Mark Sedgwick. Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century.
Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, and important yet surprisingly little-known twentieth-century anti-modern movement. Compromising a number of often secret but sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and the development of the field of religious studies in the United States, touching the lives of many individuals. Although its appeal in the West was ultimately limited, Traditionalism has wielded enormous influence in the field of religious studies. Against the Modern World tells the previously untold story of how this far-flung intellectual movement helped shape twentieth-century religious life, politics, and scholarship, all the while remaining invisible to outside observers.
Mark Sedgwick shows how Traditionalism is a major influence on religion, politics,even international relations. Famous scholars, theosophist and masons, Gnostic ascetics and Sufi sheikhs jostle with neo-fascists, terrorists, and Islamists in their defection from a secular, materialist West. As a study of esotericism and Western images of the East, Against the Modern World compares in importance with Edward Saids monumental Orientalism. Likewise, it deserves the widest readership. --Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, author of Black Sun and The Occult Roots of Nazism.
Oxford University Press , New York. June 2004.
384 Pages www.oup.co.uk
Arthur Versluis. Restoring Paradise: Western Esotericism, Literature, Art, and Consciousness.
Focusing on how spiritual initiation takes place in Western esoteric religious, literary, and artistic traditions from antiquity to the present, Restoring Paradise provides an introduction to Western esotercism, including early modern esoteric movements like alchemy, Christian theosophy, and Roisicrucianism. The author argues that European and American literature and art often entail a written transmission of spiritual knowledge in which writing itself works to transmute consciousness, to generate, provoke, or convey spiritual awakening. He focuses on several important figures whose work has not received the attention it deserves, including the American writer and Imagist poet H. D. And the British painter Cecil Collins, among others. While Arthur Versluis presents a new way of understanding Western esotericism in a contemporary light, above all he has crafted a book about knowing, and about how we have come to know, and what knowing by way of literature and language actually means.
A volume in the SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
edited by David Appelbaum
State University of New York Press, Albany. 2004.
Tom Cheetham. Green Man, Earth Angel: The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World.
Green Man, Earth Angel explores the central role of imagination for understanding the place of humans in the cosmos. Tom Cheetham suggests that lives can only be completely whole if human beings come to recognize that the human and natural worlds are deeply interconnected.
Cheetham gives a very good overview of the many problems of scientific rationalism as they connect to monotheism and Christian teleological thinking. In contrast, he offers a new interpretation of ecology that is aesthetic and soulful, based on the writings of Henry Corbin.--Lee Irwin, author of Awakening to Spirit: On Life, Illumination, and Being
(Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005).
161 Pages. www.sunypress.edu
Marsha Keith Schuchard. Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture.
This book uncovers the early Jewish, Scottish, and Stuart sources of ancient, Cabalistic Masonic themes that emerged in Écossais lodges in the eighteenth century. Drawing on architectural, technological, political, and religious documents, it provides the real-world, historical grounding for the flights of visionary Temple building that were later expressed in the rituals of high-degree Freemasonry. While tracing the concepts of Solomonic architecture, Hermetic masques, and Roiscrucian science from their Jewish origins through their Stuart development in 1695, the author explains the persistent and potent attraction of early Scottish Masonry.
Marsha Keith Schuchard, Ph. D. (1975) in English, University of Texas at Austin, has published extensively on eighteenth-century Cabalistic and illuminist Freemasonry and its influence on Swift, Ramsay, Swedenborg, and Blake.
Part of Brills Studies in Intellectual History, Volume 110.
(Leiden: Brill, 2002).
845 pages. www.brill.nl
Sophie Page. Magic in Medieval Manuscripts.
Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world, examining representations of the magician, wise-woman, and witch, magical objects and ritual procedures. It is illustrated throughout from The British Librarys extensive collections, and shows how magic texts and images formed part of life in the Middle Ages.
The British Library. 2004.
Vladimir Solovyev. Transformations of Eros.
Vladimir Solovyev(1853-1900) is one of the most influential of Russian philosophers, and his most well-known writings outlined his philosophy of love. In Transformations of Eros, Solovyev guides the readers through and intellectual and spiritual journey from a Platonic to a Christian understanding of eros, from a partial to a complete understanding of love. As Javro Lavrin puts it, Solovyevs entire work can best be described as a continuous endeavor to reconcile philosophic, religious, and scientific thought in an organic synthesis.
(St. Paul: New Grail, 2004)
103 Pages. www.grailbooks.org
Temenos Academy Review 2004: Kathleen Raine Memorial Issue.
Edited by Brian Keeble.
This is a collection of essays in tribute to Kathleen Raine. It is an overview of the depth and complexity of the whole range of Kathleen Raines work as a poet, scholar and teacher in relation to the idea of tradition.
Temenos Academy. 2004.
Johann Georg Gichtel. Awakening to Divine Wisdom: Christian Initiation Into Three Worlds.
Johann Georg Gichtel(1638-1710) is one of the greatest mystics in the theosophic school of Jakob Böhme, and Awakening to Divine Wisdom is his introduction to this tradition of mystical practice based on devotion to Sophia, or Divine Wisdom. This work is most well-known for its central illustrations that depict the transmutation of the inner dimensions of the body through spiritual awakening, and some have even claimed that these illustrations show the Christian parallel to Asian traditions concerning the chakras. Without a doubt, in Awakening to Divine Wisdom, Gichtel offers his most concise and direct guide to Christian mystical practice. This is a classic work of mysticism, and should be in the library of anyone interested in this field.
Translated and edited by Arthur Versluis.
(St. Paul: New Grail, 2004).