Two Countries, Two Cultures

The publication of Eric Voegelin's Autobiographical Reflections is a small but highly significant step in an enormous project that has been undertaken by the Louisiana State University Press, the publication of his collected works. The editors estimate that, in all, this project will run to 34 volumes, at least 15 of which will include heretofore unpublished materials.

Reflections is the outgrowth of Ellis Sandoz's research for his book, The Voegelin Revolution: A Biographical Introduction (LSU Press, 1981). It consists of Voegelin's transcribed responses to queries put to him in the summer of 1973 by Sandoz; queries that center-on the major events of Voegelin's life, as well as on the course of his intellectual development. For this reason, there is a considerable overlap between Reflections and The Voegelin Revolution; that is, a good deal of what we find in Reflections concerning major components of and developments in Voegelin's approach—e.g., his theory of consciousness, the sources and nature of gnosticism in the modern world, the need for openness to the whole—is also found in The Voegelin Revolution, frequently in the form of a direct quotation from these interviews. Sandoz's book, however, also provides an extremely coherent and lucid overview of Voegelin's approach and findings. For those approaching Voegelin for the first...

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