INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON HUMANISTIC IDEOLOGY
VOL. 4 NO. 2 AUTUMN-WINTER 2011
TOPIC: MIRCEA ELIADE’S LEGACY AT 25 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH
EDITORIAL: Mihaela GLIGOR, Conceptual Patterns in Symbolic Representation of History.Mircea Eliade’s Legacy at 25 Years after his Death, 7
Douglas ALLEN, Eliade’s Legacy 25 Years Later: A Critical Tribute, 15
Abstract: During his lifetime, Mircea Eliade was often described as the world’s foremost scholar of symbolism, myth, and religion, but late in his life and during the past 25 years his influence has greatly declined. What remains of that once influential Eliade? I examine the controversies surrounding Eliade, his scholarship, and his legacy through the perspectives of supporters and critics. I suggest how one might examine Eliade’s legacy mythically and nonmythically. While granting many legitimate criticisms, I maintain that some of what Eliade offered remains very significant today, but only if Eliade’s scholarly approach is selectively appropriated and reconstituted in new, open-ended, contextually sensitive ways and is integrated with the contributions of non-Eliade approaches.
Keywords: legacy, religion, contextualization, myth, symbolism, critics, supporters, “the other”, selective reformulations.
Carl OLSON, The Tension between Scholarship and Politics: A Consideration of the Legacy of Eliade, 29
Abstract: When assessing the legacy of Mircea Eliade one is forced to consider his political past, his silence about this past, and attack by his critics for his earlier political associations. By reviewing his critics, it becomes obvious that they have embraced a fad in Religious Studies and are engaged in ad hominem attacks, regrettable developments in the field. This type of criticism is self-defeating for the critic and not very helpful with determining a scholar’s contribution to his field of study. At this point in the history of the field, Eliade’s legacy is ambiguous, although another twenty-five years might more fully clarify his legacy.
Keywords: Mircea Eliade, ad hominem arguments, politics, fad, yoga, shamanism, Fascism.
Liviu BORDAS, Between the Devil’s Waters and the Fall into History or an Alternate Account of Mircea Eliade’s Diopteries, 43
Abstract: Mircea Eliade’s high school years and early intellectual formation have been reconstructed mainly from his Memoirs and from the Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent. The journals of the “nearsighted adolescent” (1920-1925) are only partially published and known. Eliade himself never intended to publish them as such. They are however the most important source for that period. Researching their manuscripts preserved in the Library of the Romanian Academy and in “Mircea Eliade Archive” (custody of Mircea Handoca), we attempted to shed more light on some aspects of his early intellectual formation. Two aspects of it, ignored so far, requested special attention: eroticism and politics. We brought evidence of the interest manifested by high school students for anti-Semitism, socialism and anarchism, and discussed Eliade’s attitude towards these ideologies as well as his relationship with his Jewish classmates.
Keywords: Mircea Eliade, school years, inedited journals, eroticism, Jews, politics, anti-Semitism, socialism, anarchism.
Sanjukta BHATTACHARYYA, Mircea Eliade on Myth and its Significancein Socio-Religious Culture from an “Antireductionist Orientation”, 77
Abstract: Mircea Eliade believed that the historical study of the development of myths of different periods or societies give us the knowledge about the culture, tradition and religious life of that period or society. As an expression of the sacred in words, myths are symbolic and symbols are the language of myth. Eliade’s major emphasis was on the narrative parts of myths that reveal hidden transhistorical meanings. The aim of this paper is to justify the importance of historical approach in interpreting and analyzing myth and its significance in socio-religious culture from Eliade’s perspective. The paper also intends to bring forth a critical evaluation of Mircea Eliade’s “Antireductionist Orientation” of history of religion, which is empirical or phenomenological in nature, as a method to interpret myth. Eliade was criticized for being biased towards the history of religions with an “Antireductionist Orientation” as a method to study myth, on account that it provided irreducibility to religious interpretations of mythic data. But, this paper also argues in his method having a special role in integrating and synthesizing the contributions of other specialized approaches within a broad, coherent, meaningful and irreducible religious framework that history of religion as a methodology is.
Keywords: Mircea Eliade, History of Religion, Antireductionism, Myth and Mythical analysis.
Mac Linscott RICKETTS, My Correspondence with Maitreyi Devi, 89
Abstract: For Mircea Eliade’s readers, Maitreyi Devi is more than a character. The daughter of the famous Indian philosopher Surendranath Dasgupta, Maitreyi is a writer and a poet, recipient of many literary awards. It was her destiny to meet Eliade and his literary skill to transform this unique encounter in one of the most beautiful love stories ever written. The following article will focus on their story, as seen by someone who was in correspondence with her; their main subject was Eliade.
Keywords: Mircea Eliade, Maitreyi Devi, correspondence, story, journal.
Razvan TATU, Reflecting on Mircea Eliade: Religious Experience as Re-Ontologizing Fact, 97
Abstract: Thinking of Mircea Eliade, his work and his thought, for us, the young, the task of presenting such a huge momentum in the history of thought and ideas seems almost impossible. For there has always been held that conventional frames, generated by conventional signs are not enough for expressing the structure of religious thought or experience, because we live in a too conventional world, but the words of some special people remain as fragments of a revelation, if we are allowed to say, representing a perennial fountain of knowledge. It is the experiential, ontic aspect of the religious fact that we sought to depict in the reflections of this article.
Keywords: sacred, profane, knowledge, hermeneutics, hierohistory, de-conditioning, total.
Sarunya PRASOPCHIGCHANA, Symbolic Representation in Buddhism, 101
Abstract: The Buddhist symbolism is mostly focused on a few distinctive elements that basically aim at the transgression from their physical significance to the abstract embodiment of the “law” (dharma) they stand for. The elements considered here are those related to the four principal events of the Buddha’s life: the lotus, the Bodhi tree, the Dharma-wheel, and the stépa. Eliade’s understanding of these particular Buddhist symbols and on his interpretation is also considered.
Keywords: symbolic representation, Buddhist symbols, Mircea Eliade, lotus, Bodhi tree, Dharma, stupa.
Giovanni CASADIO, Physics and Metaphysics of Sex in Mircea Eliade , 113
Abstract: Mircea Eliade is a Faustian, odysseic and Dionysian character, marked in his destiny by the madness of omnipotence, by peregrination and contradiction. In this paper we propose facing various moments of his inner life during the period of Portugal basing on the ideas exposed in his Jurnal portughez (The Portugal Journal). From a reflection on women as a virtual subject and object of desire and enamourment, he moves to other thoughts related to physics and the metaphysics of sex. This matter can be finally connected with broader philosophical and historico-religious realities on the wake of Italian esotericist Julius Evola.
Keywords: The Portugal Journal, philosophy, Julius Evola, historico-religious realities.
Liviu BORDAS, The difficult encounter in Rome. Mircea Eliade’s post-war relation with Julius Evola – new letters and data –, 125
Abstract: Our knowledge of the post-war relationship between Eliade (1907-1986) and Evola (1898-1974) was based mainly on fifteen letters of Evola, and on two recollections from Eliade’s journal and memoirs. The article presents and discusses new data supplied by eight inedited letters of Evola and four entries from Eliade’s unpublished journal. This data is corroborated with Evola’s reviews of Eliade’s books, with the reciprocal quotations in their works, as well as with various mentions from their correspondence with other persons. The new information helps to draw a clearer picture of their epistolary relation, re-established in September 1949, of their two encounters in Rome (May 1952 and April 1955), as well as of the successive moments of fracture between them (1955 and 1964). It also brings into discussion topics such as yoga, esotericism, racism or fascism, which provide seed for further inquiry.
Keywords: Mircea Eliade, Julius Evola, inedited letters, unpublished journal, visits to Rome, book reviews and translations, yoga, esotericism, fascism, racism.
Liviu COSTIN: Mircea Eliade – Henry Pernet, Dragul meu prieten. Corespondență. 1961-1986, Cluj-Napoca, Casa Cărții de Știință, 2011, 336 pp., ISBN: 978-973-133-911-5
Mihai POSADA: Cristina Scarlat (Ed.), Mircea Eliade Once Again, Iași, Lumen Publishing House, 2011, 344 pp., ISBN: 978-973-166-276-3
Mac Linscott RICKETTS: Cristian Istrătescu-Târgovişte, 1. Simbolistică, ornament, ritual în spaţiul carpatic românesc (Timişoara, Brumar, 2003); 2. Originea colindei în spaţiul carpato-balcanic românesc (Timişoara, Editura Universităţii de Vest, 2006); 3. Credinţa Valahă în spaţiul balcano-carpatic românesc prin simbolistică, ornament, ritual şi atitudine (Timişoara, Brumar, 2007).