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In search of the timeless wisdom : an inquiry into the ecological implications of the loss of tradition in Western civilization


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Malyon-Bein, Angela Eugenie 2001 , 'In search of the timeless wisdom : an inquiry into the ecological implications of the loss of tradition in Western civilization', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis examines the 'way of thinking' that dominates the modern worldview,
which has been, it is argued, responsible for the ecological crisis. 'Modernism' -
which includes scientism, rationalism, humanism, and psychologism - is being
universalized and applied throughout the world, largely by means of
the Western-led process of globalization. The thesis traces the development
of this thinking from its roots in early Christianity, through Scholasticism, the
Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment,
to the present day myth of material progress and growth.
It is argued that predominant philosophical and practical solutions to the
ecological crisis are limited since they are constructed within a conceptual
framework which is part of the problem. The modem worldview represents
a loss of traditional wisdom. 'Traditionalism' — or the sophia perennis —
identifies the crisis as primarily a spiritual crisis. This timeless wisdom, which
is found within all traditional religions, is investigated. The thesis notes the
demise of this wisdom within Western Christianity during the Scientific
Revolution, and identifies Islam as an example of a civilization which
endeavoured to retain the restraining influence of the sophia perennis within its
The thesis concludes by arguing that a metanoia — a transformation of
consciousness leading to a change of thinking — urgently needs to occur if
we are to acquire the means by which we can solve the ecological crisis.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Malyon-Bein, Angela Eugenie
Keywords: Tradition (Philosophy), Ecology, Civilization, Western, Human ecology
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2001 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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