Reviews of Against the Modern World

Scholarly reviews

  • History: Review of New Books (Fall 2004), p. 39. Jeff Bloodworth.
  • Cahiers du monde russe 47 (December 2005), pp 971-73. Marlene Laruelle.
  • Reviews in Religion and Theology 12 (2005), pp. 397-99. Kenneth Wilson.
  • American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 22, no. 2 (Spring 2005), pp. 108-110. Ali Hassan Zaidi.
  • H-France Review vol. 6 (April 2006), No. 43. Paul Mazgaj.
  • Journal of World History 17, no 2 (2006), pp. 237-39. Colin Beech.
  • ARR - idéhistorisk tidsskrift no 1, 2006, pp 114-16. Knut Egil Steffens.
  • Aries 6, no. 1 (2006), pp. 98-105. Xavier Accart.
  • Esoterica 8 (2006), pp. 186-90. Arthur Versluis.
  • Democratiya 7 (December 2006). Peter Ryley.
  • Scholarly reviews forthcoming
    • Archives de sciences sociales des religions. Jean-Pierre Laurant
    • Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. Omid Safi.
    • Patterns of Prejudice (2007). Andreas Umland.
    • Politica Hermetica (2006). Jean-Pierre Laurant.


Longer comments
  • "Against the Modern World is a genuinely startling book. In this massively researched and clearly written study, Mark Sedgwick seeks nothing less than to provide an alternative intellectual history of the twentieth century. Time and again, he offers unexpected connections, stresses the importance of forgotten or underestimated thinkers, and throws new light on the history of esoteric thought and religion. A wonderful contribution."–Philip Jenkins, author of The Next Christendom: the Coming of Global Christianity
  • "Mark Sedgwick shows how Traditionalism is a major influence on religion, politics, even international relations. Famous scholars, theosophists and masons, Gnostic ascetics and Sufi sheikhs, jostle with neo-fascists, terrorists and Islamists in their defection from a secular, materialist West. As a study of esotericism and Western images of the East, Against the Modern World compares in importance with Edward Said's monumental Orientalism. Likewise, it deserves the widest readership."–Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, author of Black Sun and The Occult Roots of Nazism
  • “This is an invaluable contribution to an ongoing and increasingly sophisticated discussion about modernity, the professional study of religion, and the religions themselves. What sets Sedgwick's narrative apart from most all previous accounts is his remarkable historical sweep (from the Italian Renaissance to today), his impressive grasp of the Muslim world, and, perhaps most of all, the humane grace with which he treats his historical subjects. Here they emerge with both their hearts and their warts intact, neither as intellectual fathers to slay nor as cultural gods to put on the proverbial pedestal, but as human beings struggling with some of the deepest religious problems and promises of our modern world. The result is a reading experience through which one comes to realize, with something of a start, that their story happens also to be ours.”–Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism
  • “Une étude très sérieuse, remarquablement documentée sur certains points, concernant au premier chef, Guénon, Schuon et les tenants de ce néo-traditionalisme qu'ils ont inspiré et qui a fleuri entre les deux guerres mondiales pour s'épanouir dans les années cinquante jusqu'à nos jours. Le ton est agréable, maniant l'ironie avec à propos et alternant les analyses de fond avec des récits d'interview et de rencontres telles qu'un journaliste anglo-saxon pourrait les présenter à un public lettré.”–Politica Hermetica
  • “Le livre de Mark Sedgwick offre en effet une analyse approfondie de ce courant intellectuel si peu connu. Ce regard original nourri d'une connaissance étendue de l'islam et du monde musulman ne peut qu' tre bénéfique à une prise de conscience de l'impact du traditionalisme hors des pays occidentaux.”–Cahiers du monde russe
 was established June 19, 2000.
This page was last revised February 4, 2007 .
Comments © Mark Sedgwick, 1998, 2000-2006