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  • Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern

    September 21, 2017

    Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern. R.J. Snell and Steven F. McGuire, eds.. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.   The word, “nature,” is a broad term, often used ambiguously due to the long history of debate over its possible meanings.  The ambiguous use of the term derives, too, from…

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  • The Political Discourse of Carl Schmitt: A Mystic of Order

    September 20, 2017

    The Political Discourse of Carl Schmitt: A Mystic of Order. Montserrat Herrero. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.   Montserrat Herrero is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Navarra, Spain. In the vast and growing scholarship about Carl Schmitt, Herrero’s book provides a new and insightful interpretation…

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  • René Guénon and Eric Voegelin on the Degeneration of Right Order (Part II)

    September 19, 2017

    I. Guénon, Voegelin, and the Modern Crisis The concupiscent subject’s response to the Siren Song of the ecumene, to conquer and possess it, qualifies as Voegelin’s privative exodus in at least two senses. Pragmatically, the conqueror in going forth leaves home; he generally leaves it, moreover, with the cream…

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  • René Guénon and Eric Voegelin on the Degeneration of Right Order (Part I)

    September 18, 2017

    I. Introduction: The Diadochic Kingdoms No area of Western history is quite as recondite as that of the Diadochic empires, the successor-kingdoms that sprang up in the wake of Alexander the Great’s meteoric campaigns (334 – 323 BC) to subdue Asia under militaristic Hellenism.  Educated people know that the…

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  • From the Multiversity Cave: Aristotle and Phronesis

    September 15, 2017

    This is the second of a series of essays that will explore what prominent thinkers and philosophers can teach us about today’s public multiversity, the modern university with its many colleges, departments, and other administrative units that play multiple functions and roles in our society. This essay was originally…

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  • Eric Voegelin As Master Teacher

    September 14, 2017

    Tilo Schabert’s wonderfully vivid description of Eric Voegelin’s work habits and his life in Palo Alto brings back many memories of my own during the years when I lived in Plato Alto, 1975-76, and the years following that initial time, when I was either spending my summers there or…

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  • Voegelin’s Soteriology and Ours

    September 13, 2017

    Every religious tradition offers a soteriology – its own version of salvation called by whatever name – perhaps spiritual liberation as in the Hindu moksha or enlightenment as in the Buddhist samadhi. It claims to have exclusive possession of the one true “solution” to the human predicament, with the…

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  • God: An Autobiography as Told to a Philosopher

    September 12, 2017

    God: An Autobiography as Told to a Philosopher.  Jerry L. Martin.  Doylestown, PA: Caladium Publishing Co., 2016.   God an Autobiography is a book of 360 pages divided into eleven chapters. It is prefaced by a four page account of “The Beginning” in which Jerry Martin (hereafter, JM) tells…

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  • Does God Have a History?

    September 11, 2017

    Let us begin our inquiry with the following datum: The human experience of the Divine Reality has often, though not always, been an encounter with a personal God, a God who is a Person. – Yahweh speaks directly to Abraham and Moses, Samuel and Jeremiah and others. – Jesus…

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Give Me Liberty: Studies in Constitutionalism and Philosophy. Ellis Sandoz. St. Augustine’s Press, 2013.
 
Ellis Sandoz’s Give Me Liberty: Studies in Constitutionalism and Philosophy is a collection of nine essays: four about American history and politics, four about the philosophy of Eric Voegelin, and a concluding essay about liberty. Two of the essays have been previously published elsewhere – one about…

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Éric Voegelin et l’Orient: Millénarisme et religions politiques de l’Antiquité à Daech. Renaud Fabbri. Editions L'Harmattan, 2016.
 
Renaud Fabbri is a professor of political science at l’Université de Versailles. Over the past few years he has been quietly blogging away at a post-secular age, applying the ideas of Eric Voegelin to Hinduism and Islam. Éric Voegelin et l’Orient seems to be his…

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The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom. Thomas G. West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
 
Thomas G. West is the Paul Ermine Potter and Dawn Tibbets Potter Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches American Government and Political Philosophy. He has long been one of the nation’s foremost experts…

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Conserving America? Essays on Present Discontents. Patrick J. Deneen. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2016.
 
The current political polarization in the country today can be characterized as the Political Left calling for cultural liberation in the form of identity and sexual politics and the Political Right demanding the economic liberation of the free market. Whereas the Left believes that government,…

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Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in the Age of Extremes. Aurelian Craiutu. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2017.
 
Aurelian Craiutu is a political theorist and historian of ideas who has made the study of moderation the guiding thread of his intellectual project. Born in totalitarian Romania, he experienced firsthand both the evils of Manicheanism and ideological thinking and, consequently, the…

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The Eranos Movement: a story of hermeneutics. Edited by Tilo Schabert. Wuerzburg: Koenigshausen & Neumann, 2016.
 
Reviewing this volume is no small task. It has all the qualities of an edited collection both unique and splendid; its uniqueness owes to the idiosyncrasy of the subject—of the Eranos Tagungen, its history, location(s), people, perhaps mostly its experiences. Its splendor results from Eranos’s…

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In the first season of AMC’s Mad Men, advertising executive Don Draper gives a presentation to some prospective clients from Kodak. The clients are looking for a way to market a new rotary slide projector. Don upsets and exceeds their expectations when, instead of focusing on the “exciting technology” of the projector’s rotary wheel, he emphasizes the feelings of nostalgia…

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Mad Men:  The Death and Redemption of American Democracy. Sara MacDonald and Andrew Moore. Lexington Books, 2016.
 
It’s been a decade since Mad Men premiered on television, with its alluring and disturbing portrait of America in the 1960s.  This prestige drama and its mysterious protagonist, Don Draper, captured viewers’ imaginations for seven seasons, portraying a pivotal era of modernity.   Critics and…

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No one would dispute that Shakespeare was interested in political questions. Much of his theatrical output focuses on medieval monarchs and ancient Roman civil wars. Plays such as The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure explicitly wrestle with political and legal dilemmas. Even Shakespeare’s more romantic and comical plots often revolve around crises of government, leadership, and citizenship. A…

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Shakespeare between Machiavelli and Hobbes: Dead Body Politics. Andrew Moore, Lexington Press, 2016.
 
Andrew Moore’s book, Shakespeare between Machiavelli and Hobbes: Dead Body Politics, is bold and enlightening. Moore follows in the footsteps of Harry Jaffa, Allan Bloom, Thomas West, Paul Cantor, and Leon Craig, among others, in that he takes Shakespeare seriously as a political philosopher. Unlike their approach, however,…

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