Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and Sacred Art

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SUNY Press, Oct 15, 1987 - Art - 269 pages
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Titus Burckhardt was Swiss and an eminent member of the traditionalist school. He is perhaps best known to the English-speaking public as the author of the following books: Sacred Art in East and West; Siena, City of the Virgin; Moorish Culture in Spain; and Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. A generation ago, he won much acclaim for producing and publishing the first successful, full-scale facsimiles of the Book of Kells and other ancient manuscripts. In more recent years, he acted as a specialist advisor to UNESCO, with particular reference to the preservation of the unique architectural heritage of Fez, which was then in danger.

The present volume is a complete collection of Burckhardt’s essays, originally published in a variety of German and French journals. They range from modern science in its various forms, through Christianity and Islam, to symbolism and mythology. It is a rich collection. Burckhardt blends an accessible style with a penetrating insight. He interprets the metaphysical, cosmological, and symbolic dimensions of these sacred traditions from the perspective of timeless, spiritual wisdom.
 

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Contents

The Cosmological Perspective
13
Traditional Cosmology and Modern Science
17
II MODERN PHYSICS
26
III TRADITIONAL SYMBOLISM MODERN EMPIRICISM
30
IV EVOLUTIONISM
32
V MODERN PSYCHOLOGY
45
Riding the Tiger
68
The Seven Liberal Arts and the West Door of Chartres Cathedral
77
13 The Symbolism of Chess
142
The Sacred Mask
149
The Return of Ulysses
156
The Sun Dance
164
The Traditional Sciences in Fez
173
The Prayer of Ibn Mashish AsSalat alMash1shiyah
183
Concerning the Barzakh
193
Extracts from the Commentary on the Divine Names by the Imam Ghazali
200

Because Dante is Right
82
Contra Teilhard de Chardin
98
The Heavenly Jerusalem and the Paradise of Vaikuntha
102
Two Examples of Christian Symbolism
110
The Theological Message of Russian Icons
112
The Symbolism of the Mirror
117
The Symbolism of Water
124
Insight into Alchemy
132
The Role of the Fine Arts in Moslem Education
210
Perennial Values in Islamic Art
219
The Void in Islamic Art
231
The Impact of the Arabic Language on the Visual Arts of Islam
236
A Letter on Spiritual Method
251
Bibliography of Titus Burckhardt
255
Index
263
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About the author (1987)

Eminent Swiss metaphysician and scholar Dr. Titus Burckhardt was devoted to studies in art, art history, and oriental languages, and embarked upon journeys through North Africa and the Near East. In addition to writing books in German, he translated many important works from their original Arabic.

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