Micrea Eliade: Religion as Response to the Sacred
Micrea Eliade (Bucharest March 9, 1907 – Chicago April 22, 1986) influenced the world of the study of religious studies in the twentieth century. His career and life is truly international, having defined the field of religious studies in the 20th century.
Eliade proposed proposes the autonomy of religion, taking religion “at its own level” bringing the sacred as a very important element to contemplate and understand. Religion functions around the idea of a sacred space and a sacred time. The sacred is contrasted with the profane, as the sacred expressed the supernatural whereas the profane expresses ordinary life, the struggle and tribulations, framed by birth and death.
Eliade also professes the historical study of religion and joining historical study of religion and phenomenology. In his most famous book the Sacred and the Profane (1949) he centers the discussion around the idea of the axis mundi, like a tree reaching into the sky, heaven is God, centered in the Earthly community and fixed in the ground through its own roots as a great picture of the axis mundi, a fixed point where the entire cosmos is fixed in. Eliade almost suggests that the tree is almost alive.
In the Myth of the Eternal Return: Or Cosmos and History (1949) Eliade talks about the universal longing for the “fall” from perfection, the profound loss from the separation from the divine.
Eliade is a writer that I enjoyed reading, and I almost wanted to just copy sentences after sentences for this short note sheet.