Science, Politics and Gnosticism: Two Essays and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $12.00
  • Save: $1.53 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Gently used may contain ex-library markings, may have some light highlighting and or textual notes
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Science, Politics, and Gnosticism Paperback – October 1, 2004

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
Paperback, October 1, 2004
$4.50 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Science, Politics, and Gnosticism + The New Science of Politics: An Introduction (Walgreen Foundation Lectures)
Price for both: $30.72

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Hero Quick Promo
12 Days of Kindle Book Deals
Load your library with Amazon's editors' picks, $2.99 or less each today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932236481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932236484
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Eric Voegelin, who was born in Austria, taught for most of his career at Louisiana State University. In 1958 he returned to Europe to become the director of the Institute for Political Science at the University of Munich. A prodigious writer, he is perhaps most renowned for his multivolume work, Order and History.

Ellis Sandoz is Hermann Moyse Jr. Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies at Louisiana State University.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Pacillo on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
These two essays describe the inability of modern political thought to get a grip on the confusion and horror of the 20th century, mainly because that thought itself has not been immune from the very disorders it seeks to study. The roots of modern disorder are found in "Gnosticism," which is usually defined narrowly as a form of Christian heresy, but thought of by Voegelin as a typical response to the universal human problems of uncertainty, meaninglessness and alienation. Thus seemingly disparate movements like communism, fascism and positivism are placed within a Gnostic tradition stretching back to antiquity.
After describing the characteristics of ancient Gnosticism, Voegelin defines his own approach to the "science of politics," derived mainly from Plato and Aristotle. He then proceeds to analyze thinkers such as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Heidegger and to isolate what he feels to be their dominant motives. The one great theme of all Gnosticisms, ancient or modern, is the desire to do away with the notion of a given, "objective" world. If the project of world-transformation is to be made plausible, then nothing can be seen to be outside of human power. Social reality is a constructed thing, not a thing given or found, thereby allowing it to be "deconstructed."
In the second, shorter essay, "Ersatz Religion," Voegelin describes the complex of ideas characteristic of modern Gnosticism such as millenialism, utopianism and positivism. As the title of the essay suggests, the religious impulse does not die after the murder of God; it gets redirected into "political religions." Politics then becomes a matter of belief and fanaticism, instead of rational discourse and debatable opinions. Despite the abstractness of some of its theoretical concerns, this book is very readable and jargon-free.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "tim_farrington" on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Eric Voegelin was one of the most profound philosophers of history of the twentieth century. More than any other thinker I know, he was able to articulate a body of thought that recognizes the human need for a grounding in transcendent truth and analyses the vicissitudes of the inevitable search for meaning. His work deserves to be widely read, but perhaps because of its imposing bulk--his masterwork, "Order and History," weighs in at five fat volumes of complex reasoning, vivid exegeses of the symbolic forms of the past five thousand years, and indepth and illuminating readings of philosophers from Parmenides to Heidegger--it is not. "Science, Politics, and Gnosticism" is a perfect hors d'oeuvre of a book, and serves well not as a systematic introduction to the full scope of his vision but as a tasty morsel of his maturing thought at a crucial point in his oeuvre. Voegelin's incisive critique of ideological thinking in this book is lucid and mercifully accessible. I would hope that a reader comes away from this potent little classic inspired to dig deeper into the mine of wisdom that Voegelin's work offers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Oh, the visionary has a new system to save the world? Put that in section II B, tray 5, right next to the same idea that sprouted 1000 years ago under a different name.
Voegelin has boiled down the rules for understanding all secular visions of salvation, which invariably play on some human dissatisfaction, the diagnosis of which always omits a key "given" of human nature, which is thus marketed as changeable, but isn't, leading to fanatical attempts to control people, devolving into scaring them into submission with the threat of death.
The opposite of the Christian love ethic which posits a brotherhood in relation to a heavenly Father, according to Voegelin.
Voegelin here achieves a scientific method of explaining how non-christian ideas relate to Christian ideas of social organization. He was very popular in Cold War times, but is also versatile enough here to help with the great conversation we are all having in relation to terrorism. This book is simple, direct and profound.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Science, Politics & Gnosticism presents two essays, the title piece, "Science, Politics & Gnosticism", and "Ersatz Religion: The Gnostic Mass Movements of Our Time" by Eric Voegelin (1901-85), one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Voegelin contends that certain modern movements, including positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism, and the "God is dead" school are variants of the gnostic tradition. Striving to settle the confusion that arises from the dominance of gnostic thought, Voegelin further strives to classify distinctions between political gnosticism and the philosophy of politics. A lucid yet in-depth scrutiny of the interplay of complex ideals and their reverbations upon mass political movements, Science, Politics & Gnosticism is especially recommended reading for advanced students of philosophy and political science.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By GangstaLawya on August 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Voegelin has done the public a great service by tracing a common thread of gnosticism amongst modern political philosophies. He goes to Marx's juwish roots in order to expose the theme of the golem that underlies Marxian thought as laid out in Marx's Political and Economic Manuscripts. The Kabbalistic underpinnings of socialistic philosophy forecasts these philosophies as gnostic philosophies.

Although Voegelin indulges in almost pure abstraction (characterisitic of his German education) it is quite accurate since it exposes the naked truth a la Jack Kerouac of these ideas.

The gnostic character of modern philosophies, such as Hegel, Comte, Marx, feminism and so on comes out in the theme of "alienation." Alienation from the rest of society is the result of some form of discord or disharmony. Recourse to a "secret knowledge" will reveal the solution to this problem of disharmony. Applying this secret knowledge will result in an "immanenitizing of the eschaton."

The last concept comes from Roman Catholic scholarship in defining the heresy of gnosticism. In article 676 of the Catholic catechism, it says that: "The AntiChrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism." Voegelin says that gnosticism tries to bring about a heaven on earth or "immanentize the eschaton.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again