New at VoegelinView in June and July
- For those who have not visited VoegelinView recently, we have
shown each Wednesday during the summer an excerpt from Eric
Voegelin's writings and lectures. Here follows a list of those
shown in June and July.
How Progressives Kill Themselves--
Eric Voegelin praises Kant for exposing the "libidinous excess"
of progressives who "want to become immortal in time." He then
reaches the arresting conclusion: "When you expand your life to
the point where it includes a fruition of reality that is only
due after death, then you have killed your life. Your life is
dead. . . ." and, "The search for the meaning of history [which]
can be and is discovered actively in the present in order to
realize the perfect order, means the death of man and society."
Read part 3 of "The Beyond and Its Parousia."
Concealing the Problems of Consciousness--
We begin this week one of Eric Voegelin's last lectures, in which
he explains how the unresolvable problems of consciousnesss are
concealed in collective singular terms: "History is one of those
terms of the eighteenth century that arises where an attempt is
made to fuse all these various problems of the structure of
realitythey all belong togetherinto one reality that is called
history." Read part 1 of "The Beyond and Its Parousia."
Only the Good Souls are in Hell--
Eric Voegelin concludes his analysis of Plato's Gorgias, and we
become aware that he is revealing to us his own pilgrimage to
truth: "The curable soul, thus, is permanently in the state of
judgment; to experience itself permanently in the presence of the
judgment, we might say, is the criterion of the curable soul;
'only the good souls are in hell,' as Berdiaev, on occasion, has
formulated the problem." Read part 4 of "What is Justice? The
Judgment of the Dead."
The Statesman's Duty to Increase Friendship--
Eric Voegelin continues his analysis of Plato's Gorgias: "A
statesman is good if under his rule the citizens become better;
he is bad if under his rule the citizens become worse, . . .
Friendship, philia, is Plato's term for the state of existential
community." Read part 3 of "What is Justice? Discovering the
Communicating with Intellectuals in a Decadent Society--
Eric Voegelin describes the precondition for serious debate:
pathos, and the lack thereof, which also happens to describe the
present U.S. situation: "Pathos designates a passive experience,
not an action; it is what happens to man, what he suffers, what
befalls him fatefully, and what touches him in his existential
core. Behind the hardened, intellectually supported attitudes
that separate men lie the pathemata that bind them together."
Read part 2 of "What is Justice? Pathos and Communication."
Some Home Truths about Justice--
This week we begin Eric Voegelin's discussion of Plato's Gorgias,
which reminds us of our own experience: "Discussion is indeed
impossible with a man who is intellectually dishonest, . . . who
by irrelevant profuseness seeks to avoid being nailed down on a
point, and who gains the semblance of victory by exhausting the
time that sets an inevitable limit to a discussion," and, "The
two great clubs used by vulgarity for silencing the spirit [are]
the 'Holier Than Thou' [and] the 'That's What You Think'
[arguments]." Read part 1 of "What is Justice? The Existential
An Unspeakable Advancement of Mass Ignorance--
This week we reprise and expand from our 2009 pages an Eric
Voegelin analysis of the corrosive effects of misunderstood
science: "[Scientism] prevents the cultivation of human substance
and corrodes the surviving elements of the cultural tradition . .
. The spiritual desire, in the Platonic sense, must be very
strong in a young man of our time in order to overcome the
obstacles that social pressure puts in the way of its
cultivation." Read this week "The Pathos of Science and the
The Psychology of Passion and the Life of the Spirit--
This week we reprise from 2009 a letter written by Eric Voegelin
to literary critic Robert B. Heilman on the subject of melodrama
in politics: ". . . man does not cease to be concerned with
problems of the spirit, even if he experiences life as the
melodrama of struggle; the problem of the spirit intrudes itself
in the form that man has to [see himself as wholly] good and the
enemy [as] wholly evil." Read this week "Politics as Melodrama."
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- For those who have not visited VoegelinView this
week:A Pause for Thanksgiving � The VoegelinView staff will take a break from Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28th) until the following Monday, December 2nd. We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.NEWThinking About the State is Latent High Treason--Juergen Gebhardt continues his description of Voegelin�s intellectual development and contrasts his thinking with that of Leo Strauss: �In an age of intellectual and political crisis, whatever separated Strauss and Voegelin, . . .they agreed on the philosophical importance of historical reflection in order to regain a sense of the fundamental issues of human existence.� Read part 2 of �The Timely Legacy of Voegelin and Strauss.�Suffering as the Basis for Community--Richard Avramenko and Jingcai Ying offer their portrayal of three women in Dostoevsky�s The Possessed, and find in the characters a redemptive meaning for suffering: �Love is compassion, the willingness to suffer with others . . . . By sharing others� suffering and self-sacrificing, individuals can forge a communal bond that leads to salvation.� This week read Part 2 of �Dostoevsky�s Heroines, or, on the Compassion of the Russian Woman.�Reason is left to shift for Itself--We continue Eric Voegelin�s analysis of the English loss of reality following the religious upheaval and the arrival of Newtonian physics: �When the light of faith is extinguished, the dogmatic symbols lose their luminosity of meaning and become a dead letter, a jungle of logical inconsistencies, and a collection of unverifiable propo�sitions. When the symbols no longer glow with the inner light of faith, the time has come for their examination under the external light of reason.� Read part 3 of �The English Quest for the Concrete.�The Trial of Socrates--In this chapter from his new manuscript �Knowledge, Sophistry, and Scientific Politics: Plato�s Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman,� James Rhodes tackles the complex problem of Plato�s critique of geometrical politics in the Eleatic dialogues. He offers a compelling explanation of how those dialogues repeat the charge of sophistry brought against Socrates by the Athenians and why Socrates �must expect death from Homeric believers.� This week read Part 2 of �The Real Name of the Stranger.�on the Inside�. . . your love, too big, sinks my song of thanks . . . �Poetry Editor Thomas D�Evelyn presents contemporary Chinese poet Xue Di, who left China following the Tianamen Square bloodshed and now reflects on his experiences in a poem in which the cry of the child is the the cry for freedom. Read this week in Poetry �Gift.�Challenging Plato�s �Platonism�Our Editor Ron Srigley explores the agreements and disagreements between James Rhodes� and Zdravko Planinc�s interpretations of the Eleatic dialogues, particularly Plato�s Statesman, which have been presented here over the past two weeks. Read in Commentary this week �Challenging Plato�s �Platonism.� �Has the Liturgical Reform been Beneficial?We are pleased to welcome back Stephen Millies to VoegelinView. He reviews for us a book that assesses the results of Vatican II after almost fifty years: �Since something little short of a war has unfolded during last five decades over how to interpret the Council, Faggioli�s claim that we can find such a key seems facile, almost too cute.� Read in Book Reviews this week �Vatican II: A Liturgical Restoration of Religious Experience.�Rationalism: the Bane of American PoliticsWe welcome Corey Abel to VoegelinView. He reviews for us Gene Callahan�s new book, Oakeshott on Rome and America. Among Abel�s observations: �Callahan does not sugar coat the fact that there is a deep incoherence in the American political tradition, and a deep incoherence in the defense of liberty offered by both libertarians and by variously styled conservatives.� Read in Book Reviews this week �A Foreshortened Tradition.�Please note that this will be the final Sunday night notice to the evforum.The URL is: http://voegelinview.com"