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Sacred Web 41

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Sacred Web 42

Sacred Web 42

 

Editorial:
Deconstructing Deconstruction

By M. Ali Lakhani
Deconstruction, as a critical tool, has contributed to many reforms within the postmodern world, some good, some not. It has sought to deconstruct the structures of our thought and our lives. The editorial argues that in seeking to stand on itself and not on any transcendent ground, it can provide no ultimate referent for truth or meaning. Radically anarchic, it tends to degrade forms and to despiritualize the world. It dismisses metaphysical principles as logocentric constructs and metanarratives, to be deconstructed themselves – but without any criterion for deconstruction except the never-ending process itself.     Read more...

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy: The Perennial Philosophy of Art
By Fabian Gudas
Over and above his wide-ranging interests and talents, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy’s life’s work focused on two main areas – metaphysics and art, emphasizing their relevance to the human métier. Those themes are the subject of this essay by Fabian Gudas. He notes, ‘The present essay confines itself to an analysis of the theory of art as taught by the perennial philosophy, with special emphasis on what it has to say on myth and symbol, on folklore, and on the aims and methodology of comparative literature.’ First published in 1962 by Louisiana State University, the essay is being republished by Sacred Web in order to bring it to a new, hopefully wider, audience.     Read more...

Suhrawardi and the Problem of Universals
By Justin Cancelliere
Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi, an Iranian Sufi of the 12th century, was the founder of the Illuminationist (Ishraqi) School of philosophy which emphasized the importance of universal metaphysical principles. This focus made his outlook inclusivist but also created tensions for him among those who held more exclusivist interpretations of Islam, leading to his eventual condemnation and execution as a heretic. Given their principial focus and universalism, Suhrawardi’s writings drew particular attention among perennialist scholars, in particular Henri Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr. This essay presents Suhrawardi’s discussion of the problem of universals, a matter that lies at the heart of his philosophy: how to distinguish between shared properties and their differences in determining their true nature and identity.     Read more...

Freud: Prophet or Heretic?
By Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
The author, a practicing psychotherapist and academic specialist in the area, examines the legacy of Sigmund Freud. He points to the numerous errors within Freudianism, which he exposes as a modernist ideology rather than a science, and discusses its controversies and impacts, exposing the self-styled prophet to be a heretic.     Read more...

Way of the World
By John Herlihy
John Herlihy has lived for many years in the Muslim world and is guided by the precepts of Islam. Drawing from them and from a wealth of inspiring literary allusions, he begins by posing a series of questions about the meaning of life, and then, from the vantage of a journeying pilgrim, gently leads the reader on a review of those questions and the answers offered by faith. He suggests that we may never fully understand the world we live in; but that will never stop us from exploring and discovering the secrets of its pathways and the mysteries of its hidden nature.     Read more...

On Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism
By Charles Upton
As scientific ‘progress’ moves us closer to a transhumanist future, will the human race surrender its own self-awareness and self-determination in its interaction with and reliance upon artificial intelligence? In these musings on this question, the author moves from lament to satire, ending with the text of a statement by him, delivered at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Canada.     Read more...

A Note on the Treasure of the Tronoën Calvary in Brittany
By Jane Casewit
The author introduces the reader to an unusual sculpture in French Brittany, depicting, among the scenes of the life of Christ, an unusual Nativity image of a reclining Mary and a child Christ.     Read more...

A Moonless Night in Cathay: On the Symbolism of the Simurgh
By Nigel Jackson
The cover illustration for this volume of Sacred Web was designed by Nigel Jackson, who explains its symbolism.     Read more...

 

Book Reviews

The Original Gospel of Rāmakrishna: Based on M.’s English Text, Abridged
Revised by Swāmī Abhedānanda,
Edited and Abridged by Joseph A. Fitzgerald

Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
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Ink of Light (Fons Vitae Rumi Series)
By Katharine Branning

Reviewed by Brian Welter
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Lectio Divina as Contemplative Pedagogy: Re-appropriating Monastic Practice for the Humanities
By Mary Keator

Reviewed by Brian Welter
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Letters

Open letter by Charles Upton to Aleksandr Dugin: ‘A Challenge to Aleksandr Dugin’.
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