Patterns in Comparative Religion

Patterns in Comparative Religion

By (author) , Translated by , Introduction by

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Description

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 484 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 27.94mm | 521.63g
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • Lincoln, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0803267339
  • 9780803267336
  • 281,756

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.

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About Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade's works include the multivolume History of Religious Ideas.

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Review Text

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)

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