MAN'S WESTERN QUEST by Denis de Rougemont


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de Rougemont's role in the World Perspectives series is nothing less than an attempt to determine the fundamental differences on the highest plane- between East and West, and the even more difficult attempt to forecast the consequences and to propose reconciliation of these differences. Though the approach is comparative, the emphasis is overwhelmingly occidental. de Rougemont, in spite of his recognition of the machine as coeval force in Western history, puts the concept of the person foremost. Christianity itself, in his view, marked the final emergence of the person. The person renews and recreates the substance of history. The Oriental denial of the person, and the concomitant that God is either the all in existence or that God does not exist forms the basis for the entire Oriental view of reality and makes up both the source and essence of all conflict between East and West. de Rougemont's thinking has at times an Hegelian sweep, a Spenglerian grasp of archetypal forma and an unsweetened moral charge. But one is driven to wonder if the magnitude of presentation is warranted by what is actually new and productive in his statement. For the market this series has established, de Rougemont's book also appeals to the philosophic mind, to the readers of say Mumford and Toynbee.

Publisher: Harper