Friday, July 23, 2010

The intellectual history of Traditionalism in America

A new and massive (622 pages) book addresses the intellectual history of Traditionalism in America: Setareh Houman, De la philosophia perennis au pérennialisme américain (Milan: Archè, 2010).

The book in some ways retraces my own Against the Modern World but does so with a different focus, on intellectual history. More on the intellectual origins of Traditionalism and perennialism; more on their development, especially in US academia, and especially by Coomaraswamy, Nasr, Huston Smith and James Cutsinger, with reference also to the next generation and to others who were relevant to that development.

Among the books major objectives are to establish
how certain characteristics of Guénonian traditionalism give way to a more inclusive and holistic philosophy [and] ... how, in a doctrine with a methodical aspect in which the ascent to the divine takes the path of art and nature, the danger of counter-initiation and Antitradition disappears in favor of the simultaneously ontological and epistemological reality of the "supernaturally natural" function of the intellect or human powers of discernment that thus serve as pontifex.
The book has four main sections:
  1. Aux sources du pérennialisme américain
  2. Apparition et développement du courant pérennialiste aux États-Unis (seconde moitié du XXe et début du XXIe siècles)
  3. L’implantation du pérennialisme dans le milieu académique aux États-Unis
  4. Les débats et controverses suscitées autour du courant pérennialiste au sein de l’American Academy of Religion (AAR)


Mad Mullah Hastur said...

Is it available in an understandable language, like English? ;-)

Mark Sedgwick said...

Just in French.

Talat Halman said...

In my correspondence with the author Setareh Houman, I understand that she is being asked to retract any negative statements that might discredit Schuon's credentials.