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Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century

Sedgwick, Mark

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9780195152975: Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century

The first history of Traditionalism, an important yet surprisingly little-known twentieth-century anti-modern movement. Comprising a number of often secret but sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and the development of the field of religious studies in the United States.
In the nineteenth century, at a time when progressive intellectuals had lost faith in Christianity's ability to deliver religious and spiritual truth, the West discovered non-Western religious writings. From these beginnings grew Traditionalism, emerging from the occultist milieu of late nineteenth-century France, and fed by the widespread loss of faith in progress that followed the First World War. Working first in Paris and then in Cairo, the French writer René Guénon rejected modernity as a dark age, and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy-- the central religious truths behind all the major world religions --largely on the basis of his reading of Hindu religious texts.
A number of disenchanted intellectuals responded to Guénon's call with attempts to put theory into practice. Some attempted without success to guide Fascism and Nazism along Traditionalist lines; others later participated in political terror in Italy. Traditionalism finally provided the ideological cement for the alliance of anti-democratic forces in post-Soviet Russia, and at the end of the twentieth century began to enter the debate in the Islamic world about the desirable relationship between Islam and modernity

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Mark Sedgwick is Assistant Professor of History at the American University in Cairo, and is the author of Sufism: The Essentials (2000).

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Sedgwick, Mark Author
Published by Oxford University Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0195152972 ISBN 13: 9780195152975
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First edition. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 370 p. Audience: General/trade. Bookseller Inventory # 550068

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Sedgwick, Mark Author
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "An exceptionally well-informed book. It is a marvellous inquiry on the mutual porosity of a wide range of sometimes mutually contradictory anti-modernist ideological trends, from anarchism to fascism, and mutually opposed ilieus, from dissidents to officers of secret services."--Stphane A. Dudoignon, Central Eurasian Reader"Well-researched, well-written.an impressive scholarly achievement."--H-Net Reviews"An erudite, graceful, and nuanced study of a movement that has enjoyed far more influence than attention in the modern world that it so despises."--Parabola"Against the Modern World is a genuinely startling book. In this massively researched and clearly written study, Mark Sedgwick seeks nothing less than to provide an alternative intellectual history of the twentieth century. Time and again, he offers unexpected connections, stresses the importance of forgotten or underestimated thinkers, and throws new light on the history of esoteric thought and religion. A wonderful contribution." --Philip Jenkins,author of The Next Christendom: the Coming of Global Christianity"Mark Sedgwick shows how Traditionalism is a major influence on religion, politics, even international relations. Famous scholars, theosophists and masons, Gnostic ascetics and Sufi sheikhs, jostle with neo-fascists, terrorists and Islamists in their defection from a secular, materialist West. As a study of esotericism and Western images of the East, Against the Modern World compares in importance with Edward Said's monumental Orientalism.Likewise, it deserves the widest readership.--Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, author of Black Sun and The Occult Roots of NazismThis is an invaluable contribution to an ongoing and increasingly sophisticated discussion about modernity, the professional study of religion, and the religions themselves. What sets Sedgwick's narrative apart from most all previous accounts is his remarkable historical sweep (from the Italian Renaissance to today), his impressive grasp of the Muslim world, and, perhaps most of all, the humane grace with which he treats his historical subjects. Here theyemerge with both their hearts and their warts intact, neither as intellectual fathers to slay nor as cultural gods to put on the proverbial pedestal, but as human beings struggling with some of the deepest religious problems and promises of our modern world. The result is a reading experience throughwhich one comes to realize, with something of a start, that their story happens also to be ours.--Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0195152972

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Book Description Oxford University Press 2004-06-03, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. 0195152972 New Condition. Unused Copy. Ships Immediately. Bookseller Inventory # Z0195152972ZN

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW PRINT ON DEMAND., Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century, Mark J. Sedgwick, Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, an influential yet surprisingly little-known twentieth century anti-modernist movement. Involving a number of important, yet often secret, religious groups in the West and Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and religious studies in the United States. Emerging from the 'discovery' in the West of non-Western religious writings, at a time in the nineteeth century when progressive intellectuals had lost faith in the ability of Christianity to deliver religious and spiritual truth, it was fuelled by the widespread religious scepticism that followed World War I. It found its voice in Rene Guenon, a French writer who rejected modernity as a dark age, and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy - the fundamental truth uniting all the world's religions. Mark Sedgwick reveals how this pervasive intellectual movement helped shape major events in twentieth century religious life, politics and scholarship - all the while remaining invisible to outsiders. Bookseller Inventory # B9780195152975

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 160 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, an influential yet surprisingly little-known twentieth century anti-modernist movement. Involving a number of important, yet often secret, religious groups in the West and Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and religious studies in the United States. Emerging from the discovery in the West of non-Western religious writings, at a time in the nineteeth century when progressive intellectuals had lost faith in the ability of Christianity to deliver religious and spiritual truth, it was fuelled by the widespread religious scepticism that followed World War I. It found its voice in Rene Guenon, a French writer who rejected modernity as a dark age, and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy - the fundamental truth uniting all the world s religions. Mark Sedgwick reveals how this pervasive intellectual movement helped shape major events in twentieth century religious life, politics and scholarship - all the while remaining invisible to outsiders. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780195152975

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 160 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, an influential yet surprisingly little-known twentieth century anti-modernist movement. Involving a number of important, yet often secret, religious groups in the West and Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and religious studies in the United States. Emerging from the discovery in the West of non-Western religious writings, at a time in the nineteeth century when progressive intellectuals had lost faith in the ability of Christianity to deliver religious and spiritual truth, it was fuelled by the widespread religious scepticism that followed World War I. It found its voice in Rene Guenon, a French writer who rejected modernity as a dark age, and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy - the fundamental truth uniting all the world s religions. Mark Sedgwick reveals how this pervasive intellectual movement helped shape major events in twentieth century religious life, politics and scholarship - all the while remaining invisible to outsiders. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780195152975

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Oxford University Press, 2004. 384p. Hardback. Sedgwick's scholarship regarding Traditionalists themselves is exhaustive and admirable . Sedgwick contributes an introduction and overview of an otherwise little-known, but important, moment in modern intellectual history. Colin Beech, Journal of World History June 2006 (Publisher's information). Bookseller Inventory # 37557

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