Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2020
Philosophical Turn Towards Religion
Antaios: A Mythical and Symbolic Hermeneutics
The aim of my research is to define the religious hermeneutics that can be identified as the specific core of Antaios (1959–71), the German journal directed by the historian of religions Mircea Eliade and by the writer and philosopher Ernst Jünger. Drawing on their insights, we will focus on the philosophical-religious interpretation of Antaios contents: the so-called “mythical-symbolic hermeneutics” is probably the most interesting theoretical theme connected to the Weltanschauung of Antaios. This cultural journal could embody a counter-philosophical perspective that is at the same time intrinsic to Western speculation. This position has repeatedly emerged in many phases of our cultural history. I refer here to mythical-symbolic thought, characterized by an analogical interpretation of the world, whose structure is considered a stratification of truth levels that are complementary ontological levels of reality. This tradition sees reality as a specific kind of totality that allows human perception to take place through the structures of myth and symbols. The theoretical unity of the project is rooted in the mythical-symbolic tradition that, starting from the religious and esoteric pre-philosophical meditations, spans Platonic thought, the various neoplatonisms, passes through medieval mysticism and alchemy, reappears in Romanticism and is revealed in the twentieth century by the reflections of the “thinkers of Tradition.” With this paper I would like to highlight the main topics that can be identified from this hermeneutics: speculations about symbol, myth, coincidentia oppositorum (coincidence of opposites), archetypes, and ontological pluralism. These are at the core of this paradigm.