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Patterns in Comparative Religion

Patterns in Comparative Religion

Paperback

By (author) Mircea Eliade, Translated by Rosemary Sheed, Introduction by John Clifford Holt

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  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Format: Paperback | 484 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 201mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 1 November 1996
  • Publication City/Country: Lincoln
  • ISBN 10: 0803267339
  • ISBN 13: 9780803267336
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 162,985

Product description

"An important and quite beautiful book". ("Library Journal"). "[Eliade] throws a searching and humbling light on our modern fragmented existence". ([London] "Times Literary Supplement"). "Treatment of such subjects as the meaning of the sacred, sun and moon worship, water symbolism, sacred stones, fertility cults, the earth mother, symbols of regeneration and the myth of eternal renewal, will interest the general reader as well as the scholar". ("New York Times"). "It is doubtful that one could encounter a more impressive work of scholarship and insight...All serious students of religion would derive enormous profit from the reading of this work". ("Kirkus"). In this era of increased knowledge the essence of religious phenomena eludes the psychologists, sociologists, linguists, and other specialists because they do not study it as religious. According to Mircea Eliade, they miss the one irreducible element in religious phenomena - the element of the sacred. Eliade abundantly demonstrates universal religious experience and shows how humanity's effort to live within a sacred sphere has manifested itself in myriad cultures from ancient to modern times; how certain beliefs, rituals, symbols, and myths have, with interesting variations, persisted. Mircea Eliade's works include the multivolume "History of Religious Ideas". John C. Holt is a professor of religion at Bowdoin College and the author of "The Religious World of Kirti Sri: Buddhism, Art, and Politics of Late Medieval Sri Lanka".

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Author information

Mircea Eliade's works include the multivolume "History of Religious Ideas."John C. Holt is a professor of religion at Bowdoin College and the author of "The Religious World of Kirti Sri: Buddhism, Art, and Politics of Late Medieval Sri Lanka."

Editorial reviews

It is doubtful that one could encounter a more impressive work of scholarship and insight in the field of primitive religion than the present work. An excellent translation of a work composed by a foremost authority in the field of comparative religion, who is a member of the Orthodox Church, this volume aims to acquaint the reader with "the labyrinthine complexity of religious data, their basic patterns and the variety of cultures they reflect". In preparation for another work dealing with further developments, this book restricts itself to a study of hierophanics at different cosmic levels (sky, water, earth, stones), biological hierophanics, local hierophanics and myths and symbols. They are not studied in any isolated fashion, however, nor is there any trace of positivism or rationalism implicit in the author's treatment. He insists that religious phenomena must be studied primarily on their own plane of reality and not reductively in terms of economics or psychoanalysis if the study is to be truly scientific. The presentation is a model of scholarship, clarity and order. Bibliographies are appended to each chapter and Indices at the end. The information contained in the book about sky gods, sun worship, water symbolism, fertility rites, sacred places and the like is in itself a reason for reading the book. More important, however, is the brilliant insight into the nature of religious phenomena afforded by the author's approach. All serious students of religion would derive enormous profit from the reading of this work. (Kirkus Reviews)

Back cover copy

Eliade abundantly demonstrates universal religious experience and shows how humanity's effort to live within a sacred sphere has manifested itself in myriad cultures from ancient to modern times; how certain beliefs, rituals, symbols, and myths have, with interesting variations, persisted.