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The Transcendent Unity of Religions (Quest Book) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Quest Book
  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835605876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835605878
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation)

More About the Author

Born in Basle, Switzerland in 1907, Frithjof Schuon was the twentieth century's pre-eminent spokesman for the perennialist school of comparative religious thought.
The leitmotif of Schuon's work was foreshadowed in an encounter during his youth with a marabout who had accompanied some members of his Senegalese village to Basle for the purpose of demonstrating their African culture. When Schuon talked with him, the venerable old man drew a circle with radii on the ground and explained: "God is the center; all paths lead to Him." Until his later years Schuon traveled widely, from India and the Middle East to America, experiencing traditional cultures and establishing lifelong friendships with Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and American Indian spiritual leaders.
A philosopher in the tradition of Plato, Shankara, and Eckhart, Schuon was a gifted artist and poet as well as the author of over twenty books on religion, metaphysics, sacred art, and the spiritual path. Describing his first book, The Transcendent Unity of Religions, T. S. Eliot wrote, "I have met with no more impressive work in the comparative study of Oriental and Occidental religion", and world-renowned religion scholar Huston Smith said of Schuon, "The man is a living wonder; intellectually apropos religion, equally in depth and breadth, the paragon of our time". Schuon's books have been translated into over a dozen languages and are respected by academic and religious authorities alike.
More than a scholar and writer, Schuon was a spiritual guide for seekers from a wide variety of religions and backgrounds throughout the world. He died in 1998.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book clearly demonstrates the unity of all religions, although being different in their forms, from a metaphysical point of view.As such it helps to understand all religions, and their extrinsic orthodoxy, putting an end to the quarrels among some exponents of these religions, who feel to prove the validity of their religion, they must disprove the other religions.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A reader on March 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is just fundamental. It is the kind of work which lasts forever, because what it teaches us is something which does not change with time. The reader who usually reads modern philosophy or scholarly works on religions will enter a different world when he takes the decisive step of reading Schuon.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Frithjof Schuon is an author whose knowledge comes from deepest intellectual and spiritual realization, thus he writes with authority on the subject in a style unmatched in recent times. A summit of spiritual and intellectual realization who should be read by anybody who searches for truth. His beautiful style seizes the reader from the beginning with the feeling that Schuon is no ordinary thinker and this feeling becomes deeper as one continues reading. His other works are recommended as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P.K. Ryan on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply put, this is the best book on religion I have ever read. Granted, I am not extremely well read in that area but this was nevertheless a paradigm shifting read for me. In a nutshell, it states that all the revealed religions(Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism) are all valid paths to God which were sent to different peoples at different times and for different reasons. According to Schuon's philosophy, God intentionally created the different religions to fit the spiritual temperaments of the different civilizations throughout the world. That being said, this is not a touchy-feely, we are all the same type of book either. According to Schuon, the separation of religious civilizations is God inspired and necessary to maintain purity and effectiveness. This separation being only on the exoteric level though whereas all the religions converge on the esoteric level into an overwhelming unity. Of course it is a bit more complicated than that but that is a concise summary. And frankly, this is probably not a new "theory" (this was published in the 50s) but I have never seen the subject matter articulated in such a way. Schuon was a giant in metaphysical thought.

The book is quite difficult as Schuon's language is extremely dense and his knowledge level is incredibly high. I had trouble following at times but it was so engaging and insightful that I couldn't put it down. Schuon was a member of the so-called Perennialist School and his knowledge of all the religions in question is remarkable. Both "fundamentalists" and "progressives" will probably find enough to disagree with (not to mention secularists) but if you are a spiritual person with an open mind, this will no doubt be a rewarding experience.
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