Eric Voegelin and the Politics of Spiritual Revolt: The Roots of Modern Ideology

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9780807117408: Eric Voegelin and the Politics of Spiritual Revolt: The Roots of Modern Ideology
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Many analysts have attempted to understand ideologies by reference to particular historical conditions or intellectual trends. Eric Voegelin, however, was probably the first to attempt to explain ideological thought and activity through an analysis directed at the level of consciousness. Sixty years of examining the history of political movements and symbolisms led him to the striking conclusion that the consciousness characteristic of the modern ideologue is a form of spiritual disorder closely related to a perennial pattern of rebellion against the most fundamental conditions of human existence.
Eric Voegelin and the Politics of Spiritual Revolt, by Michael Franz, is the first book-length analysis of Voegelin's writings on ideology and the history of spiritual disorder. Because Voegelin's basic theoretical position shifted dramatically over the course of his career and because his analysis of ideology and its source was never given full and final expression in a single work, Franz's comprehensive study is especially valuable.
The author provides the first sustained examination of Voegelin's contentions that the various and diverse ideologies of the modern age are rooted in a common pattern of consciousness; that Christianity was an important force in the origination of medieval and modern patterns of disordered consciousness; and that an essential equivalence exists among patterns of disordered consciousness across historical eras. He also includes the first analysis of Voegelin's search for forms of individual and social therapy that could serve as counterparts to his diagnoses of spiritual and political disorders.
Franz incorporates unusually extensive notes that refer the reader to Voegelin's publications, and he also provides the most impressive bibliography of secondary works yet to appear in print. Based on painstaking research in a wide range of sources, this book offers a clear and stimulating discussion of the work of one of the most important and complex thinkers of our time.

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Michael Franz
Published by Louisiana State University Press (1992)
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