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Titus Burckhardt

Titus Burckhardt (Ibrahim Izz al-Din after his Islamic name), a German Swiss, was born in Florence, Italy in 1908 and died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1984.[1] He devoted all his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition.

He was an eminent member of the "Traditionalist School" of twentieth-century authors. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Comparative Religion along with other prominent members of the school.[2]


  • Life 1
  • Bibliography 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Burckhardt was the scion of a patrician family of Basel. He was the great-nephew of the art-historian Jacob Burckhardt and the son of the sculptor Carl Burckhardt. Titus Burckhardt was a contemporary of Frithjof Schuon – leading exponent of traditionalist thought in the twentieth century – and the two spent their early school days together in Basel around the time of the First World War. This was the beginning of an intimate friendship and harmonious intellectual and spiritual relationship that was to last a lifetime.

Burckhardt was, as his grandfather, a connoisseur of Islamic art, architecture and civilisation. He compiled and published work from the Sufi masters: Ibn Arabi (1165–1240), Abd-al-karim Jili (1365–1424) and Muhammad al-Arabi al-Darqawi (1760–1823).


Books of Titus Burckhardt:[3]

Books in German

  • Land am Rande der Zeit. Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1941.
  • Schweizer Volkskunst/Art Populaire Suisse. Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1941.
  • Tessin (Das Volkserbe der Schweiz, Band I). Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1943.
  • Vom Sufitum—Einführung in die Mystik des Islams. Munich: Otto Wilhelm Barth-Verlag, 1953.
  • Vom Wesen heiliger Kunst in den Weltreligionen. Zurich: Origo-Verlag, 1958.
  • Siena, Stadt der Jungfrau. Olten (Switzerland) and Freiburg-im-Breisgau (Germany): Urs Graf Verlag, 1958.
  • Tessin (Das Volkserbe der Schweiz, Band I [Greatly enlarged edition]). Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1959.
  • Alchemie, Sinn- und Weltbild. Olten and Freiburg-im-Breisgau: Walter-Verlag, 1960.
  • Fes, Stadt des Islam. Olten and Freiburg-im-Breisgau: Urs Graf Verlag, 1960.
  • Chartres und die Geburt der Kathedrale. Lausanne: Urs Graf Verlag, 1962.
  • Von wunderbaren Büchern. Olten and Freiburg: Urs Graf Verlag, 1963.
  • Lachen und Weinen. Olten and Freiburg: Urs Graf Verlag, 1964.
  • Die Jagd. Olten and Freiburg: Urs Graf Verlag, 1964.
  • Der wilde Westen. Olten and Freiburg: Urs Graf Verlag, 1966.
  • Die maurische Kultur in Spanien. Munich: Callwey, 1970.
  • Marokko, Westlicher Orient: ein Reiseführer. Olten and Freiburg: Walter-Verlag, 1972.
  • Spiegel der Weisheit: Texte zu Wissenschaft und Kunst. Munich: Diederichs, 1992.
  • Scipio und Hannibal: Kampf um das Mittelmeer by Friedrich Donauer. Cover design and six illustrations by Titus Burckhardt. Olten and Freiburg: Walter-Verlag, 1939.
  • Wallis (Das Volkserbe der Schweiz, Band 2) by Charles Ferdinand Ramuz. Translated and edited by Titus Burckhardt. Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1956.
  • Zeus und Eros: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen des Bildhauers Carl Burckhardt (1878–1923), edited by Titus Burckhardt. Basel: Urs Graf Verlag, 1956.
  • Das Ewige im Vergänglichen by Frithjof Schuon. Translation from the French by Titus Burckhardt of Regards sur les Mondes anciens. Weilheim: Otto Wilhelm Barth-Verlag, 1970.
  • Athos, der Berg des Schweigens by Philip Sherrard. Translation from the English by Titus Burckhardt of Athos, the Mountain of Silence. Lausanne and Freiburg: Urs Graf Verlag, 1959.

Books in French

  • Clef spirituelle de l’astrologie musulmane. Paris: Les Éditions Traditionnelles, 1950; Milan, Archè, 1964.
  • Du Soufisme. Lyons: Derain, 1951.
  • Principes et Méthodes de l’art sacré. Lyons: Derain, 1958.
  • Introduction aux Doctrines ésotériques de l’Islam. Paris: Dervy-Livres, 1969.
  • Alchimie (translated from the English edition by Madame J. P. Gervy). Basle: Fondation Keimer, 1974; Milan: Archè, 1979.
  • Symboles: Recueil d’essais. Milan: Archè, 1980; Paris: Dervy-Livres, 1980.
  • Science moderne et Sagesse traditionnelle. Milan: Archè, 1985; Paris: Dervy-Livres, 1985.
  • L’Art de l’Islam. Paris: Sindbad, 1985.
  • Chartres et la Naissance de la Cathédrale (translated from the German by Genia Catalá). Milan: Archè, 1995.
  • Fès, Ville de l’Islam (translated from the German by Armand Jacoubovitch), in preparation.

Books in English

  • An Introduction to Sufi Doctrine (translated from the French by D. M. Matheson). Lahore: Ashraf, 1959; Wellingborough, England: Thorsons, 1976.
  • Art of Islam: Language and Meaning (translated from the French by Peter Hobson). London: Islamic Festival Trust Ltd, 1976.
  • Siena, City of the Virgin (translated from the German by Margaret Brown). Oxford: University Press, 1960.
  • Famous Illuminated Manuscripts (partial translation of Von wunderbaren Büchern). Olten and Lausanne: Urs Graf Verlag, 1964.
  • Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and Sacred Art, translated by William Stoddart. Cambridge, England: Quinta Essentia, 1987; Albany, NY: SUNY, 1987.
  • Fez, City of Islam (translated from the German by William Stoddart). Cambridge, England: Islamic Texts Society, 1992.
  • Chartres and the Birth of the Cathedral,translated by William Stoddart. Ipswich, England: Golgonooza Press, 1995; Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom Books, 1995.
  • The Universality of Sacred Art, a précis of Sacred Art in East and West by Ranjit Fernando, published in The Unanimous Tradition, Institute of Traditional Studies. Colombo, Sri Lanka: 1999
  • Moorish Culture in Spain (new edition, translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa and William Stoddart). Louisville, Kentucky: Fons Vitae, 1999.
  • Sacred Art in East and West (translated from the French by Lord Northbourne). Bedfont, Middlesex, England: Perennial Books, 1967; Louisville, Kentucky: Fons Vitae, 2001; Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom Books, 2001.
  • Alchemy, Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul (translated from the German by William Stoddart). London: Stuart and Watkins, 1967; Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 1972; Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books, 1986; Louisville, Kentucky: Fons Vitae, 2001.
  • Mystical Astrology according to Ibn ‘Arabî (translated from the French by Bulent Rauf). Sherbourne, England: Beshara, 1977; Louisville, Kentucky: Fons Vitae, 2002.
  • The Essential Titus Burckhardt: Reflections on Sacred Art, Faiths, and Civilizations (The Perennial Philosophy), Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom Books, 2003
  • The Foundations of Christian Art (Sacred Art in Tradition Series), Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom Books; Ill edition, 2006

See also


  1. ^ "Titus Burckhardt: Biography, Bibliography, Resources". World wisdom. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Titus Burckhardt Author Page". Studies in Comparative Religion. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Titus Burckhardt Bibliography". Retrieved 2014-08-06. 

External links

  • Publications by and about Titus Burckhardt in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library
  • Books by Titus Burckhardt (Fons Vitae publishing)
  • Works of Titus Burckhardt in Hungarian
  • Titus Burckhardt resource page (at World Wisdom): excerpts, detailed biography, photos, extensive bibliography, additional links
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