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The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
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Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, The
Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, The
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Art
Buddhism
Christianity
Comparative Religion
Hinduism

Price:  $21.95

ISBN:  0-941532-46-1
Book Size:  6"× 9"
# of Pages:  328
Language:  English



Description

A new collection of essays by the great traditionalist/perennialist Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. This collection has been edited by his son, Rama Coomaraswamy, who is well known for his writings on the Christian tradition. The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy contains 21 essays on topics reflecting the vast scope of Coomaraswamy's intellect, including those topics with which he is most associated, such as symbolism, Eastern vs. Western thinking, mythology, literature, metaphysics, traditional art, folklore, and even more! For those new to Coomaraswamy's writings, this is an excellent survey, and for those who cannot find some of his out-of-print essays, this collection may be the solution. The introduction by Rama P. Coomaraswamy includes a wonderful biography of his father with many details and from a perspective that have never been available before. Arvind Sharma wrote the foreword.

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Detailed Description of The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

A new collection of essays by the great traditionalist/perennialist Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. This collection has been edited by his son, Rama Coomaraswamy, who is well known for his writings on the Christian tradition. The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy contains 21 essays on topics reflecting the vast scope of Coomaraswamy's intellect, including those topics with which he is most associated, such as symbolism, Eastern vs. Western thinking, mythology, literature, metaphysics, traditional art, folklore, and even more! For those new to Coomaraswamy's writings, this is an excellent survey, and for those who cannot find some of his out-of-print essays, this collection may be the solution. The introduction by Rama P. Coomaraswamy includes a wonderful biography of his father with many details and from a perspective that have never been available before. Arvind Sharma wrote the foreword.


About the Author(s)

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was a multi-talented researcher, scientist, linguist, expert on culture and art, philosopher, museum curator, and author. He was the first well-known author of the modern era to expound the importance of traditional arts, culture, and thought as more than simply relics of a bygone past. Dr. Coomaraswamy is often credited with reintroducing the concept of the "Perennial Philosophy" to a West dazed by the endless multiplicity of the modern world.

A. K. Coomaraswamy's writings available through World Wisdom include:


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Rama P. Coomaraswamy

Dr. Rama P. Coomaraswamy (1929-2006), son of the renowned perennialist writer Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, was in his own right an important writer on traditionalist topics, especially regarding Christianity and the influx of modernistic ideas and practices in this ancient apostolic tradition.

Dr. Coomaraswamy wrote what to our knowledge is the most detailed study of the modern changes to the Catholic rites and doctrines. This unrelenting analysis of the errors of modern insertions into Catholic tradition was originally published in 1972 but recently updated in a new edition in The Destruction of the Christian Tradition: Updated and Revised. He also collaborated with World Wisdom as the editor of The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; in addition, several of his important essays on Christianity, and Tradition, have been included in other World Wisdom collections.


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Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma was born in Varanasi, India. He was the first Infinity Foundation Visiting Professor of Indic Studies at Harvard University and succeeded Wilfred Cantwell Smith to the Birks Chair of Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has published over fifty books and five hundred articles in the fields of comparative religion, Hinduism, Indian philosophy and ethics, and the role of women in religion.

Arvind Sharma is the author of A Guide to Hindu Spirituality . He also wrote the foreword to the anthology The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy , edited by Rama P. Coomaraswamy .


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Reviews of The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

"The Essential Ananda K Coomaraswamy is…a volume very much to be welcomed. The essays it contains may all be found in earlier publications; but many of the older collections such as The Dance of Shiva have become rare and are now collector's items, while others…are no longer readily available. The book is attractively produced and contains illustrations, a valuable Glossary, and an excellent and very useful index. It is sensibly priced, and it is to be hoped that it will reach a wide public. For those familiar with Coomaraswamy's writings it will be a convenient work of reference. For those yet to discover him it forms a wonderful introduction to one of the most deeply learned, wise, and challenging writers of the twentieth century."

Temenos Academy Review



“For those new to Coomaraswamy’s writings, this is an excellent survey, and for those who cannot find some of his out-of-print essays, this collection may be the solution. These learned, elegant and wise essays show the world in the clear light of tradition. The introduction by Rama Coomaraswamy includes a wonderful biography of his father with many details and from a perspective that have never been available before.”
Banyen Books and Sound



“Over forty years have passed since the death of Ananda Coomaraswamy; yet his writings remain as pertinent today as when he wrote them and his voice echoes in the ears of present day seekers of truth and lovers of traditional art as it did a generation ago. In contrast to most scholarly works which become outmoded and current philosophical opuses which become stale, Coomaraswamy’s works possess a timeliness which flows from their being rooted in the eternal present.”

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University, and author



"Ananda Coomaraswamy is best known as one of the twentieth century's most erudite and percipient scholars of the sacred arts and crafts of both East and West. He also had few peers in the exegesis of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. The Essential Coomaraswamy is true to its title and reveals the astonishing range and profundity of Coomaraswamy's work. It will be invaluable in introducing a new generation of readers to the timeless messages enshrined in the doctrines and artistic forms of the world's integral traditions."

—Harry Oldmeadow, La Trobe University Bendigo, and author of Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy



"This anthology is comprised of essays on a variety of subjects, from art and literature through philosophy to myth, religion and metaphysics, setting forth, not simply the informed opinions of its author, but indeed the timeless and inspired wisdom of mankind. Given the immensity of Ananda Coomaraswamy's literary output, the present compilation constitutes a welcome and much-needed contribution to the perennialist literature."

Wolfgang Smith, mathematician, and author of Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief



"Coomaraswamy's work is as important as that of Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung, and deserving of the same attention. The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is a good way to approach his extensive writings that explore in depth and in detail the essence of culture and spirituality both East and West, both ancient and modern."

Dr. David Frawley, author of Yoga and Ayurveda, From the River of Heaven: Hindu and Vedic Knowledge for the Modern Age, and others



“One of the great exponents of traditional thought in the 20th century, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy combined in his impressive scholarship the mathematical and aesthetic virtues of sublime height, expansive range, and penetrating depth, all encompassed within a precise and harmonious symmetry. The illuminating references and footnotes in his eloquent writings are a veritable treasure-trove for scholars and seekers alike, evidencing these virtues, and one comes away from his works with the sense of a visionary mind focused on the inexpressible reality of which all the great wisdom traditions speak.”

M. Ali Lakhani, author, and editor of the journal Sacred Web



"Coomaraswamy’s essays, learned, elegant, and wise, are one of the great treasures of twentieth-century thought. To read them is to see the world in the clear light of tradition, to understand art and philosophy from the viewpoint of first principles, to be reminded of our sacred calling and of the One who calls us. The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is an incomparable anthology, a cause for thanksgiving."

Philip Zaleski, author, and editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series



"Like St. Augustine, Ananda Coomaraswamy wrote in order to perfect his own understanding. He sought to know the whatness and principial roots of things, above all of himself. In doing so, he collaterally provided access to a fundamental intellectual itinerary which unfailingly beckons all who recognize in themselves an intrinsic regard for Truth. This itinerary is eloquently epitomized in the twenty essays of this book, essays as delightful as they are perennial."

Alvin Moore, Jr., author, editor, and translator



"In Coomaraswamy…all the religious traditions of the world meet."

Jean Borella, author and scholar



"Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is in the very first rank of exceptional men, such as René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon, who in our "dark age" have permitted us to rediscover the great truths of sacred Tradition, to relearn what a civilization, a society, and a world are that conform to this Tradition.…The masterful work of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is one of the most suitable to enlighten the minds and hearts of 'men of good will.'"

Jean Hani, author of The Symbolism of the Christian Temple



"This book is important to anyone who intends to grasp the roots of culture both in the East and in the West and how they inter-relate in their intellectually vital aspects. Exemplary and flawless use of language makes this book an inspiring evaluation and contemplation of the meaning of culture in both its Oriental and Western manifestations."

Frederick Franck, artist and author



"After having read Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, the distinction between oriental and occidental thought hardly has any more meaning. He is a tireless "ferryman" between one and the other side of the same transcendent [reality]."

Jean Canteins, author



“The pioneering and interdisciplinary essays of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy on medieval Christian and Oriental art have shed so much light on religious symbolism and iconography, and given such profound metaphysical insight into the study of aesthetics and traditional folklore, that if contemporary art history does not take [his] challenges and contributions into account, it will inevitably fall prey to ideological reductionisms and degrade the ancient and perennial language of art forms into a mere archaic system of lifeless symbols with [no] meaning.”

Ramon Mujica Pinilla, art historian, Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru



"Slow and erudite meditations on the self-luminosity of the Spirit, Coomaraswamy's works allow us to penetrate the heart of Indian Gnosis for which we are but waves on the surface of the divine substance, but rays emanated from the sun of Goodness. Coomaraswamy shares with us a sensitivity to sacred art in its multiple dimensions, an art he always filters through the wisdom of Plato and the Upanishads."

Patricia Reynaud, Miami University, Ohio, and co-founder of religioperennis.org



"[Coomaraswamy] is one of the most learned and creative scholars of the century."

Mircea Eliade, scholar, author, and editor-in-chief of Macmillan's Encyclopedia of Religion



“[Ananda Coomaraswamy is] that noble scholar upon whose shoulders we are still standing.”

Heinrich Zimmer, author of The King and the Corpse and Philosophies of India



“Coomaraswamy’s essays [give] us a view of his scholarship and brilliant insight.”

Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God



"Ananda Coomaraswamy in a series of articles collected in this book edited by Rama Coomaraswamy has proved that he is one of the foremost thinkers of the world and an interpreter of art of the East and West. His impeccable knowlegde of Sanskrit, Vedas and Vedangas and his wide sweep of outlook on religion and philosophy…is obvious in this book. Ananda Coomaraswamy communicates with ease what he feels and what others think about the world and its artistic creations."

V. I. Subramoniam, author of Language Multiplicity and Ancient Races in India




Table of Contents for The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

List of Color and Black-and-White Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

Foreword by Arvind Sharma
Introduction by Rama P. Coomaraswamy
Prologue: A Fateful Meeting of Minds: A. K. Coomaraswamy
and R. Guénon by Marco Pallis
1. A Figure of Speech or a Figure of Thought?
2. The Bugbear of Literacy
3. On the Pertinence of Philosophy
4. Eastern Wisdom and Western Knowledge
5. Beauty and Truth
6. The Interpretation of Symbols
7. Why Exhibit Works of Art?
8. The Christian and Oriental, or True, Philosophy of Art
9. Is Art a Superstition, or a Way of Life?
10. The Nature of Medieval Art
11. Ars sine scientia nihil
12. Imitation, Expression, and Participation
13. Samvega: “Aesthetic Shock”
14. What is Civilization?
15. The Nature of “Folklore” and “Popular Art”
16. Primitive Mentality
17. The Coming to Birth of the Spirit
18. Quod factum est in ipso vita erat
19. The Hindu Tradition: The Myth
20. The Hindu Tradition: Theology and Autology
Glossary of Foreign Terms and Phrases
Bibliographical References
Biographical Notes
Index


Selection from our Library about The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2Subject WW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
A Fateful Meeting of Minds: A. K. Coomaraswamy and René GuénonThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyPallis, Marco Coomaraswamy, A.K., Guénon, René, History, Perennial Philosophy, Tradition
The Nature of Medieval ArtThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyCoomaraswamy, Ananda Art, Modernism, Symbolism, Tradition
The Interpretation of SymbolsThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyCoomaraswamy, Ananda Art, Comparative Religion, Symbolism, Tradition
The Bugbear of LiteracyThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyCoomaraswamy, Ananda Tradition
A Fateful Meeting of Minds: A. K. Coomaraswamy and R. GuénonThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyPallis, Marco Biography
Introduction to The Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyCoomaraswamy, Rama P. Biography
Foreword to The Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamyThe Essential Ananda K. CoomaraswamySharma, Arvind Tradition
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