The Essential Titus Burckhardt : Reflections on Sacred Art, Faiths, and Civilizations
This book is the much-anticipated collection of writings from Titus Burckhardt, one of the great Perennialist authors of the 20th century, edited by the world's foremost expert on the Burckhardt body of works, William Stoddart.
Burckhardt's writings are characterized by (1) a profound grounding in the Perennial Philosophy and integral metaphysics, (2) a remarkable history of contacts with traditional peoples and their civilizations, (3) a true artist's knowledge of and love for traditional art, (4) a scholar's knowledge of diverse source materials not accessible to most modern seekers, and (5) a gifted teacher's ability to make all of these things understandable and of deep interest to readers. This collection will bring together many of Burckhardt's most representative writings that will amply demonstrate these qualities.
The editor of the collection, Dr. William Stoddart, is himself a writer within the Perennialist school, and is perhaps best known for his concise outlines of many the world's great religious traditions as well as for his many excellent translations into English of many of the works of Schuon and Burckhardt.
"In order to understand a culture," writes German-Swiss traditionalist Titus Burckhardt (1908-84), "it is necessary to love it, and one can only do this on the basis of the universal and timeless values that it carries within it." So begins this profound anthology of essential Burckhardt essays. Selecting and providing "his most original and significant works," Stoddart (Outline of Hinduism) chose eclectic pieces that portray wisdom, cosmology, and virtue in the aesthetic embodied by religious art and architecture. The author of Sacred Art of the East and West, Burckhardt writes expansively (but not always clearly) about Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, Islamic, and Hindu art, concluding that "the beauty of an object is nothing other than the transparency of its existential envelopes." One might wish for more preamble or introduction to these disparate and at times dense discussions of aesthetics, metaphysics, and symbology. However, the rich bibliography and the presentation of these materials provide access to an important thinker not previously well known within Western intellectual circles. Recommended for academic libraries and large public theology collections.-Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., Pittsburgh Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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World Wisdom, Inc.
May 24, 2003
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