This volume contains the most significant pieces of unpublished writing completed by Eric Voegelin during an important time of his career. Spanning the period from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, these selections supplement the body of work Voegelin published after the appearance of the first three volumes of Order and History in 1956 and 1957. The five texts included here are "What Is History?" "Anxiety and Reason," "The Eclipse of Reality," "The Moving Soul," and "The Beginning and the Beyond." In their introduction to the volume, Thomas A. Hollweck and Paul Caringella place these writings in their proper context and discuss the ways in which they reveal clues to the evolution of Voegelin's thought.
In "What Is History?" Voegelin considers the development of a transcendent structure of history while simultaneously rejecting the notion that history can have a universal meaning. "Anxiety and Reason" focuses on Voegelin's critically important theory of historiogenesis, which links events in pragmatic history with legendary and mythical events leading back to the beginning of the cosmic order. In "The Eclipse of Reality," Voegelin presents a critique of modernity by analyzing the work of Sartre, Schiller, Comte, and others. "The Moving Soul"—a "thought experiment" inspired by a remark Henry Margenau makes in The Nature of Physical Reality—attempts to reformulate the connections between physics and myth. The most important of these essays is "Me Beginning and the Beyond." Here Voegelin meditates on the universality of experience formed by the tension of existence under God.
Publication of these previously unpublished writings will enable scholars to trace the genesis of many of the concerns that occupied Voegelin during a period in which the conception of his main work was undergoing frequent and perhaps fundamental changes.