Barry Cooper

Written by Barry Cooper

Barry Cooper is a Board Member of VoegelinView and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. He is the author, editor, or translator of 30 books and has published over 150 papers and book chapters. He writes a regular column in the Calgary Herald.

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Peter Emberley

Peter Emberley died in Ottawa, Ontario on November 30, 2016, of a neurodegenerative disorder called Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). The cause of DLB is unknown and there is no cure. The chief presenting symptom is cognitive dysfunction as a result of abnormal protein collections in the brain. Eventually the symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.…

Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education. Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.
Several years ago in Bucharest I had the opportunity to tour the Museum of the History of the Rumanian Communist Party and of the Movement for Social Democracy in Romania.  I was puzzled with the discovery that, according to the…

In the last decade of or so of his life, Eric Voegelin developed an interest in very early political symbolism, the symbolism of persons living in what non-paleoscientists call the Stone Age or the Ice Age. In a sense, Voegelin was simply pushing his interest in Altertumswissenschaft into ever-earlier societies. Prior to the agriculture-based cosmological empires of the Ancient Near…

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. Patrick Leigh Fermor. London, Murray, 2013.

On reading the new biography of Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) by Artemis Cooper (no relation) I was surprised to be reminded of Voegelin. They shared at least three obvious external characteristics: both were polymaths; both had amazing linguistic abilities; both had distinctive…
Barry Cooper

Hunting and Weaving: Empiricism and Political Philosophy. Thomas Heilke and John von Heyking, eds. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2013.
Earlier this year I was in Dublin to take part in the presentation of a Festschrift to Brendan Purcell. David Walsh, one of the editors, remarked that, among other things, such events are designed to make the honouree uncomfortable. This is…
Barry Cooper Voegelin Foundations Political Science

From Nominal Taxonomy to Realistic Analysis
An alternative way of formulating the differences between Hannah Arendt and Eric Voegelin would be to say that Arendt's theorization was nominalistic whereas Voegelin's was realistic.
As Voegelin pointed out in a letter to Francis Wilson, "nominalistic theories will be the best one can do in areas where penetration to essence is yet prevented by the…
Barry Cooper Voegelin Foundations Political Science

A Critical Review of Arednt's OriginsIn 1951, Hannah Arendt published The Origins of Totalitarianism, and Voegelin was again asked by Waldemar Gurian to write a review for Review of Politics.
The eight-and-a-half page review was then sent by Gurian to Arendt for her eight-page response, and Voegelin was given a final page to reply. It was, to say the least, an…
Barry Cooper Voegelin Foundations Political Science

Eric Voegelin and Leo Strauss

Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, and Hannah Arendt were all forced to flee Germany when that country fell under the sway of the National Socialists.
They have been grouped together by hostile critics and by those who admired their work; their interpersonal relations have been the subject of gossip, speculation, and occasional analysis.
Whatever the motives one may have…

Remember that it is not you who sustain the root; the root sustains you.
-Roman 11:18
Dismissive Views of Shamanism
A generation ago anthropologists often dismissed shamanism as “a made-up, modern, Western category, an artful reification of disparate practices, snatches of folklore and overarching folklorizations, residues of long-established myths intermingled with the politics of academic departments, curricula, conferences, journal juries and articles, and…

Remember that it is not you who sustain the root; the root sustains you.
-Roman 11:18
Introduction: Voegelin, Mysticism, and the Stone Age
Before discussing the evidence for shamanism in the late or Upper Paleolithic period (50,000 to 10,000 years B.C.) and its significance for political science, I would like to make two preliminary points.
The first concerns the meaning of Voegelin’s use of…