Eric Voegelin

voegelin pictureEric Voegelin was a German-born American political scientist and philosopher. Born in Cologne in 1901, he died in Standford California in 1985. His first works were dealing with the question of political ideologies that he initially interpreted as a form of modern gnosticism. In his later works he developed a theory of consciousness, a phenomenology of religion and an hermeneutics of religious and political symbols.

His most important works include Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, Science, Politics, and Gnosticism, Order and History (5 volumes) and Anamnesis. They have been published in the Collected Works of Eric Voegelin (University of Missouri). The most accessible introduction to his work remains probably his Autobiographical Reflections.

Voegelin discusses the question of the Axial Age in the 4th volume of Order and History, titled the Ecumenic Age. For Voegelin, the Ecumenic Age extends more or less from Zoroaster to the Roman Empire, encompassing Jasper’s “Axial period” but also the birth of Christianity. The period is characterized by 3 phenomena: [1] a spiritual outburst, [2] imperial expansion and [3] the development of historiography.

Presentation of the video “Voegelin in Toronto”:

2 thoughts on “Eric Voegelin

  1. Pingback: L’Inde et le problème des racines du millénarisme – Centre Aditi d’Etudes sur la Tradition Hindoue

  2. Pingback: René Guénon, Eric Voegelin et la question de la fin du Kali Yuga – Centre Aditi d’Etudes sur la Tradition Hindoue

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