This volume of The Collected Works contains essays published by Voegelin between 1929 and 1933, the period between the publication of his first book, On the Form of the American Mind, Hitler's rise to power, and Voegelin's two books analyzing the explosive race issues posed by National Socialism. The essays herein reflect the intellectual and political tumult of the period and their author's maturing understanding of political reality as he moved away from positivism and Kelsen's ""Pure Theory of Law"" toward a more refined and open philosophical stance. The heart of this shift is signaled by his emphasis on philosophical anthropology and his stress on the decisive importance of the moral substance basic to political communities. The topics of the essays are grouped around major themes in sociological theory, political science, and the theory of law. They illuminate the theoretical and practical impact of Voegelin's experiences in America as he increasingly engages European theories of state, especially the solidarism of leading French and German scholars. In content these essays range from pragmatic questions, including American theories of property, economic transactions, and due process of law to Austrian constitutional reforms. Voegelin explores the technically complex speculative matters surrounding sovereignty and law, Max Weber's science, and the spiritual form of Europe. He analyzes Kant's understanding of moral duty and the meaning of solidarity as the substance of democratic society. Through these discourses, readers are provided clues about how the theme of divine transcendence increasingly finds expression during this crucial early stage of Voegelin's scholarly life. Thus, these studies mark the early path Voegelin took in making his arduous journey from legal scholar to philosophical political scientist. They display his increasingly resolute devotion - against challenges both existential and urgently political - to a growing insight into what it means to be fully human as he gropes his way toward an eventual philosophy of politics and history sufficient to amplify that noble insight.
Thomas W. Heilke is Associate Professor of Political Science and Distinguished Lecturer in Western Civilization at the University of Kansas. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 7: Published Essays, 1922-1928 (University of Missouri Press). John von Heyking is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Lethbridge in Canada and the author of Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World (University of Missouri Press).