Thursday, November 23, 2017

Traditionalism and Orthodox Christianity

A new research project will look at the impact of Traditionalism on Orthodox Christianity through a comparative study of Philip Sherrard and André Scrima. The project is entitled "Westlicher Traditionalismus/Perennialismus und sein Einfluss auf das Orthodoxe Christentum: Eine vergleichende Untersuchung des Denkens von Philip Sherrard (1922–1995) und André Scrima (1925–2000)" (Western Traditionalism/Perennialism and its Impact on Orthodox Christianity: A Comparative Study of Philip Sherrard [1922-1995] and André Scrima [1925-2000]), and is to be conducted by Ionuţ Daniel Băncilă at the University of Erfurt under the direction of Vasilios N. Makrides, Professor of Religious Studies (Orthodox Christianity). It is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and is scheduled to last for two years.

Philip Sherrard was English, connected to the Maryamiyya and Temenos, and a convert to Orthodoxy.  Scrima was a Romanian Orthodox monk and theologian. "In the case of A. Scrima, the appropriation of Western perennialism was linked to an ecumenical opening of the Orthodox tradition; for example, he saw similarities between perennial initiation rituals and the Christian sacraments. His goal was the articulation of a 'spiritual hermeneutics' as an explanation and instrument of the religious life of humanity. Later, Scrima distanced himself from Guénon's crisis rhetoric and cultural pessimism."

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini (1926-2017)

Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, the leading Italian Traditionalist, has just died, aged 91.

Pallavicini was born in 1926 and started his Traditionalist career in 1951 as a member of the Maryamiyya, to which he was introduced by Julius Evola. He then left the Maryamiyya and in 1971 joined the Singapore branch of another Sufi order, the Ahmadiyya Idrisiyya, which he established in Italy during the 1980s. At this time he was deeply involved in interreligious dialogue with various Catholic organizations.

The Italian branch of the Ahmadiyya Idrisiyya prospered, in France as well as in Italy, and became the basis of another organization, Coreis, the Comunità religiosa islamica italiana (Italian Islamic Religious Community), which played an active role in representing Islam to the Italian government. Pallavicini was distinguished by his commitment to the classic Traditionalism of René Guénon and, of course, to Sufism.

He is succeeded by his son, Yahya.