Joseph de Maistre & The Birth of Tradition
By Thomas Garrett Isham
About the Book
In response to the vainglory of the Enlightenment and the depredations of the French Revolution, writer and philosopher Joseph de Maistre proclaimed anew for his time the merits of tradition in religion, politics, and the social order, employing his masterful pen to counter the disruptions of his age and to predict their repercussions in the years ahead. Though de Maistre died nearly two centuries ago, his ideas hold much of value for the present day, as many shades of traditional thought square off against an excoriating assault on social and religious values far exceeding those of his own revolutionary milieu. Anyone concerned with setting a salvific course through the clashing rocks of Tradition and Modernity, deriving the best from both, will be well advised to take up de Maistre’s log and compass as they plot their course. In this effort, as Thomas Isham’s new book shows, we may turn for some considerable insight also to another guide in this domain whose work spans the time between de Maistre’s and our own—the traditionalist metaphysician René Guénon, who recognized and to some extent built upon, de Maistre’s ties to esoteric theory and practice, and his immersion in things both divine and human, macrocosmic and microcosmic.
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