Glenn Hughes

Written by Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes is Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary’s University in Texas. He is author of several books, including Transcendence and History (Missouri, 2003); A More Beautiful Question (Missouri, 2011); and co-editor, with Charles Embry, of The Eric Voegelin Reader: Politics, History, Consciousness (Missouri, 2017).

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Hamlet is a play so rich in insight regarding human existence, so revelatory and reverberative, that Harold Bloom is justified in calling it a “poem unlimited."[1][2] All of its characters, and all the details of the drama that enmeshes them, contribute to its scope and profundity. But it is principally through the consciousness and hyper-articulate presence of Hamlet that Shakespeare…

“Equivalences of Experience and Symbolization in History” (1971)[1] is, in my view, one of Eric Voegelin’s five most important stand-alone essays, along with “Immortality: Experience and Symbol” (1967), “The Gospel and Culture” (1971), “The Beginning and the Beyond: A Meditation on Truth” (written 1974-77), and “Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme: A Meditation” (1983). It is a writing with…

The Face of God. Roger Scruton. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2012.

 
The Face of God, the most recent book by the prolific English philosopher Roger Scruton, is a measured, clear, and impressive philosophical critique of what Scruton describes as “the atheist culture that is growing around us” (p.1 ). He notes at the start of this brief (180-page) work that…

First Impressions
My first encounter with T. S. Eliot's masterpiece, the poem-cycle Four Quar­tets, took place when I was twenty years old. The conditions were unusually felicitous. I was visiting family friends in southeast England, and during a pe­riod when my host family was away for a few days, I noticed a BBC program announcement in the newspaper. That evening there…


Of American poets taught regularly in secondary education, the two most ill-served are Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Students are typically introduced to these poets through their most-anthologized poems, the majority of which are chosen in part for their accessibility–technically fluid and not too daunting conceptually–but also for a sort of charmingness, albeit in both cases of a slightly dark…

From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution. Brendan Purcell. New York: New City Press, 2012.

 
Brendan Purcell’s From Big Bang to Big Mystery is an extremely ambitious book, and what is marvelous is that it succeeds in its ambitions. Exploring the question of human origins and development within the context of cosmic…

Voegelin's notion of the differentiation of consciousness may be clarified by setting it off against what he considers to be the foundational struc­ture of consciousness that does not change, but rather constitutes the transhistorical basis for its historical transformations. Implicitly reject­ing modern and postmodern arguments for a radically historicist view of conscious experience, Voegelin asserts that there are indeed invariant…

History, to be precise about the term, is not everything that has ever hap­pened, but the remembered and recorded past, the past judged worthy of reflection and narration. A "history" is a story comprising, not all events, but significant events. The weight of significance is something to be determined by the person trying to make sense of the flow of…

The most efficient way to approach Ezra Pound's artistic strug­gle with the problem of transcendence will be to use Eric Voegelin's philos­ophy of human existence and history to analyze some of Pound's guiding ideas about divine reality, history, language, and political order, especially as they shape and inform his epic poem The Cantos. To a reader familiar with both Pound…

I have learned more from this book, philosophically, than from any book in years. I do find its central hypothesis persuasive. And not only does it often speak beautifully about love, it was clearly written from and with enormous love.
Professor Walsh’s book is masterful in its erudition, depth, and importance. The book’s purpose is announced in its Preface: it aims…