Order and History. Volume 5: In Search of Order (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 18)
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Eric Voegelin. Order and History. Volume 5: In Search of Order. Ed. by Ellis Sandoz. University of Missouri Press, 1999. 160 Pages (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 18)
In Search of Order brings to a conclusion Eric Voegelin's masterwork, Order and History. Voegelin conceived Order and History as "a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order of human existence in society and history as well as the corresponding symbolic forms." In previous volumes, Voegelin discussed the imperial organizations of the ancient Near East and their existence in the form of the cosmological myth; the revelatory form of existence in history, developed by Moses and the prophets of the Chosen People; the polis, the Hellenic myth, and the development of philosophy as the symbolism of order; and the evolution of the great religions, especially Christianity.
This final volume of Order and History is devoted to the elucidation of the experience of transcendence that Voegelin discussed in earlier volumes. He aspires to show in a theoretically acute manner the exact nature of transcendental experiences. Voegelin's philosophical inquiry unfolds in the historical context of the great symbolic enterprise of restating man's humanity under the horizon of the modern sciences and in resistance to the manifold forces of our age that deform human existence. His stature as one of the major philosophical forces of the twentieth century clearly emerges from these concluding pages. In Search of Order deepens and clarifies the meditative movement that Voegelin, now in reflective distance to his own work, sees as having been operative throughout his search.
Because of Voegelin's death, on January 19, 1985, In Search of Order is briefer than it otherwise might have been; however, the theoretical presentation that he had set for himself is essentially completed here. Just as this volume serves Voegelin well in his striking analyses of Hegel, Hesiod, and Plato, it will serve as a model for the reader's own efforts in search of order.
Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was one of the most original and influential philosophers of our time. Born in Cologne, Germany, he studied at the University of Vienna, where he became a professor of political science in the Faculty of Law. In 1938, he and his wife, fleeing Hitler, emigrated to the United States. They became American citizens in 1944. Voegelin spent much of his career at Louisiana State University, the University of Munich, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. During his lifetime he published many books and more than one hundred articles. The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin will make available in a uniform edition all of Voegelin's major writings.
Ellis Sandoz, Hermann Moyse Jr. Distinguished Professor of Political Science, is Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies at Louisiana State University. He is the general editor of Voegelin's History of Political Ideas and author or editor of numerous books, including The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays: The Crisis of Civic Consciousness, available from the University of Missouri Press.
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: University of Missouri (February 10, 2000)
Printed Book Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 6 inches
his imaginative responsiveness man is a creative partner in the movement of reality toward its truth; and this creatively formative force is exposed to deformative perversion, if the creative partner imagines himself to be the sole creator of truth. The imaginative expansion of participatory into sole power makes possible the dream of gaining ultimate power over reality through the power of creating its image. The distance inherent in the metaleptic tension can be obscured by letting the reality
the successive strata of the “gods” are symbolized as genetic in the biological sense, the beginning of the genealogical line remains ambiguous. Each member of the primordial triad, it is true, is accorded a speciﬁc rank through praising epithets: Chaos is distinguished as the ﬁrstborn of them all; Eros, then, as “the most beautiful among the deathless gods”; and especially Gaia, the Earth, as “the safe genetic seat [hedos asphales] of all things [panton]” (116–20). Still, none of them is the
than a “name” (onoma) (Parm. B 8, 38–41). Although the Parmenidean language is compact, we can discern that its thinker has become conscious of the paradox of consciousness, of the tension between intentionality and luminosity, between thing-reality and It-reality, as well as of the complex of consciousness-reality-language in its integrality. He is aware that his own thinking partakes of the Being to which the language of ta eonta refers as if it were no more than an object given to a subject.
becomes luminous for the ultimate mystery of a Creator-God who, when he creates, has to create a tensional Cosmos. The study of the meditative process surrounding the symbol “Space” has been carried far enough to make it clear that the quest has indeed no “object” but is an event in tensional reality that raises the experienced tensions into consciousness. The language symbols emerging from the diversiﬁed tensions illuminate one another as well as the oneness of the quest in its wandering through
despondency, contrition and repentance, forsakenness and hope against hope, the silent stirrings of love and grace, trembling on the verge of a certainty which if gained is loss—the very lightness of this fabric may prove too heavy a burden for men who lust for massively possessive experience. (NSP, 122) What a rather defensive footnote identiﬁes as “a psychology of experience”—not the theology or dogmatics of faith—is Voegelin’s subject in these lines and, broadly, also in the present work.