In Search of Order brings to a conclusion Eric Voegelin's
masterwork, Order and History. Voegelin conceived Order and History
as "a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order
of human existence in society and history as well as the
corresponding symbolic forms." In previous volumes, Voegelin
discussed the imperial organizations of the ancient Near East and
their existence in the form of the cosmological myth; the
revelatory form of existence in history, developed by Moses and the
prophets of the Chosen People; the polis, the Hellenic myth, and
the development of philosophy as the symbolism of order; and the
evolution of the great religions, especially Christianity.
This final volume of "Order and History" is devoted to the
elucidation of the experience of transcendence that Voegelin
discussed in earlier volumes. He aspires to show in a theoretically
acute manner the exact nature of transcendental experiences.
Voegelin's philosophical inquiry unfolds in the historical context
of the great symbolic enterprise of restating man's humanity under
the horizon of the modern sciences and in resistance to the
manifold forces of our age that deform human existence. His stature
as one of the major philosophical forces of the twentieth century
clearly emerges from these concluding pages. "In Search of Order"
deepens and clarifies the meditative movement that Voegelin, now in
reflective distance to his own work, sees as having been operative
throughout his search.
Because of Voegelin's death, on January 19, 1985, "In Search of
Order" is briefer than it otherwise might have been; however, the
theoretical presentation that he had set for himself is essentially
completed here. Just as this volume serves Voegelin well in his
striking analyses of Hegel, Hesiod, and Plato, it will serve as a
model for the reader's own efforts in search of order.
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