1st Edition

Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade

By Douglas Allen Copyright 1998
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    384 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This multidisciplinary study is the first book devoted entirely to the critical interpretation of the writings of Mircea Eliade on myth. One of the most popular and influential historians and theorists of myth, Eliade argued that all myth is religious. Douglas Allen critically interprets Eliade's theories of religion, myth, and symbolism and analyses many of the controversial issues in Eliade's treatment of myth including whether Eliade's approach deals adequately with the relationship between myth and history and how Eliade's anti-modern perspective makes sense of myth in modern culture. A valuable resource for scholars in religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, and history, this book enables readers not only to understand "archaic" and "traditional" religious phenomena, but also to make sense of repressed and sublimated myth dimensions in modern secular life.

    Series Editor's Foreword Preface 1. Eliade's Antireductionism A. The Need for a New Procedure B. The Irreducibility of the Sacred a. Romanian Roots b. Antireductionist Claims c. No Purely Religious Phenomena 2. Reductionistic Critics and Eliade A. All Approaches are Reductionist B. Nonreductionism Begs the Question C. Technical Analysis of Reductionism and Eliade's Theory a. Reduction as Simplifying the Complexity b. Theory and Religious Phenomena or Data c. Scientific Reductionism and Eliade's Different Interests 3. The Dialectic of the Sacred A. The Sacred and Transcendence B. The Dialectic of the Sacred a. The Sacred-Proface Dichotomy and Hierophanic Object b. The Paradoxical Relationship c. The Dialectical Movement d. Crisis, Evaluation and Choice e. Concealment and Camouflage C. Religion as an Opening 4. Nature, Cosmos and Religious Bias A. Nature and Cosmos B. Particular Religious Bias? a. Archaic Religion and India b. Cosmic Christianity C. Eliade's Personal Faith and His Scholarship 5. Symbolic Language and Structure A. Symbolism: The Language of Myth and Religion B. Symbolism and Structuralism 6. Characteristics and Functions of Symbolism A. Characteristics and Functions of Symbolism a. The Logic of Symbols b. The Multivalence c. The Function of Unification d. The Expression of Paradoxical and Contradictory Aspects of Reality e. The Existential Value B. Archetypes C. Symbolism of the Center 7. The Structure of Myth A. The Definition of Myth B. The Sacred and the Symbolic C. The General Structure and Function of Myth D. The Cosmogonic Myth E. Myths of Origins F. Eschatological Myths G. Mythic Renewal 8. Eliade's Antihistorical Attitudes A. Eliade's Personal Attitudes Toward Time and History a. Personal Autobiographical Reflections b. Personal Scholarly Interpretations B. Other Scholars: Eliade Is Antihistorical 9. The Primacy of Nonhistorical Structures A. Antihistorical Atemporal Essence of Myth and Religion B. Nonhistorical Structures C. Structures and Meanings Versus Conditionings and Explanations D. Normative Antihistorical Judgments E. The Interaction of the Historical and Nonhistorical 10. Camouflage of Sacred in Modern Profane A. Camouflage of Sacred in Modern Profane B. The Modern Unconscious C. Modern Western Provincialism 11. Cultural and Spiritual Renewal A. The Renewal of Modern Human Beings a. Creative Hermeneutics b. Rediscovering Symbolic and Mythic Structures c. Encounter, Confrontation and Dialogue B. The Political and the Spiritual C. The Renewal of Philosophy Bibliography Index


    Douglas Allen is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy department at the University of Maine. He is the author of Structure and Creativity in Religion (1978) and Culture and Self: Philosophical and Religious Perspectives (1997).

    "Allen's work is a welcome contribution for those who seek a critical appreciation of Eliade's understanding of myth and religion." -Theological Studies."
    "Douglas Allen's Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade is important for its careful revision of this model, this reputation [of the mind's desire for 'eternal return']." -- Religious Studies Review
    "Douglas Allen, professor of philosophy at the University of Maine, is the foremost authority on Eliade." -- Theology Digest, Winter 2002