Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Editors’ Introduction

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pp. ix-xxviii

Eric Voegelin was one of the most creative and prolific philosophers of the twentieth century. Up to the present, however, he is only sparsely celebrated as such. There are various reasons for this relative lack of recognition. First, his mature philosophical writings, besides being challenging in their depth and complexity, ...

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Prologue

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pp. 3-4

The occupation with works of art, poetry, philosophy, mythical imagination, and so forth, makes sense only, if it is conducted as an inquiry into the nature of man. That sentence, while it excludes historicism, does not exclude history, for it is peculiar to the nature of man that it unfolds its potentialities historically. . . . The study of the classics ...

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Part One. Intellectual Biography

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pp. 5-6

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. ...

from Autobiographical Reflections (1973)

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Chapter 10: American Influence

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pp. 7-12

I have already referred to my year in New York, in which one important influence came through the younger men surrounding Thomas Hunt Morgan. This year in New York was possible because at that time the Rockefeller Foundation extended research fellowships to European students under the title of the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Fellowships. ...

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Chapter 11: Concerning the Year in France

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pp. 12-15

After the two years in America, the Rockefeller Foundation was kind enough to extend the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship for another year to continue my studies in France. I accepted the opportunity with the idea of enlarging my horizon by living in France for a year and finding out firsthand what points in French culture were relevant for a political scientist. ...

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Chapter 12: Return to Vienna

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pp. 15-18

After my return from the three years under the Rockefeller Fellowship, I began to concentrate on writing publications that would lead to my habilitation and ultimately to a professorship. The first thing I finished was the book that was published under the title Über die Form des amerikanischen Geistes, which came out in 1928. ...

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Chapter 13: Anschluss and Emigration

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pp. 18-20

A profound emotional shock came in the critical moments of the destruction of Austria. I would have left Vienna long before 1938 if I had not assumed that Austria was safe in its defense against National Socialism. On the basis of my historically founded political knowledge, ...

from The Political Religions (Second edition, 1939)

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Preface

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pp. 21-23

The treatise on “Political Religions” was published for the first time in Vienna in April of 1938. Since the national-socialist provisional management of the publishing house did not promote its circulation, the treatise remained almost unknown. However, it did become well enough known to find as critical a response among knowledgeable readers as my earlier writings. ...

from Autobiographical Reflections (1973)

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Chapter 22: Why Philosophize? To Recapture Reality!

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pp. 24-32

The motivations of my work, which culminates in a philosophy of history, are simple. They arise from the political situation. Anybody with an informed and reflective mind who lives in the twentieth century since the end of the First World War, as I did, finds himself hemmed in, if not oppressed, ...

Part Two. The Philosophical Science of Politics

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pp. 33-34

from The New Science of Politics (1952)

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Introduction, Sections 1 and 2

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pp. 35-46

[These selections are drawn from Voegelin’s first major work on politics and political theory, which originated as a series of lectures entitled “Truth and Representation” given in 1951 at the University of Chicago under the auspices of the Charles R. Walgreen Foundation. Before Voegelin proceeds to his principal theme, ...

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Editors’ summary of Chapter 1

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pp. 46-47

[In order to demonstrate the restoration of principles in the discipline of political science, Voegelin in Chapter 1 focuses his analysis on the theme of representation. After distinguishing between the “truth of society” and the “truth of the theorist,” ...

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Chapter 2: Representation and Truth, Sections 1–6, 9

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pp. 47-62

In a first approach, the analysis used the Aristotelian method of examining language symbols as they occur in political reality, in the hope that the procedure of clarification would lead to critically tenable concepts. Society was a cosmion of meaning, illuminated from within by its own self-interpretation; ...

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Chapter 3: The Struggle for Representation in the Roman Empire, Section 1

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pp. 62-65

The preceding lecture has shown that the problems of representation were not exhausted by internal articulation of a society in historical existence. Society as a whole proved to represent a transcendent truth; and, hence, the concept of representation in the existential sense had to be supplemented by a concept of transcendental representation. ...

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Necessary Moral Bases for Communication in a Democracy (1956)

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pp. 66-77

[Voegelin opens this essay, originally a lecture delivered at Marquette University in 1956, by identifying three types of communication: the substantive, the pragmatic, and the intoxicant. In his amplification of how these three types of communication manifest themselves in the democracy of the United States, ...

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Industrial Society in Search of Reason (1963), Section 5

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pp. 78-85

[In this selection, the final section (§5) from his essay “Industrial Society in Search of Reason,” which was first published in German in 1960 (English version in 1963), Voegelin resurrects the classical concept of “the good society” in order to analyze the issues of size, viability, constitutional democracy, ...

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World-Empire and the Unity of Mankind (1962)

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pp. 86-110

[This essay contains Voegelin’s initial exploration of the problem of empire-building (an instrumental-political enterprise) and its relation to the symbol “world” (the expression of a spiritual experience).
He continued his explorations of empire-building in his later essays “Historiogenesis” and “Eternal Being in Time,” ...

Part Three. Philosophizing in Modernity

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pp. 111-112

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In Search of the Ground (1965)

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pp. 113-129

[In this 1965 lecture, delivered at the Thomas More Institute in Montreal, Voegelin reflects on his search for general categories that “make it possible to compare [political] orders in various civilizations.” He concludes that in all civilizations there exists a quest for “the ground of everything with regard to existence and essence,” ...

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On Debate and Existence (1967)

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pp. 130-146

[This essay identifies and explores conditions under which rational debate concerning our existence as human beings can be conducted. Only if the partners to the debate accept as binding “the matrix of reality” can such a debate occur. ...

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Immortality: Experience and Symbol (1967)

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pp. 147-192

[Voegelin opens this essay, which originated as his Ingersoll Lecture on Immortality delivered at Harvard Divinity School in January 1965, with the identification of “immortality” as one of the language symbols deriving from “varieties of religious experience,” ...

Part Four. Philosophy and the Open Soul: Consciousness, Reason, and Divine Reality

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pp. 193-194

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from Remembrance of Things Past (1978)

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pp. 195-197

[“Remembrance of Things Past” was written as Chapter 1 for the first American edition of Anamnesis (1978), translated and edited by Gerhart Niemeyer. This edition differed significantly from the original German Anamnesis of 1966, omitting a number of historical and philosophical essays, ...

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Equivalences of Experience and Symbolization in History (1970)

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pp. 198-217

[Voegelin here develops his search for constants of “human order in society and history,” and describes explicitly his approach to interpreting and understanding the historical documents of recorded order. He examines the nature of symbols and their relation to engendering experiences; the depth of the soul; ...

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Reason: The Classic Experience (1974)

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pp. 218-244

[Voegelin recounts in this essay the discovery of “reason” by the Hellenic philosophers—“Nous in the classic sense”—and explains why it was a transformational event in the history of humankind. He begins by describing how reason, in the classical analysis, is understood as both the “force and criterion of order in personal and social existence”; ...

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The Gospel and Culture (1971)

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pp. 245-286

[“To save the honor of philosophy” Voegelin accepted an invitation to lecture, as a contemporary philosopher, on “The Gospel and Culture,” the result being this lengthy essay on the heart of the Christian message. ...

Part Five. Philosophy of History

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pp. 287-288

from Israel and Revelation (1956)

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Preface

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pp. 289-295

[The Preface and Introduction to the first volume of Order and History, Israel and Revelation, are crucial articulations of the principles discovered by Voegelin in his work on the unpublished (in his lifetime) and eventually abandoned History of Political Ideas, written during the 1940s. ...

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Introduction: The Symbolization of Order

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pp. 295-307

God and man, world and society form a primordial community of being. The community with its quaternarian structure is, and is not, a datum of human experience. It is a datum of experience insofar as it is known to man by virtue of his participation in the mystery of its being. ...

from The World of the Polis (1957)

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Introduction: Mankind and History (excerpts)

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pp. 308-326

[Having dealt with the Israelite break with the cosmological myth in Israel and Revelation, Voegelin turned to the study of the Hellenic “break with the myth” in the second volume of Order and History, The World of the Polis, published in 1957 (along with its companion Order and History, Volume III: Plato and Aristotle). ...

from The Ecumenic Age (1974)

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Introduction (excerpts)

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pp. 327-351

[Voegelin begins his sixty-two page Introduction to Order and History, Volume 4: The Ecumenic Age by explaining the reasons for the seventeen-year gap between the publications of the third and the fourth volumes of the series. Working to complete the project, he had discovered in his studies of empirical materials that some of the theoretical assumptions guiding the initial three volumes ...

from In Search of Order (1987)

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Chapter 1: The Beginning of the Beginning

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pp. 352-390

[The first of the two chapters that make up the slim, fifth and final volume of Order and History, published two years after Voegelin’s death, indicates by its title—“The Beginning of the Beginning”—that Voegelin was continuing his search for “the order of history” through pursuing the non-chronological orientation he had explained and justified in his Introduction to The Ecumenic Age. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 391-392

One of the important insights gained by philosophers, as well as by the prophets of Israel and by the early Christians, is the movement in reality toward a state beyond its present structure. So far as the individual human being is concerned, this movement obviously can be consummated only through his personal death. ...

Notes

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pp. 393-398

Further Readings in Eric Voegelin

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pp. 399-404

Selected Writings on Eric Voegelin

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pp. 405-406

Index

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pp. 407-434