The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin: Vol. 13, Selected Book Reviews
Davis, Derek H., Journal of Church and State
The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin: Vol. 13, Selected Book Reviews. Edited by Jodi Cockerell and Barry Cooper. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2001. 209 pp., $34.95; and Vol. 14: Order and History, Vol. 1: Israel and Revelation. Edited by Maurice P. Morgan. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2001. 607 pp., $47.50.
Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was prolific in his output as a political theorist. He was vastly under-appreciated during an illustrious career spent in Austria, Germany, and the United States due to his rejection of the behaviorialist, positivist creed. He believed that modernity illustrated a loss of center, a kind of corruption and disease that flow naturally from an ideological ordering of politics separated from the transcendent realm. For Voegelin, political theory was worthless if estranged from the cosmic, comprehensive divine reality, from ontological foundations, from a "vision of the whole."
The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin is an impressive thirty-four-volume collection of Voegelin's major writings. Volume Thirteen is Selected Book Reviews, a compilation of sixty-four book reviews written by Voegelin between 1923 and 1955. They elucidate his personal interests and style, and show development and change over the years. They cover issues on the rise and scope of Nazism in Germany, the political situation in pre- and post-war Europe, and the topsy-turvy political ordering seen in America. Some of the reviews are summaries while others are lengthy analyses and commentaries. In typical Voegelin fashion, however, they all have something deep and meaningful to say.
The Order and History collection is built on Voegelin's premise that human beings throughout history have ordered their lives in symbolic forms in accordance with "comprehensive divine reality." Therefore, in the Order and History series, Voegelin first examines Israel, the key civilization among ancient Near Eastern civilizations that evidenced a "cosmic-divine locus of order." For Voegelin, there is a transcendental order on which contemporary political order can be based and Israel is the model paradigm of that order: "the manifestation of the lived present under God." Editor Morgan says the "philosophy of symbolic forms" of Voegelin interprets the biblical history or literature as not just a record of past events, but as "the struggle for attunement to the partners in the community of being, a struggle for …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin: Vol. 13, Selected Book Reviews. Contributors: Davis, Derek H. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 44. Issue: 4 Publication date: Autumn 2002. Page number: 844+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.