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Diagnosing Modernity: Eric Voegelin’s Impact on the Worldview of Walker Percy

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The works of Walker Percy have long been of interest to Catholic intellectuals, philosophers, and theologians. In particular, his social and cultural critique of modernity has found a wide reception. This article traces the influence of Eric Voegelin on Walker Percy, especially on his later fiction. Although previous scholarship has identified Voegelin’s influence on Percy, it has failed to appreciate its breadth. This article corrects previous scholarship and presents an understanding of this influence by comparing both figures’ analysis of language, scientism, and modern Gnosticism.

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Affiliations: 1: Saint Louis University


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