The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion

Copertina anteriore
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1959 - 256 pagine
This is one of my favorite books. Renowned anthropologist and historian of religion Mircea Eliade attempts to describe how religious people experience the sacred. He also gives a fascinating explanation of primitive religions. The popular image of the religion of primitive peoples is pretty unflattering: they worship rocks, animals, and whatnot; their rituals are just attempts to extract favors from imaginary spirits; their myths are laughably bad attempts at scientific explanations, etc. Eliade shows that these are complete misunderstandings. Primitive people don't worship natural objects, but they believe that natural objects can be revelations of the sacred, and that one can worship the gods through them. Primitive men certainly do want help from their gods (who wouldn't?), but they are also driven by what Eliade calls an 'ontological nostalgia', a desire to live in the presence of the gods who are the preeminently real and the source of all being. Nor do their myths seem so silly when one understands the function they serve and the universal symbolism they employ.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

One of the essential works of religion that can supplement any standard textbook on comparative or world religions: this is a classic text that students should read. Leggi recensione completa

LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - hrissliss - LibraryThing

One of the seminal books of religious scholarship (not theology, but the study of religion as religion). Because its seminal, some of it is pretty basic, and other parts don't quite work cross ... Leggi recensione completa

Indice

Sacred Time and Myths
68
The Sacredness of Nature and Cosmic Religion
116
Human Existence and Sanctified Life
162
CHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY The History of Religions
216
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
234
Copyright

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Informazioni sull'autore (1959)


Mircea Eliade was chairman of the department of the history of religions at the University of Chicago. Among his many books are The Myth of the Eternal Reunion, Patterns in Comparative Religion, Birth and Rebirth, and Yoga: Immorality and Freedom.

Informazioni bibliografiche