Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy


This is an anthology of 25 essays by the leading exponents of the perennialist school of comparative religious thought. It aims to be the most accessible introduction yet to the perspective of the Perennial Philosophy.

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The Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosphy

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This is an anthology of 25 essays by the leading exponents of the perennialist school of comparative religious thought. It aims to be the most accessible introduction yet to the perspective of the Perennial Philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933316437
  • Publisher: World Wisdom
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Series: The Perennial Philosophy Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,396,650
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface   Martin Lings     ix
Introduction   Clinton Minnaar     xi
Tradition and Modernity
Religion and Tradition   Lord Northbourne     3
Modernism: The Profane Point of View   Lord Northbourne     11
Looking Back on Progress   Lord Northbourne     18
Traditional Cosmology and Modern Science
The Past in the Light of the Present & The Rhythms of Time   Martin Lings     35
Evolutionism   Titus Burckhardt     55
Modern Science and the Dehumanization of Man   Philip Sherrard     70
Oriental Metaphysics   Rene Guenon     95
The Decisive Boundary   Martin Lings     110
Scientia Sacra   Seyyed Hossein Nasr     114
Understanding and Believing   Frithjof Schuon     141
The Symbol   Martin Lings     153
The Traditional Doctrine of Symbolism   Ghazi bin Muhammad     157
The Language of the Birds   Rene Guenon     172
Symplegades   Ananda K. Coomaraswamy     176
The Perennial Philosophy
The Spirit of the Times   Martin Lings     203
Paths ThatLead to the Same Summit   Ananda K. Coomaraswamy     217
Mysticism   William Stoddart     230
The Perennial Philosophy   Frithjof Schuon     243
Foundations of an Integral Aesthetics   Frithjof Schuon     251
An Introduction to Sacred Art   Titus Burckhardt     258
Do Clothes Make the Man? The Significance of Human Attire   Marco Pallis     266
Virtue and Prayer
Virtue and Morality   Tage Lindbom     285
Frithjof Schuon and Prayer   Reza Shah-Kazemi     295
A Letter on Spiritual Method   Titus Burckhardt     310
Afterword: The Revival of Interest in Tradition   Whitall N. Perry     312
Acknowledgments     331
Notes on Contributors     333
Biographical Notes     339
Index     341
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I highly recommend the text but the production of the Ebook Stinks

    Throughout the text are spaces between words that do not belong there. I assume that these were line breaks in the original text and that nobody at B&N gave enough of a damn to take those spaces out. Had anyone at B&N read a few pages in to see how the text flows - they would have spotted the problem.

    This is a fine book though hardly a best seller but if you are going to sell it, you should assure that is fit to sell.

    The text is so good and interesting that it is worth reading none-the-less but it is a disgrace to the eBook editors of B&N. This is a routine problem for ebooks and it must stop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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