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By Mircea Eliade

This quantity completes the immensely realized three-volume A historical past of spiritual principles. Eliade examines the circulation 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 in the course of the 17th centuries. Eliade's great wisdom of prior and current scholarship presents a synthesis that's extraordinary. as well as reviewing fresh interpretations of the person traditions, he explores the interactions of the 3 religions and exhibits their carrying on with mutual impact to be refined yet unmistakable.

As in his prior paintings, Eliade can pay specific cognizance 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 keeps, are as very important because the better-known orthodoxies to a whole figuring out of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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Extra resources for A History of Religious Ideas: From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms

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78. , pp. 472ff. 79. , pp. , 597ff. Rites, myths, and beliefs of the Old Slavs 35 ยง4). The leshy becomes subsequently the protector of herds. Equally ancient is the belief that certain spirits of the forest (domovoi) penetrate into dwellings while they are being constructed. These spirits, good or bad, install themselves especially in the pillars of wood which sustain the houses. The popular mythology illustrates still more clearly the survival of the old pre-Christian conceptions. We will cite only one example, but the most famous and most significant one: the myth of the cosmogonic dive that we have found diffused through all of central and northern Asia.

For a long time after their conversion to Christianity, it was through the lens of this myth that the peoples of eastern Europe still justified the actual situation of the world and our human condition. The existence of the Devil has never been contested by Christianity. But the role of the Devil in the cosmogony was a "dualist" innovation, one which assured these legends their enormous success and prodigious circulation. It is hard to be certain whether the ancient Slavs shared other dualistic notions of the Iranian or Gnostic type.

Theology was still dominated by the Greek Fathers. Against the Arian heresy, it is Athanasius who had formulated the doctrine of the consubstantiality (homoousia) of the Father and the Son, a formula which was accepted by the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325). However, Origen (ca. ISS-ca. 254), the most ingenious and daring theologian, the only one who can be compared to Augustine, enjoyed none of the authority he merited, although his prestige and influence increased after his death. Born in Alexandria of Christian parents, Origen was distinguished by intelligence, fervor, and extraordinary creativity.

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