personal research, history, Saint Augustine, archaeology, modern Gnosticism, unsubstitutability
This article argues for the timeliness of Voegelin through five main aspects of his work – each of which can be considered, from the perspective of the contemporary mainstream, as rather untimely. The first concerns the need to stay not just coherent but personal in one’s research, as in the social, political and human sciences only personal work can produce meaningful results. Through this aspect, as well as the content of their findings, the article argues for parallels between the works of Voegelin and other key thinkers like Michel Foucault, René Girard, Roberto Calasso, Gregory Bateson, and Michel Henry. Other aspects concern the need for a historical perspective, fundamental to avoid decontextualization; the importance attributed to Saint Augustine, in contrast to Marx’s vision of history or Freud’s undermining of the personality; and the need to incorporate archaeology, in order to extend the historical horizon. Finally, the article claims that current developments in technology and science only underline the significance of the controversial but vital ‘modern Gnosticism’ thesis.