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How can we understand Native American traditions?
Treasures of the World's Religions
The Writings of Frithjof Schuon
The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity
Science and the Myth of Progress
What is the Sun Dance Religion? Video Presentation
Martin Lings: Video Clips on his Early Spiritual Influences
What are the "Foundations of Christian Art?"
The Universal Spirit of Islam: Keys for Interfaith Understanding
The Sermon of All Creation: Christians on Nature
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  A definition of the Perennial Philosophy Back to the List of Slideshows
    
Just as with the term "philosophy," confusion can arise with the usage of the terms "tradition" or "traditionalist." One only has to look around to see and hear the overwhelmingly negative attitude of the West toward "tradition." Unfortunately, modern language usage has been determined in large part by anti-traditionalists who would have us believe that "tradition" is the last resort of weak, unenlightened, uncreative people who cling to the past because they are afraid of an uncertain future. The word now carries with it connotations that do not support the meaning intended by perennialists and spiritual traditionalists.

In addition, some academics have contributed to even greater misunderstanding. They have grouped "traditionalists" of all descriptions together, so that perennialists seem related to nationalist political fringe groups who also call themselves "traditionalists." There is no kinship between seekers of the Perennial Philosophy and modernistic political action groups, even if the latter appeal to some vague glorious "tradition" of bygone years as their rallying cry. To suggest a kinship between these modern activists and perennialists such as those we have mentioned is, to put it mildly, absurd. In fact, the perennialists and traditionalists of which we speak would instinctively avoid such intrigues if for no other reason than that they would sense the profanation by these opportunists of sacred Tradition.

So, the term "traditionalist," too, requires these qualifications to rid it of negative connotations before we can use it correctly in relation to adherents of the Perennial Philosophy.
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