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Perennialist/traditionalist thought strives for a unity that transcends each individual religion and its unique doctrines. This look at primordial religion edited by the late Lings (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources) and Minnaar, a professional editor in the field of religious studies, is an anthology of 25 essays of the leading 14 exponents of sophia perennis: Frithjof Schuon, René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Titus Burckhardt, to name a few (there are biographical notes on all). Unfortunately, as with almost all other compilations, the readability of the essays differs from one author to the next. Burckhardt communicates much more accessibly and concretely than does Guénon, for example, yet their arguments are equally sound and reasonable. Generally, however, the authors discuss Truth, Prayer, Virtue, and Beauty in a way that crosses cultural, linguistic, and ethnic boundaries. Some occasionally sound like Luddites, but they go deep into an esoteric and mystical realm most readers rarely get the opportunity to visit. This insightful and amazing glimpse into Eastern thought as interpreted by Eastern and Western scholars deserves second and third readings. Recommended for academic and public libraries.
—Gary P. Gillum