes a common theme uniting all of his discussion in this terse yet dense book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A lucid yet in-depth scrutiny of the interplay of complex ideals
Science, Politics & Gnosticism presents two essays, the title piece, "Science, Politics & Gnosticism", and "Ersatz Religion: The Gnostic Mass Movements of Our Time" by Eric Voegelin (1901-85), one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Voegelin contends that certain modern movements, including positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism, and the "God is dead" school are variants of the gnostic tradition. Striving to settle the confusion that arises from the dominance of gnostic thought, Voegelin further strives to classify distinctions between political gnosticism and the philosophy of politics. A lucid yet in-depth scrutiny of the interplay of complex ideals and their reverbations upon mass political movements, Science, Politics & Gnosticism is especially recommended reading for advanced students of philosophy and political science.

5-0 out of 5 stars Political Science on a Rack
Oh, the visionary has a new system to save the world? Put that in section II B, tray 5, right next to the same idea that sprouted 1000 years ago under a different name.
Voegelin has boiled down the rules for understanding all secular visions of salvation, which invariably play on some human dissatisfaction, the diagnosis of which always omits a key "given" of human nature, which is thus marketed as changeable, but isn't, leading to fanatical attempts to control people, devolving into scaring them into submission with the threat of death.
The opposite of the Christian love ethic which posits a brotherhood in relation to a heavenly Father, according to Voegelin.
Voegelin here achieves a scientific method of explaining how non-christian ideas relate to Christian ideas of social organization. He was very popular in Cold War times, but is also versatile enough here to help with the great conversation we are all having in relation to terrorism. This book is simple, direct and profound.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Murder of God and other Exhilarating Ideas
These two essays describe the inability of modern political thought to get a grip on the confusion and horror of the 20th century, mainly because that thought itself has not been immune from the very disorders it seeks to study. The roots of modern disorder are found in "Gnosticism," which is usually defined narrowly as a form of Christian heresy, but thought of by Voegelin as a typical response to the universal human problems of uncertainty, meaninglessness and alienation. Thus seemingly disparate movements like communism, fascism and positivism are placed within a Gnostic tradition stretching back to antiquity.

After describing the characteristics of ancient Gnosticism, Voegelin defines his own approach to the "science of politics," derived mainly from Plato and Aristotle. He then proceeds to analyze thinkers such as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Heidegger and to isolate what he feels to be their dominant motives. The one great theme of all Gnosticisms, ancient or modern, is the desire to do away with the notion of a given, "objective" world. If the project of world-transformation is to be made plausible, then nothing can be seen to be outside of human power. Social reality is a constructed thing, not a thing given or found, thereby allowing it to be "deconstructed."

In the second, shorter essay, "Ersatz Religion," Voegelin describes the complex of ideas characteristic of modern Gnosticism such as millenialism, utopianism and positivism. As the title of the essay suggests, the religious impulse does not die after the murder of God; it gets redirected into "political religions." Politics then becomes a matter of belief and fanaticism, instead of rational discourse and debatable opinions. Despite the abstractness of some of its theoretical concerns, this book is very readable and jargon-free. Those with no prior reading in philosophy may need to look up a term now and again such as "ontology." I recommend it as a good, short introduction to the kind of sober and ordered thought that we so desperately need after the century of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great place to start
Eric Voegelin was one of the most profound philosophers of history of the twentieth century. More than any other thinker I know, he was able to articulate a body of thought that recognizes the human need for a groundingin transcendent truth and analyses the vicissitudes of the inevitablesearch for meaning. His work deserves to be widely read, but perhapsbecause of its imposing bulk--his masterwork, "Order andHistory," weighs in at five fat volumes of complex reasoning, vividexegeses of the symbolic forms of the past five thousand years, and indepthand illuminating readings of philosophers from Parmenides to Heidegger--itis not. "Science, Politics, and Gnosticism" is a perfect horsd'oeuvre of a book, and serves well not as a systematic introduction to thefull scope of his vision but as a tasty morsel of his maturing thought at acrucial point in his oeuvre. Voegelin's incisive critique of ideologicalthinking in this book is lucid and mercifully accessible. I would hope thata reader comes away from this potent little classic inspired to dig deeperinto the mine of wisdom that Voegelin's work offers. ... Read more

2. The Drama of Humanity and Other Miscellaneous Papers: 1939-1985 (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 33)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2004-12-06)
list price: US$64.95 -- used & new: US$64.94
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Asin: 0826215459
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This second volume of Eric Voegelin's miscellaneous papers contains unpublished writings from the time of his forced emigration from Austria in 1938 until his death in 1985. The volume's focus is on dialogue and discussion, presenting Voegelin in the role of lecturer, discussant, and respondent. By choosing dialogue as the focus of this volume, Petropulos and Weiss are able to show not only the extent to which Voegelin engaged in an exchange of ideas but also his abiding concern for the practical and theoretical conditions necessary in order for this exchange to take place. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Fun Part:Conversations withEric Voegelin
This is a big book, running to 484 pages, including the index. This volume, together with Volume 32, is where the editors put materials that don't fit anywhere else. Some of the things included here:

1.CONVERSATIONS WITH ERIC VOEGELIN, from 1967, 1970, and 1975
at the Thomas More Institute in Montreal.It has been
circulating all these years in photocopy or photo offset
versions.It contains some of Voegelin's choicest comments, such
as his remarks on teaching evolution in the schools:

"You get some funny situations.In California now there is a
fight between literalists or providentialists, and biological
theorists.And you get in the textbooks bothGenesis and
Darwinian evolutionism as two "theories" of evolution.You see
what that really means?The fundamentalist theologians in
California (fundamentalism was well established there at the
beginning of the century) don't know what a myth is. They
believe it is a theory. They're in ignorance.

"And the biological theorists don't know that Kant has analysed
why one cannot have an immanentist theory of evolution.One can
have empirical observation but no general theory of evolution
because the sequence of forms is a mystery;it just is there and
you cannot explain it by any theory. The world cannot be
explained.It is a mythical problem, so you have a strong
element of myth in the theory of evolution.

"So both the theoretical evolutionists and the fundamentalist
theologians are illiterate.That level of illiteracy is taught
in the text books as "two theories"-neither one of which is a
theory. "
Myth as Environment p 307, 335

The publication of these three conversations was something of an
afterthought.There were four conversations originally and
the first was published in Volume 11 of the CW as "In
Search of the Ground."One can hope that all four conversations
will be reunited in a paperbackversion in the not-too-distant
future-perhaps with some other informal exchanges.

2.Then there is the question and answer period from the Boston
College conference from 1983 entitledTHE BEGINNING AND THE
BEYOND, chaired by Frederick Lawrence.It is here that Voegelin
makes his comment on the Eucharist:

"Parousia means presence, and you remember this presence by
speaking it out: Where the name of Christ is pronounced, there he
is present.But you have to be reminded you are in Christ, and
pronounce it right.It is quite possible that the formulation of
the Eucharist as 'in my remembrance' (which is anamnesis) of
which Paul speaks always evokes the double-meaning of the
remembering of recollection and of remembering in the sense of
establishing what the reality is to be."

Responses at the Panel Discussion of
"The Beginning of the Beginning", p 415, 427.

3.There there are the exchanges between Voegelin and "father of
the atom bomb"J. Robert Oppenheimer at the 1959Swiss conference
directed by Raymond Aron, "Colloques de Rheinfelden."Also
present: Michael Polanyi and Bertrand de Jounvenel.The chapter
is entitled "The West and the Meaning of Industrial Society:
Excerpts from the Discussion."What is not clear from these
excerpts is that it is pretty much Voegelin "contra mundum" 'though
Aron leans heavily his way. The paper Voegelin delivered at the
conference is found in Vol 11 CW under the title "Industrial
Society in Search of Reason."

4.The transcript of Voegelin's lecture, "Structures of
Consciousness," from the 1978 York University conference is
included.The lecture was videotaped and some have seen it in
this form.

5.In "Natural Law in Political Theory" (1963) we have exchanges
between Voegelin and his Doctor-Father Hans Kelsen.To
put it plainly, they disagree more than once.

6.In "Man in Political Institutions" we have Voegelin and a
distinguished group of colleagues exchanging views, including Alois Dempf andJürgen Gebhardt.

7.For the literary-minded there are Voegelin's notes on T.S.
Eliot's "Four Quartets."

8.The book concludes with the much-admired "Autobiographical
Statement at Age Eighty-two."

And there is more, but you will have to read the book.It is
one of the most inviting of the the Voegelin volumes.A genuine

I have put up on the web the table of contents:

And the index, beautifully done as always by Linda Webster:
http://www.fritzwagner.com/ev/eric_voegelin_volume_index_list.html#33 ... Read more

3. Published Essays: 1940-1952 (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 10)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2000-10-05)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$44.95
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Asin: 0826213049
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Published Essays, 1940-1952, includes some of Eric Voegelin's most provocative and interesting essays. Containing his first publications after he fled Vienna and settled in the United States following Hitler's annexation of Austria, this volume provides eyewitness commentary on the rise of National Socialism from the first days of World War II onward. A major study entitled "Growth of the Race Idea" presents a masterful summary of the two volumes on that subject Voegelin first published in 1933. A related essay of wide interest is entitled "Nietzsche, the Crisis, and the War."

Another facet of Voegelin's thought incorporated within this volume of the Essays is his extraordinary analysis of the diplomatic correspondence conducted between the Western powers, the papacy, and the Great Khans, whose breathtaking expansion of the Mongol Empire for a time threatened to extinguish Western civilization itself and resulted in a two-century domination of Russia. Another major study is "The Origins of Scientism," an illuminating analysis of the grounds of much of modern philosophy and of all modern political ideologies.

There are also surveys of the state of political theory in the late forties, penetrating studies of utopian thought with essays on Thomas More and Goethe, and a concluding essay that explores the intricacies of "Gnostic Politics"—a familiar theme from Voegelin's contemporaneous New Science of Politics. This volume of published essays shows Eric Voegelin at his most accessible best.

... Read more

4. On the Form of the American Mind (The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 1)
by Eric Voegelin
 Hardcover: 312 Pages (1995-09-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$49.95
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Asin: 0807118265
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In 1924, not quite two years after receiving his doctorate from the University of Vienna, Eric Voegelin was named a Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fellow and thus given the opportunity to pursue postdoctoral studies in the United States. For the next twenty-four months, Voegelin worked with some of the most creative scholars in America and at several of the country's great universities, an experience that undoubtedly influenced his scholarly and personal perspectives throughout his life. A more immediate result was the publication in 1928 of On the Form of the American Mind, the young philosopher's first major work, in which his acute perceptions and analyses combine with a conceptual vocabulary struggling to find its own coherence and form.

Voegelin begins his inquiry into the form of the American mind with a complex discussion of the concepts of time and existence in European and American philosophy and continues with an extended interpretation of George Santayana, a study of the Puritan mystic Jonathan Edwards, a presentation on Anglo-American jurisprudence, and a consideration of the historian, economist, and political scientist John R. Commons (Voegelin was particularly interested in Commons' views on the mental, political, social, and economic aspects of democracy in modern urban and industrial America). Although admitting that this diversity of themes seems only loosely connected," Voegelin demonstrates the actual overall unity of these various subjects: each concerns linguistic expressions of a theoretical nature.

Analysis of On the Form of the American Mind indicates that Voegelin integrated the approaches of Lebensphilosophie into what Georg Misch called the "philosophical combination of anthropology and history," which characterized contemporary trends within the discourse of the Geisteswissenschaften and finally resulted in a theoretical paradigm of philosophical anthropology.

 Jürgen Gebhardt and Barry Cooper provide access to this brilliant study with their two-part introduction. The first part considers On the Form of the American Mind in the context of methodological debates ongoing in Germany at the time Voegelin was writing the book; the second describes Voegelin's American experience and compares his work with similar studies written during the post-World War I period.

... Read more

5. Modernity Without Restraint: The Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 5)
Hardcover: 352 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$39.96
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Asin: 082621245X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Published together for the first time in one volume are Eric Voegelin's Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Political Religions was first published in 1938 in Vienna, the year of Voegelin's forced emigration from Austria to the United States. The New Science of Politics was written in 1952 and established Voegelin's reputation as a political philosopher in America. Science, Politics, and Gnosticism was Voegelin's Inaugural Lecture at the University of Munich in 1958 and introduced him to the West German intellectual public.

Although these books were written during remarkably different historical circumstances of Voegelin's life, all three present an analysis of modern Western civilization that has lost its spiritual foundations and is challenged by various ideological persuasions. Voegelin critiques in these texts a "modernity without restraint." It is a modernity with Hegelian, Marxian, Nietzschean, Heideggerian, positivist, Fascist, and other predominantly German characteristics. The author confronts this modernity with Western meaning as it emerged in ancient Greece, Rome, Israel, and Christianity and became transformed in the European Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, and the Anglo- American political formation.

This three-in-one volume delves into the intellectual and spiritual complications of modernity, tracing its evolution from the ancient civilizations to the twentieth century. In his substantial new introduction, Manfred Henningsen explores the experiential background that motivated Voegelin's theoretical analyses and the new relevance that his work has gained in recent years with the unexpected collapse of state socialism in East Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. Modernity without Restraint will be a valuable addition to intellectual history and Voegelin studies.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardest book I've ever read - but worth it
Modernity Without Restraint is actually three books, written over some 20 years, bound together.In them, Voegelin describes the influence of gnostic thought on modern political movements. Gnostics believe they have some "inspired" or "superior" knowledge that is unavailable to others, knowledge which will allow them to re-make the world.This is political philosophy - with the emphasis on philosophy.The real meat of his discussion is in the second book, The New Science of Politics.This is a very deep philosphical work, and Voegelin assumes you will know all the terms he uses.I had a lot of philosophy in college, but I was still struggling to follow him often.Keep a dictionary handy, and work to understand every passage.It is an effort, but one worth making.Voegelin connects the gnostic views to the messianic aspects of modern mass political movements like fascism, nazism and communism, and progressivism.When you understand the gnostic connection, you will understand the unshakeable certainty of those who believe in massive social change.It doesn't just seem like a religious attitude, it really is one, even if they won't acknowledge it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Counterpoint to positivist / behaviorist poli-sci
Modernity Without Restraint comprises three overlapping essays / lectures by Voegelin in which he explores the "pneumopathological" effects of Gnostic beliefs on the individual and the society they infect. Voegelin intended them to target gnostic elements in the ideologies of two of the totalitarian movements of his time, Fascism and Communism, though they bear a chilling relevance to the current intermingling of right wing politics and evangelical Christianism in contemporary American political culture. His style can be difficult, his vocabulary (translated from the German) can seem strange at times (e.g., "pneumopathology," "immanentization"), and his central theme of the importance of ordering the individual soul, and society at large, in harmony with a "transcendent order of being" could be initially off-putting to a "social scientist," but his thesis, well supported and argued through a synopsis of relevant thinkers and topics from the history of religion, philosophy and social science, provides an interesting and broadening counterpoint to "modern" positivist / realist / behaviorist influences in political science and social science generally. Though much of Voegelin's argument centers around the importance of spirituality for the individual and society, and connection to a transcendent order that is "given," "Modernity Without Restraint" provides a timeless warning against "immanentization of the (Christian) eschaton," the spiritual and practical consequences for any society that succumbs to it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep and Profound
For those of you who are new to Voegelin perhaps a word generally about his work will be helpful.Voegelin was born in Cologne, Germany in 1901.In 1938, he and his wife fled from Germany to the United States.From this context alone it is not surprising that Voegelin is very critical of the Nazis in particular and totalitarian regimes in general.What is perhaps more surprising to those who first come across Voegelin is his claim that regimes such as the Nazis are derivatives of such generally loved intellectual movements as the Enlightenment and Progressivism.

Taken together, the three works published in this volume provide a good basis for understanding how Voegelin comes to this conclusion.In this regard, "The New Science of Politics" is probably the most comprehensive work of the three.However, I would make two suggestions to those who are considering tackling this volume.First, read the first and third (that is, "The Political Religions" and "Science, Politics, and Gnosticism") before reading "The New Science of Politics".I think that the first and third pieces are much easier to read, even though they are less encompassing overall.Second, read "The New Science of Politics" twice.I read that installment for the first time about a year ago and I feel that I understood a lot more the second time around.

Voegelin is a great thinker, and his works in this volume provide a different, and yet very profound way of looking at modern Western society.I think Voegelin's construction of Gnosticism is right on as a critique of the modern psyche.I would recommend this book to anyone looking to explore the work of Voegelin; this is a great place to start.The writing is fairly difficult, but you don't have to understand everything to take a lot from this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gnosticism and Political Religions.
_Modernity Without Restraint_ presents three of Erik Voegelin's essays on the modern political religions, including Marxism, National Socialism, Hegelianism, Nietzschianism, and Heideggerianism.To Voegelin, these thinkers are all best described as "gnostics" and in their effort to create God's Kingdom on Earth seek to "immanentize the Christian eschaton".In "The Political Religions", Voegelin traces back the origin of political religion to the Egyptian worship of the Sun, the cult of Akhenaton.He traverses the history of the Middle Ages, and he shows how the archetype of the Christian apocalypse (a heresy to the orthodox Christian) came to occupy a central role in political religion.He includes a good discussion of the leviathanic state of Thomas Hobbes.Finally he ends with a compelling picture of the National Socialist state embodied in the Fuehrer.Although he was criticized in this essay for not outrightly condemning the National Socialists, Voegelin stated that this in fact just reveals the satanic allure that this political religion holds.To Voegelin, National Socialism is "satanic".In "The New Science of Politics", Voegelin examines various modes of representation from Plato and Aristotle through the Roman Empire.He then discusses the idea of gnosticism; he views the modern political religions as a restoration of the Gnostic heresy (condemned by early Christianity), an attempt to replace faith with certainty and bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth.This idea arose in the apocalyptic tradition, transmitted through the Middle Ages by the followers of Joachim de Fiore.He discusses in particular the case of the English Puritans.According to Voegelin, the modern political philosophies of liberalism, communism, and the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes are under the spell of gnosticism.In "Science, Politics, and Gnosticism", the most interesting of the essays presented, Voegelin delves into the thinkers Hegel, Marx ("an intellectual swindler"), Nietzsche ("the murder of God"), Heidegger, and psychoanalysis and National Socialism.To Voegelin, these thinkers are all "gnostics", and the movements spurred by their philosophies are "ersatz religions".

Voegelin represents an interesting alternative to modernity and liberalism.And this book among his collected works serves as an excellent introduction to the thought of this profound thinker, philosopher of gnosticism. ... Read more

6. Lonergan and the Philosophy of Historical Existence (ERIC VOEGELIN INST SERIES)
by Thomas J. McPartland
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2000-07-20)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
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Asin: 0826213456
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Bernard Lonergan's ambitious study of human knowledge, based on his theory of consciousness, is among the major achievements of twentieth-century philosophy. He challenges the principles of contemporary intellectual culture by finding norms and standards not in external perceptions or reified concepts, but in the dynamism of consciousness itself.

Lonergan and the Philosophy of Historical Existence explores the implications of Lonergan's approach to the philosophy of history in a number of distinct but related contexts, covering a variety of intellectual disciplines. Each chapter can be read independently, but the series of chapters provides a coherent unfolding of Lonergan's case that the norms of inquiry endure as a standard of human thought and action amid continuous changes and fluctuations in politics, morals, religion, science, and scholarship. The book explains how Lonergan's idea of development follows from his theory of consciousness and how his treatment of human development inevitably focuses on historical development. The central theme of the book is that Lonergan's philosophy of history makes a pronounced distinction between historicity and historicism.

McPartland relates Lonergan's work to existentialist themes and, in the last chapters, to the work of Eric Voegelin. The book addresses the existentialist themes of dread, suffering, guilt, shame, and resentiment—within overall themes of history, philosophy, and religion. McPartland argues that Lonergan's unique perspective on scientific method, epistemology, metaphysics, and critical theory can illuminate what seem to be the quite alien topics of reason as religious experience, the anxiety of existence, the existential roots of bias, and mythopoesis and mystery. Here there is a remarkable parallel to the philosophy of history of Eric Voegelin. The concluding chapters of the book show how the equivalence of the two philosophies offers a mutually enriching dialogue between Lonergan's critical realism and Voegelin's existential exegesis.

... Read more

7. Published Essays: 1934-1939 (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 9)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 184 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.95
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Asin: 0826213375
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In this collection of essays, which covers the years from 1934 to1939, we see Eric Voegelin in the role of both scholar and public intellectual in Vienna until he was forced to flee the Nazi terror that descended on Austria in 1938. Revealing the broad spectrum of thinking and scientific study of this relatively young scholar, Voegelin's essays range from Austrian politics, Austrian constitutional history, and European racism to questions of the formation and expression of public opinion, theories of administrative law, and the role of political science in public university education. Several essays serve as useful commentaries on, elaborations of, or synopses of arguments Voegelin made in the five books he had published between 1928 and 1938.

Within these topical headings, there are multiple thematic threads that wind their way through these essays and that remain of interest to contemporary readers. Thirteen of the pieces contained in this collection are short items that Voegelin published in trade journals and newspapers, of which nine appeared in the Wiener Zeitung in 1934 and the Neue Freie Presse in 1937. In these we see two brief periods in which Voegelin played the role of public intellectual not only as a lecturer but also in print.

These essays will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, including constitutional historians, historians of political science, political theorists, and students of Voegelin's later work.

... Read more

8. Order and History (Volume 3): Plato and Aristotle (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 16)
Hardcover: 464 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$31.49
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Asin: 0826212506
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This third volume of Order and History completes Voegelin's study of Greek culture from its earliest pre- Hellenic origins to its full maturity with the dominance of Athens. As the title suggests, Plato and Aristotle is principally devoted to the work of the two great thinkers who represent the high point of philosophic inquiry among the Greeks.

Through an absorbing analysis of the Platonic and Aristotelian vision of soul, polis, and cosmos, Voegelin demonstrates how the symbolic framework of the older myth was superseded by the more precisely differentiated symbols of philosophy. Although this outmoding and rejection of past symbols of truth might seem to lead to a chaotic and despairing relativism, Voegelin makes it the basis of a profound conception of the historical process: "the attempts to find the symbolic forms that will adequately express the meaning [of a society], while imperfect, do not form a senseless series of failures. For the great societies have created a sequence of orders, intelligibly connected with one another as advances toward, or recessions from, an adequate symbolization of the truth concerning the order of being of which the order of society is a part."

In this view, history has no obvious "meaning," yet each society makes a similar venture after truth. Although every society works out its destiny under different conditions, each nonetheless creates symbols"in its deeds and institutions"which bear the meaning of its own existence. History, then, acquires a unity in the common endeavor toward meaning and order. The rationality and nobility of this view of history has much to say to the present age.

Dante Germino's powerful introduction to this edition of Plato and Aristotle eloquently directs the reader into Voegelin's search through the thought of Plato foremost and Aristotle secondarily and toward a full understanding of their relevance to the "modern" world. This masterpiece, Germino argues, provides a welcome antidote to the spirit of an era Voegelin once called the Gnostic age.

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Customer Reviews (2)

Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) is one of the most well-known of modern political philosophers and theorists, but his massive five-volume series "Order and History," as well as the posthumously published eight-volume History of Political Ideas (Volume 8): Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 26)), put forward a coherent and somewhat influential philosophy of history. In the Preface to Volume II, Voegelin says, "Order and History is a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order of human existence in society and history as well as the corresponding symbolic forms."

This third volume (published in 1957) is actually the second part of the second volume of Voegelin's originally-projected four part series.There would be a gap of seventeen years before the fourth volume would be published, and the fourth volume essentially abandons Voegelin's original project.

Here are some representative quotations from the third volume:

"The revelation of the divinity in history moves on; the authority rests with the men who live in friendship with God; the criminal can achieve nothing but the perdition of his soul."
"Not only the good polis is man written large, but every polis writes large the type of man that is socially dominant in it."
"In Socrates the soul of man has at last found itself.After Socrates, no myth is possible."
"the Platonic rebirth of the community is not the salvation of mankind, but a return to the youth of the Cosmos that will be followed ... by a new decline."
"The idea of the polis has grown into its fullness, not because it has gained overtly the dimension of history, but because in the life of the soul the solitude of contemplation is now in harmony with the transpersonal rhythms of the people, of the human race, and of the cosmos.The age of intellection, precariously in revolt against the appearance of history, has found its strength and support in the youth of the unconscious."
"We have good reasons to doubt that a project of the Platonic type would solve the problems of the age on the pragmatic level of history; but we have lost our illusion that `freedom' will lead without fail to a state of society that would deserve the name of order."
"Aristotle is a philosopher; he is not an intellectual flunkey for the historically inevitable."
"We see prefigured a differentiation that later will develop into the temporal and spiritual order of a Christian society."

(Read my reviews of the subsequent volumes to see how Voegelin's project changed over the successive volumes.)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Referent for Life
The world is a fortunate place when there are two people alive -- at the same time -- who understand Plato.Eric Voegelin was clearly one of those people in the twentieth century.This material was originally published as Volume 3 of Order and History, the core of the magnus opus that Voegelin chose to publish during his life time.

I met Eric Voegelin once as a graduate student, and asked him, "why'd you publish all this stuff?"I've been digesting his answer ever since. It was "to resist totality and totalitarianism."

Particularly, seen from this standpoint, a clear core of this book is his articulation of the Platonic concept of "metaxy," or the in-between character of life.In philosophical terms, this refers most directly and fully to "in-between" the Agathon (e.g., see myth of the cave and the Divided Line in the Republic) and the apeiron (explored most directly and deeply in the Timaeus). For the philosophically uninitiated, it is possible to speak of this in more mundane terms.

An unstated corollary of Plato's notion of the "metaxy" is that life is always larger than our categories.From a Socratic/Platonic perspective, this may include but will entail more than the epistemological recognition that every way of seeing is a way of not seeing.The notion of the "metaxy" is most fundamentally a linguistic indice pointing to ontological plenty as the ground of life, albeit lived within bounds of existential scarcity.This is a notion commonly shared by the great civilizations of East and West.The notion of the "metaxy" underscores that life is lived within a tension between the "transcendent" and "immanent" dimensions of being.

When we lose track of this tension, as we have to a great extent in the modern world, and subscribe to reductive ideological notions/understandings of life -- and most particularly, when we imagine that we can encapsulate life within the pride of our own "enlightened" categories -- on a political plane, there may be little to constrain the prideful actions of ideologies, irrespective of whether their clothing is Red or Black, or whether it is "left" or "right." Irrespective of the political stripe, repression and murder become "justified" in the pursuit of an ideological aim -- which in Voegelin's philosophical terms is to dissolve the "metaxy" in the usual modernist mode, through immanetizing the transcendent "eschaton."

Voegelin's philosophical terms may sound remarkably abstract to the modern ear (recall Robert Dahl's silly review of Voegelin's The New Science of Politics for the American Political Science journal).Facile critiques such as Dahl's typically focus on the unfamiliar language while overlooking the elementary fact that what Voegelin is asking us to do in every aspect of his work is to take a journey that precisely allows us to see the world in terms other than that of our inherited climate of opinion.For those willing to be thorough scholars rather than merely play at it within the context of given suppositions, Voegelin's scholarship offers new vistas and incredibly rich fields of study.His scholarship offers the capacity to reflect upon and act in the world in a substantively grounded mode with implications for every discipline (see e.g., A.G. Ramos' New Science of Organizations).

I submit that a key to understanding this text and the greater body of his work at large is to grasp the central significance of the "metaxy" -- not as a concept within the history of ideas -- but as a life referent of perennial relevance to the recurring challenge of resisting sophistic pretensions and the inherited or emergent ideologies of any time and place.

This text demands a great deal.You'll develop insights into Plato and Aristotle available no where else.But for Voegelin, such studies were never a matter of antiquarian interest.They were a matter of developing meaningful referents for life.The value in this text is precisely in its yield, capable of resonating throughout your life and offering far more than the initial effort it will require of you. ... Read more

9. Autobiographical Reflections (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 34)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 592 Pages (2006-03-20)
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The thirty-fourth volume of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin consists of Voegelin’s Autobiographical Reflections, reprinted from the 1989 edition with additional annotations; a glossary of terms used in Voegelin’s writings, illustrated with examples from throughout the Collected Works; a volume index; and a cumulative index. The last covers the entire edition, apart from The History of Political Ideas, which has its own index, and volumes 29 and 30, the Selected Correspondence, which are at present not published.
            The glossary lists, defines, and illustrates from the author’s writings many of the key terms employed, paying particular attention to the Greek terms. The cumulative index supplies a more comprehensive access to the contents of the entire Collected Works. Together, the glossary and index systematically include names, subjects, ideas, writings, and terms, making this culminating volume an indispensable help for any serious study of Eric Voegelin’s oeuvre.
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5-0 out of 5 stars What can I say about Voegelin?
This is the story of a man who dedicated his life to education, much like Plato and Aristotle. To his education and of his fellow students. Is a beautiful story of a real scholar the ones like, unfortunately, you don't see anymore. Here you have his intelectual biography. If you want to know what is to be a real philosopher read it.
The glossary of Voegelian terms and the Index of the whole collected works is also very useful to any serious student of Voegelin. ... Read more

10. Worldview and Mind: Religious Thought and Psychological Development (Eric Voegelin Institute Series in Political Philosophy) (ERIC VOEGELIN INST SERIES)
by Eugene Webb
Hardcover: 312 Pages (2009-02-05)
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Asin: 0826218334
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When worldviews clash, the world reverberates. Now a distinguished scholar who has written widely on thinkers ranging from Samuel Beckett to Eric Voegelin inquires into the sources of religious conflict - and into ways of being religious that might diminish that conflict."Worldview and Mind" covers a wide range of thinkers and movements to explore the relation between religion and modernity in all its complexity. Eugene Webb invokes a number of topical issues, including religious terrorism, as he unfolds the phenomenon of religion in all its complications, from the difference between faith and belief to the diversities among - and within - religions.Building on Karl Jaspers' psychology of worldviews and Jean Piaget's developmental psychology, Webb looks at a broad spectrum of religions - especially the history of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in their various forms - to explore the subjective factors that sometimes render religions conflictual and aggressive and to consider conditions that might foster more helpful and reconciling forms of religiousness. He explores what psychological analysis reveals about the relationship between stages of psychological development and ways of being religious - ways that range from closed-minded literalism to open-minded tolerance. He also identifies unconscious and developmental obstacles to religious maturity and depicts the mature person as one who participates in the mystery of self-transcending love.Webb argues that authentic religion need not succumb to dogmatism, nor support fanaticism, nor be consigned to the stages of immature culture. Responding to critics of religion, from Sigmund Freud to Daniel Dennett, he demonstrates that religious traditions have more spiritual depth than these critics have granted and a greater potential for development along lines they might even favor. His insightful book proposes that, if religious people can step back from their traditions and consider them as partial ways of relating to transcendent ultimacy, the world's religions might manage to develop a way of living together with mutual appreciation and respect. ... Read more

11. HITLER AND THE GERMANS (The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin)
by Eric Voegelin, Brendan Purcell
Paperback: 296 Pages (2003-03-12)
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Asin: 0826214665
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Hitler and the Germans provides a profound alternative approach to the topic of the individual German's entanglement in the Hitler regime and its continuing implications. This comprehensive critique of the Nazi period has yet to be matched. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for students of German National Socialism
Deftly edited by Detlev Clemsn (Assistant Professor, Institute of Political Science, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany) and Brendan Purcell (Lecturer in Philosophy, University College, Dublin, Ireland), Hitler And The Germans is a selection of lectures by the late Eric Voegelin (1901-1985), a respected scholar and articulate critic of Hitler's regime in Germany. Professor Voegelin's intelligently written books drew the Nazi state's ire and forced him to leave Austria in 1938, barely escaping arrest by the Gestapo. Voegelin's seminal study of Germany's "descent into the depths", of the reprehensible crimes against humanity brought about by the Nazi regime (and the German people's allegiance to it), as well as the political and social fallout of the post World War II era, is both scholarly and personal. Hitler And The Germans is a fascinating and sharply observed perspective which is very highly recommended for students of German National Socialism. ... Read more

12. History of Political Ideas (Volume 8): Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 26)
Hardcover: 520 Pages (1999-07-30)
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Reaching into our own time, Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man confronts the disintegration of traditional sources of meaning and the correlative attempt to generate new sources of order from within the self. Voegelin allows us to contemplate the crisis in its starkest terms as the apocalypse of man that now seeks to replace the apocalypse of God. The totalitarian upheaval that convulsed Voegelin's world, and whose aftermath still defines ours, is only the external manifestation of an inner spiritual turmoil. Its roots have been probed throughout the eight volumes of History of Political Ideas, but its emergence is marked by the age of Enlightenment.

In our postmodern era, discussions of the collapse of the "enlightenment project" have become commonplace. Voegelin compels us to follow the great-souled individuals who sought to go from disintegration of the present toward evocations of order for the future. Such thinkers as Comte, Bakunin, and Marx suffered through the crisis and fully understood the need for a new outpouring of the spirit. They resolved to supply the deficiency themselves. As a consequence they launched us irrevocably on the path of the apocalypse of man.

One of the great merits of Voegelin's analysis is his exposition of the pervasive character of this crisis. It is not confined to the megalomaniacal dreamers of a revolutionary apocalypse; rather, echoes of it are found in the more moderate Enlightenment preoccupation with progress to be attained through application of the scientific method. Faith in the capacity of instrumental reason to answer the ultimate questions of human existence defined men such as Voltaire, Helvétius, Diderot, D'Alembert, and Condorcet. It remains the authoritative faith of our world today, Voegelin argues, demonstrated by our continuing inability to step outside the parameters of the Enlightenment. Are we condemned, then, to oscillate between the rational incoherence of a science that never delivers on its promises and a now discredited revolutionary idealism that wreaks havoc in practice? This is the question toward which Voegelin's final volume points. While not direct, his response is evident everywhere. Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man could have been written only by a man who had reached his own resolution of the crisis.

... Read more

13. Order and History (Volume 1): Israel and Revelation (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 14)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 616 Pages (2001-12-13)
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Asin: 0826213510
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Eric Voegelin's Israel and Revelation is the opening volume of his monumental Order and History, which traces the history of order in human society. This volume examines the ancient near eastern civilizations as a backdrop to a discussion of the historical locus of order in Israel. The drama of Israel mirrors the problems associated with the tension of existence as Israel attempted to reconcile the claims of transcendent order with those of pragmatic existence and so becomes paradigmatic.

According to Voegelin, what happened in Israel was a decisive step, not only in the history of Israel, but also in the human attempt to achieve order in society. The uniqueness of Israel is the fact that it was the first to create history as a form of existence, that is, the recognition by human beings of their existence under a world-transcendent God, and the evaluation of their actions as conforming to or defecting from the divine will. In the course of its history, Israel learned that redemption comes from a source beyond itself.

Voegelin develops rich insights into the Old Testament by reading the text as part of the universal drama of being. His philosophy of symbolic forms has immense implications for the treatment of the biblical narrative as a symbolism that articulates the experiences of a people's order. The author initiates us into attunement with all the partners in the community of being: God and humans, world and society. This may well be his most significant contribution to political thought: "the experience of divine being as world transcendent is inseparable from an understanding of man as human."

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Customer Reviews (2)

Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) is one of the most well-known of modern political philosophers and theorists, but his massive five-volume series "Order and History," as well as the posthumously published eight-volume History of Political Ideas History of Political Ideas (Volume 8): Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 26), put forward a coherent and somewhat influential philosophy of history.

In the Preface to Volume II, Voegelin says, "Order and History is a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order of human existence in society and history as well as the corresponding symbolic forms."Volume I (1956) begins with a Preface which states, "The order of history emerges from the history of order."Voegelin proposes to conduct a historical review to attempt to discern this order.The volume is in four parts: "The Cosmological Order of the Ancient Near East"; "The Historical Order of Israel"; "History and the Trail of Symbols"; and "Moses and the Prophets."

In the Preface to Volume III, Voegelin summarized the first volume thusly: "The oldest civilizational societies were the empires of the ancient Near East in the form of the cosmological myth.And from this oldest stratum of order emerged, through the Mosaic and Sinaitic revelations, the Chosen People with its historical form in the present under God.The two types of order, together with their symbolic forms, were the subject matter of Volume 1."

One of the aspects of the book which many readers find congenial is its respectful treatment of the concept of divine revelation in human history.(Volume I even contains at the back an extensive list of the "Biblical references" used in the book.)

Here are some representative quotations from the first volume:
"Ideology is existence in rebellion against God and man."
"God and man, world and society form a primordial community of being."
"Hence, the emphatic partnership with God removes a society from the rank of profane existence and constitutes it as the representative of the civitas Dei in historical existence."
"In the Desert God spoke to the leader and the tribes; by listening to the voice, by accepting its offer, and by submitting to its command, they at last reached life and became the people chosen by God."
"The historian's work subtly transfers the authority of Israel's order from the Kingdom to the new carriers of the spirit."
"There are times, when the divinely willed order is humanly realized nowhere but in the faith of solitary sufferers."

(Read my reviews of the subsequent volumes to see how Voegelin's project changed over the successive volumes.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Classical Consensus: Reason and Revelation
Eric Voegelin's monumental historical masterpiece encompass a series of 5volumes of a new vision of a theoretical history.Voegelin's Israel andRevelation approached the question of revelation from a highlysophisticated view of revelation as part of a historical context.Thetraditional theological analysis imparts only a limited dimension to thehistorical reality of revelation.Voegelin's theoretical conception takesus to the heart of revelation as a human activity that created adiscontinuity from the the secular world view.He carefully used theBiblical account of revelation against a scholarly approach to revelationthat is grounded in the order of being, i.e., the order that reflected thesymbolism of revelation.He pointed out the inherent limitations ofconfusing the order of revelation with the pragmatic dimensions of thehuman existence couple with confusing revelation as a "secondreality" experience.Voegelininvestigation in the historicalfigures of revelation and the complex relationship that must be mastered tokeep the religious tension with the order of being and pragmatic structureof human existence.A very absorbing book anda great understanding ofrevelation in a historical context. ... Read more

14. What Is History? and Other Late Unpublished Writings (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 28)
by Eric Voegelin
 Hardcover: 280 Pages (1990-09-01)
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Asin: 0807116033
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This volume contains the most significant pieces of unpublished writing completed by Eric Voegelin during an important time of his career. Spanning the period from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, these selections supplement the body of work Voegelin published after the appearance of the first three volumes of Order and History in 1956 and 1957. The five texts included here are "What Is History?" "Anxiety and Reason," "The Eclipse of Reality," "The Moving Soul," and "The Beginning and the Beyond." In their introduction to the volume, Thomas A. Hollweck and Paul Caringella place these writings in their proper context and discuss the ways in which they reveal clues to the evolution of Voegelin's thought.

In "What Is History?" Voegelin considers the development of a transcendent structure of history while simultaneously rejecting the notion that history can have a universal meaning. "Anxiety and Reason" focuses on Voegelin's critically important theory of historiogenesis, which links events in pragmatic history with legendary and mythical events leading back to the beginning of the cosmic order. In "The Eclipse of Reality," Voegelin presents a critique of modernity by analyzing the work of Sartre, Schiller, Comte, and others. "The Moving Soul"--a "thought experiment" inspired by a remark Henry Margenau makes in The Nature of Physical Reality--attempts to reformulate the connections between physics and myth. The most important of these essays is "Me Beginning and the Beyond." Here Voegelin meditates on the universality of experience formed by the tension of existence under God.

Publication of these previously unpublished writings will enable scholars to trace the genesis of many of the concerns that occupied Voegelin during a period in which the conception of his main work was undergoing frequent and perhaps fundamental changes.

... Read more

15. Revolt Against Modernity: Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and the Search for a Postliberal Order
by TedV. McAllister, Ted V. McAllister
Paperback: 340 Pages (1997-09-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.95
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Asin: 0700608737
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Eric Voegelin and Leo Strauss are two of the most provocative and durable political philosophers of this century. Ted McAllister's superbly written study provides the first comprehensive comparison of their thought and its profound influence on contemporary American conservatism.

Since the appearance in the 1950s of Strauss's Natural Right and History and Voegelin's Order and History, conservatives like Russell Kirk, Irving Kristol, and Allan Bloom have increasingly turned to these thinkers to support their attacks on liberalism and the modernist mindset.

Like so many conservatives, Strauss and Voegelin rebelled against modernity, amorality--personified by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche--and its promotion of individualism and materialism over communal and spiritual responsibility. While both disdained the reductionist "conservative" label, conservatives nevertheless appropriated their philosophy, in part because it restored theology and classical tradition to the moral core of civil society.

For both men, modernity's debilitating disorder revealed surprising and disturbing relations among liberal, communist, and Nazi ideologies. In their eyes, modernity's insidious virus, so apparent in the Nazi and communist regimes, lies incubating within liberal democracy itself.

McAllister's thorough reevaluation of Strauss and Voegelin expands our understanding of their thought and restores balance to a literature that has been dominated by political theorists and disciples of Strauss and Voegelin. Neither reverential nor dismissive, he reveals the social, historical, political, and philosophical foundations of their work and effectively decodes their frequently opaque or esoteric thinking.

Well written and persuasively argued, McAllister's study will appeal to anyone engaged in the volatile debates over liberalism's demise and conservatism's rise.

This book is part of the American Political Thought series. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff
McAllister really seems to understand Strauss, which is more than can be said about many who write about Strauss (scholars and otherwise). This will serve as a useful antidote. And of course, Voegelin has long been neglected, so any work treating him seriously is a welcome addition. This should be in the library of serious political theorists.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ted V. McAllister's account of Machiavelli and Plato.
In having Dr. Ted V. McAllister as my Western and American Heritage Professor at Hillsdale College,I was able to fully appreciate his historical views on a personal basis. His knowledge of Niccolo Machiavelli and modernity, and the philosophy of Plato relating to Western history is unparalled. His views in his book are presented in a true and indepth fashion. After being his student for two semesters, I will truely miss his insight and knowledge pertaining to historical matters. ... Read more

16. Order and History (Volume 2): The World of the Polis (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 15) (v. 2)
by Eric Voegelin
Hardcover: 488 Pages (2000-06-30)
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Asin: 0826212832
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This second volume of Voegelin's magisterial Order and History, The World of the Polis, explores the ancient Greek symbolization of human reality. Taking us from the origins of Greek culture in the Pre-Homeric Cretan civilizations, through the Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod, and the rise of philosophy with the Pre-Socratics Parmenides and Heraclitus, this masterful work concludes with the historians of the classical period.

In The World of the Polis, Voegelin traces the emergence of the forms of the city-state and of philosophy from the ancient symbolism of myth. He maintains that the limits and ultimate goals of human nature are constant and that the central problem of every society is the same—"to create an order that will endow the fact of its existence with meaning in terms of ends divine and human." Thus, Voegelin shows how "the meaning of existence" achieved concrete expression in the typical political, social, and religious institutions of Greece and in the productions of its poets and thinkers. He deals with more than fifty Greek writers in the course of his analysis of the rise of myth and its representation of the divine order of the cosmos as the first great symbolic form of order, one later supplanted by the leap in being reflected in the emergence of philosophy.

The book is a tour de force, a virtuoso performance by a scholar and philosopher of great power, learning, and imagination that places its subject matter in a new light. The editor's critical introduction places The World of the Polis in the broader context of Voegelin's philosophy of history. Scholars and students of political science, philosophy, and the history of ideas will find this work invaluable.

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Customer Reviews (1)

Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) is one of the most well-known of modern political philosophers and theorists, but his massive five-volume series "Order and History," as well as the posthumously published eight-volume History of Political Ideas (Volume 8): Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 26), put forward a coherent and somewhat influential philosophy of history.In the Preface to Volume II, Voegelin says, "Order and History is a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order of human existence in society and history as well as the corresponding symbolic forms."

Volume II is in three parts: "Cretans, Achaeans, and Hellenes"; "From Myth to Philosophy"; and "The Athenian Century."In the Preface to Volume III, Voegelin summarized the second volume thusly: "In the Aegean area emerged, from the stratum of order in cosmological form, the Hellenic polis with the symbolic form of philosophy.The study of Polis and Philosophy matches ... the earlier one on Israel and Revelation.Because of its size this second study had to be divided into the present Volumes II ... and III...."

Here are some representative quotations from the second volume:

"The primary field of order is the single society of human beings, organized for action to maintain itself in existence."
A philosophy of history "must be a critical study of the authoritative structure in the history of mankind."
"Our study of The World of the Polis opened with reflections on the delimitation of Greek history through the memory of the classic period."
"The world of the historian is an open field of experience for the inquirer, a manifold of peoples and civilizations with different Nomoi, and especially with different gods; and in this world a struggle for power is going on, between man and man, ruler and subject, nation and nation, motivated by fear and greed, by passion and hope.Such a world threatens to fall apart into individual and national centers of power, rising and falling without a discernible meaning.We shall see how the historians try to preserve the sense of common drama in a world without gods by expressing it in philosophical categories..."

Read my reviews of the subsequent volumes to see how Voegelin's project changed over the successive volumes.)

... Read more

17. Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order (Library of Modern Thinkers)
by Michael P. Federici
Paperback: 249 Pages (2002-10)
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Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Best Introduction to this Great Conservative Thinker
Stated simply, Eric Voegelin discovered the Big Idea that refutes liberalism (and its offsprings: communism, feminism, multiculturalism, etc...) once and for all.This is it, baby!If you are a wandering conservative searching for a philosophical home, then come to Papa.Voegelin should be to conservatism what Hegel and Heidegger are to modern continental philosophy.

According to The Philosopher, the Left is a manifestation of the ancient gnostic heresy which seeks to "immanentize the eschaton."Liberals are secular end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it Cassandras who struggle against the "fascist" limitations imposed by God, nature and capitalism.They are the "heroic" men in birken stocks, toting dog eared copies of Chomsky and Howard Zinn in their knapsacks while fighting to build a socialist society that will transform humanity's crooked timber (which they believe has no fixed nature).Voegelin's prolific genius diagnosed the sickness of Western decline as rooted in this spiritual disease.The root of the problem, as Voegelin saw it, was in the soul of each individual and the insidious gnostic-meme that contaminates it.Leftism is a secular fundamentalism which has shut itself off from reality and the transcendent order, while retaining the religious symbols of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but the symbols are devoid of their authentic content and thus are the lifeless deformities of once fecund religious experiences.Unwilling to accept the order of existence as it is (which Voegelin terms metaxy, man's in-between state between the animalistic and the divine, between material finitude and the eternal) gnostic liberals rebel against the Real and inevitably lead societies to catastrophic ends.

Voegelin's work is too vast to encapsulate in a third-rate Amazon review, but Federici's book manages to present a digestible overview of this great thinker's oeuvre.There is no better introduction to Voegelin.

4-0 out of 5 stars Making difficult political theory concepts understandable
As a former student of Dr. Federici, I can attest to his remarkable wielding of complicated subject material in the classroom; making difficult political concepts understandable. Out of a combined interest in civilizational cycles and respect for the author, I purchased this book. Dr. Federici conveyed his personal talent for expository. Eric Voegelin's difficulty for readers makes him nearly untouchable for undergraduates, nonetheless this book is written in a way that allows students and the public at large to access and understand Voegelin's writings. I recommend this book for college students seeking a source to write a political theory essay of unique perspective. I also believe it valuable for philosophy buffs and academics who may have overlooked Voegelin's work in the past.

4-0 out of 5 stars extremely helpful guide to Voegelin
Because he had so much to say about the crisis of the West and how to restore order, it is unfortunate that Voegelin's writings are so dense, owing both to his abstract thinking and his coining of new terms, often in Greek.However, Federici has written an excellent book that functions wonderfully as an introduction to Voegelin's thought and that would be an excellent companion to have by your side when reading Voegelin himself.(The glossary of Voegelinian terms is especially helpful in this regard.)

Even so, because Voegelin's work is so difficult, so loaded with new terms and complicated ideas, Federici's book also acquires an element of this density--probably unavoidable, but clarity does suffer somewhat at various points.Nevertheless, what emerges--even in the less clear parts--is a coherent picture of the corpus of Voegelin's work and thought.He sought to articulate a way out of a crisis that had been precipitated, by and large, by movements, particularly ideologies, that had distorted reality--for example, by immanentizing the transcendent.His solution, to put it extremely simply, was to revive Western tradition, largely through a greater openness of the soul to transcendent reality, to the past experiences of civilization.

Voegelin was not without his critics, but his influence is far-reaching.Anyone interested in the disease that afflicts the West would do well to turn to Voegelin.And thanks to Federici, we now have a great starting point to do just that. ... Read more

18. Eric Voegelin and the Good Society
by John J. Ranieri
Hardcover: 320 Pages (1995-07)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$23.69
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Asin: 0826210120
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19. Disturbing Revelation: Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and the Bible
by John Ranieri
Hardcover: 296 Pages (2009-04-17)
list price: US$47.50 -- used & new: US$38.00
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Asin: 0826218369
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Political philosophers Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin share an abiding interest in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In this first book to focus on their treatment of the Bible, Ranieri explores how they draw on its texts in their philosophies and shows what these considerations say about whether the combination of religion and politics leads to violence or can prevent it. He focuses not on Strauss s treatment of Judaism or Voegelin s of Christianity, but rather on the place of the Bible in their thought. ... Read more

20. Faith And Poltical Philosophy: The Correspondence between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934-1964
Paperback: 280 Pages (2004-08-20)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$26.94
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Asin: 0826215513
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Faith and Political Philosophy consists of fifty-three letters between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, two of the most important political theorists in North America. In this correspondence, Strauss and Voegelin explore the nature of their similarities and differences, offering insightful observations about one another's work, about the state of the discipline, and about the influences working on them. The letters shed light on many assumptions made in their published writings, often with an openness that removes all vestiges of uncertainty."It would be difficult to find a more profound and stimulating book covering the whole history and understanding of faith and reason in Western intellectual history."--Review of Metaphysics ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Faith & Political Philosophy
Great book.Very thought provoking. Arrived in good condition from this supplier.

3-0 out of 5 stars Difference between the 1993 edition and the 2004 edition is:
"The first edition of this collection, published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 1993, contained a third section, which included several essays by scholars dealing with one or another aspect of the work of Strauss and Voegelin or with comparisons of their work. Partly for reasons of space and partly because the past decade of scholarly work would require significant revision of these papers to make them as useful today as they were then, we have omitted them from this edition." Introduction, 2004 Edition, p XXIII.

The 2004 edition only contains section 1, the correspondence between Strauss and Voegelin, and section 2, which consists of 4 essays - 2 by Voegelin and 2 by Strauss, and NO section 3. ...It would have been only sporting if this had been mentioned in the editorial remarks for the 2004 edition here on the Amazon site. And, to add insult to injury, if you click on the link 'look inside this book' (on the 2004 edition page) it shows you the index (of the 1993 edition) with the absent third section included! You are NOT getting, in the 2004 edition, essays by James L Wiser, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Stanley Rosen, Thomas J.J. Altizer, Timothy Fuller, Ellis Sandoz, Thomas L. Pangle and David Walsh. A pity - the Gadamer, Rosen, Altizer, Sandoz and Pangle pieces look quite interesting.

The collection of letters is well worth owning. I give only three stars because the absence of section 3 was never mentioned. ... Read more

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