Invincible Wisdom

Quotations from the Scriptures, Saints, and Sages of All Times and Places

William Stoddart

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2008.
128 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59731-088-8
Price: $16.95 US
Buy now on

The guiding idea of this book has been to gather together sayings, maxims, and aphorisms, which, in some respect or other are of profound and permanent spiritual value. Moreover, the net has been cast wide, with the result that the selected items are extremely variegated; for, in the present age, protective dividing walls have crumbled; the whole world has become our parish, and our gaze must now be universal. The quotations here presented were collected during the course of a lifetime. Each quotation was hand-picked for a particular purpose, and anything deemed superfluous was excluded. Wise and useful quotations are of course endless, but a selection is what it is and, far from being arbitrary, this anthology, taken as a whole, amounts to a succinct, but powerful, affirmation of ‘the True, the Good, and the Beautiful’. This is its purpose—and may it bear fruit.

Table of Contents

Introduction—Bible—Koran—Hermes Trismegistos—Confucius—Shankara—Mohammed—Islamic Quotations—Christian Sages—Christian Saints—Kings and Queens—Reason and Intellect—Miscellaneous Quotations—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—Democracy—Red Indian Quotations—Hindu Quotations—Buddhist Quotations—Christian Quotations—Unity in Plurality, Plurality in Unity—Appendices—I. 'It must needs be that scandals come'; II. Giovanni Battista Montini (Pope Paul VI); III. Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI); IV. A message of hope—Envoi


This selection of quotations is uncommonly informative and interesting. It is a treasury of wisdom old and new, and a timely reminder of a world of subtlety and profundity that is in danger of being forgotten. There is enough medicine here to cure a multitude of contemporary ills.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Lafouge, editor of For God's Greater Glory: Gems of Jesuit Spirituality

Readers who are familiar with Dr. Stoddart's books in the field of religious studies are aware of his wide-ranging erudition. This keen knowledge has now been turned to intelligently selecting and organizing an array of witty phrases, clever maxims, profound aphorisms, good-humored proverbes, and paradoxical adages. All of these apothegms are as intellectually stimulating as they are practical and useful. I do not doubt that the reader will be pleasantly surprised and, as it were, transported to a loftier dimension, by the generous wisdom synthesized in this fine volume.
Mateus Soares de Azevedo, author of The Intelligence of Faith: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

About the Author

William Stoddart was born in Carstairs, Scotland, lived most of his life in London, England, and now lives in Windsor, Ontario. He studied modern languages and medicine at the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Pursuing his religious studies, he has traveled widely in Europe (including Mount Athos), Morocco, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, and Japan. He has authored, compiled and translated many books on the subject of the sophia perennis.