In the Face of The Absolute




If there is any body of writings from a living thinker that speak so directly to our contemporary spiritual condition, it is the writings of Frithjof Schuon. This newest translation, In the Face of the Absolute, is yet further confirmation that a voice is crying in our wilderness which we ignore at our peril. The basic theme of the book is that delicate yet central question of the truth of orthodox religions which appear to be incompatible or seem to contradict each other. To affirm the truth of each religion in its richness and diversity and at the same time to affirm with equal force that religion’s uniqueness in the divine economy obviously calls for a mind of great subtlety and sensitivity. Frithjof Schuon as a master of metaphysical reflection is one of the very few, in the modern age, whom one can trust to have such attributes.

In reading the essays contained in this collection, it will be noted that the author has in view, not traditional information pure and simple so much as intrinsic doctrinal explana­tions; that is to say, the expression of truths of which the traditional dialectics are the vestitures; hence it is not as a historian of ideas, but as a spokesman of the philosophia perennis that he expounds diverse formulations of the truth that is everywhere and always the same.


Intellectually rigorous in the highest degree, this newest work of Schuon continues the doctrinal focus of his earlier books….. There is no other voice like that of Schuon. –Arthur Verslui


Frithj of Schuon

(Shaykh ‘Īsa Nūr al-Dīn)


Frithjof Schuon was born in Basle, Switzerland. At sixteen, he interrupted his classical education to earn a living as a designer in Paris, where he studied Arabic and Arabic calligraphy. Subsequent visits to North Africa and the East, prompted by his profound interest in the great religions of the world, resulted in many contacts with Sufi, Hindu and Buddhist authorities, in addition to important links he established with representatives of the spiritual legacy of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; and two visits to the North American Plains Indians (he was officially adopted by the Lakota tribe) won him a number of close friends, particularly among the Sioux and the Crow.

Of his first book, The Transcendent Unity of Religions, which has been published in six different languages, T. S. Eliot wrote: “I have met with no more impressive work in the comparative study of Oriental and Occidental religion.” In addition to his books, he was a regular contributor to Studies in Comparative Religion, and also contributed to Etudes Traditionnells for over twenty years.


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