By Mircea Eliade
Publish 12 months note: initially released in French lower than the identify Histoire des croyances et des idées religieuses Vol3. De Mahomet à l'âge des Réformes Payot, Paris, 1978. First released in english in 1985
This quantity completes the immensely discovered three-volume A historical past of non secular Ideas. Eliade examines the stream of Jewish proposal out of historic Eurasia, the Christian transformation of the Mediterranean region and Europe, and the increase and diffusion of Islam from nearly the 6th during the 17th centuries. Eliade's gigantic wisdom of previous and current scholarship offers a synthesis that's unheard of. as well as reviewing contemporary interpretations of the person traditions, he explores the interactions of the 3 religions and exhibits their carrying on with mutual effect to be sophisticated yet unmistakable.
As in his past paintings, Eliade can pay specific recognition to heresies, people ideals, and cults of mystery knowledge, similar to alchemy and sorcery, and maintains the dialogue, all started in prior volumes, of pre-Christian shamanistic practices in northern Europe and the syncretistic culture of Tibetan Buddhism. those subcultures, he keeps, are as vital because the better-known orthodoxies to a whole figuring out of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
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Additional resources for A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 3: From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms
The warrior elements which have great importance in certain types 35. See the examples cited in Shamanism, pp. 205-9. 36. , pp. 215ff. ) are explained by the requirements of combat against the demons, the true enemies of mankind. " It is difficult for us to imagine what such a champion could represent for an archaic society. " Aside from the gods and supernatural beings to whom one addresses prayers and offers sacrifices, there exist "specialists of the sacred," men capable of "seeing" the spirits, of climbing to Heaven and meeting the gods, of descending to Hell and combatting demons, illnesses, and death.
In other cases, after many an adventure, the shaman arrives in the land of the dead and finds, among the crowd of the spirits, the close relatives of the soul which he brings to entrust to them. Once he returns, he brings each of his assistants greetings from their own dead relatives and even distributes small gifts on their behalf. 35 But the principal function of the shaman is healing. " The shaman seeks it out, captures it, and sees to its reintegration with the sick person's body. Sometimes the illness has a double cause: the soul's flight is aggravated by the evil spirits' "possession" of it, and the shamanic cure includes the quest of the soul as well as the expulsion of the demons.
M. Gimbutas, "The Ancient Religion of the Baits," p. 98. Such an interpretation of the folklore is not shared by certain scholars. See the controversy on the archaic character of the dainas, below, in Present Position of Studies, §249. 60. Certain Slavic groups formed part of Attila's hordes; cf. Gimbutas, The Slavs, pp. 98ff. 30 THE RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT EURASIA in Russia and the Baltic region. But the only written sources on the religion of the ancient Slavs are later than Christianity. Even where they are available, the ethnic paganism which they present has reached a decadent state.