Brendan Purcell

Written by Brendan Purcell

Brendan Purcell is a Board Member of VoegelinView and an Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University in Sydney. He is author of several books, including From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution (New City, 2012).

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Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich. Eric Kurlander. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017.
 
Reading Eric Kurlander’s Hitler’s Monsters awoke my memory of working with Detlev Clemens on another Eric, Voegelin’s Hitler and the Germans lectures, and sent me back to one of the books Kurlander refers to, Klaus Vondung’s 1971 Magie und Manipulation: Ideologischer Kult und…

Permanent Liminality and Modernity: Analysing the Sacrificial Carnival through Novels. Arpad Szakolczai. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2017.
 
As in the previous review, I’ll just select some of the novelists studied in Permanent Liminality and Modernity: Analysing the Sacrificial Carnival through Novels (hereafter PL), hoping thereby to convey at least an important thread underlying his investigation—this reviewer has to confess…

Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary. Arpad Szakolczai. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2016.
 
Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork, and the first book’s subtitle is The Sociology of the Contemporary (hereafter NS) while the second occurs within a Contemporary Liminality Series. Still, all of Szakolczai’s work seems to effortlessly go beyond what’s conventionally regarded as…

Since Voegelin has said that the reality of experience is self-interpretive, let’s turn this question around and ask, how did the earliest humans think about origins. I’ll draw on Voegelin’s well-known reflections on symbolization to remind us of the kind of expressions of that early thinking about origins we’ll be dealing with here:
"For, in the first place, the symbols are…

As late as Nov 29, 1988, well into the Gorbachev period of "glasnost," Suslov’s successor and top party ideologist, Vadim Medvedev "confirmed Solzhenitsyn would remain on the Soviet Union’s blacklist of forbidden writers," saying that “to publish Solzhenitsyn’s work is to undermine the foundation on which our present life rests.”’[1] As Edward Ericson and Daniel Mahoney write in their introduction…

David Walsh's Politics of the Person
A few years ago, I tried to work out a philosophical understanding of human origins, which involved not only up to six or seven million years of the hominid or hominin sequence leading to Homo Sapiens, but also the individual miracle of the origin of each of us. Very briefly, I leant on Aristotle’s as…

The Soul of the World . Roger Scruton. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

 
These Stanton Lectures at the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge in 2011 are very much a companion series to Scruton’s Gifford Lectures of 2010, The Face of God (London: Continuum, 2012). Both books explore the themes of the Other, God, the natural world and…


The Trinity and Love
Perhaps Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s most powerful single response to the Bolshevik coup d’état and consequent ideological revolution in Russia was his novel, In the First Circle.2 His answer to the Inferno of Stalin’s anti-world of betrayal is the Paradiso of Nadya’s and Gleb’s faithfulness, all the more heroic when neither are aware of the other’s fidelity overcoming the…

This interview is in light of  Brendan Purcell's essay, "Voegelin and Theology Today" on Fred Lawrence’s article, "Eric Voegelin: Mystical Philosopher and Scientist."

 
Vv: Is there anything in Catholic theology that is deficient and could be corrected by adding in Voegelin’s thought?
BP: Well, as I say in my commentary piece, Voegelin and Theology Today, there’s a big need for theologians…

The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science. Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, eds. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Books, 2011.

 
With thirty eight contributors writing 41 essays encompassing a wide range of views, it’s unlikely this 963-page tome on naturalism in science will be surpassed for many years. The brief editors’ Introduction goes to…