Algis Uždavinys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Algis Uždavinys
Algis Uždavinys-by Tamoliunas.jpg
Born(1962-04-26)26 April 1962
DiedJuly 25, 2010(2010-07-25) (aged 48)
OccupationPhilosopher, scholar
Academic background
Academic work
Main interestsMetaphysics, Esotericism, Symbolism, Mythology, Sufism, Greek Philosophy, Neoplatonism, Religious texts, Comparative religion
Notable ideasCritique of modern Classical scholarship; essential unity of Egyptian, Greek and Islamic mysticisms.

Algis Uždavinys (1962–2010) was a prolific Lithuanian philosopher and scholar. His work pioneered the hermeneutical comparative study of Egyptian and Greek religions, especially their esoteric relations to Semitic religions, and in particular the inner aspect of Islam (Sufism). His books have been published in Lithuanian, Russian, English and French, including translations of Plotinus, Frithjof Schuon and Ananda Coomaraswamy into Russian and Lithuanian.

Early life[edit]

Brought up in Druskininkai, by the Nemunas River in southern Lithuania, Uždavinys moved to Vilnius to pursue studies at the former State Art Institute of Lithuania, now Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts.[1]


Upon graduation he came in contact with the writings and authors of the Traditionalist or Perennialist school, and this influenced his comparative exegesis, notably his studies on Sufism, the Ancient Egyptian religion, and his assertion of the substantial continuity of Greek philosophical tradition from Pythagoras down to the latest Neoplatonic authors.[2] In this last claim he was expressly indebted to Pierre Hadot.[2]

Uždavinys was an active member of the editorial board of the journal Acta Orientalia Vilnensia[3] and head of the Department of Humanities at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Kaunas Faculty; as an art critic, philosopher and intellectual he was a prominent figure in Lithuanian cultural life. In 2008 he spent time as a research fellow at La Trobe University in Bendigo, Australia.[4]

He was a member of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies[5] and The Lithuanian Artists' Association, and a regular contributor to journals such as Sacred Web,[6] Vancouver, and Sophia,[7] Washington DC.


Uždavinys died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on 25 July 2010 in his native village of Kabeliai.[1]



  • The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy (World Wisdom, 2004) ISBN 978-0-941532-61-7. Introduction.
  • Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism (The Matheson Trust and Prometheus Trust, 2004) ISBN 978-1-898910-35-0. A free sizeable excerpt.
  • The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Enneads (World Wisdom, 2009) ISBN 978-1-935493-03-7.
  • Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity (Sophia Perennis, 2010) ISBN 978-1-59731-086-4
  • Ascent to Heaven in Islamic and Jewish Mysticism (The Matheson Trust, 2011) ISBN 978-1-908092-02-1. PDF excerpt
  • Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism (The Matheson Trust, 2011) ISBN 978-1-908092-07-6. PDF excerpt

Academic Monographs in Lithuanian[edit]

  • Labyrinth of Sources. Hermeneutical Philosophy and Mystagogy of Proclus, Vilnius: Lithuanian State Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Eurigmas, 2002. (ISBN 9986-523-88-5).
  • Hellenic Philosophy from Numenius to Syrianus, Vilnius: Lithuanian State Institute of Culture, Philosophy, and Arts, 2003. (ISBN 9986-638-40-2).
  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Kaunas: Ramduva. (ISBN 978-9955-524-06-9).
  • Hermes Trismegistus: The Way of Wisdom, Vilnius: Sophia, 2005. (ISBN 9986-9351-3X).


  • "From Homer to the Glorious Qur’an: Hermeneutical Strategies in the Hellenistic and Islamic Traditions," Sacred Web, vol. 11, 2003.
  • "The Egyptian Book of the Dead and Neoplatonic Philosophy," History of Platonism, Plato Redivivus, eds. Robert Berchman and John Finamore. New Orleans: University Press of the South, 2005.
  • "Chaldean Divination and the Ascent to Heaven," in Seeing with Different Eyes: Essays in Astrology and Divination, eds. Patrick Curry and Angela Voss, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kazimieras Seibutis, "In memoriam Algis Uždavinys", Acta Orientalia Vilnensia 9.2: 185–187.
  2. ^ a b See his Introduction to The Golden Chain.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-09-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ See Harry Oldmeadow "In Memoriam: Algis Uždavinys (1962-2010) and his Antipodean Sojourn," Sacred Web 27, 2011.
  5. ^ See also the obituary by J. Finamore International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, vol. 5, no. 1, 2011 , pp. 4–5(2).
  6. ^ "Home".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2011-09-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]