Eric Voegelin (January 2, 1901 – January 19, 1985) was born in Germany and lived there until he fled to the United States with his wife during the Nazi invasion. He spent much of his career at Louisiana State University, the University of Munich, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He wrote many books including Science, Politics, and Gnosticism (1968), The Science of New Politics (1952) and his great 5 volume work entitled Order and History.

Eric Voegelin, Conservative?

By |2020-03-20T12:25:49-05:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Eric Voegelin, Political Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Whatever his criticisms of liberalism, progressivism, and socialism, Eric Voegelin shunned the word and the concept of “conservatism,” claiming that his ideas could never be harnessed by any political movement. When the definitive history of non-leftist movements of the twentieth century is finally written, Austro-American philosopher, Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) will loom large. Arrested by the [...]

Measuring the Influence of Russell Kirk and Other Conservative Authors

By |2019-10-08T17:40:40-05:00May 12th, 2019|Categories: Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, Culture, Eric Voegelin, Irving Babbitt, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk|

By using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we find that Russell Kirk’s reputation hit its highpoint in 1964, and then began a painful decline that remained unabated until his death in 1994. What does Ngram tell us about other conservative authors, like Robert Nisbet, Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and Christopher Dawson? While I would never consider myself [...]

Understanding Voegelin’s Critique of Locke

By |2019-11-21T19:44:32-06:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Books, Democracy, Eric Voegelin, John Locke, Philosophy, Political Philosophy|

No matter how conservative intellectuals try, they just do not seem able to escape John Locke. Jonah Goldberg’s well-received Suicide of the West proudly called America’s Declaration of Independence “echoes of” the great English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, saying U.S. history was “more Locke than anything Locke imagined.”  He inspired “a government but not a state”: a government with power [...]

René Girard’s Challenge to Fusionism

By |2019-05-23T12:45:04-05:00May 23rd, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Conservatism, Culture, Eric Voegelin, Politics, Western Civilization|

At a minimum, a restoration of conservative thought requires paying attention to primitive history and to what it might tell us about the things that fusionism has long assumed are most important about tradition—as well as what this new knowledge reveals about the viability of freedom… Modern American conservatism rose in the 1950s under the [...]

Intelligent Piety: The Christian Humanism of Flannery O’Connor

By |2020-03-24T18:08:34-05:00February 21st, 2018|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Catholicism, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Flannery O'Connor, Romano Guardini, Russell Kirk|

Not only was Flannery O’Connor one of the most important Christian Humanists of the twentieth century, but she also well understood what made Christian Humanism what it was. While it might very well be conservative, it was always imaginative, allowing one to imagine what must be conserved. The Presence of Grace by Flannery O’Connor (192 pages, [...]

The Elements of Leadership: Might, Measure, & Meaning

By |2019-06-06T12:18:22-05:00January 17th, 2018|Categories: Eric Voegelin, Featured, Leadership, Political Philosophy|Tags: |

Not only is a leader an agent of force and something of a philosopher, but he must also be a kind of corporate prophet… The philosopher Eric Voegelin labored for many years in relative obscurity until his death in 1985. Even now his disciples are drawn largely from conservative academe, which is so marginal as [...]

A Thinker You Should Know: Eric Voegelin

By |2017-12-27T10:34:20-06:00December 27th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Eric Voegelin, History, Philosophy, Western Tradition|

Eric Voegelin’s philosophical framework attempted to break down the ideological barriers to the search for order and the recovery of transcendent consciousness… Eric Voegelin’s work is not well known outside a relatively small group of academics and their students. Yet within this domain Voegelin’s influence is impressive. His work has inspired a growing secondary literature and [...]

The American Experience

By |2019-09-24T12:17:16-05:00December 13th, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Culture, Eric Voegelin, Europe, Philosophy, The Imaginative Conservative|

America was a world in which this other world that I had grown up in was intellectually, morally, and spiritually irrelevant. That there should be such a plurality of worlds had a devastating effect on me. The experience broke for good my provincialism of a Central European or generally European kind without letting me fall [...]

On Debate and Existence

By |2019-04-04T11:22:41-05:00May 18th, 2017|Categories: Eric Voegelin, Ideology, Philosophy, Plato, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas|Tags: |

The speculations of classic and scholastic metaphysics are edifices of reason erected on the experiential basis of existence in truth. We cannot withdraw into these edifices and let the world go by, for in that case we would be remiss in our duty of “debate”… In our capacity as political scientists, historians, or philosophers we [...]

Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Last Man”

By |2017-05-10T13:42:28-05:00May 10th, 2017|Categories: Eric Voegelin, Quotation|

Editor's Note: In his essay “Nietzsche, the Crisis, and the War,” Eric Voegelin summarizes Friedrich Nietzsche’s disturbing description of "The Last Man”: Zarathustra preaches the gospel of the superman to the people, and the people are silent. He then tries to arouse them by an appeal to their pride and draws the picture of the most contemptible, [...]

Ten Books That Shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance

By |2020-03-23T15:07:10-05:00March 12th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Economics, Edmund Burke, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Friedrich Hayek, George Nash, Ludwig von Mises, M. E. Bradford, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, The Conservative Mind, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke, William F. Buckley Jr.|

If we are to know and rebuild a conservative civil social order in this country, then we need to “rake from the ashes” of recent American history the books that influenced a generation of conservative scholars and public figures, books whose message resonated with much of the American populace and resulted in astonishing political triumphs. [...]

James Joyce & Aesthetic Gnosticism

By |2019-09-10T16:34:40-05:00February 4th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Eric Voegelin, Literature, Philosophy|Tags: |

The kind of freedom people speak of today is more likely than not something more than emancipation from political tyranny. It is freedom from social custom, from tradition, from the created order, freedom from God. And for this troubling illusion, we may in part thank James Joyce… The plight of the artist in the modern [...]

How Should Conservatives Respond to President Trump’s Nationalism?

By |2019-08-22T11:22:31-05:00January 30th, 2017|Categories: Donald Trump, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss|

Whether or not President Trump is successful with a principled nationalistic agenda or with a more pragmatic one, more traditionally-oriented conservative intellectuals must do some serious thinking, either acceding to nationalism or pragmatism or finding a new story… Donald Trump is nothing if he is not forthright. In his Inaugural Address, the President could not [...]

On Classical Studies

By |2019-08-27T16:41:26-05:00October 16th, 2016|Categories: Classical Education, Classics, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Liberal Learning, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Eric Voegelin as he explores the importance of studying the classics. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher A reflection on classical studies, their purpose and prospects, will properly start from Wolf’s definition of classic philology as the study of man’s nature as it has become [...]

Go to Top