Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy

Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156852911X567842 Religion and the Arts 15 (2011) 338–368 brill.nl/rart RELIGION and the ARTS Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy Grant Kaplan * Saint Louis University Abstract The works of Walker Percy have long been of interest to Catholic intellectuals, philoso- phers, and theologians. In particular, his social and cultural critique of modernity has found a wide reception. This article traces the influence of Eric Voegelin on Walker Percy, espe- cially on his later fiction. Although previous scholarship has identified Voegelin’s influence on Percy, it has failed to appreciate its breadth. This article corrects previous scholarship and presents an understanding of this influence by comparing both figures’ analysis of language, scientism, and modern Gnosticism. Keywords Walker Percy, Eric Voegelin, modernity, Gnosticism, scientism, dystopia B efore he became a novelist, Walker Percy studied medicine. His pri- mary medical interest was pathology. In a later essay, he explained the connection between his medical studies and his vocation as a novelist: “My original vocation was medicine and for this reason my literary concerns are perhaps more diagnostic and therapeutic than they otherwise would be.” 1 The following article analyzes Percy http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Religion and the Arts Brill

Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy

Religion and the Arts, Volume 15 (3): 338 – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1079-9265
eISSN
1568-5292
D.O.I.
10.1163/156852911X567842
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156852911X567842 Religion and the Arts 15 (2011) 338–368 brill.nl/rart RELIGION and the ARTS Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy Grant Kaplan * Saint Louis University Abstract The works of Walker Percy have long been of interest to Catholic intellectuals, philoso- phers, and theologians. In particular, his social and cultural critique of modernity has found a wide reception. This article traces the influence of Eric Voegelin on Walker Percy, espe- cially on his later fiction. Although previous scholarship has identified Voegelin’s influence on Percy, it has failed to appreciate its breadth. This article corrects previous scholarship and presents an understanding of this influence by comparing both figures’ analysis of language, scientism, and modern Gnosticism. Keywords Walker Percy, Eric Voegelin, modernity, Gnosticism, scientism, dystopia B efore he became a novelist, Walker Percy studied medicine. His pri- mary medical interest was pathology. In a later essay, he explained the connection between his medical studies and his vocation as a novelist: “My original vocation was medicine and for this reason my literary concerns are perhaps more diagnostic and therapeutic than they otherwise would be.” 1 The following article analyzes Percy

Journal

Religion and the ArtsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: dystopia; Walker Percy; Gnosticism; modernity; scientism; Eric Voegelin

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