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The Symbolism of the Cross (New)
by Guenon, Rene
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Book ID: 9780900588655, 0900588659
The Symbolism of the Cross is a major doctrinal study of the central symbol of Christianity from the standpoint of the universal metaphysical tradition, the ‘perennial philosophy’ as it is called in the West. As Guenon points out, the cross is one of the most universal of all symbols and is far from belonging to Christianity alone. Indeed, Christians have sometimes tended to lose sight of its symbolical significance and to regard it as no more than the sign of a historical event. By restoring to the cross its full spiritual value as a symbol, but without in any way detracting from its historical importance for Christianity, Guenon has performed a task of inestimable importance which perhaps only he, with his unrivalled knowledge of the symbolic languages of both East and West, was qualified to perform.
The Cross is a symbol met with almost everywhere, and from the remotest times; it is therefore far from belonging exclusively to the Christian tradition which, at any rate in its outward and generally known aspect, seems to have lost sight of its symbolical character and to regard it as but the sign of an historical event. Actually, these viewpoints are in no wise mutually exclusive, for the cross, like any other symbol, can be regarded according to manifold senses. The object before us, however, is the metaphysical sense; all other applications are secondary and contingent. If we do consider some of these it will be to attach them to the metaphysical order, for this is what gives them their value. --
Rene Guenon, condensed from the Preface
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