By Mircea Eliade

ISBN-10: 0226204057

ISBN-13: 9780226204055

This quantity completes the immensely realized three-volume A historical past of spiritual rules. Eliade examines the flow of Jewish concept out of historical Eurasia, the Christian transformation of the Mediterranean sector and Europe, and the increase and diffusion of Islam from nearly the 6th throughout the 17th centuries. Eliade's great wisdom of prior and current scholarship offers a synthesis that's remarkable. 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 earlier paintings, Eliade will pay specific realization to heresies, folks ideals, and cults of mystery knowledge, similar to alchemy and sorcery, and maintains the dialogue, all started in previous volumes, of pre-Christian shamanistic practices in northern Europe and the syncretistic culture of Tibetan Buddhism. those subcultures, he continues, are as vital because the better-known orthodoxies to an entire knowing of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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For example, we have drawn attention to the analogies between the structure of the sanctuaries of the western Slavs and the Finno-Ugrians, and the resemblance between their polycephalic representations of divinities and spirits. 75 After three, five, or seven years, one disinters the bones, washes them, and wraps them in a napkin (ubrus); the napkin is brought 71. Cf. F. Haase, Volksglaube und Brauchtum der Ostslaven, p. 256. 72. See the documentation amassed by Evel Gasparini, II matriarcato slavo, pp.

This fact has considerable consequences. It confirms the survival of archaic conceptions in certain rural European societies at least up to the beginning of the twentieth century. 249. The religion of the Baits Of the three Baltic peoples-the Lithuanians, the Letts, and the Old Prussians (or Pruthenes)-the last were decimated in a long war of conversion and conquest by the Teutonic knights, and ended up being absorbed into the mass of German settlers. The Letts and the Lithuanians were equally subjugated by the Germans and, at least nominally, converted to Christianity in the fourteenth century.

Among the Letts, the most important goddess was Laima (from the root laime, "good fortune," "chance"). She is a divinity of destiny par excellence; she determines the lot of men from their birth. But Laima also rules over marriage, the bounty of the harvests, and the well-being of the animals. Despite the syncretism with the Virgin Mary, Laima represents an archaic religious figure, belonging probably to the highest stage of Lettish paganism. 56 Before the conversion to Christianity, the public cult was practiced primarily in the forests.

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