PATTERNS IN COMPARATIVE RELIGION by Mircea Eliade
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PATTERNS IN COMPARATIVE RELIGION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is doubtful that one could encounter a more impressive work of scholarship and insight in the field of primitive religion than the present work. An excellent translation of a work composed by a foremost authority in the field of comparative religion, who is a member of the Orthodox Church, this volume aims to acquaint the reader with ""the labyrinthine complexity of religious data, their basic patterns and the variety of cultures they reflect"". In preparation for another work dealing with further developments, this book restricts itself to a study of hierophanics at different cosmic levels (sky, water, earth, stones), biological hierophanics, local hierophanics and myths and symbols. They are not studied in any isolated fashion, however, nor is there any trace of positivism or rationalism implicit in the author's treatment. He insists that religious phenomena must be studied primarily on their own plane of reality and not reductively in terms of economics or psychoanalysis if the study is to be truly scientific. The presentation is a model of scholarship, clarity and order. Bibliographies are appended to each chapter and Indices at the end. The information contained in the book about sky gods, sun worship, water symbolism, fertility rites, sacred places and the like is in itself a reason for reading the book. More important, however, is the brilliant insight into the nature of religious phenomena afforded by the author's approach. All serious students of religion would derive enormous profit from the reading of this work.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1958
ISBN: 0803267339
Publisher: Sheed & Ward