Part One. Intellectual Biography
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PART ONE INTELLECTUAL BIOGRAPHY 5 The consciousness of concrete men is the locus where order is experienced; and both the noetic and non-­ noetic interpretations of social order radiate from this center of experience. —­ Eric Voegelin, “What Is Political Reality?” The selections included in this section, with one exception, are taken from Voegelin’s Autobiographical Reflections, a book edited by Ellis Sandoz and based on his recorded conversations with Voegelin in the summer of 1973. They sketch—­ using Voegelin’s own words—­ crucial influences upon his intellectual development and key motivations of his life’s work. Between the chapters “Anschluss and Emigration” and “Why Philosophize? To Recapture Reality!” has been inserted Voegelin’s “Preface” for the second printing (1939) of his book The Political Religions, where he responds to certain criticisms that had been made of the first edition (1938) by underscoring the importance of religion in understanding both modern politics and modernity itself.—Eds. ...