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Touchstones of the Spirit: Essays on Religion, Tradition and Modernity
“Touchstones of the Spirit: Essays on Religion, Tradition and Modernity” - Description, contents, reviews, more
Touchstones of the Spirit: Essays on Religion, Tradition and Modernity
Touchstones of the Spirit: Essays on Religion, Tradition and Modernity
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Comparative Religion
Modernism
Perennial Philosophy
Tradition

Price:  $22.95

ISBN:  978-1-936597-03-1
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  298
Language:  English



Description
Touchstones of the Spirit explores three general themes: the timeless messages of Tradition; the obscuration of this perennial wisdom in the modern world; and the spiritual intercourse between East and West which holds out some hope that we may yet recover something of what we have lost. Amongst this wide-ranging collection are essays on metaphysical and cosmological doctrines of the East, the spiritual heritage of the Australian Aborigines, the reigning ideologies of modernity, and on several key figures in the East-West encounter including Frithjof Schuon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Abhishiktananda, and Huston Smith.
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Details on “Touchstones of the Spirit”

Touchstones of the Spirit explores three general themes: the timeless messages of Tradition; the obscuration of this perennial wisdom in the modern world; and the spiritual intercourse between East and West which holds out some hope that we may yet recover something of what we have lost. Amongst this wide-ranging collection are essays on metaphysical and cosmological doctrines of the East, the spiritual heritage of the Australian Aborigines, the reigning ideologies of modernity, and on several key figures in the East-West encounter including Frithjof Schuon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Abhishiktananda, and Huston Smith.

This collection of essays covers many topics which, Oldmeadow notes in the book’s “Introduction,” have “preoccupied me in the thirty-five years since I first discovered the great traditionalist writers — René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon and Titus Burckhardt, and those who came after… Despite the diversity of subjects, readers will discern a persistent set of underlying concerns, related to the themes already mentioned… Taken as a whole, these essays comprise so many attempts, no doubt with varying degrees of success, to consider a variety of phenomena in the light of the principles so magisterially affirmed by the traditionalists.” Thus, the strength of this book is its demonstration of how a perennialist/traditionalist perspective can be applied across a wide range of intellectual and cultural subjects that often confront — and possibly confound — us in the confusion that is the modern world.


About the author of “Touchstones of the Spirit”

Harry Oldmeadow

Harry Oldmeadow was co-ordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies at La Trobe University in Australia and author of the acclaimed Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy (2000), an authoritative introduction to the perspective of Perennialism. Prof. Oldmeadow's contributions to World Wisdom books & DVDs includes:
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Reviews of “Touchstones of the Spirit”

Touchstones of the Spirit: Essays on Religion, Tradition & Modernity explores three general themes: messages of tradition, the obscuring of this wisdom in modem times, and the spiritual dialogue between East and West which holds out hope for better incorporation of spiritual wisdom into modem paths. Essays cover metaphysical and cosmological doctrines of the East and other cultures around the world, offering scholarly assessments of images, metaphors, and the ideas which connect experience with spirituality. Any new age or general spirituality holding [that specializes] in scholarly dialogues will find this a winner!”
California Bookwatch (a monthly review magazine from The Midwest Book Review)



“Never before have there been so many counterfeit spiritualities, nor has spirituality previously been turned into a business as it has today, and in no other time have we witnessed the massive destruction of traditional societies, something that has become a global pandemic. Paradoxically, there are more tangible points of contact with the sacred than ever before. How is one to make sense of this? …[In Touchstones of the Spirit] Professor Oldmeadow takes no prisoners in critiquing the errors of the modern and postmodern mindset, yet he also supplies the principles that permit us to move beyond the current impasse. For all those seeking to reclaim the sacred in the midst of the ambiguity and confusion in the present age, Touchstones of the Spirit offers an impressive spectrum of pointers to assist in this search.”
Network Review, from a review by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos


Table of Contents of “Touchstones of the Spirit”

Introduction

I.  Echoes of Tradition

“Melodies from the Beyond”: The Spiritual Heritage of the Australian Aborigines

Metaphysics, East and West

Sankara’s Doctrine of Maya

“The Last Blade of Grass”: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Mahayana Buddhism

“Grass upon the Hills”: Traditional and Modern Attitudes to Biography

Joseph Epes Brown’s The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indians

II.  The Wastelands of Modernity

The False Prophets of Modernity: Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche

Frankenstein’s Children: Science, Scientism and Self-Destruction

Computers: An Academic Cargo Cult?

Frithjof Schuon on Culturism

The Past Disowned: The Political and Postmodern Assault on the Humanities

Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now

III.  East and West

Ananda Coomaraswamy and the East-West Encounter

Frithjof Schuon on Eastern Traditions

Ex Oriente Lux: Eastern Religions, Western Writers

Huston Smith, Bridge-Builder Extraordinaire: A Tribute

Swami Abhishiktananda on Sannyasa and the Monk’s Vocation

Across the Great Divide: Some Christian Responses to Religious Pluralism

Acknowledgments




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