Looking Back on Progress
By Lord Northbourne
Pub Date: 02/01
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Binding: Paper, 140pp.
Status: Available 
ISBN: 0900588535
Our Price 10% off $18.95


Related Books:  The Modern World, Tradition and Religion Today

Editorial Note

Collected essays on critiqueing the belief in progress from a traditionalist point of view from which so-called progress often appears as regress. 

Most 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.

In 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.

Lord 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.

Lord 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:

"The 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."

 

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