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A History of Religious Ideas (edition 1978)

by Mircea Eliade

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191262,829 (4.15)1
Member:Emilpop
Title:A History of Religious Ideas
Authors:Mircea Eliade
Info:U. Of Chicago Press (1978), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:religion, history

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A History of Religious Ideas: From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms (History of Religious Ideas) Vol.3 by Mircea Eliade (Author)

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When I first read the three volumes of Eliade's History of Religious Ideas I was a bit disappointed by the lack of generalization. It seemed to me that he focused far too much on mind-numbing details about religious practice and far too little on the sociological theory of religion, on the surrounding historical context and on comparative questions. But as I've grown older and read more in history, I've come to appreciate this aspect of Eliade's work. I'm quite sure that his omission of theoretical aspects is intentional. In Eliade's opinion, theorizing religion was to trivialize it. Consequently, to me this doesn't seem like a modern book, but there's a certain wisdom in Eliade's approach which should be rewarding if you take it in the right way.
2 vote thcson | Nov 16, 2011 |
Eliade points out in a salient remark that Muhammed is the only founder of a universal religion of which we have "a detailed biography" (p. 62); however, this is not to suggest that "the historicity of these sources is not always guaranteed" (p. 62 n. 1). The biography of Muhammed quickly emerged as a mythologized savior story. As his peaceful mission failed, Muhammed turned to violence as a way to spread the message of the Koran. He raided "Meccan caravans" and "forced" Jewish tribes to leave Medina (p. 74).
  gmicksmith | Jul 20, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliade, MirceaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Apostolos-Cappadona, DianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiltebeitel, AlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The terrible invasions of the Turko-Mongols - from the Huns in the fourth century to the time of Tamburlaine in the fourteenth - were inspired by the mythic model of the primitive hunter of Eurasia: the carnivore pursuing his game on the steppes.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226204057, Paperback)

This volume completes the immensely learned three-volume A History of Religious Ideas. Eliade examines the movement of Jewish thought out of ancient Eurasia, the Christian transformation of the Mediterranean area and Europe, and the rise and diffusion of Islam from approximately the sixth through the seventeenth centuries. Eliade's vast knowledge of past and present scholarship provides a synthesis that is unparalleled. In addition to reviewing recent interpretations of the individual traditions, he explores the interactions of the three religions and shows their continuing mutual influence to be subtle but unmistakable.

As in his previous work, Eliade pays particular attention to heresies, folk beliefs, and cults of secret wisdom, such as alchemy and sorcery, and continues the discussion, begun in earlier volumes, of pre-Christian shamanistic practices in northern Europe and the syncretistic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. These subcultures, he maintains, are as important as the better-known orthodoxies to a full understanding of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:30 -0400)

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