|Digital List Price:||$27.50|
|Print List Price:||$27.50|
Save $12.38 (45%)
History of Religious Ideas, Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I want this review to be brief, so I'll just point out that Page One is really worth the price of the entire book. On that page, Eliade simply reprints his earlier thoughts on religion in general, which strike me as absolutely true: around the world and throughout recorded time, we human beings have been religious.
And this is something which really deserves serious thought and examination. I myself am about as religious as a pea, but I cannot help noticing that I am in a distinct minority. Then I look at Page One again, and think again about Eliade's statement that religion is a constant of human consciousness, NOT an historical stage which we have passed through.
Well, the man who most fervently believed that religion was "only a phase" was Mr. Karl Marx, who nowadays looks to have been proven wrong about almost everything.
As Eliade says, "it is difficult to imagine how the human mind could function without the conviction that there is something irreducibly *real* in the world; and it is impossible to imagine how consciousness could appear without conferring a *meaning* on man's impulses and experiences. Consciousness of a real and meaningful world is intimately connected with the discovery of the sacred.....Living, considered as being human, is in itself a *religious act*, for food-getting, sexual life, and work have a sacramental value. In other words, to be --- or, rather, to become --- *a man* signifies being 'religious.' "
This might well be compared with Larkin's poem, "Church Going."
Perhaps the question for us non-believers is not so much to "convert" others, as to try to define a religion that works for everyone. Just as an example, I cannot see any reason why a religious life should involve a conflict with science, or an easily-falsifiable belief that the Earth was created in 4,000 BC.
In any case, Volume I begins with the Paleolithic -- the earliest hunter-gatherers. It continues through "the longest revolution" --- agriculture -- the Mesolithic and the Neolithic. The next stop is Mesopotamia and Sumer / Babylon, followed by the religious ideas of the Pharoahs. There is a "detour" into the mystery of the megaliths (Stonehenge etc.). There follows a discussion of the Hittites and the Canaanites, early Israel, and then a sudden shift to the Europeans and the Indian Vedic gods. The rest of the volume deals with the phases of Greek religion, Indian religion before Buddha, and Zarathustra.
That's just Volume I of an extremely detailed and thorough history of our religious ideas.