Not Yet the Twilight

Cloth $30; Paper $20
Translated by Dan and Una Farrelly, 312 pages, 5½" x 8½", index

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Not Yet the Twilight

An Autobiography 1945–1964, Vol. II

Pieper, Josef

Volume 2 of Josef Pieper’s three-part autobiography is here presented for the first time in English translation. The volume represents not just a simple continuation of a seamless story. The first volume dealt with Pieper’s life from his birth in 1904 to the time of World War 2. The current volume deals with the post-war years, 1945–1964, offering a personal documentation of the institutional rubble through which an emerging academic and philosopher had to find his way. This included finding work, re-establishing himself in the family home, completing his academic education, and beginning to teach philosophy in a climate of despair and disillusionment.

In this context, the quintessential Pieper emerges. His positive philosophy of being, firmly based on Plato and Thomas Aquinas, finds extraordinary resonance with students, who flock to his lectures in surprising numbers — seeking and finding a positive way forward. His dedication to training teachers sees him declining higher academic posts in Germany in favor of work which, though less lucrative and more obscure, he considered more fruitful. These years are also marked by his fiercely independent stance over against the Catholic hierarchy — despite his staunch adherence to the tradition values of Christianity.

His popularity as a philosopher and teacher quickly spread to America, where he was invited to teach at famous universities. His fame led to further travels — to Switzerland, England, France, Spain, India, China, Saigon, and Thailand. Such travels enriched his thinking and nourished the open-mindedness of the Western philosopher.