Modernity without Restraint: The Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism
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DescriptionPublished together for the first time in one volume are Eric Voegelin's Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Political Religions was first published in 1938 in Vienna, the year of Voegelin's forced emigration from Austria to the United States. The New Science of Politics was written in 1952 and established Voegelin's reputation as a political philosopher in America. Science, Politics, and Gnosticism was Voegelin's Inaugural Lecture at the University of Munich in 1958 and introduced him to the West German intellectual public. Although these books were written during remarkably different historical circumstances of Voegelin's life, all three present an analysis of modern Western civilization that has lost its spiritual foundations and is challenged by various ideological persuasions. Voegelin critiques in these texts a 'modernity without restraint.' It is a modernity with Hegelian, Marxian, Nietzschean, Heideggerian, positivist, Fascist, and other predominantly German characteristics. The author confronts this modernity with Western meaning as it emerged in ancient Greece, Rome, Israel, and Christianity and became transformed in the European Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, and the Anglo- American political formation. This three-in-one volume delves into the intellectual and spiritual complications of modernity, tracing its evolution from the ancient civilizations to the twentieth century. In his substantial new introduction, Manfred Henningsen explores the experiential background that motivated Voegelin's theoretical analyses and the new relevance that his work has gained in recent years with the unexpected collapse of state socialism in East Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. Modernity without Restraint will be a valuable addition to intellectual history and Voegelin studies.
University of Missouri Press
31 December 1999
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