Eric Voegelin Studies: A Conversation with Charles Embry

with Charles Embry

Eric Voegelin sought to reawaken Western consciousness to the experiences of social, political, and religious order that are the very substance of civilization. Charles Embry, editor of a new Voegelin anthology, joins Liberty Law Talk to discuss his incredible scholarly quest.

Reader Discussion

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on March 19, 2018 at 21:04:37 pm

Excellent interview. Both parties were right on top of their game. Hope this can be in print sometime.

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lewis chamness
on March 30, 2018 at 16:05:25 pm

The interviewer interrupted Embry altogether too much, indeed talked over him. In fairness, relying on a telephone connection, as distinct from a face to face conversation, may have been responsible for this. Otherwise a good 45 minutes very well-spent. It prompted me to order the EV Reader; so perhaps that's a measure of its value.

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James Connelly
on April 03, 2018 at 12:17:01 pm

I paused about half-way though in order to jump to Amazon and order the book. I want to learn more about Embry's thinking.

I do understand that interviewers need to keep the interview moving but, in this case, that imperative hurt the interview. It would have been better to either let Embry finish his thoughts and then expand the podcast into two or three parts or else drop the number of topics which are covered in favor of allowing them to be fully elaborated upon.

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Steve Prescott
on June 13, 2019 at 16:53:21 pm

I chuckled at 'What was the intellectual achievement of Eric Voegelin?' and then Charles just being like .. uh.... thats.. uhh... not an easy question to answer. A rather emphatic understatement, which he sounds entirely aware of.

Regardless, Id suggest that his 'achievement' was for his own personal understanding, his own quest to better understand. Thus, that 'achievement' 'extends through his work on the same person level, and reawakens in inquiring/pre-disposed minds a clearer understanding of symbolizations of the divine ground, divine pull, the cosmos, noesis, 'Turning,' deformed systems, the Animus, the anima mundi, and other experiences in consciousness of 'trancendence.'
To me, that achievement is of paramount importance, and though trancendence stubbornly defies symbolization ( poor dogma certainly tries) the experience itself is the very foundation of order for of all mankind. It is the 'movement' within us that opposes that great enemy which threatens all of mankind with imminent self-destruction at all times throughout history; human apathy that creates indifference to the experiences of others.

In the experiential tension between love and apathy, understanding where one exist in-between those metaxal poles is sort of important, if one is interested in being a 'good' person.

Eric provides the tools to do just that, mostly by re-ordering Plato's symbols, and the significance of that achievement can not be over-stated.

An apologist he is not, Voegelin certainly preaches to his own choir. He both assumes of, and demands more, from his reader than any other author I've read. Unfortunately, this being the case, it makes a brief attempt to 'unpack' the density of his massive volume of work extremely difficult, to say the least.

But I salute you for knowing that and still trying, Charles, and the interview does so admirably well, despite the obvious. Hopefully you will do some follow-ups?

I'm glad to find that you are still writing! I look forward to reading the new book, and hope you and Polly are still blessed in good health.

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Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.