The complex theoretical framework outlined in the introduction to the first two volumes of Order and History had been partially foreseen by Voegelin in the theory of representation he introduced in New Science of Politics. In this work Voegelin had declared his wish to leave behind the widespread practice of a “political theory” based on ideas and values, and thus on opinion (doxa) in order to reconquer access to a “political science” (politike episteme) based on an authentic knowledge. The article seeks to reconstruct the stages that brought about this result for Voegelin. In particular it is shown that this was reached following an Aristotelian methodology, that is, developing a zetesis (inquiry) starting from singling out precise open problems (aporiai) in the scientific reference panorama, marked by a varied adherence to Neokantianism. With regard to this, it is shown how the figure of Max Weber constituted the privileged reference point for Voegelin to identify the weak points of the Baden Neo-Kantians. Voegelin for a long time has been committed to the comparison between two distinct issues that both played a central role in twentieth-century philosophy. The first, from ancient tradition, consists in the search for criteria that permit establishing what political reality is and wherein lies its intrinsic link with history. The second consists in establishing the distinctive characteristics of the object of historical sciences. In both fields the recourse to Aristotelian epistemological principles and the adherence to the ontology upon which it is based were crucial, in order to identify and resolve the aporias found in these two areas. The article pays special attention to the terminology Voegelin uses, and above all to the term “form” that recurs in the key expression “form of experience.” One wonders the meaning with which Voegelin intends it and in what measure it corresponds to the Aristotelian term “eidos.”
Since the publication of the German edition of
Israel and Revelation a noteworthy turnaround in the method of conducting research on this book has taken place.
The innovation consisted of bringing its interdisciplinary nature into greater relief, an aim which is further pursued by the essays collected in the present volume. Its four thematic sections focus respectively on civilization forms, on the order of human history, on specific aspects of Old Testament exegesis, and finally on the meaning of the term “revelation” in the context of the biblical events narrated.
Eric Voegelin-Studies: Supplements flankiert als wissenschaftliche Buchreihe das 2022 startende Eric-Voegelin-Jahrbuch und bietet ein ideales Forum, spezifische Aspekte der dort erscheinenden Beiträge weiter auszuführen. So entstehen Spielräume für kleinere oder größere Monografien sowie Publikationen mehrerer Autor:innen. Wie das Yearbook sind die Supplements als internationales und interdisziplinäres Projekt konzipiert. Sie sollen den wissenschaftlichen Austausch und die internationale Zusammenarbeit über Voegelins Werk erweitern.