Sacred Web 10
Editorial: On Faith and Intellect
by M. Ali Lakhani
Faith is more than mere credulity, and intellect more than mere rationality. Drawing on the metaphysical relationship between mystery and intimacy, this is a meditation on how faith and intellect can be understood within tradition. Read more ...
Eckhart's Image of the Eye and the Wood
by Reza Shah-Kazemi
This thoughtful and insightful essay examines the analogy of the Eye and the Wood, which Meister Eckhart claimed to underlie “all that I have ever preached about”. The essay delves into the realizational nature of Eckhart’s message, the core of all traditionalist wisdom. This is the text of a lecture presented at the Eckhart Society Annual Conference at Oxford in 2002. Read more ...
The Yoga of Hesychasm
by James S. Cutsinger
This commentary on the mystical poem by “Theophanis the Monk”, titled The Ladder of Divine Graces, offers a penetrating insight into the heart of Hesychasm, describing the spiritual journey of ascent to the summit of deification and the mystery of the Supreme Reality that lies beyond all being. Read more ...
Intelligent Design and Vertical Causality
by Wolfgang Smith
Charles Darwin maintained: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organism existed, which could not possibly have been framed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely fail." Drawing on recent scientific works by Michael Behe and William Dembsky that challenge the theory of Darwinist mechanism, this essay surveys the scientific evidence supporting the theory of intelligent design and the informational basis of life, and argues in favor of the traditional view of vertical causality, whereby creativity is born of intellectual freedom that participates in the divine. The essay concludes with a reflection of the implications of vertical causality for theories of Darwinist and theistic evolution.
Oneness and the Visionary Topography of the Gospel of Thomas
by Lynn C. Bauman
Arguably the most interesting of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, the text of the Gospel of Thomas predates the canonical gospels and is thus our access to the record of Jesus’ thought in its most “original” form, as a continuation of a perennial sophiology rooted in prior traditions. This essay draws from the text two themes: the unitive quest underlying duality, and the visionary topography of that quest as a “hermeneutic of progression” towards transcendence.
Divine Light in Plotinus and Al-Suhrawardi
by Algis Uzdavinys
This rewarding essay examines the Neoplatonic inheritance of the Hikmat ishraqiya of al-Suhrawardi, in which light is understood not merely symbolically, but ontologically, as the substance of reality.
Platonism in Christianity
by Robert Bolton
This essay argues the case for Platonism’s privileged role within Christianity on the basis of its two inter-related principles: the traditional principle of the archetype of the Divine Logos whose incarnation awakens within man the salvific Logos, and the Principle of Plenitude with its hierarchical world-view of the Great Chain of Being which challenges modern notions of equality.
Christian Scripture and Transcendent Unity
by Steven D. Boyer
A Christian author, sympathetic to traditionalist teachings, draws the line at the traditionalist claim that all of the major religious traditions offer salvation. Arguing that traditionalists resort to denying that the Savior was the specifically historic Jesus (a scriptural reinterpretation that the author terms “christological expansion”) or to denying his universality (a reinterpretation that the author terms “geographical restriction”), the author disputes the perennialist thesis of transcendent unity as “highly implausible and ultimately unacceptable for Christians who accept the authority of Scripture”.
Reinitiating Initiation? An Open Question for Traditionalism
by Lucian W. Stone, Jr.
Upon reading an emotional review of The Philosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, this editor of Nasr’s recent book was prompted to reflect on the viability of transmitting traditional texts for an ill-equipped modern audience in a fundamentally distorted modern world. This essay examines the relative claims of mythos and logos in formulating an understanding of the universe, revisits the issue of the necessity of initiation in imparting traditional doctrine, and, in view of the scope for misunderstanding by the uninitiated, raises questions about the purpose of traditionalist journals. Read more ...
Five Textbooks in Search of Being and Reason: Tradition and Continuity in Islamic Philosophy
by Ian Richard Netton
Proceeding from the premise that popular and academic Western philosophy is preoccupied with two common areas of enquiry, namely, ontology and epistemology, the author, a renowned expert on Islamic thought, surveys some of the major literature in Islamic philosophy in the 20th century to determine the extent to which the Western preoccupations hold true for Islamic philosophy.
On what it is to be a Fool
by Timothy Scott
The author muses on the theme of folly and its use as an inverted symbol of wisdom.
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