Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (Tamil: ,nanda Kenti? Kum?rasw?m?; 22 August 1877 9 September 1947) was a Ceylonese Tamil philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art, particularly art history and symbolism, and an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West. In particular, he is described as "the groundbreaking theorist who was largely responsible for introducing ancient Indian art to the West."
He was described by Heinrich Zimmer as "That noble scholar upon whose shoulders we are still standing." While serving as a curator to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the latter part of his life, he devoted his work to the explication of traditional metaphysics and symbolism. His writings of this period are filled with references to Plato, Plotinus, Clement, Philo, Augustine, Aquinas, Shankara, Eckhart and other mystics. When asked what he was foremostly, he said that he was a "metaphysician", referring to the concept of perennial philosophy, or sophia perennis.
Along with René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon, Coomaraswamy is regarded as one of the three founders of Perennialism, also called the Traditionalist School. Several articles by Coomaraswamy on the subject of Hinduism and the perennial philosophy were published posthumously in the quarterly journal Studies in Comparative Religion alongside articles by Schuon and Guénon among others.
Although he agrees with Guénon on the universal principles . . . more