Order and History, Volume 4 (CW17): The Ecumenic Age (The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin #17) (Hardcover)

Order and History, Volume 4 (CW17): The Ecumenic Age (The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin #17) By Eric Voegelin, Michael Franz (Editor) Cover Image

Order and History, Volume 4 (CW17): The Ecumenic Age (The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin #17) (Hardcover)


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Other Books in Series

This is book number 17 in the The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin series.

Order and History, Eric Voegelin's five-volume study of how human and divine order are intertwined and manifested in history, has been widely acclaimed as one of the great intellectual achievements of our age.

In the fourth volume, The Ecumenic Age, Voegelin breaks with the course he originally charted for the series, in which human existence in society and the corresponding symbolism of order were to be presented in historical succession. The analyses in the three previous volumes remain valid as far as they go, Voegelin explains, but the original conception proved "untenable because it had not taken proper account of the important lines of meaning in history that did not run along lines of time."

The Ecumenic Age treats history not as a stream of human beings and their actions in time, but as the process of man's participation in a flux of divine presence that has eschatological direction. "The process of history, and such order as can be discerned in it," Voegelin writes, "is not a story to be told from the beginning to its happy, or unhappy, end; it is a mystery in process of revelation."

In the present volume, Voegelin applies his revised conception of historical analysis to the "Ecumenic Age," a pivotal period that extends roughly from the rise of the Persian Empire to the fall of the Roman. The age is marked by the advent of a new type of political unit—the ecumenic empire—achieved at the cost of unprecedented destruction. Yet the pragmatic destructiveness of the age is paralleled by equally unprecedented spiritual creativity, born from the need to make sense of existence in the wake of imperial conquest. These spiritual outbursts gave rise to the great ecumenic religions and raised fundamental questions for human self- understanding that extend into our historical present.

About the Author

Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was one of the most original and influential philosophers of our time. Born in Cologne, Germany, he studied at the University of Vienna, where he became a professor of political science in the Faculty of Law. In 1938, he and his wife, fleeing Hitler, immigrated to the United States. They became American citizens in 1944. Voegelin spent much of his career at Louisiana State University, the University of Munich, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. During his lifetime he published many books and more than one hundred articles. The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin will make available in a uniform edition all of Voegelin's major writings.

About the Editor

Michael Franz is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he is the author of Eric Voegelin and the Politics of Spiritual Revolt: The Roots of Modern Ideology.

Product Details ISBN: 9780826213013
ISBN-10: 0826213014
Publisher: University of Missouri
Publication Date: December 1st, 2000
Pages: 456
Language: English
Series: The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin