The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History

The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History


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This founding work of the history of religions, first published in English in 1954, secured the North American reputation of the Romanian émigré-scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986). Making reference to an astonishing number of cultures and drawing on scholarship published in no less than half a dozen European languages, Eliade's The Myth of the Eternal Return makes both intelligible and compelling the religious expressions and activities of a wide variety of archaic and "primitive" religious cultures. While acknowledging that a return to the "archaic" is no longer possible, Eliade passionately insists on the value of understanding this view in order to enrich our contemporary imagination of what it is to be human. Jonathan Z. Smith's new introduction provides the contextual background to the book and presents a critical outline of Eliade's argument in a way that encourages readers to engage in an informed conversation with this classic text.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691182971
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/20/2018
Series: Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology , #122
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 352,846
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mircea Eliade (1907–1986) was the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. His many books include Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism, and Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (all Princeton). Jonathan Z. Smith (1938–2017) was the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He was the author of Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown and Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion.

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"Luminous, profound and extremely stimulating. . . . This is an essay which everyone interested in the history of religion and in the mentality of ancient man will have to read. It is difficult to speak too highly of it."Review of Religion

"Profound and pregnant research in the psychology of time and the intuitive forms of the mind as revealed by the early cultures’ attitude toward history."The Nation

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