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The Fullness of God
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Fullness of God, The: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity
Fullness of God, The: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity
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Price:  $19.95

ISBN:  0-941532-58-5
Book Size:  6" × 9"
# of Pages:  280
Language:  English


The Fullness of God is the first in a new series of titles featuring the essential writings of Frithjof Schuon. Here for the first time in one volume are the most important of Schuon’s chapters on the Christian tradition, edited by James Cutsinger. Antoine Faivre contributed a foreword.

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Detailed Description of The Fullness of God

The Fullness of God is the first in a new series of titles featuring the essential writings of Frithjof Schuon. Here for the first time in one volume are the most important of Schuon’s chapters on the Christian tradition. The book is edited by James Cutsinger, Antoine Faivre contributed a foreword.

the Fullness of God has been organized in such a way as to guide the reader from matters of metaphysical principle, through various theological and hermeneutical issues, to “operative” questions of spiritual practice and method. Specific topics include the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions; the divergence within Christianity between its main branches, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant; the place of reason and faith and their connection to spiritual knowledge or gnosis; the principles and applications of a mystical exegesis of Scripture; the central dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation, as well as Eucharistic and Marian doctrine; and Christian initiation, contemplative practice, and “prayer of the heart”.

The volume concludes with a short appendix of previously unpublished material, including samples from Schuon’s correspondence with Christian seekers. Editor’s notes, a glossary of foreign terms, and a comprehensive index are also included.

About the Author(s)

James Cutsinger

James S. Cutsinger is an author, editor, and teacher whose writings focus primarily on Perennialism and the theology and spirituality of the Christian East. He is professor of Theology and Religious Thought at the University of South Carolina. Prof. Cutsinger has edited a series of new editions of books by Frithjof Schuon (click here to see the list of books). His other contributions to World Wisdom's books include:
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Antoine Faivre

Antoine Faivre is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études and Chair of the History of Esoteric Currents in Modern and Contemporary Europe (Sorbonne). Professor Faivre’s books in English include Access to Western Esotericism, The Golden Fleece and Alchemy, The Eternal Hermes,and Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition; he is editor (with Jacob Needleman) of Modern Esoteric Spirituality.

Prof. Faivre contributed the foreword to The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity .

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Reviews of The Fullness of God

"The Christian message could not be more misunderstood or distorted than it is at present, and Schuon, by returning it to its 'Primordial' and 'essential' roots, pours new wine into what can seem at times like a an exhausted vessel. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone, of any faith, who seeks both renewal and enlightenment."

Sir John Tavener, composer and author, from a review in Temenos

"…Schuon's emphasis that God is the center and all paths lead to Him, reminds one of John Hick's Copernican Revolution, moving from a Christocentric to a theo-centric understanding, by which the different religious traditions are all in some way or other related to the same God. Yet this selection of writings, ably assembled by James Cutsinger, Professor of Theology and Religious Thought at the University of South Carolina, is not so much about religious traditions outside Christianity, but focuses mainly on Christianity itself. Cutsinger calls Schuon "one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time," and "one of the twentieth century's foremost authorities on the world's religions" (xviii). He also considers Schuon rightly a man of prayer. Schuon was brought up as a Protestant, and then became a Roman Catholic, but was also friends with representatives from many other religious traditions, from Hinduism to native Americans and Shamans. Deeply steeped in the Christian religious tradition, Schuon has an amazing command of the Church Fathers and the Church's artistic, spiritual, and liturgical traditions.…[Schuon] makes us look at our own tradition with different eyes, widening our view without becoming superficial. This book is worth reading even if one does not agree with some of the author's assumptions."

Hans Schwarz, University of Regensburg, writing in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

“For the first time, The Fullness of God collects from Schuon’s vast corpus his writings on Christianity, including selections from his personal correspondence and other previously unpublished materials. The inward, universal, and essential message of the nature of Christian spirituality shines through clearly on every page.”

Banyen Books and Sound

"The gathering of the most important texts of Frithjof Schuon on Christianity (at least a third of his writings deal with this religion) is a very worthy project. It allows Christian readers, and others, to access spiritual materials that they would never have been able to access otherwise.

"In The Fullness of God  we can find an astonishing number of facets of Christianity whose meaning may seem obscure or contradictory; however, Schuon elucidates all with extraordinary clarity. For example, he demonstrates the riches of scriptural passages on Christ or the Blessed Virgin; offers keys to unlocking the profound meaning of prayers such as the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Psalms, etc.; unravels complex theological issues that stand between fellow Christians; and explains why different denominations exist within the framework of a single religion.

"One thing is certain: if readers want to 'understand' objectively what Christianity is and to rediscover its deepest meaning in order to love it and live it, the reading of these texts by Schuon will be a wonderful source of renewal and enlightenment."

Jean-Pierre Lafouge, Marquette University

"This is "Understanding Christianity," to parallel the title of Schuon’s best-selling classic on Islam. James Cutsinger has gathered a florilegium of Schuon's illuminating insights into Christianity. The editor's notes will be unobtrusively helpful to many readers. The Fullness of God is a must-read for any person who senses that something essential is lacking in most of what is routinely considered as Christianity today.

Patrick Laude, Georgetown University

"God became man so that man might become God, ”writes St Athanasius the Great. This great patristic voice, far from being radical or unique, as we moderns may think, really bespeaks of the essential purpose of the Christian faith: leading man towards mystical union with God in Christ. In The Fullness of God  Professor James Cutsinger does a masterful job presenting us with Frithjof Schuon’s profound insights into the nature of Christianity. Schuon starts from a metaphysical understanding of Christ’s theandric reality and through this Christic prism Schuon leads the reader through a wide array of Christian themes. It seems that no stone has gone unturned for Schuon and his insights and approach into the Christian faith cannot but be refreshing, challenging, and inspiring for all serious seekers whether one agrees with all his assessments or not. I personally have been deeply moved by Schuon’s work and through it I have been aided towards a remembrance that goal of the Christian life is to live in 'all the fullness of God.'”

Rev. Fr. Mark T. Mancuso, a priest of the Orthodox Church

"Frithjof Schuon is undoubtedly one of the most penetrating exponents of the relationship between religion and metaphysics. Professor Cutsinger has done us a great service in bringing together Schuon's widely scattered comments relative to Christianity. The insights of this wonderful book are essential for anyone who wishes to penetrate the depths of the Christian tradition."

Rama Coormaraswamy, author of The Invocation of the Name of Jesus: As Practiced in the Western Church and The Destruction of the Christian Tradition

"In these radiant essays the master metaphysician of our time expounds Christianity's distinctive features and relates them to the immutable principles which comprise the essence of all integral traditions. At a time when the Christian message is more widely misunderstood and distorted than ever before, Schuon's work beckons a return to the well-springs of an authentic Christian spirituality. Readers will find in this beautifully produced anthology a veritable treasure-house of Christian wisdom as well as practical guidance on the spiritual path."

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

"The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity is both a compelling and stimulating read for students (at any level) of theology and philosophy, and a source of quiet insights and ascetic discipline for those seeking spiritual guidance. That one book can offer such diversity is a witness to the skill not only of Schuon, whose work has inspired generations of seekers after truth in all cultures, but also to the Editor, James Cutsinger. His editorial additions and explanations provide an essential gloss on this challenging author’s writings, and the upshot is an accessible yet scholarly read."

- Hannah Hunt, independent scholar working in Patristics and Early Church history in universities throughout England

"Frithjof Schuon is well known as one of the greatest metaphysicians of the twentieth century and as Traditionalism's wisest and most profound exponent. This book, however, reveals something quite different. It shows that Schuon, the metaphysician, was also a Christian theologian of exceptional depth and understanding, one who was able to penetrate Christian dogma and mystery brilliantly from within. This is not a book 'about' Christianity; it is the very thing itself. It is a work of mystical theology of the highest order, sparkling with passionate feeling and continuously convincing the reader with the living truth and luminosity of its insights."

Christopher Bamford, author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West

"One cannot recommend too strongly that all Christians and non-Christians who hope to go deeper into Christianity or who hope to open themselves to a universalistic perspective should undertake the reading of this remarkable summa of metaphysics."

Jean-Baptiste Aymard, writing in Connaissances des Religions

Table of Contents for The Fullness of God

    Foreword by Antoine Faivre

    Introduction by James S. Cutsinger

  1. Outline of the Christic Message

  2. The Particular Nature and Universality of the Christian Tradition

  3. “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”

  4. Some Observations

  5. Delineations of Original Sin

  6. The Dialogue between Hellenists and Christians

  7. The Complexity of Dogmatism

  8. Christian Divergences

  9. Keys to the Bible

  10. Evidence and Mystery

  11. An Enigma of the Gospel

  12. The Seat of Wisdom

  13. The Mystery of the Two Natures

  14. Christic and Virginal Mysteries

  15. The Cross

    Appendix: A Sampling of Letters and Other Unpublished Materials

    Editor’s Notes


    Glossary of Foreign Terms and Phrases


    Biographical Notes

Excerpts from The Fullness of God

The following excerpt is taken from the beginning of the first essay in
The Fullness of God, and can also be found in Schuon's earlier book
Roots of the Human Condition (World Wisdom, 2002).

1.  Outline of the Christic Message

If we start from the incontestable idea that the essence of all religions is the truth of the Absolute with its human consequences, mystical as well as social, the question may be asked how the Christian religion satisfies this definition; for its central content seems to be not God as such, but Christ—that is, not so much the nature of the divine Being as its human manifestation. Thus a Patristic voice aptly proclaimed: “God became man that man might become God”; this is the Christian way of saying that “Brahma is real; the world is appearance”. Christianity, instead of simply juxtaposing the Absolute and the contingent, the Real and the illusory, proposes from the outset a reciprocity between the one and the other: it sees the Absolute a priori in relation to man, and man—correlatively —is defined in conformity with this reciprocity, which is not only metaphysical, but also dynamic, voluntary, eschatological. It is true that Judaism proceeds in an analogous fashion, but to a lesser degree: it does not define God in relation to the human drama, hence starting from contingency, but it does establish a quasi-absolute relationship between God and His people: God is “the God of Israel”; the symbiosis is immutable; however, God remains God, and man remains man; there is no “human God” or “divine man”.

Be that as it may, the reciprocity posited by Christianity is metaphysically transparent, and it is necessarily so, on pain of being an error. Unquestionably, once we are aware of the existence of contingency or relativity, we must know that the Absolute is interested in it in one way or another, and this means first of all that contingency must be prefigured in the Absolute, and then that the Absolute must be reflected in contingency; this is the ontological foundation of the mysteries of Incarnation and Redemption. The rest is a matter of modality: Christianity proposes on the one hand an abrupt opposition between the “flesh” and the “spirit”, and on the other hand—and this is its esoteric side—its option for “inward- ness” as against the outwardness of legal prescriptions and as against the “letter that killeth”. In addition, it operates with that central and profoundly characteristic sacrament which is the Eucharist: God does not limit Himself to promulgating a Law; He descends to earth and makes Himself Bread of life and Drink of immortality.

In relation to Judaism, Christianity comprises an aspect of esoterism through three elements: inwardness, quasi-unconditional charity, the sacraments. The first element consists in more or less disregarding outward practices and accentuating the inward attitude: what matters is to worship God “in spirit and in truth”; the second element corresponds to the Hindu ahimsa, “non-harming”, which can go so far as to renounce our legitimate rights, hence deliberately to step out of the mesh of human interests and social justice; it is to offer the left cheek to him who has struck the right and always to give more than one has to. Islam marks a return to Mosaic “realism”, while integrating Jesus into its perspective as a prophet of Sufic “poverty”; be that as it may, Christianity itself, in order to be able to assume the function of a world religion, had to attenuate its original rigor and present itself as a socially realistic legalism, at least to a certain degree.

*     *

If “God became man”, or if the Absolute became contingency, or if Necessary Being became possible being—if such is the case, one can understand the meaning of a God who became bread and wine and who made communion a condition sine qua non of salvation; not, to be sure, the sole condition, for communion demands the quasi-permanent practice of prayer, which Christ commands in his parable of the unjust judge and the importance of which is stressed by Saint Paul when he enjoins the faithful to “pray without ceasing”. One can conceive of a man who, prevented from taking communion, is saved by prayer alone, but one cannot conceive of a man who would be prevented from praying and who would be saved through communion alone; indeed, some of the greatest saints, at the beginning of Christianity, lived in solitude without being able to take communion, at least for several years. This is explained by the fact that prayer takes precedence over everything, consequently that it contains communion in its own way and does so necessarily, since in principle we bear within ourselves all that we can obtain from without; “the kingdom of God is within you”. Means are relative; not so our fundamental relationship with the Absolute.

Selection from our Library about The Fullness of God
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2Subject WW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
Schuon delves into some of the most difficult aspects of Christian theology: the two "wills," and thus the two "natures," of Christ. The author also undertakes an examination of the nature of the Eucharist, concluding that the "physical reality of the elements does not exclude their divine content, any more than the real corporeality of Christ prevents the presence of the divine nature." Applying this same logic to the problem of Christ's two natures, Schuon finds compelling metaphysical arguments to show that when properly understood, varying perspectives on this problem can be said to be correct in their own way. Schuon turns to Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism to illustrate some important principles related to the seeming paradox of divine and human natures inhering in a single earthly form.
The Mystery of the Two NaturesStudies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Spring, 1974); also in the book "The Fullness of God"Schuon, Frithjof Christianity, Metaphysics
The Particular Nature and Universality of the Christian TraditionThe Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on ChristianitySchuon, Frithjof Christianity
Outline of the Christic MessageThe Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on ChristianitySchuon, Frithjof Christianity
Foreword to The Fullness of GodThe Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on ChristianityFaivre, Antoine Biography
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