Perennial Philosophy: an objection

What the church calls “perennial philosophy” is often scoffed at as being too dry, and lacking anything to stir the heart. We are told it lacks mystery, that it makes everything too pat and obvious, that it neglects the higher and more profound parts of the human person. Everyone who has studied perennial philosophy has thought this at least once, even if they went on to become a disciple of it.

These criticisms may not be correct, but they are not irrelevant. Philosophy does claim to satisfy human longing, and so whatever is in itself not satisfying cannot be true philosophy.

1 Comment

  1. Dawud said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    My personal attitude towards Perennial Philosophy is mixed. On the one hand, we have the notion which was advanced by Leibniz, that there is a common philosophy (both ethical and mystical) which underlies the major religions. That in itself might not be incorrect, but it always runs the risk of degenerating into a crass form of syncretism and relativism, especially in this modern age – when it is wielded in the hands of those who do not understand it.

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