Eric Voegelin's works on race: a methodological analysis

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Ideas are a constituent part of the substance of any community. The quality of an idea is reflected in the quality of the community that it helps constitute. Fifty years ago, Eric Voegelin discussed the origins, nature, and content of the race-ideas in their role as formative intellectual and emotional foundations of Nazi Germany. Because they have not been translated, and because the editions are rare, his major works on the topic, Rasse und Staat and Die Rassenidee in der Geistesgeschichte von Ray bis Carus have remained relatively inaccessible, and therefore, neglected. Eric Voegelin's Works on Race does four things. First, it presents the basic thought of Voegelin's works to the English reader. Second, for those familiar with his post-war writings, it offers a background to a clearer understanding of his mature work. Third, it presents a series of analytical tools, extracted from Voegelin's early thought, that aid in understanding political phenomena in general, and the ideological claims of racism in particular. Fourth, it argues that by understanding the nature of the ideas that inform the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual life of a group of people, we arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of the group and its members. Specifically, comprehending the logic of the race- ideas is useful for understanding their role in the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany, and for understanding the nature of totalitarianism itself.
Bibliography: p. 230-235.
Heilke, T. W. (1985). Eric Voegelin's works on race: a methodological analysis (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/23112