A Who’s Who of Traditionalism and English translations

Of whom nothing more need be said.
René Guénon: Metaphysician. In print with Sophia Perennis.

Gruppo di Ur
An Italian secret society which hit on the same truths as Guénon.
Julius Evola: Roman/pan-Aryan metaphysician. In print with Inner Traditions, Arktos, and private publishers.
Guido De Giorgio: Metaphysician. Being translated at Gornahoor.
Arturo Reghini: Italian esotericist. Currently being studied as a Ph.D. thesis.

Those who lived around the 1910s-1940s, who had never read Guénon despite holding similar views.
Charles Maurras: French political theorist. Being translated at Gornahoor.
Valentin Tomberg: Hermeticist, Catholic, and ex-Anthrosophist; anonymously published Meditations on the Tarot has a mainstream publisher.
Shūmei Ōkawa: Japanese religious scholar; associate of Sri Aurobindo; class-A war criminal. Translated for the first time on this blog.

Studies in Comparative Religion
A journal published 1963-1987 which codified Guénon’s work as (religious) perennialism and brought it to wider notice among mainstream intellectuals. Their work is carried on by the excellent press World Wisdom which, although it is not academic, is deeply respected by religious scholars of the right persuasion.
Ananda Coomaraswamy: Religionist. in print with World Wisdom, and out of print partially.
Frithjof Schuon: Religionist. In print with World Wisdom.
William Stoddart: Scottish religionist, leaning Sufi. In print with World Wisdom.
Marco Pallis: Greek-British mountaineer who worked with the Tibetan community. In print with World Wisdom.
Jean Hani: French esotericist. Published by Sophia Perennis. Died in 2012 at the age of about 98.
Martin Lings: English Sufi. In print with Islamic publishers.
Titus Burckhardt: English Sufi. In print with Fons Vitae, another perennialist press.
Michel Vâlsan: French Sufi. Out of print.
Jean-Louis Michon: French Sufi. Still living (age 80).

(Temenos Academy founders are not included here because they would make the list too long.)

Academic perennialism
Those who read the perennialists and, without adopting any particular doctrine, took a sympathetic look at various religions. I regard these people as heroes of the very troubled field of comparative religion.
Huston Smith: American religionist. Still living (age 93).
Seyyed Hossein Nasr: Persian religionist. Still living (age 79).
Mircea Eliade: Romanian mythologist. In print with major publishers.

The generation after Studies
People born too late to contribute to Studies, or who became aware of it after the fact.
Algis Uždavinys: Lithuanian Pythagorean; died 2010. In print with World Wisdom and the The Matheson Trust.
James Cutsinger: Eastern Christian and translator of Schuon (age 60). Published by The Matheson Trust.
Charles Upton: American, editor-in-chief of Sophia Perennis (age 65). His wife was an initiate with Schuon.
Wolfgang Smith: American Catholic mathematician (age 83). In print with the Foundation for Traditional Studies.

I argue that neo-pagan traditionalism misreads Evola. Even if they agree with his Traditional assertion that truth comes from principles and not from people, and that the latter should serve the former and not vice-versa, in practice they simply build ethno-fascist networks, and dumb his anti-Christianity down into racial neo-paganism. Actually in Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza Evola says that true Traditional nobility had no need to appeal to myths, and that racial gods are the pitryana, the lowly “way of the South”, while Tradition is the devayana, the “divine way of the North”. Pitryana is not the way to spiritual liberation. Nevertheless many Traditionalists come to Evola via these politicos so you may see their names around.
Alain de Benoist: French neopagan. In print with Arktos etc.
Koenraad Logghe: Flemish neopagan.
Nikolaos Michaloliakos: Greek neopagan, founder of Golden Dawn.
Various Internet wingnuts who may or may not be worth reading.

Notable post-Perennialists
Religionists influenced by Perennialism who nevertheless moved on and became influential in their own traditions.
Jean Borella: French Catholic. Over 80 years old if still alive.
Seraphim Rose: Russian Orthodox hieromonk. In print with Orthodox presses.
Henri Stéphane: Christian esotericist.

Notable modern esotericists
Joscelyn Godwin: American esotericist and musicologist; translator of Evola. In his 60s.
Yoshiro Tanaka: Japanese esotericist and translator of Guénon; died 2012.
John Michael Greer: American esotericist, neo-pagan, and peak oilist.

Observation: The average lifespan of Traditionalists seems to be over 80 years.

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Tradition 17 Comments »

17 Comments on “A Who’s Who of Traditionalism and English translations”

  1. 1 Caleb Cooper said at 3:43 pm on February 22nd, 2013:

    Valentin Tomberg should be on here somewhere. Gornahoor appears to regard him highly and frequently discuses him. His Meditations on the Tarot is perhaps the best book on Christian Hermeticism out there.

  2. 2 justin said at 10:53 am on March 12th, 2013:

    Excellent primer. Thanks

  3. 3 Caleb Cooper said at 3:05 pm on July 17th, 2013:

    Thanks for including Tomberg Avery. He was an ex-anthrosophist, so I’m not sure he should be categorized as one. I mean, I was an atheist back when I was young and didn’t know better, and I sure wouldn’t like it if someone categorized me based on what I used to believe but had grown out of when I matured:)

    While he was part of that movement when he was younger, by the time he wrote his two major works, ‘Meditations on the Tarot’ and ‘Lazarus Come Forth!’ he was well distanced from them, offering some criticism directed toward Antrohsophy and advancing contrary ideas. After converting to Catholicism he asked that all his works printed before his conversion be taken out of print.

    Also, while Meditations was published anonymously , it is an established fact that Tomberg was the author.

  4. 4 John Morgan said at 10:50 pm on July 18th, 2013:

    The Nouvelle Droite are not neo-fascists.

  5. 5 John Morgan said at 10:52 pm on July 18th, 2013:

    Koenraad Logghe and Nikolaos Michaloliakos could also in no way be considered part of the Nouvelle Droite.

  6. 6 Avery said at 1:14 am on July 20th, 2013:

    Thank you John. This post was written from a position of ignorance based on Googling up those writers who had read Evola.

  7. 7 John Morgan said at 11:49 am on July 23rd, 2013:

    I see. One should always take Google research with a grain of salt! I still maintain that the ND could in no way be considered fascists, however – in fact their entire project is in part a reaction against fascism.

  8. 8 Louis B. said at 10:21 pm on August 3rd, 2013:

    Maurras was an agnostic and positivist, not sure why he’s described as a “Catholic political theorist”.

    Henri Stéphane probably belongs to the post-perennialist category.

    Are you still a Buddhist? I remember you posting on Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus a couple months ago, it might be time to finally take heed.

  9. 9 Avery said at 12:41 pm on August 4th, 2013:

    I was posting about Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus because I don’t understand it. It is one of the few elements of Church doctrine that I don’t understand at all and which differs from the Eastern doctrines I make my chief study of.

  10. 10 Louis B. said at 12:21 am on August 6th, 2013:

    Lefebvre’s ideas on Baptism of Desire were essentially the Catholic mainstream at the time of his ordination, and his quotes on the subject (I’m thinking in particular of the one posted to the Gornahoor forum) seem to suffer from clumsy wording. In any case, the gist of E.E.n.s. is that everyone is bound by conscience to choose the Catholic faith. While there may be those who are saved “subjectively”, so to speak, through extraordinary grace, we can’t be sure whether this has ever happened – not to mention that such an amnesty would probably apply primarily to those suffering from invincible ignorance, which obviously isn’t the case with those who have expressed curiosity about the subject.

  11. 11 Louis B. said at 1:36 am on August 6th, 2013:

    Also this goes without saying but I can only appreciate fraternal correction from fellow Catholics if I have made any errors in the above post.

  12. 12 Avery said at 9:14 am on August 6th, 2013:

    Yes, I’m aware of that. I mean that I don’t understand why Christian and Muslims out of the seven (or whatever) major religious traditions would be so exceedingly rude to members of other traditions, when Buddhists and Hindus would be willing to acknowledge other traditions as pursuing the same truth. Schuon even claims that this is a false doctrine.

  13. 13 Louis B. said at 10:20 pm on August 6th, 2013:

    Which doctrine are you referring to?

    As far as I’m concerned Traditionalism as a framework is broken by either including or excluding Catholicism and, to a slightly lesser but still significant extent, “Orthodoxy”.

  14. 14 Avery said at 8:44 am on August 7th, 2013:

    Yes, Traditionalism is broken in interesting ways. One perennialist remarked to James Cutsinger at an interfaith conference: “The people who like us we don’t like, and the people we like don’t like us.”

    I continue to hold out faith that Guenon was on to something, because my intuition points me in that way. I lack faith in anything else.

  15. 15 Louis B. said at 3:14 am on August 9th, 2013:

    I’m getting the impression that your interest in these matters is mostly academic.

  16. 16 Avery said at 9:57 am on August 9th, 2013:

    Well, I’ll try to illustrate. I wrote a post on this blog about “academic institutionalization.” Modern-day secular theory tries to encompass everything. After Guenon, I believe metaphysics is one thing it can’t conquer, and rightfully so. I do believe Tradition exists. Choosing a path is a different question. I love the Catholic writers I read, but I love the Japanese writers too. I must go where I am guided.

  17. 17 Louis B. said at 2:50 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    Yes, by academic standards your concerns are outrageously arcane.