Back on Progress
By Lord Northbourne
Pub Date: 02/01
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Binding: Paper, 140pp.
Our Price 10% off $18.95
Related Books: The
Modern World, Tradition
and Religion Today
Collected essays on
critiqueing the belief in progress from a traditionalist point of view from which so-called
progress often appears as regress.
of us are deeply committed to a cult of change. We believe in the
essential beneficence of progress. We deal piecemeal with the
frightening range of new problems that increasingly beset our society,
but the assumptions underlying the ideology of progress are seldom
seriously called into question. It is becoming increasingly urgent that
these assumptions be questioned dispassionately and with a real desire
to see the truth.
this book, the author does not set out to deal with every aspect
of our exceedingly involved situation. Rather he stands back and
looks at the situation from various points of view, relating each to his
central theme. The penetrating clarity and freshness of the pictures he
presents to the reader cannot fail to contribute to a better
understanding of the ideology of progress, both as to its origins and as
to its tendencies in the world of today. In the abscence of some such
understanding, even the most well-intentioned actions are likely to be
undertaken in vain.
Northbourne was a key figure in the so-called traditionalist of
perennialist school, including such figures as René Guénon, Frithjof
Schuon, Titus Burchhardt, martin Lings, S.H. Nasr, Huston Smith, and the
Tibetan Buddhist Marco Pallis. It was Pallis, struck by Northbourne's
early agricultural writings, who first introduced him to the
traditionalist writings, and soon Northbourne was engaged in his
masterful translation of Guénon's major work, The
Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times.
Northbourne had a gift for expressing the profoundest truths in simple
and graceful language, and it is the publisher's hope that his unique
combination of gentleness and rigor, whether on the subject of flowers,
or of predestination and freewill, will spur new readers to study other
traditionalist authors. Sophia Perennis will shortly be issuing a
collection of Lord Northbourne's essays and occasional pieces as well as
an expanded edition of his Religion
in the Modern World, of which Fr. Thomas Merton wrote:
great danger at the moment is a huge muddling and confusing of the
spiritual traditions that still survive. As you so well point out, this
would be crowning the devil's work...I am very grateful for your
important and thoughtful book, and I am sure you can see I am in the
deepest possible sympathy with your views."