The Metaphysics of Religion: Lucian Blaga and Contemporary Philosophy
Michael S. Jones

About the Author :
Michael S. Jones is assistant professor of philosophy at Liberty University and associate editor for the Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies. He holds a PhD in philosophy of religion from Temple University and Master’s degrees in philosophy (West Chester University) and theology (Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary). He is coeditor of The Challenges of Multiculturalism in Central and Eastern Europe and has published articles on philosophy and religion in scholarly journals in the U.S. and Romania. He is the translator of Dr. Mircea Flonta’s entry on Blaga in the Rutledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy On-Line. Dr. Jones’s research on Blaga was sponsored by grants from the Fulbright Commission and Temple University’s Department of Religion. The majority of his research for this book was conducted at the same Transylvanian university where Blaga taught philosophy, Universtatea Babes-Bolyai.

This book introduces, explains, and applies the philosophy of one of the great thinkers of pre-Communist Eastern Europe. Blaga’s philosophy is broad, imaginative, and insightful, well worthy of the consideration of twenty-first-century readers.

Prior to the Second World War, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe boasted intellectuals who rivaled those of their western European counterparts. With the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, it has become feasible to investigate the thinkers who led these centers and who, were it not for the suppression of the communist regimes, might be as well known today as are the leaders of Western European thought.

One such intellectual who deserves Western discovery is the late Romanian philosopher Lucian Blaga (1895-1961). Prior to communism, Blaga was honored for his writings and was a leading Romanian thinker. Since the fall of communism, his works have been republished, and his reputation has enjoyed a tremendous revival. Mircea Eliade stated that Blaga is the most gifted and critical thinker in the history of Romanian philosophy.

The heart of Blaga’s work is expressed in fifteen books that unfold a philosophical system that includes a philosophy of philosophy, a detailed metaphysics, a unique epistemology, and a complementary philosophy of culture. He works out the implications of his system for philosophy of science, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of history, and other important areas of philosophical inquiry.

Blaga’s metaphysics postulates that the entire cosmos is the product of a single source. In contrast to traditional theistic and some Big Bang cosmologies, Blaga asserts that creation is ongoing, a continuing emission and recombination of myriads of differentials. The emission and combination of these occur in such a way as to prevent the differentials from re-creating their source and destabilizing existence. This view of cosmogenesis has implications that Blaga works out in the rest of his philosophy. These implications provide insights into phenomena such as the limits of human cognition, the source of culture similarities and differences, the mode of scientific progress, human creativity, and human aspiration to the transcendent.

Blaga’s insights anticipate movements in late twentieth-century philosophy such as the cultural and constructivist interpretation of knowledge, the revival of pragmatism, and the role of cognitive revolutions in science. The present volume is the first English exposition of Blaga’s philosophy; a philosophy that was avant-garde in its day and still deserves to be heard in ours.

ISBN 0-8386-4100-8, $52.50

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