Main CategoriesWestern Mysticism and PhilosophySyncretism and the Perennial Philosophy Form and Substance in the Religions

Form and Substance in the Religions

Product no.: 0-941532-25-9
Restores a true sense of proportion in affirming the transcendent real.

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Publisher's Synopsis

The modern world is characterized by its fascination with relativity and individualism. Into this morass, the writings of Frithjof Schuon enter like a bolt of lightning that both clears the air and brings serenity in its wake. The perspective of the perennial philosophy restores a sense of proportion in affirming the transcendent Real and then draws all the consequences spiritually and humanly, as well as aesthetically on the plane of forms.

At the level of ideas, Schuon is an unsurpassable expositor of first principles, and included here are seminal chapters such as Atma-Maya and Truth and Presence. Schuon's fluency in so many "languages" of the spirit is widely acclaimed. There are gems here from the traditional worlds of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. These essays definitively establish that the Sacred has not only the first but also the final word.


"I have met with no more impressive work in the comparative study of Oriental and Occidental religions."      ~T. S. Eliot


"There is no bridge from Christian theology to Islam just as there is no bridge from Jewish theology to Christianity. In order to make itself legitimate, Christianity must change planes; and this, precisely, is an unprecedented possibility which enters into none of the ordinary categories of Judaism. The great novelty of Christ, within the framework of the Judaic world, was therefore the possibility of an inward and hence supra-formal dimension: to worship God “in spirit and in truth”, and to do so even to the point of the possible abolishing of forms; as a result, the passage from Judaism to Christianity takes place, not on the plane of theology as Christian polemicists paradoxically imagine, but by a return to a mystery of inwardness, of holiness, of Divine Life, from which a new theology will spring forth.

The weakness of Judaism, from the Christian point of view, lies in having to accept the assertion that one must descend from Jacob in order to belong to God, and that accomplishing prescribed actions is all that God asks of us; whether such an interpretation is exaggerated or not, Christ shattered the frontiers of ethnic Israel in order to replace it with a purely spiritual Israel; and he placed the love of God before the prescribed act, and in a certain manner replaced the one with the other, even while introducing in turn, and of necessity, new forms. Now this extra-theological passage from the “ancient Law” to the “new Law” quite logically forbids Christians from applying to Islam the narrowly theological argumentation which they do not accept on the part of the Jews; and it obliges them in principle to admit at least the possibility—in favor of Islam—of a legitimacy based on a new dimension that cannot be grasped word-for-word in their own theology."


Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998) is best known as the foremost spokesman of the "Traditionalist" or "Perennialist" school and as a philosopher in the metaphysical current of Shankara and Plato.

Author Schuon, Frithjof
Translator Perry, Mark
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 255 pp.
Publisher World Wisdom 2002
Browse these categories as well: Syncretism and the Perennial Philosophy, The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Hinduism: Gurus and Advaita Vedanta, Judaism: Prophets and Patriarchs, Western Buddhism, Islam and the Qur'an, Noteworthy Releases 2002

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