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Light on the Ancient Worlds
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Light on the Ancient Worlds: New Translation with Selected Letters
Light on the Ancient Worlds: New Translation with Selected Letters
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Comparative Religion

Price:  $18.95

ISBN:  0-941532-72-0
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  168
Language:  English



Description

Light on Ancient Worlds is described in this way by Seyyed Hossein Nasr: “In a sense an appraisal of the history of man seen from the traditional point of view, the work casts metaphysical light upon ancient civilizations and their significance and traces the gradual fall of man to the modern period and the revolt of European man against the Christian tradition. It also deals with the crucial debate between Hellenists and Christians, the Shamanic character of North American Indian religions and the significance of monasticism. It concludes with the essay ‘Religio Perennis’, which summarizes what lies at the heart of all religions and which may be considered to be the essence of religion as such.” This new edition (a new translation) is fully revised and contains an index and a valuable glossary which clarifies many key ideas expressed in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and Arabic, as well as foreign phrases. It also includes a selection of previously unpublished correspondence, which provides striking insights into Schuon’s function as one of the great spiritual masters of our time.

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Detailed Description of Light on the Ancient Worlds

Light on Ancient Worlds is described in this way by Seyyed Hossein Nasr: “In a sense an appraisal of the history of man seen from the traditional point of view, the work casts metaphysical light upon ancient civilizations and their significance and traces the gradual fall of man to the modern period and the revolt of European man against the Christian tradition. It also deals with the crucial debate between Hellenists and Christians, the Shamanic character of North American Indian religions and the significance of monasticism. It concludes with the essay ‘Religio Perennis’, which summarizes what lies at the heart of all religions and which may be considered to be the essence of religion as such.” This new edition (a new translation) is fully revised and contains an index and a valuable glossary which clarifies many key ideas expressed in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and Arabic, as well as foreign phrases. It also includes a selection of previously unpublished correspondence, which provides striking insights into Schuon’s function as one of the great spiritual masters of our time.

Light on the Ancient Worlds, first published in 1967, is a central example of Frithjof Schuon’s thought.


About the Author(s)

Deborah Casey

Mrs. Casey has been with World Wisdom since 1981, and in her capacity as editor she had the opportunity to meet frequently with Frithjof Schuon for the publication of many of his books in English translation. Her current responsibilities involve working with other translators and editors on the translation and cataloging of Schuon's correspondence and unpublished papers for the future use of interested readers and scholars.

Mrs. Casey is the editor of Light on the Ancient Worlds, published by World Wisdom. Light on the Ancient Worlds is the first in a new series of Frithjof Schuon's classical works which have been extensively revised and updated.


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Reviews of Light on the Ancient Worlds

"Light on the Ancient Worlds: A New Translation with Selected Letters is a new edition of a classic work by the philosopher and Perennialist thinker and returns to the principles that sustained the ancient civilizations of mankind. These guiding lights were basic to both ancient and modern developments and this revised, expanded edition not only revisits the original but adds a new preface, an appendix of previously unpublished writings, and a glossary."—California Bookwatch


"In a sense an appraisal of the history of man seen from the traditional point of view, the work casts metaphysical light upon the ancient civilizations and their significance and traces the gradual fall of man to the modern period and the revolt of European man against the Christian tradition. It also deals with the crucial debate between Hellenists and Christians, the Shamanic character of North American Indian religions, and the significance of monasticism. It concludes with the essay, 'Religio Perennis,' which summarizes what lies at the heart of all religions and which may be considered to be the essence of religion as such."
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, subject of The Philosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Library of Living Philosophers Series) and author of numerous books, including Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization and Knowledge and the Sacred



"This remarkable and deeply moving book certainly keeps the promise implicit in its title and the author goes straight to the heart of his subject. 'Each ancient civilization can be said to live on a remembrance of the lost Paradise,' we are told on the first page. This world-wide feature of antiquity needed to be stressed because so many writers on comparative religion lose sight of it; and yet without this "key" what attempt to understand the far past can hope to succeed?"

Martin Lings, author of Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources and What is Sufism?




Table of Contents for Light on the Ancient Worlds

    Editor’s Preface
  1. Light on the Ancient Worlds
  2. Fall and Forfeiture
  3. The Dialogue between Hellenists and Christians
  4. American Indian Shamanism
  5. Tracing Mâyâ
  6. Naiveté
  7. Man in the Universe
  8. The Universality and Timeliness of Monasticism
  9. Keys to the Bible
  10. Religio Perennis
    Appendix
    Glossary of Foreign Terms and Phrases
    Index
    Biographical Notes



Excerpts from Light on the Ancient Worlds

The title Light on the Ancient Worlds may at first seem obvious to many readers of the twenty-first century. We have in mind those who reflexively think of humanity as blazing a trail of ever-unfolding progress and who are convinced that people of today look out as from a very lofty and privileged eminence upon vistas never before beheld by mankind. Such a viewpoint will be brought up short in reading: “Contemporary man has collected a great mass of experiences and is therefore rather disillusioned, but the conclusions he draws from it are so false that they virtually reduce to nothing all that has been gained, or ought to have been gained.” If it is not the discoveries and insights of the modern age that elucidate the past, then one may well wonder what this “light” is and where it comes from? The essays presented here all speak to this question. They do so by enunciating the spiritual patrimony, not of the humanity of any particular time or place, but of man as such in light of Truth as such. This patrimony has been variously called in the West, the “perennial philosophy” (philosophia perennis) or the “perennial religion” (religio perennis), and it corresponds to the Sanâtana Dharma of the Vedantists.

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American Indian ShamanismLight on the Ancient Worlds: New Translation with Selected LettersSchuon, Frithjof American Indian
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