Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery
Rene Guénon’s explication of the principles of an interior understanding of sacred forms has established his reputation in the West as the master theorist of esoterism. But till now his doctrine has not been the focus of thorough study in Christian circles, and this has had serious consequences. Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery is the first major work to combine an analysis of Guénon’s ideas about esoterism with a critical examination of their application to Christianity in terms of data provided by Christianity itself. But to accomplish this, such data cannot simply be surveyed superficially—it must be known firsthand; hence the abundance of citations and references in this text. Such an approach not only lets us decide about certain issues, but may also help us rediscover an all too misunderstood facet of the revelation of Christ.
Table of Contents
General Introduction: A Guénonian Interpretation of Christianity—Is it Legitimate?
I. NATURE OF THE ESOTERIC PERSPECTIVE
Esoterism: History and Idea—Esoterism in its Essence and in its Existence—Esoterism-Exoterism: A Living Dialectic
II. RENÉ GUÉNON AND CHRISTIANITY: A CRITICAL EXAMINATION
Christian Esoterism according to Guénon—Appendix: 'Religion': History and Etymology—Jewish Esoterism or New Covenant?—Sacraments and Sacramentals—The Nature of the Sacraments is Immutable
III. CHRISTIANITY AND ITS MYSTERY
Introduction: The Christian Religion Speaks of Itself—Mystery and Doctrine—Sacramental Initiation and the Discipline of the Arcane—The Mystical Way—Scriptural Index—General Index
René Guénon was one of the great metaphysical minds of the last few centuries, and it was a great loss to the Catholic Church when he converted to Islam. Prof. Borella shows in this landmark study exactly where Guenon's work remains of perennial value for Christians, but also demonstrates limitations that led Guénon to distort some important elements of Catholic and Orthodox doctrine. This work may well stimulate the recovery of authentic metaphysics within the Church for which Guénon longed, but which he despaired of seeing in his lifetime.
Stratford Caldecott, editor, Second Spring
Exhaustively documented and brilliantly conceived, this monumental treatise refutes a Guénonian thesis regarding the limits of Christianity and reaffirms the Patristic doctrine of theosis as the consummation of the Christian Way.
Wolfgang Smith, author of Cosmos & Transcendence