A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS: Vol. III, From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms by Mircea Eliade
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A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS: Vol. III, From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another triumph from Eliade, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, accomplished novelist, and this century's foremost historian of religion: the third volume in his breathtaking study of the sacred, from prehistoric times up to the present. Like its predecessors, Volume III soars hither-and-yon through space and time. Topics covered include Christianity from the eighth century to the Renaissance; Islam from Muhammad to the esoteric Sufi poet Rumi; Judaism from the completion of the Mishnah to the rise of Hasidism, plus sections on the religions of ancient Eurasia and of Tibet. A heady mix indeed, presented with the ‚lan one might expect from a former bestselling Romanian novelist. As usual, whether considering Provencal troubadors or Baltic divinities. Eliade's core thesis shines through: that religiosity is the external manifestation of patterns inherent in the mind. His prejudices are also in evidence: Eastern European religion receives more attention than other scholars might grant it; some sections lean heavily towards unorthodox cults and mystical theologies (Meister Eckhart receives twice the space of St. Francis). However, given the appalling lack of attention to heretical and grass-roots religion in other popular histories, this can be seen only as a plus. Another installment in the most important--and probably most enjoyable--general religious history of the decade.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press