Concept

Traditionalist School (perennialism)

Summary
The Traditionalist or Perennialist School is a group of 20th- and 21st-century thinkers who believe in the existence of a perennial wisdom or perennial philosophy, primordial and universal truths which form the source for, and are shared by, all the major world religions. The early proponents of this school of thought are René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Frithjof Schuon. Other notable members include Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, William Stoddart, Jean-Louis Michon, Marco Pallis, and Huston Smith. According to the members of the Traditionalist School, also known as the Perennialist School, all major world religions are founded upon common primordial and universal metaphysical truths. The perspective of its authors is often referred to as philosophia perennis (perennial philosophy), which is both "absolute Truth and infinite Presence". Absolute Truth is "the perennial wisdom (sophia perennis) that stands as the transcendent source of all the intrinsically orthodox religions of humankind". Infinite Presence is "the perennial religion (religio perennis) that lives within the heart of all intrinsically orthodox religions." According to Frithjof Schuon, The term philosophia perennis, which has been current since the time of the Renaissance and of which neo-scholasticism made much use, signifies the totality of the primordial and universal truths — and therefore of the metaphysical axioms — whose formulation does not belong to any particular system. One could speak in the same sense of a religio perennis, designating by this term the essence of every religion; this means the essence of every form of worship, every form of prayer, and every system of morality, just as the sophia perennis is the essence of all dogmas and all expressions of wisdom. We prefer the term sophia to that of philosophia, for the simple reason that the second term is less direct and because it evokes in addition associations of ideas with a completely profane and all too often aberrant system of thought.
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