First, Angelico has prepared new editions (freshly typeset) of a pair of superb books by Jean Hani (1917-2012), namely, The Divine Liturgy: Insights Into Its Mystery (published in French in 1981 and in English translation in 2008) and The Symbolism of the Christian Temple (published in French in 1978 and in English translation in 2007). The two books clearly belong together: while there is no duplication of content, there is a kind of double-helix relationship between them.
Here are their tables of contents:
|TOC of The Divine Liturgy: Insight Into Its Mystery|
|TOC of The Symbolism of the Christian Temple|
The books are graced with many diagrams and photographs that illustrate the points made in the text. Hani conscientious connects universal axioms or postulates to concrete examples of them, particularly from the Middle Ages, so that he does not seem to be spinning ideas out of his fantasy. One cannot fail to notice that these books constitute a subtle critique of modern liturgical reform and the shallow and shifting foundation on which it rests, as compared with the massive pillars that support the liturgical rites of East and West to which he continually refers.
Some sample pages:
Turning to Jean Borella (b. 1930), a retired professor of metaphysics and the history of ancient and medieval philosophy at the University of Nancy II, I am afraid it will be difficult to do any justice to his elaborate and challenging book (or rather, two books in one): The Crisis of Religious Symbolism and Symbolism & Reality, in never-before-published translations by G. John Champoux.
The reason I put this book together with the Jean Hani is that readers of the one author are definitely going to be interested in the other. They both attend closely to "mythocosmology" and the way in which reality is not only understood through but even structured and articulated by the story that a culture tells about it (this may sound relativistic but it isn't, at least not in the hands of Hani and Borella, who combine realist metaphysics with linguistics, hermeneutics, and symbology).
Here is the table of contents -- a formidable enough outline of this hugely ambitious work.
Lovers of symbols and chants, check out the Hani books. Students of modern and contemporary philosophy, make sure you add Borella to your list.