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The Way Of Being : Polytheism And The Western Knowledge System

Edward P. Butler

The success of Western powers in the Modern era has enabled the Western civilizational perspective and its self-understanding to present itself to the rest of the world, not as one perspective among others, but as the universal and definitive human perspective and as the culmination of the world’s intellectual and spiritual development according to principles supposedly objective and self-evident. The hegemony of this civilizational perspective makes it imperative that the basic elements of the Western paradigm of thought referenced by Western geopolitical power as the source of its legitimacy be grasped and critiqued. This book, using as its basis a relatively standard sequence of works seen as comprising the ‘Western Canon’, seeks to provide the foundation for such awareness, both to appreciate the wisdom in this intensely contested tradition as well as recognizing its hazards.

Edward P. Butler received his doctorate in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research in 2004 for his dissertation, “The Metaphysics of Polytheism in Proclus”. Since then, he has published regularly in academic journals and edited volumes, primarily on Platonism, the polytheistic philosophy of religion, and the theologies of several polytheistic traditions. From 2014 to 2019, he was the co-editor of an independent academic journal, Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork, and presently serves on the advisory board of the journal Oscillations: Non-Standard Experiments in Anthropology, the Social Sciences, and Cosmology. A practicing polytheist, he promotes the understanding of polytheism and the preservation, restoration and revival of polytheistic traditions around the globe as the director of the Center for Polytheism Studies at INDICA. More information about his work is available at his site,