A History of Religious Ideas: From Muhammad to the Age of by Mircea Eliade

By Mircea Eliade

This quantity completes the immensely realized three-volume A heritage of non secular rules. Eliade examines the stream of Jewish proposal out of historic Eurasia, the Christian transformation of the Mediterranean zone and Europe, and the increase and diffusion of Islam from nearly the 6th during the 17th centuries. Eliade's large wisdom of prior and current scholarship offers a synthesis that's extraordinary. as well as reviewing fresh interpretations of the person traditions, he explores the interactions of the 3 religions and indicates their carrying on with mutual impression to be sophisticated yet unmistakable.

As in his past paintings, Eliade will pay specific cognizance to heresies, folks ideals, and cults of mystery knowledge, resembling alchemy and sorcery, and keeps the dialogue, started in previous volumes, of pre-Christian shamanistic practices in northern Europe and the syncretistic culture of Tibetan Buddhism. those subcultures, he continues, are as very important because the better-known orthodoxies to a whole realizing of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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Despite his rejection of Manichaeanism, he still retains, as we shall see, a materialist conception of the "evil nature" of man, the consequence of original sin that is transmitted by sexuality. As to Neoplatonism, its influence has been decisive. For Augustine, man is "a soul who is caught in a body. ' '6 But it is his sensual temperament and his persistent but largely unsuccessful struggle against concupiscence that have contributed to his inordinate exaltation of divine grace and the hardening of his ideas on predestination (cf.

16-17. Slavic paganism 31 that he threw at wicked spirits. One Germanic tribe identified Perun as Thor. 63 The oak was consecrated to him, as to the other thunder gods of pre-Christian Europe. According to the Byzantine historian Procopius, cocks were sacrificed to him and, on the occasion of the great festivals, bulls, bears, or goats . In Christian folklore, Perun has been replaced by St. Elijah, imagined as an old man with a white beard, traversing the Heavens in his fiery chariot. 64 According to Roman lakobson,65 he derives from the common Indo-European pantheon, and can be compared to Varul)a.

They travel over the mountains of Heaven and descend to the earth on chariots. The majority of the chthonian divinities are goddesses. The Earth Mother is called Zemen mate by the Letts and Zemyna by the Lithuanians. The latter also recognize the "Master of the Earth, " Zemepatis. But the number of "Mothers" is considerable: for example, the Mother of the Forest (Meza mate; Lithuanian, Medeine) mUltiplies herself by emanation into a Mother of Gardens, a Mother of Fields, of Berries, of Flowers, of Mushrooms, and so on.

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