William Wilson Quinn
William Wilson Quinn is an alumnus of the University of Arizona (B.A. 1970 in Literature and Writing). In 1978 he earned the degree of M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, where he was a protégé of Prof. Mircea Eliade, and thereafter earned the Ph.D. (1981) from the University of Chicago’s Humanities Division in the philosophia perennis. In 1989 he earned the degree of J.D. from Arizona State University, College of Law.
From 1973 to 1978 Mr. Quinn was employed by the Theosophical Society in America, which he joined in the year 1969. He was first the Assistant Editor and thereafter the Editor of The American Theosophist (later Quest magazine), and an Associate Editor of the Theosophical Publishing House in Wheaton. Since his first publication in 1971 after leaving university, he has published three books, one being a revision of his doctoral dissertation in 1997 titled The Only Tradition about the philosophia perennis in the writings of Ananda K Coomaraswamy and René Guénon, and the last in 2020 titled The Chela’s Handbook.
From 1982 to 1987, Mr. Quinn was an ethnohistorian for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, applying his graduate training in tribal religion to anthropological and ethnohistorical inquiries into American Indian groups seeking Federal acknowledgment. Following law school, Mr. Quinn was in private practice for over ten years in Phoenix, specializing in Federal Indian law, first as a partner in the firm of Shea & Wilks and later as Of Counsel in the firm of Snell & Wilmer.
For the last six years of his legal career, Mr. Quinn was the Field Solicitor for the Office of the Solicitor, Phoenix Office, in the Department of the Interior. In that position he represented various bureaus and services of the Department in Arizona and throughout the American Southwest, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In his years as both a Federal attorney and as a tribal attorney representing federally recognized Indian tribes and Indian people, he appeared in virtually every level of judicial forum of the State of Arizona and courts of the United States.
In addition to his three books, Mr. Quinn is the author of more than 60 articles published throughout his careers on comparative religion, spirituality, and metaphysics, as well as articles on American Indian history, culture, and law published in a wide assortment of national academic journals and law reviews. He has been both a lecturer for the Theosophical Society and a guest lecturer at several universities, and has appeared on the faculty of numerous seminars and workshops in all these subject areas. Upon his retirement in 2012, Mr. Quinn has continued to be active in writing and lecturing on various aspects of the philosophia perennis, both nationally and internationally.
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