Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mircea Eliade (March 9 1907, Bucharest - April 22 1986, Chicago) was a Romanian historian of religions and writer (fantasy and autobiographical). He spoke 8 languages fluently (Romanian, French, German, Italian, English, Hebrew, Persian and Sanskrit).
In 1928, at the University of Bucharest, he met Emil Cioran and Eugène Ionesco, and the three became lifelong friends. He has been criticized for alleged connections in his youth with Garda de Fier (The Iron Guard), an extreme-right-wing political organization. However, it is not at all clear that the personal associations of his youth had any great influence on his scholarly production, which began after a long period of study in India.
His thinking has been greatly influenced by - and has helped to popularise - the work of the Traditionalist School.
Selected Scholarly Works
- Yoga, Immortality and Freedom. translated: W.R. Trask. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958. First published in French as Yoga: Essai sur l'origine de la mystique Indienne in 1933, this informative and scholarly work analyses yoga as a concrete search for freedom from human limitations.
- The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion, translated from French: W.R. Trask, Harvest/HBJ Publishers, 1957 ISBN 015679201X. Building on Rudolf Otto's 1917 work, The Idea of the Holy, and his own previous work, Eliade shows how religion emerges from the experience of the sacred, and myths of time and nature.
- Cosmos and History:The Myth of the Eternal Return. translated: W.R. Trask. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1954. Perhaps Eliade's most crucial and approachable short work. Contains his analysis of time as heterogenous for the religious and homogenous for the non-religious and his conception of the 'terror of history' and the ability to 'reactualize' religious time. Originally published as Le Mythe de l'eternel retour: archétypes et répetition, 1949.
- Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. Translated: W.R. Trask. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964. Long a standard work in the study of Shamanism, a detailed and valuable source of information on the phenomenon. Originally published Le Chamanisme, 1951.
- From Primitives To Zen (full text)..
The History of Religions section of the Chicago University bears Mircea Eliade's name in recognition of his wide contribution to the research on this subject.
- Bengal Nights. Translated by Catherine Spencer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. Originally published Maitreyi, 1933.
- The Old Man and The Bureaucrats. Translated by Mary Park Stevenson. University of Notre Dame Press, 1979. Originally published Pe strada Mântuleasa, 1968.
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