The Myth of the Eternal Return
First published in English in 1954, this founding work of the history of religions secured the North American reputation of the Romanian emigre-scholar Mircea Eliade. Making reference to an astonishing number of cultures and drawing on scholarship published in no fewer than half a dozen European languages, The Myth of the Eternal Return illuminates the religious beliefs and rituals of a wide variety of archaic religious cultures. While acknowledging that a return to their practices is impossible, Eliade passionately insists on the value of understanding their views to enrich the contemporary imagination of what it is to be human. This book includes an introduction from Jonathan Z. Smith that provides essential context and encourages readers to engage in an informed way with this classic text.
Mircea Eliade (born March 9, 1907, Bucharest, Rom.—died April 22, 1986, Chicago, Ill., U.S.), historian of religions, phenomenologist of religion, and author of novels, novellas, and short stories. Eliade was one of the most influential scholars of religion of the 20th century and one of the world’s foremost interpreters of religious symbolism and myth.
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