The definitive guide to Traditionalism: the world’s least-known major philosophy, but one that is essential for understanding our past, present and future
Traditionalism is founded on ancient teachings that, its followers argue, have been handed down from time immemorial, forming a basis of the sacred order that must be defended from modernity and the disorder it brings. It has been used to encourage respect for the environment, compose great music and reduce hostility between followers of different religions.
But Traditionalism has applied to darker causes: from the election of Donald Trump to fascist movements and even terrorism. How has Traditionalism been so influential for so long, yet so little acknowledged and understood? Its followers have never aimed to reach the masses and have sought to affect the world quietly. In this book, the first of its kind for a wide audience, Traditionalism’s history, ideas and profound impact are laid out, shining a light onto this shadowy world and the thought of its three founders, Rene Guenon, Julius Evola and Frithjof Schuon.
Once you understand Traditionalism, you will see its influence everywhere.
Mark Sedgwick is one of our most trustworthy and erudite scholars of religion. Here, with a sure hand, he guides readers through a terribly important conversation among a group of intellectuals, commonly called Traditionalists, who see flaws in modernity, secularism, and democracy. The end result is a much better understanding of Traditionalism and how its contemporary right-wing proponents have distorted it. This will become a kind of go-to book for how to think, subtly and robustly, about Traditionalism in our contemporary world -- Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of THE SUPERHUMANITIES Traditionalism, propounded by Rene Guenon and pursued by others through the twentieth century, has roared back into prominence in recent years, having once been declared almost entirely defunct. Mark Sedgwick's literate and sensible thematic overview of this movement's principal doctrines is indispensable for anyone seeking to make sense of the changing ideological landscape of the present -- Samuel Moyn, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History, Yale University An informed, broad, user-friendly book on Traditionalism needed to be written - the ideas at the core of this philosophy, though once confined to the underground of Western thought, have become increasingly influential. Nobody is more qualified than Professor Mark Sedgwick to write such a book. The foremost international expert on Traditionalism and its history, Sedgwick draws here on his extensive academic knowledge and talent as a writer to produce an accessible guide, illuminating hidden ideas and providing a readers a path to understand some of the most radical social, religious, and political thinking in the world -- Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder, and author of WAR FOR ETERNITY: THE RISE OF THE POPULIST RIGHT AND THE RETURN OF TRADITIONALISM
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