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The "Nostalgia for Paradise" in Mircea Eliade’s quest for Homo Religiosus Jochim, Christian 1974

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THE "NOSTALGIA FOR PARADISE" IN MIRCEA ELIADE'S QUEST FOR HOMO RELIGIOSUS by CHRISTIAN JOCHIM B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at Santa Barbara, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of RELIGIOUS STUDIES We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1974 In p resent ing t h i s thes is in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission fo r ex tens ive copying o f t h i s thes is f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is rep resen ta t i ves . I t is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s thes is f o r f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be al lowed wi thout my w r i t t e n permiss ion . Department of Religious Studies The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Oct 16, 197^ i A b s t r a c t This t h e s i s examines Mircea E l i a d e ' s treatment of the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity. I t shows how h i s e f f o r t to grasp the meaning of r e l i g i o n f o r modern man i s a hermeneutical procedure which opposes reductionism and i s e s s e n t i a l l y humanistic. I t demonstrates th a t he aims to awaken the r e l i g i o u s s e n s i t i v i t y of h i s contemporaries through a study of premodern r e l i g i o u s behavior that avoids the c l i c h e s and categories of the Western r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n , This demonstration d i v i d e s h i s thought i n t o four areas; f i r s t , h i s polemic against reductionism, second, h i s n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c method of i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i g i o u s phenomena, t h i r d , h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of homo r e l i g i o s u s by reference to t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e s , and, f o u r t h , h i s plan to change modern s p i r i t u a l i t y through a recovery of arc h a i c r e l i g i o u s awareness. The p o i n t of t h i s t h e s i s i s to u n d e r l i n e a c e r t a i n n o s t a l g i a f o r the l i f e of a r c h a i c man i n E l i a d e ' s hermeneutics, but not an unhealthy one. I t i s a n o s t a l g i a f o r the o r i g i n s of man's present s i t u a t i o n , the e s s e n t i a l c o n d i t i o n which precedes a c t u a l human existe n c e . I t d i s c l o s e s i t s e l f i n E l i a d e ' s quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s , which does not aim to r e t u r n modern man to a mode of being l i v e d i n o b j e c t i v e a r c h a i c h i s t o r y , but r a t h e r seeks to i n i t i a t e him i n t o i i a new s p i r i t u a l awareness through the r e d i s c o v e r y of the a r c h a i c modality i n himself. This r e d i s c o v e r y i s the s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r a new humanism, a p h i l o s o p h i c a l anthropology that can grasp the u n i t y of the species at i t s highest l e v e l , which i s , f o r E l i a d e , the r e l i g i o u s l e v e l . His hermeneutics i s thus a s p i r i t u a l e x e r c i s e i t s e l f , of which the " n o s t a l g i a f o r p a r a d i s e " i s a c o n s t i t u e n t element. An examination of t h i s f a c t r e v e a l s the nature of E l i a d e ' s approach to the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity, and c o n t r i b u t e s g r e a t l y to an understanding of h i s thought as a whole. i i i Contents I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 I. E l i a d e ' s Polemic Against Reductionism: The Negative Basis of h i s Hermeneutics. , 6 I I . E l i a d e ' s Morphology of the Sacred: A Non-Reductionistic Method of I n t e r p r e t a t i o n 28 I I I . The Structures of the Sacred and the Mode of Being Homo R e l i g i o s u s 51 IV. E l i a d e ' s R e l i g i o u s Hermeneutics and The " N o s t a l g i a For Par a d i s e " 78 Conclusion 104 B i b l i o g r a p h y 108 -1-INTRODUCTION The problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity commands the a t t e n t i o n of every contemporary s c h o l a r whose st u d i e s touch upon the subject of r e l i g i o n . The h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s , the t h e o l o g i a n , the p s y c h o l o g i s t , the s o c i o l o g i s t , and the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t w i l l each have an i n t e r e s t i n one or more of the questions which t h i s problem r a i s e s . Is r e l i g i o n no longer r e l e v a n t to man i n h i s modern s t a t e , and i f so, w i l l i t slowly disappear? Is r e l i g i o n such an e s s e n t i a l p a r t of man that i t cannot but s u r v i v e , e i t h e r i n i t s t r a d i t i o n a l forms or i n r a d i c a l l y s e c u l a r i z e d forms: p o l i t i c a l i d e o l o g i e s , p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e r a p i e s , or s c i e n t i f i c dogmas? Or can one even speak of r e l i g i o n i n general, e x p e c i a l l y i n t h i s age of i n d i v i d u a l autonomy, s o c i a l m o b i l i t y , and p l u r a l i s m ? These questions i n d i c a t e the formidable nature of the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity. The aim of t h i s t h e s i s i s not to answer these questions or to o f f e r a s o l u t i o n to t h i s problem. I t s aim i s simply to show how one s c h o l a r , the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s Mircea E l i a d e , defines the problem, how he approaches r e l i g i o n and determines i t s meaning f o r modern man, E l i a d e considers r e l i g i o n an e s s e n t i a l dimension of human exist e n c e ; yet much of h i s work i s concerned w i t h i t s -2-attenuated s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r modern man. An e f f o r t to recover the r e l i g i o u s s e n s i t i v i t y of h i s predecessors, E l i a d e argues, w i l l b e n e f i t modern man f o r two reasons: f i r s t , because i t w i l l aide him i n understanding the r e l i g i o u s character of premodern s o c i e t i e s , and second, because i t w i l l help him to complete h i s understanding of him s e l f . While E l i a d e i n d i c a t e s there are two d i f f e r e n t aspects to t h i s e f f o r t , they are f o r him inseparable because he considers the study of premodern man's r e l i g i o u s behavior the v e h i c l e by which contemporary observers can best a t t a i n a c l e a r e r understanding of man's r e l i g i o u s dimension. In other words, the e f f o r t to recover the meaning of r e l i g i o n f o r the present day must be a hermeneutical one. The p a r t i c u l a r conception of hermeneutics u n d e r l y i n g E l i a d e ' s approach to r e l i g i o n has been formulated by the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s , Charles Long. Hermeneutics, Long says, " i s the e f f o r t to understand the s e l f through the mediation of the other.""'' This d e f i n i t i o n of hermeneutics provides the best s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s approach to r e l i g i o n , f o r i t d i s c l o s e s that he aims to make s p i r i t u a l s e l f -understanding a t t a i n a b l e f o r modern man. At each stage of E l i a d e ' s hermeneutics, he approaches Charles H. Long, "Archaism and Hermeneutics," The  H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s : Essays on the problem of  Understanding, ed. J.M. Kitagawa (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1967)7 p.78. - 3 -r e l i g i o n as an e s s e n t i a l dimension of man which i s always a c c e s s i b l e to him despite h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to f o r g e t i t or h i s attempts to oppose i t . E l i a d e defines h i s approach against those approaches which reduce r e l i g i o n to non-r e l i g i o u s f a c t o r s (e.g., s o c i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , p o l i t i c a l , economic, e t c . ) . Through t h i s polemic against r e d u c t i o n i s m he e s t a b l i s h e s an approach to r e l i g i o n as something i n and of i t s e l f . In the f i r s t chapter of t h i s t h e s i s the nature and background of t h i s polemic w i l l be discussed. In the second chapter, the nature of h i s method f o r the non-r e d u c t i o n i s t i c understanding of r e l i g i o n w i l l be o u t l i n e d , showing the process by which he moves from the phenomena at h i s d i s p o s a l to the " s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred!' I t w i l l show how h i s method i s r e l a t e d to other contemporary approaches to r e l i g i o n . In the t h i r d chapter these s o - c a l l e d " s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred" w i l l be s c r u t i n i z e d by attempting to decide j u s t what k i n d of s t r u c t u r e s they are, or what they are " s t r u c t u r e s o f " aside from "the sacred!' The purpose of the s c r u t i n y i s to r e v e a l the f u n c t i o n which these s t r u c t u r e s have i n d e f i n i n g homo r e l i g i o s u s . I t w i l l be c a r r i e d out l a r g e l y through responding to c r i t i c a l commentary on the value and use of E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s . The f i n a l chapter w i l l consider the r o l e of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i n the renewal of thought i n modern c u l t u r e . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the idea w i l l be considered whether the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i s i n a p o s i t i o n to i n f l u e n c e the s p i r i t u a l s i t u a t i o n of modern man by r e s t o r i n g h i s l o s t -4-s p i r i t u a l awareness. E l i a d e f e e l s that the quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s i s best s a t i s f i e d by studying r e l i g i o n i n the l i f e of " a r c h a i c " man. In choosing t h i s p r i m o r d i a l being as the c h i e f object of h i s study, one may wonder i f he seeks the true nature of r e l i g i o n i n i t s " o r i g i n a l form" i n human h i s t o r y - - a s most of the e a r l y students of p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s d i d . In view of a l l that he has w r i t t e n c r i t i c i z i n g t h e i r s o - c a l l e d 2 "quest f o r o r i g i n s " t h i s h a r d l y seems l i k e l y . Yet, n o t i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s between h i s purpose and t h e i r s , t h i s t h e s i s w i l l attempt to show that h i s quest is. i n some- sense a "quest f o r origins^'.'! While E l i a d e admires the e a r l y students of p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s f o r t h e i r broad p h i l o s o p h i c a l concerns and t h e i r a b i l i t y to arouse p u b l i c i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o n , he r e j e c t s the h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n a r y framework of the e a r l y t h e o r i s t s and has no i n t e r e s t i n rep e a t i n g t h e i r search f o r the e a r l i e s t h i s t o r i c a l form of r e l i g i o n . Although E l i a d e ' s quest f o r homo r e l i g b s u s i s n e c e s s a r i l y h i s t o r i c a l and takes a r c h a i c man as i t s model, i t i s not a quest f o r the a r c h a i c i n o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y . I t i s r a t h e r a non-o b j e c t i v e quest f o r o r i g i n s which aims to show the importance of r e l i g i o n as an e s s e n t i a l dimension of man. I t For example, Mircea E l i a d e , "The Quest f o r the 'Orig i n s ' of R e l i g i o n , " Ch.3 i n h i s The Quest: H i s t o r y  and Meaning i n R e l i g i o n (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 37-53. -5-presupposes a view of a r c h a i c man which i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from the simple, c h i l d l i k e , and n e a r l y a n i m a l i s t i c c reature of the e a r l y t h e o r i s t s . His view i s i n f a c t c l o s e r to the Enlightenment v i s i o n of the "noble savage*" l i v i n g i n the p a r a d i s a i c a l s t a t e of man before the f a l l . However, f o r E l i a d e , t h i s b e a t i f i c creature l i v e s i n the r e l a t i v e l y p a r a d i s a i c a l s t a t e of man before h i s "second f a l l " i n t o d e s a c r a l i z e d modern ex i s t e n c e . The f i r s t search f o r the o r i g i n s of r e l i g i o n attempted to show the low l e v e l of arc h a i c man's r e l i g i o u s awareness; E l i a d e ' s quest has the opposite aim. The outstanding question i s i n what sense does E l i a d e hope to recover f o r man h i s o r i g i n a l l y acute p r e d i s p o s i t i o n f o r r e l i g i o u s thought and behavior. The assumption to be analyzed i s whether E l i a d e wants modern Western man to understand h i m s e l f r e l i g i o u s l y through a r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of ar c h a i c e x i s t e n c e . I t w i l l be shown that such an assumption must be f a l s e because of the s p e c i f i c a l l y hermeneutical nature of E l i a d e ' s quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s . The act of self - u n d e r s t a n d i n g which i s the aim of h i s quest can never be considered an o b j e c t i v e r e s u r r e c t i o n of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s views because i t presupposes modern man's pre-occupation w i t h h i s t o r y . This act of sel f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s hermeneutical, and as Charles Long says, hermeneutics 3 "presupposes modernity" Long, p.79. -6. I. E l i a d e ' s Polemic Against Reductionism: The Negative Basis of h i s Hermeneutics E l i a d e ' s approach to the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s i s e x e m p l i f i e d i n Charles Long's d e f i n i t i o n of hermeneutics as "the e f f o r t to understand the s e l f through the mediation of the other". For E l i a d e , the other i s c o n s t i t u t e d by r e l i g i o u s m a t e r i a l s , p r i m a r i l y from premodern c u l t u r e s . The encounter w i t h the other i s v a l u a b l e because the other i s " f o r e i g n " or " a l i e n " and t h e r e f o r e i n v i t e s new thought, suggests new ways of r e l a t i n g to the world, and new categories of understanding. E l i a d e f e e l s the i n f o r m a t i v e f u n c t i o n of the other i s r e s t r i c t e d when i t i s reduced to the c a t e g o r i e s of contemporary thought and i t s f a s h i o n a b l e c l i c h e s . He aims to approach the other at i t s own uniquely r e l i g i o u s and d i s t i n c t l y non-modern l e v e l . The s t a r t i n g p o i n t of E l i a d e ' s hermeneutics i s a negative polemic against reductionism. This polemic takes two forms; one a r i s e s out of E l i a d e ' s c r i t i c i s m of v a r i o u s approaches to premodern c u l t u r e s and the other stems from h i s c r i t i c i s m of v a r i o u s e f f o r t s to t r e a t r e l i g i o n as a f u n c t i o n of p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , and other n o n - r e l i g i o u s f a c t o r s . Although the two forms combine i n E l i a d e ' s thought, they are here t r e a t e d s e p a r a t e l y because each i s connected w i t h a d i f f e r e n t area - 7 -i n the study of r e l i g i o n : the f i r s t w i t h the study of p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s , and the second w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l and comparative study of r e l i g i o n s . This chapter presents E l i a d e ' s r e a c t i o n s to developments i n both areas as he forms h i s p a r t i c u l a r approach to r e l i g i o n . Understanding Premodern Cultures What does E l i a d e mean by "modern" c u l t u r e and how does he d i s t i n g u i s h i t from premodern c u l t u r e ? At one p o i n t he s t a t e s : By the "modern world," we mean contemporary Western s o c i e t y ; but a l s o a s t a t e of mind which has been formed by successive deposits ever since the Renaissance and the Reformation. The a c t i v e c l a s s e s of the urban s o c i e t i e s are i n t h i s sense "modern"--that i s , the mass of mankind which has been more or l e s s d i r e c t l y shaped by education and o f f i c i a l culture.^-The successive deposits mentioned here c o n s t i t u t e a l i n e of thought l e a d i n g through the Enlightenment, p o s i t i v i s m , Marxism, behaviorism, and more r e c e n t l y , h i s t o r i c i s m and e x i s t e n t i a l i s m . E l i a d e r e f e r s to those types of c u l t u r e that he f i n d s f u r t h e s t removed from t h i s k i n d of modernity as " a r c h a i c , " and places i n t h i s category ancient and p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s as w e l l E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , t r . P h i l i p M a i ret (New York: Harper and Row, 1960), p.25., n . l . -8-as the t r a d i t i o n a l , popular, or peasant sectors of s o c i e t y i n A s i a , A f r i c a , the Americas, and Europe. He d i s t i n g u i s h e s modern c u l t u r e from a r c h a i c c u l t u r e s according to d i f f e r e n c e s i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a t t i t u d e of each toward time, or h i s t o r y , and space. E l i a d e b e l i e v e s that f u l l y modern man i s character-i z e d by h i s t o r i c i t y , which means that he i s a man who can l i v e only i n h i s t o r y , i n the f l u x of l i n e a r time. In c o n t r a s t , a r c h a i c man i n h i s most r a d i c a l form places no value on h i s t o r y . For t h i s man, the events of l i n e a r time, and e q u a l l y the geographical features of h i s s p a t i a l environment, have no meaning i n themselves; the only meaning they have i s one conferred upon them from a superhuman source o u t s i d e of h i s t o r y . More w i l l be s a i d about the gap separ a t i n g modern man from a r c h a i c man i n a l a t e r chapter. What one might now consider i s the f a c t that E l i a d e has found i t necessary to t u r n to premodern s o c i e t i e s i n order to i n q u i r e i n t o man's r e l i g i o u s nature. In h i s words: "To come to know the mental universe of homo r e l i g i o s u s , we must above a l l take i n t o account the men of these p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s . " " ' E l i a d e , of course, i s not the only one who has turned to t h i s source i n order to understand the r e l i g i o u s elements i n man's cha r a c t e r , or i t s other s i g n i f i c a n t elements. In the i n t r o d u c t i o n to h i s Theories of  P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n , E.E. Evans-Pritchard remarks t h a t , E l i a d e , The Sacred and the Profane, t r . W i l l a r d Trask (New York: Harper and Row, 1961), p.165. -9-some of the most important p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , and moral philosophers from Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau to Herbert Spencer, Durkheim and Bergson have considered the f a c t s of p r i m i t i v e l i f e to have great s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the under-standing of s o c i a l l i f e i n general; and I would remark that the men who have been most r e s p o n s i b l e f o r changing the whole cli m a t e of thought i n our c i v i l i z a t i o n during the l a s t century, the great myth-makers Darwin, Marx-Engels, Freud, and Frazer (and perhaps I should add Compte), a l l showed an intense i n t e r e s t i n p r i m i t i v e peoples . . .6 Although men d i d develop s o c i a l t h e o r i e s and p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r u t h s through t h e i r study of p r i m i t i v e c u l t u r e s i n the l a s t century, t h e i r accomplishments remained small i n the a c t u a l understanding p r i m i t i v e l i f e i t s e l f , e s p e c i a l l y i n the area of r e l i g i o n . E vans-Pritchard has c o n v i n c i n g l y demonstrated t h i s i n h i s work as has E l i a d e i n v a r i o u s e s s a y s . 7 Both scholars f e e l that few of t h e i r predecessors have been able to see through the c l i c h e s and categories of t h e i r own i n t e l l e c t u a l era to a c l e a r understanding of t h e i r subject. Upon c o n s i d e r i n g some of the developments during the l a s t century i n t h i s f i e l d of study, one can w e l l understand why E l i a d e f e e l s i t i s necessary to study p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s from a new p e r s p e c t i v e i n order to E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Theories of P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n (Oxford: The Univ. Press, 1965), p . l . 7 E l i a d e , "On Understanding P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n s , " Glaube, G e i s t , Geschiechte: F e s t s c h r i f t f u r Ernst Benz, ed. G. MQller and W. Z e l l e r (Leiden: E.J. B r i l l , 1967), pp~£98-505; "The H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s i n Retrospect: 1912 and A f t e r " and "The Quest f o r the 'Origins' of R e l i g i o n , " Chapters 2 and 3 of The Quest. -10-understand the essence of homo r e l i g i o s u s . The philosopher Susanne Langer p o i n t s out that an i n t e l l e c t u a l era i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d above a l l by the k i n d of questions which i t asks. In the l a t e nineteenth century, the question of " o r i g i n s " dominated the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l i m a t e . Scholars i n the f i e l d of p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s each proposed t h e o r i e s i n an e f f o r t to define the " o r i g i n a l form" of r e l i g i o n . Among these t h e o r i e s were T y l o r ' s "animism", Marett's "pre-animism", Herbert Spencer's "ancestor-worship", Robertson Smith's "totemism", and Father Schmidt's " p r i m o r d i a l monotheism". Moreover, most scholars sought an analogue to b i o l o g i c a l e v o l u t i o n i n showing how r e l i g i o n developed from i t s simple o r i g i n s to i t s "higher" forms. Evan s - P r i t c h a r d c a l l s these e a r l y t h e o r i e s of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n " p s y c h o l o g i c a l " t h e o r i e s , because i n one way or another each of them explained the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n by some imagined act of the p r i m o r d i a l mind. He suggests that progress was made only i n moving from " i n t e l l e c t u a l i s t " p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r i e s to " e m o t i o n a l i s t " q ones. The advent of so c i o l o g y f i n a l l y put an end to th e o r i e s proposing that r e l i g i o n o r i g i n a t e d i n a p r i m a l act of the i n d i v i d u a l mind. In p a r t i c u l a r , Emile Durkheim 8Susanne Langer, Philosophy i n a New Key_ (New York: The New American L i b r a r y , 1951), p.15. ^Evans-Pritchard, pp.20-47. -11-c l a r i f i e d Compte's proclamation, made f i f t y years e a r l i e r , that the i n d i v i d u a l was a mere a b s t r a c t i o n . Yet, e a r l y s o c i o l o g i s t s p e r s i s t e d i n t r y i n g to e x p l a i n the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n , i n t h e i r case, i t s s o c i a l o r i g i n . T h e i r work marked a change i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l i m a t e only i n that i t went beyond i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c hypotheses; i t p r e f i g u r e d an era i n which the question of " o r i g i n s " would become obsolete, to be superseded by the question of " d e s c r i p t i o n " , of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s m u l t i p l e c o n d i t i o n i n g s . The new i n t e l l e c t u a l c l i m a t e i n which the student of p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s found h i m s e l f d i d not simply r e s u l t from developments i n soc i o l o g y : nor d i d i t r e s u l t from d i s c o v e r i e s made by a new breed of " f i e l d " a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s who co n t r a d i c t e d t h e o r i e s of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n . As E l i a d e remarks: I t was a new environment nourished by Nietzsche and Marx, D i l t h e y , Croce, and Ortega, and l a t e r on by Heidegger and S a r t r e ; an environment i n which the fas h i o n a b l e c l i c h e was not nature but h i s t o r y , not " o r i g i n and development" but tem p o r a l i t y and h i s t o r i c i t y . In the study of r e l i g i o n t h i s p r e c i p i t a t e d a strong r e a c t i o n against the quest f o r " o r i g i n s " and a heavy emphasis upon the d e p i c t i o n of r e l i g i o n i n terms of i t s m u l t i p l e c o n d i t i o n i n g s . Scholars f e l t t hat i n q u i r i e s should be r e s t r i c t e d as completely as p o s s i b l e to the d e s c r i p t i o n of °Eliade, "Comparative R e l i g i o n : I t s Past and Future," Knowledge and the Future of Man, ed. Walter J . Ong (New York: H o l t , Reinhart, and Winston, 1968), p.250. the r e l a t i o n of r e l i g i o n to other elements i n i t s v a r i o u s s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l contexts. This a t t i t u d e p e r s i s t s among most schol a r s at present. For example, Evans-Pritchard w r i t e s i n h i s Conclusion to Theories of P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n : I h o l d that i t i s not sound s c i e n t i f i c method to seek f o r o r i g i n s , e s p e c i a l l y when they cannot be found. Science deals w i t h r e l a t i o n s , not w i t h o r i g i n s and essences. . A r e l a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s of the k i n d suggested can be made at any p o i n t where r e l i g i o n i s i n a r e l a t i o n to any other s o c i a l f a c t s — m o r a l , e t h i c a l , j u r i d i c a l , a e s t h e t i c and s c i e n t i f i c , . .iJ-No contemporary scholar would challenge the view that the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n cannot be found, and none would deny the importance of s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l contexts f o r understanding p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o n s . But i s t h i s the f i n a l word? E l i a d e t h i n k s not. He i s more cautious i n h i s r e a c t i o n to e a r l y students of r e l i g i o n and, i n f a c t , admires them f o r t h e i r breadth of purpose and t h e i r a b i l i t y to arouse p u b l i c 12 i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o n . He furthermore cautions against a l l o w i n g the current i n t e r e s t i n man's h i s t o r i c i t y to become as much an obsession as the problem of " o r i g i n s " was f o r nineteenth century s c h o l a r s . The crux of E l i a d e ' s polemic i s the warning that the discovery of man's h i s t o r i c i t y and, w i t h i t , the Evans-P r i t c h a r d , pp.111-12. E l i a d e , " C r i s i s and Renewal," Chapter 4 of The Quest, pp.54-55. -13-r e c o g n i t i o n of c o n d i t i o n i n g s of a l l s o r t s ( s o c i a l , economic, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , etc.) may lead i n t o a new " h i s t o r i c i s t i c " reductionism. At the end of h i s d i s c u s s i o n of "The Quest f o r the ' O r i g i n s ' of R e l i g i o n / " he asks: "Does the f a c t that we can't reach the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n a l s o mean that we cannot grasp the essence of r e l i g i o u s phenomena?". He then o f f e r s h i s view of the problem of i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i g i o u s phenomena: A pure r e l i g i o u s phenomenon does not e x i s t . A r e l i g i o u s phenomenon i s always a l s o a s o c i a l , an economic, a p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomenon, and, of course, a h i s t o r i c a l one, because i t takes place i n h i s t o r i c a l time and i t i s cond i t i o n e d by every t h i n g which had happened before. But the question i s : Are the m u l t i p l e systems of c o n d i t i o n i n g a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e x p l a n a t i o n of the r e l i g i o u s phenomenon? When a great d i s c o v e r y opens new pe r s p e c t i v e s to the human mind, there i s a tendency to e x p l a i n everything i n the l i g h t of that discovery and on i t s p l a n of reference..., The discovery, at the beginning of the century, of the importance of h i s t o r y urged many of our contemporaries to reduce man to h i s h i s t o r i c a l dimension, that i s to say, to the systems of c o n d i t i o n i n g s i n which every human being i s h o p e l e s s l y " s i t u a t e d ! 1 . . . We know that we can grasp the sacred only through m a n i f e s t a t i o n s which are h i s t o r i c a l l y c onditioned. But the study of these h i s t o r i c a l l y c o nditioned expressions does not give us the answer to the questions: What i s the sacred? What does a r e l i g i o u s experience a c t u a l l y mean? 1^ E l i a d e b e l i e v e s we can ask about the e s s e n t i a l s of r e l i g i o n even though i t s o r i g i n eludes us; he f e e l s we must i n q u i r e i n t o the s p e c i f i c nature and meaning of r e l i g i o n even though n e i t h e r i s apparent i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l " s i t u a t i o n s " , E l i a d e , The Quest, pp.52-53. -14-E l i a d e considers t h i s k i n d of i n q u i r y e s p e c i a l l y important f o r the study of r e l i g i o n i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s . While these s o c i e t i e s do not con t a i n the " o r i g i n a l form" of r e l i g i o n , a l l of t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n t c u l t u r a l c r e a t i o n s (myths, a r t forms, dance, etc.) are expressed on a r e l i g i o u s plane. In order to approach them at t h e i r own l e v e l , E l i a d e argues, one must grasp the meaning of t h e i r r e l i g i o u s c r e a t i o n s . He doubts that r e d u c t i o n i s t i c approaches which concentrate upon f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e , t r i b a l law, s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , e t c . w i l l be able to comprehend the r e l i g i o u s c r e a t i v i t y of p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s . He s t a t e s : Reductionism as a general method f o r grasping c e r t a i n types of " r e a l i t y " may help to solve western man's problems, but i t i s i r r e l e v a n t as a hermeneutical t o o l . I t i s i r r e l e v a n t p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case of a r c h a i c c u l t u r e s . For p r i m i t i v e man's c r e a t i v i t y i s r e l i g i o u s par e x c e l l e n c e . His e t h i c a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l , and a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n s are dependent upon, or i n s p i r e d by, r e l i g i o u s experience and thought. Only i f we take s e r i o u s l y these oeuvres--in the same way that we take s e r i o u s l y the Old Testament, the Greek t r a g e d i e s , or Dante, Shakespeare, and Goe t h e - - w i l l the P r i m i t i v e s f i n d t h e i r proper place i n the u n f o l d i n g U n i v e r s a l H i s t o r y , i n c o n t i n u i t y w i t h other peoples of past and present. ^ Explanations of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , e t c . , may be s u f f i c i e n t to show that p r i m i t i v e man i s "normal". The a n t h r o p o l o g i s t or s o c i o l o g i s t may be s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h i s , but according to E l i a d e , the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s has a s p e c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to appreciate the f a c t that the p r i m i t i v e E l i a d e , "On Understanding P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n s , " p.502. -15-i s a l s o " c r e a t i v e " . The h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s w i l l , of course, have a v a l u a b l e r o l e i n understanding p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s . The value of a general knowledge of r e l i g i o u s f a c t s f o r the understanding of any p a r t i c u l a r form of r e l i g i o n i s c l e a r . Yet, f o r E l i a d e the matter does not end here. As he sees i t , before one t r i e s to understand a p a r t i c u l a r form of r e l i g i o n , he should not only possess a general knowledge of r e l i g i o u s f a c t s but a l s o an idea of what r e l i g i o n i s , i n and of i t s e l f . While E l i a d e w r i t e s that "a pure r e l i g i o u s phenomenon does not exist,-' and that "we can grasp the sacred only through m a n i f e s t a t i o n s which are h i s t o r i c a l l y conditioned}'" he f e e l s the meaning of a r e l i g i o u s phenomenon i s not exhausted when i t i s reduced to i t s s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and economic components. I t a l s o contains an i r r e d u c i b l y r e l i g i o u s element, which E l i a d e c a l l s "the element of the sacred." As t h i s element i s c e n t r a l i n h i s polemic against reductionism, i t i s now necessary to see how he has a r r i v e d at and developed h i s i d e a of the sacred. Understanding the Sacred The sacred, according to E l i a d e , appears only i n h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d forms. There are two subjects which t h e r e f o r e a r i s e i n h i s approach to the sacred: i t nature and i t s manner of appearance i n h i s t o r y . The f i -16-concern here w i l l be how he has developed h i s id e a of the sacred from the works other s c h o l a r s , and the second w i l l be how he has added to t h i s conception through what might be c a l l e d the laws of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n . With regard to the f i r s t i s s u e , Jonathan Smith w r i t e s : Indeed one might suggest that p a r t of E l i a d e ' s " s t r a t e g y " has been to s u b s t i t u t e Otto's language of the Holy f o r Durkheim's more n e u t r a l and p o s i t i o n a l Sacred w h i l e m a i n t a i n i n g the dynamics of Durkheim's dualism. Otto i s the s c h o l a r who has had the greatest i n f l u e n c e on E l i a d e , f o r he has given him the p r i n c i p l e of the i r r e d u c i b i l i t y of sacred phenomena. However, the proper place to begin t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s where the idea of the sacred f i r s t became a t o o l of primary importance f o r the understanding of r e l i g i o n , i . e . , i n the s o c i o l o g y of Emile Durkheim. Durkheim e s t a b l i s h e s a minimal d e f i n i t i o n of the sacred as that which i s opposed to the profane. In The Elementary Forms of R e l i g i o u s L i f e he w r i t e s : In the h i s t o r y of human thought there e x i s t s no other example of two cat e g o r i e s of things so profoundly d i f f e r e n t i a t e d or so r a d i c a l l y opposed to one another. , . . the sacred and the profane have always and everywhere been conceived by the human mind as two d i s t i n c t c l a s s e s , two worlds between which there i s nothing i n common.1" 1 5 J o n a t h a n Smith, "The Wobbling Pivot'*, The J o u r n a l of R e l i g i o n , 52 (1972), p.137. 1 6 E m i l e Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of R e l i g i o u s L i f e t r . Joseph Ward Swain (New York: The Free Press, 1965), pp.53 -17-According to Durkheim, the o p p o s i t i o n between these two worlds i s dynamic not s t a t i c , f o r the sacred has a powerful propensity f o r spreading i t s e l f over the world of the profane; i t i s "contagious." The m a j o r i t y of r e l i g i o u s r i t e s f u n c t i o n to keep the two worlds separated, and even those r i t e s which a l l o w passage from one world to the other put i n t o r e l i e f the antagonism between them (e.g., passage from one to the other would be accompanied by a symbolic death or some break i n c o n t i n u i t y ) . The two mutually c o n t r a d i c t o r y p r i n c i p l e s of antagonism and contagion describe the sacred's d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n to the profane i n Durkheim's sacred-profane dichotomy. Durkheim's understanding of the sacred, however, goes beyond h i s d e f i n i t i o n of i t as something opposed to the profane. I t a l s o i n c l u d e s h i s theory of the s o c i a l o r i g i n of sacredness. He suggests: R e l i g i o u s f o r c e i s only the sentiments i n s p i r e d by the group i n i t s members, but p r o j e c t e d outside of the consciousnesses that experience them, and o b j e c t i f i e d . To be o b j e c t i f i e d , they are f i x e d upon some object which thus becomes sacred.... the sacred character assumed by an object i s not i m p l i e d i n the i n t r i n s i c p r o p e r t i e s of t h i s l a t t e r : i t i_s added to them.-1/ This c o n s t i t u t e s a c l a s s i c example of the e f f o r t to e x p l a i n the sacred as a p r o j e c t i o n of some n o n - r e l i g i o u s human dimension. E l i a d e ' s idea of the sacred i s formed i n o p p o s i t i o n to t h i s k i n d of explan a t i o n , although i t i s I b i d . , p.261. -18-i n f l u e n c e d by Durkheim's understanding of the sacred-profane dichotomy. Opposition to t r e a t i n g the sacred i n terms of n o n - r e l i g i o u s f a c t o r s was e s t a b l i s h e d before E l i a d e , however; i t can be traced back to the f i r s t comparative s t u d i e s of r e l i g i o n . When Durkheim s t a t e s , "there i s something e t e r n a l i n r e l i g i o n " , he r e f e r s to i t s permanent s i g n i f i c a n c e as a 18 s o c i a l f a c t . In the comparative study of r e l i g i o n s , the idea of the e t e r n a l i n r e l i g i o n means something q u i t e d i f f e r e n t ; i t suggests a supernatural q u a l i t y , an element above and beyond the e m p i r i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of any r e l i g i o u s phenomenon, Ultimate R e a l i t y , the Holy, the Sacred, or simply, the E t e r n a l . Through such conceptions, co m p a r a t i v i s t s i n r e l i g i o n seek to e s t a b l i s h a d i s c i p l i n e which, u n l i k e s o c i o l o g y , f o r example, treats r e l i g i o n as something i n and of i t s e l f . This can be traced to such e a r l y w r i t e r s as Max Mu'ller and C P . T i e l e , who suggest d i s t i n g u i s h i n g what i s unique and permanent i n r e l i g i o n from i t s e m p i r i c a l l y conditioned appearances i n h i s t o r y , i t s essence from i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s . I t was Rudolf Otto who f i r s t o f f e r e d a systematic argument against the r e d u c t i o n or r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of r e l i g i o n i n terms of s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , and economic f a c t o r s . He e s t a b l i s h e d the model f o r such l a t e r scholars as E l i a d e , I b i d . , p.474. -19-who argue that r e l i g i o n can be t r e a t e d as something s u i  generis. Otto argues f o r the s p e c i f i c i t y of r e l i g i o n i n Kantian terms. In The Idea of the Holy he discusses "the d i s t i n c t i o n between h o l i n e s s as an a p r i o r i category and h o l i n e s s as revealed i n outward appearance," that i s , i n 19 h i s t o r y . He p o i n t s to an element i n r e l i g i o u s experience above and beyond i t s manifest character, a presentiment of some sheer overplus i n a d d i t i o n to e m p i r i c a l r e a l i t y . What i s experienced, he argues can only be described as the "wholly otheri'" i . e . , "something which has no place i n our scheme of r e a l i t y but belongs to an a b s o l u t e l y d i f f e r e n t one, and which at the same time arouses an i r r e p r e s s i b l e 20 i n t e r e s t i n the mind'.'" I t s nature suggests i t s e l f to us only i n the s t a t e of mind i t arouses. This s t a t e of mind, which he terms "numinousi" eludes the comprehension of a l l but those who have experienced i t . While a k i n to f e e l i n g s of moral goodness and deep a e s t h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n , t h i s s t a t e of mind has something i r r e d u c i b l y r e l i g i o u s about i t , which i s an immediately f e l t presentiment of the "wholly other." Holiness or sacredness i s the a t t r i b u t e attached to whatever i s so experienced--deity, o b j e c t , or event--simply and only because i t s i g n i f i e s the u t t e r l y u n f a m i l i a r . 1 9 R u d o l f Otto, The Idea of the Holy, t r , John W. Harvey (New York; Oxford Univ. Press, 1958), p.175. 2 0 I b i d . , p.29. - 2 0 -Otto thus describes the i r r e d u c i b l e nature of the " r e l i g i o u s experience^" which was f o r him the phenomenon par e x c e l l e n c e of r e l i g i o n . In c o n t r a s t to Durkheim's idea of the sacred as a conception of the human mind which i s a p p l i e d to a c e r t a i n c l a s s of t h i n g s , Otto understands i t as something completely o u t s i d e the mental and n a t u r a l order. E l i a d e accepts Otto's idea of the s a c r e d a n d , a l s o , h i s p r i n c i p l e of i r r e d u c i b i l i t y , which maintains that each r e l i g i o u s phenomenon must be viewed simply as an instance i n which the sacred "shows i t s e l f ^ 1 1 In moving on to the question of how the sacred shows i t s e l f , however, E l i a d e goes beyond Otto, t a k i n g h i s f i r s t cue from Durkheim. In order to convey h i s view of r e l i g i o u s phenomena, E l i a d e c a l l s each a "hierophanyj-f which means the sacred "shows i t s e l f ; ' ' ' In E l i a d e ' s understanding of hierophanies, one can d i s c e r n c e r t a i n laws of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n . Three such laws w i l l be discussed here. The f i r s t law a r i s e s from Durkheim's sacred-profane dichotomy, and shows how E l i a d e superimposes the "dynamics of Durkheim's dualism" on Otto's idea of the Holy. The second law i n d i c a t e s hierophanies, or mani f e s t a t i o n s of the sacred, have a s o t e r i o l o g i c a l value which i s immediately evident to r e l i g i o u s man. According to the t h i r d law, hierophanies generate r e l i g i o u s man's most fundamental i d e a , the idea of a transcendent r e a l i t y which he considers absolute and axiomatic. Taken together these laws of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n demonstrate E l i a d e ' s b a s i c a t t i t u d e toward r e l i g i o u s -21-21 phenomena and suggest h i s d e f i n i t i o n of r e l i g i o n . For E l i a d e , as f o r Durkheim, the sacred-profane dichotomy has determining s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r a l l r e l i g i o u s l i f e . He s t a t e s : The dichotomy of sacred and profane i s the i n v a r i a b l e par e x c e l l e n c e . For, w h i l e the sacred i s manifested i n an i n f i n i t y of forms and o b j e c t s , there i s always a d i f f e r e n c e of an o n t o l o g i c a l order between sacred objects and those which are not.22 This statement a l s o shows an awareness of the p r i n c i p l e s of antagonism and contagion which c h a r a c t e r i z e Durkheim's d i a l e c t i c a l dynamics of sacred and profane. One p a r t i c u l a r aspect of t h i s dynamic process seems e s p e c i a l l y important to E l i a d e , This i s the f a c t that the sacred should a c t u a l l y appear i n the profane world, He emphasizes t h i s f a c t because, l i k e Otto, he conceives the sacred as something wholly outside the mental and n a t u r a l order. The great mysterium tremendum he says i s that the sacred should manifest i t s e l f at a l l , "thereby l i m i t i n g i t s e l f and ceasing to be M 23 absolute" E l i a d e u s u a l l y has t h i s f a c t i n mind when he 21 This i s mentioned because E l i a d e d e c l i n e s from beginning w i t h an a p r i o r i d e f i n i t i o n of r e 1 i g i o n - - P a t t e r n s i n Comparative R e l i g i o n , t r . Rosemary Sheed (New York: Sheed and Ward^ 1958), p . x v i - - y e t seems to have a w e l l - d e f i n e d n o t i o n of what i t i s , as the f o l l o w i n g r e v e a l s . 22 E l i a d e , " S t r u c t u r e s and Changes i n the H i s t o r y of Religion,"; The C i t y I n v i n c i b l e , ed. CH. K r a e l i n g and R.M. Adams TcEicago: Univ. Press, 1960), p.353. 23 E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , p.125. -22-speaks of "the d i a l e c t i c of the sacred and profane" or "the d i a l e c t i c of hierophanies." Both Douglas A l l e n and Mac R i c k e t t s p o i n t out that the r e l a t i o n s h i p which E l i a d e so describes i s a c t u a l l y more " p a r a d o x i c a l " than 0 / " d i a l e c t i c a l . " He v e r i f i e s t h e i r o bservation when he remarks of the d i a l e c t i c of hierophanies, " t h i s p a r a d o x i c a l coming together of sacred and profane, being and non-being, absolute and r e l a t i v e , the e t e r n a l and the becoming, i s 25 what every hierophany, even the most elementary, r e v e a l s . " Thus, E l i a d e ' s f i r s t law of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n i s that the sacred manifests i t s e l f i n the profane i n hierophanies. I t i s t h i s q u a l i t y of hierophanies which leads r e l i g i o u s man to i n t e r p r e t them s o t e r i o l o g i c a l l y . A hierophany " c a l l s " r e l i g i o u s man to d e c i s i o n ; as the sacred dimension i s revealed he evaluates h i s profane e x i s t e n c e n e g a t i v e l y . E l i a d e ' s p o s i t i o n on t h i s p o i n t i s w e l l formulated by A l l e n i n the f o l l o w i n g words: The d i a l e c t i c of hierophanies throws the realm of n a t u r a l o r d i n a r y e x i s t e n c e i n t o ^ Douglas A l l e n , "Mircea E l i a d e ' s Phenomenological A n a l y s i s of R e l i g i o u s Experience," The J o u r n a l of R e l i g i o n , 52 (1972), p.181; Mac L. R i c k e t t s , "HTrcea E l i a d e and the Death of God," R e l i g i o n i n L i f e , Spring 1967, p.45. Both schol a r s f e e l c o n s t r a i n e d to p o i n t t h i s f a c t out because E l i a d e i s misrepresented i n t h i s matter by Thomas A l t i z e r i n Mircea E l i a d e and the D i a l e c t i c of The Sacred ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : Westminster Press, 1963). For example, on p.65 he s t a t e s : "The sacred and profane are r e l a t e d by a negative d i a l e c t i c , a s i n g l e moment cannot be sacred and profane at once." E l i a d e , P a t t e r n s , p.29. -23-sharp r e l i e f . A f t e r the "rupture" of the sacred and the profane, man evaluates h i s n a t u r a l existence as a " f a l l . " 2 6 The r e l i g i o u s man i s impressed because something i n f i n i t e l y more r e a l than o r d i n a r y existence has shown i t s e l f to him i n h i s world. E l i a d e quotes an Indian mystic on the subject of Visnu's arkas (objects embodying the gods presence) to show what the appearance of the sacred i n the profane world can mean to man. "Though omniscient Visnu shows h i m s e l f i n the arkas as i f he were without knowledge; though a s p i r i t , he appears m a t e r i a l ; though t r u l y God he appears to be at the d i s p o s a l of man; though a l l - p o w e r f u l he appears weak; though f r e e of a l l care he appears to need l o o k i n g a f t e r ; though i n a c c e s s i b l e ("to sense"! , he appears as tangible."27 J As t h i s statement suggests; man i s a l s o moved toward a p o s i t i v e response, i . e . , one which i s the p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t e of h i s negative e v a l u a t i o n of the o r d i n a r y world. Man's response i s s o t e r i o l o g i c a l ; he senses that h i s world must be "founded" and p e r i o d i c a l l y "saved" by a s s i m i l a t i n g i t to the sacred dimension. Thus, according to a second law of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n , the hierophany p o i n t s beyond i t s e l f ; i t expresses, i n mierocosmic form, the i d e a of r e l i g i o u s man that h i s world must be "open" to a higher world, the world of absolute and axiomatic values. 2 6 A l l e n , p.183. 97 ' E l i a d e , P a t t e r n s , p.28. -24-The i r r u p t i o n of the sacred i n t o the world, then, causes the r e l i g i o u s man to o r i e n t h i m s e l f toward some "other" world and to the sacred values which o r i g i n a t e i n that world. E l i a d e describes the " f u n c t i o n " of r e l i g i o n i n terms of the p r e s e r v a t i o n of such values and t i e s t h i s to the experience of c o n f r o n t i n g the sacred. The " p r i n c i p l e f u n c t i o n of r e l i g i o n " i s one, he says, of m a i n t a i n i n g an "opening" toward a world which i s superhuman, the world of axiomatic s p i r i t u a l values. These values are "transcendent" i n the sense that they are considered revealed by d i v i n e beings or my t h i c a l ancestors. They t h e r e f o r e c o n s t i t u t e absolute values, paradigms f o r a l l human a c t i v i t y . The f u n c t i o n of r e l i g i o n i s to awaken and s u s t a i n the consciousness of another world, of a "beyond" whether i t be the d i v i n e world or the world of m y t h i c a l ancestors. This other world represents a superhuman "transcendent" plane, that of absolute r e a l i t i e s . I t i s t h i s experience of the sacred, that i s , the meeting w i t h a transcendent r e a l i t y , that generates the ide a of something which r e a l l y e x i s t s and, i n consequence, the n o t i o n that there are absolute i n t a n g i b l e values which confer a meaning upon human existence.^° This statement conveys a t h i r d law of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n : the appearance of the sacred generates the idea of another r e a l i t y , a transcendent and superhuman world which i s the source of paradigms, or p a t t e r n s , f o r a l l human a c t i v i t y . To summarize E l i a d e ' s view of hierophanic m a n i f e s t a t i o n ; he considers each r e l i g i o u s phenomenon a hierophany or m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the sacred. Man's response to the sacred E l i a d e , "Structures and Changes i n the H i s t o r y of Religion,'* p. 366, - 2 5 -begins w i t h a negative e v a l u a t i o n of the or d i n a r y profane world and ends w i t h an e f f o r t to make h i s l i f e sacred by modeling i t a f t e r patterns r e c e i v e d from the other world. E l i a d e b e l i e v e s these revealed patterns are the b a s i c elements of the study of r e l i g i o n . He sees the s t r u c t u r e of r e l i g i o u s symbolism, the forms of r i t u a l behavior, and the themes of m y t h i c a l expression as each being connected w i t h such p a t t e r n s . Although E l i a d e conceives r e l i g i o u s l i f e as an existence modeled upon patterns r e c e i v e d from a superhuman source, t h i s does not n e c e s s a r i l y d i s t i n g u i s h him from the s o c i o l o g i s t , h i s t o r i c i s t , or e x i s t e n t i a l i s t . As Mac R i c k e t t s p o i n t s out: To l i v e by any "r e c e i v e d p a t t e r n " or exemplary model which i s regarded as absolute i s to be r e l i g i o u s , f o r E l i a d e . To subordinate one's own independent judgement to a standard from " o u t s i d e " which i s h e l d to be of supreme v a l i d i t y i s to f o l l o w a r e l i g i o u s course of a c t i o n . In other words, E l i a d e defines r e l i g i o n i n e x a c t l y the same terms as do e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s such as S a r t r e ; only i n s t e a d of choosing h i s t o r i c i s m , E l i a d e chooses the r e l i g i o u s mode of being as more human.29 De f i n i n g r e l i g i o n i n the same way as they do, E l i a d e i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the va r i o u s r e d u c t i o n i s t s p r i m a r i l y by h i s sympathetic approach to r e l i g i o n . But h i s approach i s a l s o d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t from t h e i r s at a more ^ R i c k e t t s , "Mircea E l i a d e and the Death of God," pp.42-43. -26-s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l . In d e f i n i n g h i s approach against reductionism, E l i a d e d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between " s p i r i t u a l morphology" and on " s p i r i t u a l embryology!;" The l a t t e r i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the view that r e l i g i o n i s an epiphenomenon of some other aspect of human exi s t e n c e . In i t s rudimentary forms i t sees r e l i g i o n as a f e a r of the unknown, subconscious d r i v e s , or the p r o j e c t i o n of s o c i a l f o r c e s , and i n i t s more advanced forms, as a screen r a i s e d f o r economic and p o l i t i c a l reasons or a complex set of s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l f a c t o r s , " S p i r i t u a l morphology", on the other hand, i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the view t h a t , even should r e l i g i o n seem to have i t s b i r t h i n something e l s e , i t can be f u l l y understood only on i t s own plane of reference; as E l i a d e says, "the embryonic s t a t e does not account f o r the mode of being of the adult.-'1, This means one must t r e a t r e l i g i o n as a f u n c t i o n of the sacred r a t h e r than a f u n c t i o n of p o l i t i c a l , economic, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , or s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . No a l t e r n a t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n i s o f f e r e d f o r the f a c t that r e l i g i o u s l i f e i s b u i l t upon the idea (however incongruous to e m p i r i c a l i n q u i r y ) of an absolute, transcendent r e a l i t y ; t h i s f a c t i s simply s t a t e d . In order to account f o r the nature of r e l i g i o n as something i n and of i t s e l f one must E l i a d e , The Quest, p.21. E l i a d e d i f f e r e n t i a t e s the two i n a d i s c u s s i o n of "Freud's reductionism", but they are suggestive of the whole of h i s thought on the matter. 3 1 T W . , I b i d . -27-take the morphological path. * * * Thus a t t h i s p o i n t i n our d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s approach to r e l i g i o n , the importance of f i n d i n g a way to study r e l i g i o u s phenomena on t h e i r own plane of reference should be c l e a r . E l i a d e laments the unfortunate f a c t that a l l the "general t h e o r i e s " which have dominated the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s have come from i t s a u x i l i a r y 32 d i s c i p l i n e s , which have q u i t e n a t u r a l l y explained r e l i g i o n on t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l planes of reference. He f e e l s that the exist e n c e of the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s as an autonomous d i s c i p l i n e may very w e l l depend on i t s a r r i v i n g at a c l e a r general understanding of i t s p a r t i c u l a r s u b ject. As he puts i t : In s h o r t , we have neglected t h i s e s s e n t i a l f a c t : that i n the t i t l e of the " h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s " the accent ought not to be upon the word h i s t o r y , but upon the word r e l i g i o n s . . . . Before making a h i s t o r y of anything, we must have a proper understanding of what i t i_s_, i n and f o r i t s e l f . ^ I t has been i n d i c a t e d that the path to such an understanding i s a morphological one. In the next chapter, we w i l l examine E l i a d e ' s "morphology of the sacred" and see how i t c o n s t i t u t e s a n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c approach to r e l i g i o n . E l i a d e , The Two and the One, t r . J.M. Cohen (New York: Harper and Row, "T965T7 p7T95. 33 E l i a d e , Images and Symbols, t r . P h i l i p M a i r e t (New York: She'e'd and Ward, T961), p. 29. -28-I I , E l i a d e ' s Morphology of the Sacred: A Non-Reductionistic Method of I n t e r p r e t a t i o n E l i a d e ' s approach to a r e l i g i o u s phenomenon i n v o l v e s understanding the element of the sacred which i t contains. In order to understand the sacred, he seeks to comprehend the r e l i g i o u s o b j e c t , the r e l i g i o u s s u bject, and the r e l a t i o n between the two. He moreover recognizes every instance i n which the sacred appears as being a h i s t o r i c a l phenomenon (thus a l s o a s o c i a l phenomenon, a p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomenon, etc.) as w e l l as a hierophany, f o r i t i s not only to a c e r t a i n extent h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d but a l s o an independent m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the "wholly other;" A p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s phenomenon thus operates upon two l e v e l s . In E l i a d e ' s words: Each i s v a l u a b l e f o r two things i t t e l l s us: because i t i s a hierophany, i t r e v e a l s some modality of the sacred; because i t i s a h i s t o r i c a l i n c i d e n t , i t r e v e a l s some a t t i t u d e man has toward the sacred. In studying hierophanies, one can f i r s t d i s c e r n the modes of sacred appearance which they r e v e a l ; one can d i s c e r n the element of the sacred i n any given hierophany by i d e n t i f y i n g the morphological s t r u c t u r e of the sacred which i t expresses. E l i a d e , P a t t e r n s , p.2. -29-In t h i s chapter, i t w i l l be shown how E l i a d e goes about i d e n t i f y i n g such s t r u c t u r e s , f o r t h i s i s the s a l i e n t f e a t u r e of h i s n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c morphology of the sacred. The other h a l f of the problem,how he defines homo re l i g i o s . u s according to the way he r e l a t e s to the sacred, w i l l be the subject of the next chapter. To begin our d i s c u s s i o n of Eliade's morphology of the sacred, we w i l l introduce c e r t a i n c r i t e r i a to show how a r e d u c t i o n i s t i c method may be s a i d to d i f f e r from E l i a d e ' s n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c method. Second, we w i l l s i t u a t e h i s approach among contemporary approaches to the study of r e l i g i o n , s p e c i f i c a l l y , by c o n s i d e r i n g h i s a f f i n i t y w i t h the "phenomenology of r e l i g i o n ; " F i n a l l y , we w i l l show how E l i a d e c a r r i e s out h i s morphology of the sacred, how he i d e n t i f i e s the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred and seeks to grasp the meaning of r e l i g i o u s phenomena. N o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c Understanding What c r i t e r i a can be used to determine the extent to which a c e r t a i n method may be s a i d to be r e d u c t i o n i s t i c or n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c ? In h i s a r t i c l e , "Mircea E l i a d e : S t r u c t u r a l Hermeneutics and Philosophy;''! David Rasmussen s t a t e s ; To the extent that a theory i s imposed upon the o bject of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i t may be s a i d to be r e d u c t i o n i s t i c . To the extent that a theory may be s a i d to be the r e s u l t of -30-i n v e s t i g a t i o n i t may be s a i d to be 25 consequential, or deri v e d from the object. Using the example of E l i a d e ' s method f o r studying r e l i g i o u s phenomena, Rasmussen i n d i c a t e s what i t means f o r a theory of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to be deri v e d from i t s o b j e c t . He f e e l s t h a t , w i t h E l i a d e , r e l i g i o u s ' phenomena are shown to have c e r t a i n innate tendencies toward o r g a n i z a t i o n ; they are observed as always being p a r t of a l a r g e r "system." According to him, "understanding occurs when the t o t a l system of a s s o c i a t i o n s i s uncovered, or b e t t e r , reconstructed'/. As he sees i t , E l i a d e ' s theory of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n succeeds i n doing t h i s by means of the "morphological c l a s s i f i c a t i o n " of r e l i g i o u s phenomena and the "imaginative r e c o n s t r u c t i o n " 37 of t h e i r systems of a s s o c i a t i o n s . Rasmussen's a n a l y s i s thus d i s c l o s e s how E l i a d e s t u d i e s r e l i g i o u s phenomena upon t h e i r own plane of reference. When E l i a d e r e j e c t s approaches to r e l i g i o n which e x p l a i n i t i n terms of economics, psychology, s o c i o l o g y , e t c . , he does so because these plane?of reference c o n s t i t u t e e x t e r i o r norms. They are n o n - r e l i g i o u s planes of reference, and are a l s o i n f l u e n c e d by a h i s t o r i c i s t i c view of human existence that i s the opposite, of r e l i g i o u s David Rasmussen, "Mircea E l i a d e : S t r u c t u r a l Hermeneutics and Philosophy/' , Philosophy Today, 12 (Summer 1968), pp. 139-40. 3 6 I b i d . , p.142. 3 7 I b i d . , pp.142-43. -31-man's view. I f there i s a plane of reference which i s not e x t e r i o r to r e l i g i o n , u sing Rasmussen's c r i t e r i a , i t must be derived from the r e l i g i o u s phenomena themselves. Such a plane of reference i s to be found i n E l i a d e ' s morphology of the sacred. I t i s a r r i v e d at by the systematic arrangement of r e l i g i o u s phenomena i n t o morphological groups. The phenomena grouped together are not subjected to any e x t e r i o r norm; i n s t e a d t h e i r meaning i s a r r i v e d at by comparing them to one another. The process i s suggested by the phenomena themselves i n that the i n t e r p r e t e r sees how r e l i g i o n permits a view of the world as a t o t a l i t y , r e v e a l i n g to man the a s s o c i a t i o n s between d i s s i m i l a r aspects of h i s world, and t r i e s to repeat the procedure i n h i s s t u d i e s . The systematic arrangement and comparison of r e l i g i o u s phenomena i s t h e r e f o r e conceived as a process of i n t e g r a t i o n . As w i l l l a t e r be shown, by studying r e l i g i o u s phenomena through such a method of i n t e g r a t i o n , E l i a d e e s t a b l i s h e s h i s approach as the exact opposite of reductionism. Thus, E l i a d e ' s method or theory of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n may be considered an example of n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c understanding. In order to approach r e l i g i o u s phenomena at t h e i r own l e v e l , E l i a d e engages i n what can be roughly c h a r a c t e r i z e d as the systematic arrangement and comparison of these phenomena. These are the k i n d of methodological techniques which are g e n e r a l l y used by the "phenomenologist" of r e l i g i o n . An awareness of E l i a d e ' s a f f i n i t i e s w i t h -32-phenomenologistiS:, of r e l i g i o n c o n t r i b u t e s g r e a t l y to an understanding of h i s method of i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i g i o u s phenomena. Phenomenological Under s tanding I t i s g e n e r a l l y assumed that there are two d i s t i n c t contemporary approaches to the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s . The "historical'V.iapproach i s mainly concerned w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l f eatures of r e l i g i o n s , w h i l e the phenomenological approach i s mainly concerned w i t h i t s t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l , " e s s e n t i a l " f e a t u r e s , E l i a d e w r i t e s of these approaches: At present, h i s t o r i a n s of r e l i g i o n are d i v i d e d between two divergent but com-plementary methodological o r i e n t a t i o n s . One group concentrate p r i m a r i l y on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s phenomena, the other choose to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l context, The former seek to understand the essence  of r e l i g i o n , the l a t t e r to discover and communicate i t s h i s t o r y . 3 8 Although he i s aware that h i s t o r i a n s of r e l i g i o n s are g e n e r a l l y d i v i d e d i n t o two groups, one whose approach to r e l i g i o n i s d e f i n i t e l y more " a h i s t o r i c a l " than the other, he i s r e l u c t a n t to s i t u a t e h i m s e l f squarely w i t h i n the a h i s t o r i c a l l y o r i e n t e d group known as phenomenologists of r e l i g i o n . Commentators on h i s w o r k , c r i t i c s and supporters a l i k e , are not n e a r l y so r e l u c t a n t to do so. In order to E l i a d e , The Sacred and the Profane, p.232. - 3 3 -c l a r i f y t h i s problem, l e t us begin w i t h what E l i a d e considers h i m s e l f to b e — a general h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s . E l i a d e f e e l s that the systematic arrangement and comparison of r e l i g i o u s phenomena i s best s a t i s f i e d when the phenomena being s t u d i e d are s e l e c t e d from numerous and d i v e r s e h i s t o r i c a l contexts. He b e l i e v e s that t h i s k i n d of broad scope i s a b s o l u t e l y necessary f o r a r r i v i n g a t a c l e a r general understanding of r e l i g i o n . To show the breadth of scope r e q u i r e d of s c h o l a r s i n the f i e l d of allegemeine R e l i g i o n s g e s c h i c h t e , he p o i n t s to the example of R a f f a e l e P e t t a z z o n i , who " d i d not h e s i t a t e to handle c e n t r a l , though immense, p r o b l e m s — t h e o r i g i n of monotheism, the Sky gods, the M y s t e r i e s , the confessions of s i n . . . e t c . For t h i s same reason, E l i a d e considers h i m s e l f a general h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s . E l i a d e a l s o p o i n t s out that P e t t a z z o n i became aware, l a t e i n h i s career, of the value of the phenomenological approach to r e l i g i o n f o r handling i t s c e n t r a l and general themes. He p r a i s e s P e t t a z z o n i , above a l l , f o r h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the complementary r o l e s of "phenomenology" and " h i s t o r y " i n the study of r e l i g i o n . He quotes P e t t a z z o n i as f o l l o w s : "Phenomenology and h i s t o r y complement each other. Phenomenology cannot do without ethnology, p h i l o g y , and other h i s t o r i c a l d i s c i p l i n e s . Phenomenology, on the other hand, gives the h i s t o r i c a l d i s c i p l i n e s that E l i a d e , The Quest, p.29. -34-sense of the r e l i g i o u s which they are unable to capture. So conceived, r e l i g i o u s phenomenology i s the r e l i g i o u s understanding (Verstandniss)of h i s t o r y ; i t i s h i s t o r y i n i t s r e l i g i o u s dimension. Phenomenology and h i s t o r y are not two sciences but are two complementary aspects of the i n t e g r a l science of r e l i g i o n , and the science of r e l i g i o n as such has a w e l l - d e f i n e d character given to i t by i t s unique and proper subject matter."40 E l i a d e t e l l s us that h i s own view of the r e l a t i o n between phenomenology and h i s t o r y i s s i m i l a r ; he chooses to describe t h i s r e l a t i o n as a "healthy t e n s i o n " and says i t i s one that w i l l never be done away with, 4''" What he does not t e l l us, e i t h e r i n h i s remarks on the general h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s or on the t e n s i o n between phenomenology and h i s t o r y i n the study of r e l i g i o n s , i s whether he considers h i m s e l f a phenomenologist or a h i s t o r i a n i n the s t r i c t sense. When he does b r i n g up t h i s i s s u e , as i n h i s "Foreword" to Shamanism, he suggests that h i s work as a h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i s d i f f e r e n t from that of the phenomenologist. They are d i f f e r e n t he says: For the l a t t e r , i n p r i n c i p l e , r e j e c t s any work of comparison; confronted w i t h one r e l i g i o u s phenomenon or another he confines h i m s e l f to "approaching" i t and d i v i n i n g i t s meaning. Whereas the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s does not reach a comprehension of a phenomenon u n t i l he has compared i t w i t h thousands of s i m i l a r and d i s s i m i l a r phenomena, u n t i l he 4 0 I b i d , , p.9,n,8, 4 1 I b i d . , pp.8-9, -35-has s i t u a t e d i t among them; and these thousands of phenomena are separated not only i n time but a l s o i n space.A2-From t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s aims we can draw our own conclusions about E l i a d e ' s a f f i n i t y w i t h the phenomenologist of r e l i g i o n , d e s p i te what he says the phenomenologist does, or ought to do, " i n principle;-'! By p o i n t i n g out the comparative nature of h i s s t u d i e s E l i a d e d i s c l o s e s the most b a s i c a f f i n i t y between h i m s e l f and the best known re p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the phenomenology of r e l i g i o n . C. J . Bleeker, f o r example, leaves no doubt concerning the comparative nature of the phenomenology of r e l i g i o n as he sees i t . He says: "one can r i g h t l y s t a t e that t h i s science i s u s i n g the method of comparison. For i t places analogous r e l i g i o u s phenomena, e.g., c e r t a i n forms of the idea of God, side by ,,,,43 sid e and t r i e s to define t h e i r s t r u c t u r e by comparisons Brede Kristensen's emphasis i s s i m i l a r ; he groups together numerous phenomena of d i v e r s e o r i g i n s so that they may, as he simply puts i t , "shed l i g h t upon one another,. Thus, one should not be prevented from c o n s i d e r i n g E l i a d e a phenomenologist of r e l i g i o n because the phenomenologist / 0 E l i a d e , Shamanism: Ar c h a i c Techniques of Ecstasy, t r . W i l l a r d Trask, B o l l i n g e n S e r i e s LXXVI (P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1964), p.xv. 4 3 C . J . Bleeker, "The Phenomenological Method^' The Sacred  Bridge (Leiden: E.J. B r i l l , 1963), p.2. Brede K r i s t e n s e n , The Meaning of R e l i g i o n , t r . John B. Carmen (The Hague; Martinus N i j h o f f , i 9 6 0 ) , p.2, -36-of r e l i g i o n " r e j e c t s any work of comparison," I t i s c l e a r that the phenomenology of r e l i g i o n sees i t s e l f as a comparative science, which gives i t at l e a s t one a f f i n i t y w i t h E l i a d e ' s work as a general h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s . E l i a d e ' s i n t e r p r e t i v e work has been described as i n v o l v i n g the "systematic arrangement" and the "comparison" of r e l i g i o u s phenomena. Put another way, the systematic arrangement of phenomena e s t a b l i s h e s the necessary b a s i s f o r t h e i r comparison. This means that before c e r t a i n phenomena can be compared i t must be shown that they belong to the same group and that they share some b a s i c s i m i l a r i t y . E l i a d e attempts to show these two things i n e x a c t l y the same way as most phenomenologists of r e l i g i o n do, which i s through the use of typology and s t r u c t u r e . The s t u d i e s of phenomenologists of r e l i g i o n are considered a h i s t o r i c a l and morphological because they i n v o l v e the use of t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l types. That i s to say, the b a s i c c a t e g o r i e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n these s t u d i e s are t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l r a t h e r than h i s t o r i c a l ; each includes phenomena of a type found i n numerous d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s contexts, e.g., " i n i t i a t i o n s , " " c r e a t i o n myths," "sky gods," e t c . , and are thus d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the normal categories f o r the h i s t o r i c a l study of r e l i g i o n , e.g., "Buddhism," "Hinduism," " r e l i g i o n i n I n d i a , " " r e l i g i o n i n the Far East," e t c . As t h i s suggests, the path f o l l o w e d by a l l phenomenologists of r e l i g i o n i n i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e i r data i s one which leads from the p a r t i c u l a r to the u n i v e r s a l . The u n d e r l y i n g - 3 7 -assumption of t h i s k i n d of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t h a t the phenomena grouped together, though d i s s i m i l a r i n t h e i r outward h i s t o r i c a l appearance, are homologous at some other ( n o n - h i s t o r i c a l ) l e v e l . The phenomenology o f r e l i g i o n main-t a i n s t h a t t h i s i s a s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l . Phenomenologists o f r e l i g i o n r e c o g n i z e the use o f s t r u c t u r e as the most v a l u a b l e means f o r homologizing h i s t o r i c a l l y d i s s i m i l a r phenomena and a r r i v i n g a t t h e i r meanings. The d i s c o v e r y of s t r u c t u r e has had g r e a t importance f o r c o m p a r a t i v i s t s o f a l l k i n d s because i t a l l o w s them to pass from one context to another without l o s i n g s t a b i l i t y . Through the s t r u c t u r a l approach, they can d i s c o v e r an i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y of r e l i g i o u s phenomena which transcends the meanings the phenomena have i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t s . When c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s phenomena are shown to have the same s t r u c t u r e , they may r e v e a l meanings which are not expressed by any one of them alone. I n q u i r y i n t o s t r u c t u r e thus enables phenomenologists o f r e l i g i o n to grasp the b a s i c forms of d i v e r s e r e l i g i o u s phenomena and to e s t a b l i s h i n t e r p r e t a t i v e c a t e g o r i e s which cut across h i s t o r i c a l l i n e s . The phenomenology of r e l i g i o n shows t h a t " i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s " or " c r e a t i o n myths,", f o r example, taken from a l l kinds of separate h i s t o r i c a l c ontexts form a t o t a l c o n f i g u r a t i o n or "system" independent of e x t e r i o r f a c t o r s governing t h e i r o p e r a t i o n w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o n . T h i s a c t of t r a n s f o r m i n g numerous and d i v e r s e h i s t o r i c a l phenomena i n t o a coherent whole i s what -38-gives the phenomenology of r e l i g i o n i t s systematic or morophological character. I t i s o f t e n s a i d , however, that the w h o l i s t i c under-standing of a set of phenomena which the phenomenologist o f f e r s i s p r i m a r i l y the r e s u l t of h i s own i n t u i t i v e understanding r a t h e r than of any d i s t i n c t and repeatable method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . One of the outstanding c r i t i c s of the phenomenology of r e l i g i o n , W i l l a r d Oxtoby, presents t h i s view i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of "the e i d e t i c v i s i o n ^ ' a term used by c e r t a i n phenomenologists to describe t h e i r e f f o r t to grasp the meaning of a set of r e l i g i o u s phenomena as a whole. He s t a t e s : Thus having set aside the procrustean beds of preconceived c r i t i c a l n o t i o n s , the phenomenologist a p p l i e s to h i s subject "the e i d e t i c vision, 1,' a grasp of a r e l i g i o u s c o n f i g u r a t i o n i n i t s t o t a l i t y . . . . There i s nothing outside of one's i n t u i t i v e grasp of a p a t t e r n which v a l i d a t e s t h a t p a t t e r n . The phenomenologist i s o b l i g e d simply to set f o r t h h i s understanding as a whole, t r u s t i n g that h i s reader w i l l enter i n t o i t . But there i s no procedure s t a t e d by which he can compel a second phenomenologist to agree w i t h the adequacy and i n c o n t r o v e r t i b i l i t y of h i s a n a l y s i s , unless the second phenomenologist's e i d e t i c v i s i o n happens to be the same as the f i r s t ' s . 5 I t i s not contestable that i n t u i t i o n may p l a y a l a r g e r o l e i n the phenomenologist's grasp of the meaning of a type of r e l i g i o u s phenomena; however, the presence of i n t u i t i o n ^ W i l l a r d Gurdon Oxtoby, " R e l i g i o n s wissenschaft R e v i s i t e d , " R e l i g i o n s i n A n t i q u i t y , ed. Jacob Neusner (Leiden: E.J, B r i l l , 1968), p.597, -39-does not n e c e s s a r i l y imply the l a c k of a d i s t i n c t and repeatable procedure f o r v e r i f y i n g the phenomenologist's conclusions. I f there i s one t h i n g that makes phenomenological understanding at a l l unique i t i s the f a c t that i t r a i s e s i n t u i t i o n to the l e v e l of a v a l i d i n t e r p r e t i v e technique. A l l phenomenological i n v e s t i g a t i o n s s t r i v e to provide t h e o r e t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r an i n t u i t i v e understanding of r e a l i t y , Thus phenomenol-o g i s t s c onstruct t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks to s y s t e m a t i c a l l y arrange and compare r e l i g i o u s phenomena, A more s p e c i f i c demonstration of how such a t h e o r e t i c a l framework may be u t i l i z e d w i l l be given i n the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s d i s t i n c t i v e method of i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i g i o u s phenomena. The Features of E l i a d e ! s Method The features of E l i a d e ' s method w i l l be presented here as a continuous s e r i e s of procedures by which he a r r i v e s at the meaning of r e l i g i o u s phenomena. This o u t l i n e of h i s method i s d e r i v e d from h i s v a r i o u s i n t e r p r e t i v e works; i t i s not one which E l i a d e presents as such i n any of h i s w r i t i n g s on methodology i n the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s . ^ His method According to a l i s t which he provides i n The Quest, p.8, n.6., h i s w r i t i n g s on methodology i n c l u d e the f o l l o w i n g : P a t t e r n s , pp.1-33; Images and Symbols, pp. 27-41 and 161-78; Myths, Dreams, and Myster1es, pp.13-20 and 99-122; and "Methodological Remarks on the Study of R e l i g i o u s Symbolism^" The H i s t o r y of  R e l i g i o n s ; Essays i n Methodology, ed, M. E l i a d e and J. M. Kitagawa (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1959), pp. 86-107. This l a s t a r t i c l e a l s o appears as Ch, V, of The Two and the One and w i l l be c i t e d here as such. -40-e s s e n t i a l l y c o n s i s t s of the f o l l o w i n g four stages; f i r s t , the i n t r o d u c t o r y stage i n which he suggests how the proper i n t e r p r e t i v e c a t e g o r i e s can be derived; second, the t y p o l o g i c a l stage; t h i r d , the s t r u c t u r a l stage; ;and fou r t h , t h e end product, the meaning of r e l i g i o u s phenomena as a r r i v e d at through comparison. The p a r t i c u l a r way i n which E l i a d e conceives a h i s t o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t i v e c a t e g o r i e s r e s u l t s from h i s b e l i e f that a l l r e l i g i o u s phenomena, by t h e i r hierophanic nature, p o i n t beyond themselves; that i s , they have an u l t i m a t e l y "symbolic" character. He remarks: No assumption could be more c e r t a i n than that every r e l i g i o u s a ct and every c u l t object has a metaempirical purpose. The tree that becomes a c u l t object i s not worshipped as a t r e e , but as a hierophany, a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the sacred. And every r e l i g i o u s a c t , from the moment that i t becomes r e l i g i o u s i s charged w i t h a s i g n i f i c a n c e that i s , i n the f i n a l i n s t a n c e , "symbolic" s i n c e i t r e f e r s to supernatural values of forms.47 The ca t e g o r i e s of r e l i g i o u s phenomena which he attempts to i d e n t i f y and understand are considered, i n t h i s broad sense, "symbol systems." Furthermore, these c a t e g o r i e s of phenomena are deriv e d from examining c e r t a i n systematic tendencies which r e l i g i o u s phenomena have as symbols. The systematic tendencies of r e l i g i o u s phenomena were described p r e v i o u s l y i n general terms; t h e i r s p e c i f i c nature can now E l i a d e , The Two and the One, p.199. -41-be more f u l l y d i s c l o s e d . E l i a d e speaks of two kinds of systematic tendencies which he has found a p p l i c a b l e to r e l i g i o u s phenomena of a l l types; one i s the tendency of each toward an archetype and the other i s the tendency of each to imply the whole system to which i t belongs. With regard to the f i r s t , he s t a t e s ; "However many and v a r i e d are the components that go together to make up any r e l i g i o u s c r e a t i o n (any d i v i n e form, r i t e , myth or c u l t ) t h e i r expression tends c o n s t a n t l y 48 to r e v e r t to an archetype." , Of the second, he t e l l s us: "The tendency of each to become the Whole i s r e a l l y a tendency to f i t the : rwhole' i n t o a s i n g l e system, to reduce the m u l t i p l i c i t y of things to a s i n g l e - s i t u a t i o n ' i n such a way as to make i t as comprehensible as i t can 49 be made." This means that every hierophany r e f e r s both to an a r c h e t y p a l form and to some l a r g e r u n i t y (e.g., s o c i e t y or the cosmos). The sacred thus r e v e a l s i t s e l f not only as something "wholly other" and i r r e d u c i b l e , but a l s o as something s t r u c t u r a l , i . e . , as archetype and system. E l i a d e w r i t e s ; On the one hand, the sacred i s , supremely, the other than man--the transcendent, the transpersonal--and, on the other hand, the sacred i s the exemplary i n the sense that E l i a d e , P a t t e r n s , pp,58-59. I b i d . , p.453. -42-i t e s t a b l i s h e s patterns to be followe d ; by being transcendent and exemplary i t compels the r e l i g i o u s man to come out of personal s i t u a t i o n s , to surpass the contingent and the p a r t i c u l a r and to comply w i t h general values, w i t h the un i v e r s a l . 5 0 Because the sacred r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the form of exemplary p a t t e r n s , i t i s p o s s i b l e to speak of a morphology of the sacred, or of " s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred." The c h i e f aim of E l i a d e ' s method i s to i d e n t i f y the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, and i t s c h i e f problem i s that these symbolic s t r u c t u r e s never appear i n pure form i n h i s t o r y . In order to r e c o n s t r u c t the t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l symbol systems which the h i s t o r i c a l l y given r e l i g i o u s phenomena are s a i d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n , i t i s necessary to pay s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n to the systematic tendencies of the phenomena; that i s , to place each i n i t s t o t a l system and disc o v e r the a r c h e t y p a l form to which i t r e f e r s . David Rasmussen pointed out that t h i s i s a two-stage procedure, i n v o l v i n g "morphological c l a s s i f i c a t i o n " and "imaginative r e c o n s t r u c t i o n . " The f i r s t corresponds to the t y p o l o g i c a l stage of E l i a d e ' s method, and the second to i t s s t r u c t u r a l stage. As E l i a d e a r r i v e s at a b a s i c d e f i n i t i o n of r e l i g i o u s phenomena through the n o t i o n of hierophany--the sacred E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , p.18. -43-showing i t s e l f - - h e a r r i v e s at a typology of r e l i g i o u s phenomena by d e t e c t i n g the var i o u s modes of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n . He c l a s s i f i e s phenomena under the headings of various hierophanies: lunar, s o l a r , v e g e t a l , and ones p e r t a i n i n g to water, stones, e a r t h , sky, e t c , These morphological types are not, however, mutually e x c l u s i v e ; w i t h i n each the broadest p o s s i b l e spectrum of phenomena i s incorporated, a l l o w i n g f o r a great deal of overlapping. I t i s i n terms of the whole that each p a r t i s understood, and t h i s understanding can only be s a t i s f i e d w i t h a view of the whole which encompasses the greatest number and v a r i e t y of r e l a t e d phenomena. When E l i a d e s t u d i e s lunar hierophanies, f o r example, he brings i n t o h i s a n a l y s i s phenomena from a l l areas of human l i f e - - a g r i c u l t u r e , sex, i n i t i a t i o n s , chronologies, funerals--which have at one time or another been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the moon. He f e e l s that only through an a n a l y s i s of t h i s scope can one grasp the sense of "system" which emerges when the phenomena of a c e r t a i n type are taken together. He a l s o f e e l s that the meaning of any system so a r r i v e d at can be understood only a f t e r i t s " t o t a l p a t t e r n " i s discovered. This leads to the s t r u c t u r a l stage of E l i a d e ' s method, which i n v o l v e s the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the t o t a l system of a s s o c i a t i o n s i n which phenomena of a type p a r t i c i p a t e , When E l i a d e speaks of the " s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred" he r e f e r s to c e r t a i n patterns through which the sacred r e v e a l s i t s e l f . When he says that each such p a t t e r n must -44-be grasped i n i t s t o t a l i t y he means that one must take i n t o account a l l of the d i f f e r e n t symbolic themes which can be expressed through a c e r t a i n hierophanic mode, For example, he w r i t e s of lunar hierophanies that "the whole p a t t e r n i s moon-rain-fertility-woman-serpent-death-periodic-regenerationj :' ? and argues that a p a t t e r n of any l e s s e r scope w i l l tend to obscure the o v e r a l l meaning of t h i s symbol system."^ To understand such a system as a coherent whole i t i s necessary to discover i t s a r c h e t y p a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . E l i a d e t e l l s us a l l the themes expressed through lunar symbolism are permeated by a s i n g l e "dominant i d e a " , which i s "one of rhythm c a r r i e d out through the succession of c o n t r a r i e s . " The s t r u c t u r a l stage of h i s method thus shows how a symbol system holds i t s e l f together and r e v e a l s how s u p e r f i c i a l l y d i s p a r a t e phenomena can be i n t e g r a t e d i n t o a coherent whole. The r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of a r e l i g i o u s symbol system i n t h i s f a s h i o n , i . e . , by a process of i n t e g r a t i o n , c o n t r i b u t e s i n two ways to a r r i v i n g at i t s meaning. F i r s t , imaginative r e c o n s t r u c t i o n shows how a symbol system f u n c t i o n s to i n t e g r a t e heterogeneous r e a l i t i e s ; second, i t e s t a b l i s h e s the b a s i s f o r a comparative a n a l y s i s of meaning by u n i t i n g s u p e r f i c i a l l y d i s p a r a t e phenomena at the l e v e l of s t r u c t u r e . E l i a d e , P a t t e r n s , p. 17.0, I b i d . , p.183. -45-In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , d e s c r i p t i o n of the system as an i n t e g r a t e d whole r e f l e c t s i t s meaning as an i n t e g r a t o r of heterogeneous r e a l i t i e s (man, the v a r i o u s aspects of h i s e x i s t e n c e ; sex, a g r i c u l t u r e , time, e t c . , and the things i n h i s environment: earth, waters, sky, e t c . ) , Hans Penner underlines the importance of t h i s d e s c r i p t i v e procedure f o r the phenomenological understanding of r e l i g i o n as f o l l o w s ; This d e s c r i p t i o n of the meaning of r e l i g i o u s symbols i s an exact p a r a l l e l of E l i a d e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n ' s task. I t i s the best example I know of where the meaning of r e l i g i o u s symbolism as an i n t e g r a t e d , coherent u n i t y and the i n t e r p r e t i v e work as an i n t e g r a t i o n of the v a r i o u s r e l i g i o u s phenomena form a s i n g l e and c o n s i s t e n t c o r r e l a t i o n . I t i s the e x e m p l i f i c a t i o n of the maxim that the "method should f i t the phenomena.'.' This c o r r e l a t i o n prevents the r e d u c t i o n of the meaning of r e l i g i o n as i t appears i n and f o r i t s e l f , and i t thus represents the aim of a l l phenomenologies of r e l i g i o n . 5 3 This statement by Penner echoes previous comments on the n o n - r e d u c t i o n i s t i c nature of E l i a d e ' s method: the method " f i t s " the phenomena being i n t e r p r e t e d because i t i s d e r i v e d from t h e i r own f u n c t i o n of i n t e g r a t i o n , and i s the opposite of reductionism because i t u t i l i z e s t h i s f u n c t i o n i t s e l f . In a d d i t i o n to r e v e a l i n g the coherence of a set of r e l i g i o u s symbols, imaginative r e c o n s t r u c t i o n provides the 5 3Hans H, Penner, "Myth and R i t u a l ; A Wasteland or a Forest of Symbols, " On Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , ed. James S. H e i f e r , B e i h e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968), p.55. -46-b a s i s f o r a comparative a n a l y s i s of t h e i r meanings because i t incorporates them under the same " t o t a l p a t t e r n " . a s p e c i f i c s t r u c t u r e of the sacred, E l i a d e ' s aim w i t h regard to the meanings expressed by: r e l i g i o u s symbols i s to show how they have become attached to a s p e c i f i c s t r u c t u r e ; t h i s i s , f o r him, j u s t the opposite of t h e i r r e d u c t i o n , He s t a t e s ; One cannot s u f f i c i e n t l y i n s i s t on t h i s p o i n t ; that the examination of symbolic s t r u c t u r e s i s a work not of r e d u c t i o n but of i n t e g r a t i o n . One compares and c o n t r a s t s two expressions of a symbol not i n order to reduce them to a s i n g l e p r e - e x i s t e n t expression, but i n order to d i s c o v e r the process by which a s t r u c t u r e i s capable of e n r i c h i n g i t s meanings.54 E l i a d e both incorporates the broadest p o s s i b l e spectrum of r e l a t e d phenomena under a morphological type and seeks to take i n t o account the m u l t i p l i c i t y of meanings which have become attached to a s t r u c t u r e of the sacred i n h i s t o r y . He f e e l s a l l of these meanings are important f o r under-standing each p a r t i c u l a r instance i n which a s t r u c t u r e appears. This i d e a u n d e r l i e s the process of comparative a n a l y s i s which consummates h i s method. E l i a d e b e l i e v e s that each r e l i g i o u s phenomenon i m p l i e s the whole system to which i t belongs and r e f l e c t s the t o t a l i t y of meanings that can be expressed through i t s s t r u c t u r e . Every appearance of a s t r u c t u r e d e l i v e r s ' i t s f u l l meaning, the meaning of the whole, whether or not t h i s E l i a d e , The Two and the One, p,201. -47-i s c o n s c i o u s l y recognized. Thus, each p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon must be understood i n terms of the t o t a l i t y of meanings that can be expressed through i t s attendant s t r u c t u r e . This determines the und e r l y i n g p r i n c i p l e of E l i a d e ' s comparative a n a l y s i s of meaning, which i s that a l l phenomena w i t h a common s t r u c t u r e may be s a i d to share i n the same meanings, On t h i s b a s i s he f e e l s j u s t i f i e d i n u s i n g instances i n which the meaning of a s t r u c t u r e i s a p p a r e n t — s o - c a l l e d " c l e a r " h i e r o p h a n i e s - - i n order to decipher those i n which the meaning i s l e s s o b v i o u s - - s o - c a l l e d "obscure" hierophanies. In i t s most common form t h i s technique i n v o l v e s applying the meaning revealed by a symbol i n i t s "maturity" to the understanding of i t s more elementary forms. In support of t h i s approach, E l i a d e r e f e r s to modern psychology. He s t a t e s : . . .one has not the r i g h t to conclude that the message of the symbol i s confined only to those s i g n i f i c a n c e s of which these i n d i v i d u a l s [of one p a r t i c u l a r t r a d i t i o n 3 are f u l l y conscious. The depth p s y c h o l o g i s t has taught us that a symbol d e l i v e r s i t s message and f u l f i l l s i t s f u n c t i o n even when i t s meaning escapes the conscious mind.55 An example of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r approach which w i l l show how the comparative stage of h i s method works i n general can 5 6 be found i n h i s study of ascension symbolism. The meaning revealed through the s t r u c t u r e of ascension symbolism on the plane of metaphysics and mysticism, I b i d , , p , 2 I l , E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , pp.99-122. -48-he says, w i l l guide us to a c l e a r e r understanding of i t s r o l e i n r i t u a l , myth, and d r e a m - l i f e . He f e e l s that the meaning which i s c l e a r l y expressed on t h i s plane--of freedom, of ecstasy, and of surpassing the human cond i t i o n - - c a n be a p p l i e d to the simplest r i t u a l acts of p r e l i t e r a t e men i n which the s t r u c t u r e of ascension symbolism i s i n v o l v e d . He thus f i n d s that the shamanic r i t e of c l i m b i n g a t r e e c a r r i e s w i t h i t the meaning expressed by ascension symbolism i n i t s m a t u r i t y ; the r o l e of the shaman i n h i s s o c i e t y as "psychopompi!' the guide of men's souls and t h e i r mediator to the world of s p i r i t s , c o i n c i d e s w i t h h i s a s c e n s i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s and t h e i r e s s e n t i a l meaning of surpassing the human c o n d i t i o n . Comparative a n a l y s i s of t h i s k i n d not only sheds l i g h t on these r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s of the shaman but a l s o corroborates the meaning expressed through ascension symbolism on another plane. Comparative a n a l y s i s of meaning i n t h i s manner provides t h e o r e t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r an i n t u i t i v e understanding of r e a l i t y . I t must be admitted, i n i t i a l l y , t hat the meaning of a s i n g l e phenomenon i s o f t e n a r r i v e d at by an i n t u i t i v e procedure, on a n o n - d i s c u r s i v e , unconscious l e v e l . This f o l l o w s E l i a d e ' s b e l i e f that "a symbol d e l i v e r s i t s message and f u l f i l l s i t s f u n c t i o n even when i t s meaning escapes the conscious mind,1!! Recognizing the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by t h i s s i t u a t i o n , E l i a d e does not a t t a c h c o n c l u s i v e importance to the meaning revealed to i n t u i t i o n from l o o k i n g at a s i n g l e hierophany. He draws - 4 9 -h i s conclusions about the meaning of one such phenomenon only a f t e r s i t u a t i n g i t i n a system along w i t h s t r u c t u r a l l y r e l a t e d phenomena and comparing i t w i t h them, The i n t u i t i v e grasp of a phenomenon's meaning, enhanced by i t s being viewed w i t h i n i t s own proper system of a s s o c i a t i o n s , becomes s u s c e p t i b l e to v e r i f i c a t i o n through comparative a n a l y s i s . To r e i t e r a t e , i n t u i t i o n i s v e r i f i e d through comparison. What makes t h i s p o s s i b l e i s an i n t e r p r e t i v e p r i n c i p l e connecting meaning and s t r u c t u r e : s t r u c t u r a l l y s i m i l a r phenomena supply meanings f o r one another; the meaning of a phenomenon is/.the c o r r e l a t e of i t s s t r u c t u r e , and every other appearance of that s t r u c t u r e provides an opportunity to corroborate i t s meaning. Thus, E l i a d e ' s method of i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i g i o u s phenomena succeeds i n p r o v i d i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r i n t u i t i v e understanding. •k * In c o n c l u s i o n , the importance of s t r u c t u r e i s evident throughout E l i a d e ' s approach to the study of r e l i g i o n . His s p i r i t u a l morphology i s made p o s s i b l e by the ide a that the sacred r e v e a l s i t s e l f as s t r u c t u r e . The aim of s p i r i t u a l morphology i s to t r e a t r e l i g i o u s phenomena non-reduction-i s t i c a l l y j t o d i s c e r n t h e i r unique i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y as  something r e l i g i o u s . E l i a d e grasps t h i s i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y through understanding the modes of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n and the s t r u c t u r e s which govern them. The var i o u s modes of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n ( l u n a r , s o l a r , v e g e t a l , etc.) - 5 0 -provide the i n t e r p r e t i v e c a t e g o r i e s or morphological types f o r grouping the h i s t o r i c a l l y d i v e r s e phenomena, E l i a d e i n t e g r a t e s the phenomena grouped together i n t o a t o t a l p a t t e r n , a system of meaning which i s s a i d to be i m p l i e d by any one of them because i t i s expressed through t h e i r common s t r u c t u r e . He a r r i v e s at a morphology of the sacred when the v a r i o u s s t r u c t u r e s and the systems of meaning connected w i t h each of them are i d e n t i f i e d . This method of approaching r e l i g i o u s phenomena by means of i d e n t i f y i n g the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred does not impose a t h e o r e t i c a l framework upon the phenomena. E l i a d e ' s morphology of the sacred i s not a deductive typology; r a t h e r , i t i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of the inherent u n i t y and the necessary, p r e - o b j e c t i v e s t r u c t u r e of r e l i g i o u s l i f e . This morphology does serve the r e l a t i v e l y modest purpose of p r o v i d i n g a h e u r i s t i c framework f o r d i s c u s s i n g r e l i g i o n as something i n and of i t s e l f , apart from i t s c o n d i t i o n i n g s i n o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y . In a sense analogous to A r t H i s t o r y , f o r example, i t provides the c a t e g o r i e s , themes, and vocabulary needed f o r c r o s s - c u l t u r a l understanding. But i t a l s o has a more ambitious aim; i t attempts to i d e n t i f y the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred and seeks to d i s c o v e r the foundation of human r e l i g i o u s n e s s . This aim w i l l become more apparent as we i n v e s t i g a t e f u r t h e r the claims E l i a d e has made concerning h i s s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, and the r o l e these s t r u c t u r e s have i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of homo r e l i g i o s u s . -51-I I I , The Structures of the Sacred and The Mode of Being of Homo R e l i g i o s u s The g r e a t e s t controversy i n commentaries upon E l i a d e ' s work a r i s e s over the nature and stat u s of h i s s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred. In E l i a d e ' s view, these s t r u c t u r e s have s i g n i f i c a n c e above and beyond simply being h e u r i s t i c devices f o r d i s c u s s i n g r e l i g i o n as a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l phenomenon. Though derived from h i s t o r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , they p r e - e x i s t t h e i r a c t u a l appearance i n h i s t o r y ; moreover, though i d e n t i f i e d through study of r e l i g i o n s of past c u l t u r e s , they a l s o s u r v i v e on a l l s o r t s of l e v e l s ( i n l i t e r a t u r e , dreams, a r t , the cinema) i n the d e s a c r a l i z e d world of modern man. In h i s claims f o r p r e - o b j e c t i v e existence and s u r v i v a l i n nonsacred s o c i e t i e s , E l i a d e suggests that these s t r u c t u r e s are necessary and u n i v e r s a l . They possess a fundamental q u a l i t y which i s una l t e r e d by h i s t o r y . The problem of determining the a c t u a l nature of these s t r u c t u r e s , however, s t i l l remains. As was pointed out i n the previous chapter, according to E l i a d e , these s t r u c t u r e s are patterns which govern the sacred's mode of m a n i f e s t a t i o n . This i s b u t , h a l f of the d e f i n i t i o n , f o r these s t r u c t u r e s must a l s o be r e l a t e d to patterns of human r e l i g i o u s behavior. E l i a d e ' s hermeneutics, understood as "the e f f o r t to understand the - 5 2 -s e l f through the mediation of the other/ 1' has the f i n a l aim of transforming the m a t e r i a l s at h i s d i s p o s a l i n t o a p i c t u r e of r e l i g i o u s man's mode of being-in-the world, and lea d i n g contemporary man to i n t e r p o l a t e t h i s "other" mode of being i n t o h i s modern consciousness. Any i n q u i r y i n t o the nature and stat u s of E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred must u l t i m a t e l y show how they f u n c t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to the mode of being of homo r e l i g i o s u s as a p a r t i c u l a r dimension of human existe n c e . As the nature and stat u s of E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s has been the subject of much commentary, i t i s necessary to introduce and evaluate these c r i t i q u e s before d e a l i n g w i t h the f u n c t i o n of h i s s t r u c t u r e s i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of homo r e l i g i o s u s . In general, c r i t i c s complain that they f i n d i t impossible to f o l l o w E l i a d e from h i s h i s t o r i c a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t to h i s " t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l " s t r u c t u r e s . Douglas A l l e n c a l l s t h i s complaint "the most frequent c r i t i c i s m of h i s phenomenological approach;V and describes i t as f o l l o w s : This general c r i t i c i s m u s u a l l y contends that E l i a d e , w h i l e i n v e s t i g a t i n g p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s , a r r i v e s at h i s u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e s by means of h i g h l y un-c r i t i c a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s ; thus he "reads into'' h i s s p e c i f i c r e l i g i o u s data a l l kinds of " s o p h i s t i c a t e d " u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e s and meanings. I t seems to me that u n d e r l y i n g most of these methodological c r i t i c i s m s i s the assumption t h a t E l i a d e proceeds by some k i n d of i n d u c t i v e inference, , . . C r i t i c s submit that they cannot f o l l o w E l i a d e ' s i n d u c t i v e procedure; they do not f i n d i t p o s s i b l e to -53-g e n e r a l i z e from the p a r t i c u l a r examples to h i s "profound" u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s experience.57 This general c r i t i c i s m can be found i n the commentaries of Edmund Leach, a le a d i n g B r i t i s h a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , and Robert B a i r d , an American h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s who has been a c o n s i s t e n t c r i t i c of the phenomenological approach to r e l i g i o n i n general. The s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r c r i t i c i s m s f o r purposes of the present d i s c u s s i o n l i e s i n the f a c t t h a t each a s s i s t s i n answering, r e s p e c t i v e l y , one of the two c r u c i a l questions that bear upon the nature of E l i a d e ! s t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e s : i n what sense are they " s t r u c t u r e s " ? ; and, i n what sense are they " t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l " ? E l i a d e ' s View of S t r u c t u r e In l i g h t of the current vogue f o r s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s i n the humanities and the s o c i a l s ciences, t h i s i n q u i r y i n t o the nature of E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s must examine the way i n which h i s a n a l y s i s compares to that of " s t r u c t u r a l i s m " as i t i s most u s u a l l y p r a c t i c e d . S t r u c t u r a l i s m i n i t s most common form i s a method of study whose aim i s to a b s t r a c t from a set of symbols i t s formal s y n t a c t i c a l p r o p e r t i e s ; i t i s i n d i f f e r e n t to questions of content and A l l e n , p,85, -54-s u b j e c t i v i t y , Edmund Leach, as w e l l as other s c h o l a r s , has p o i n t e d out t h a t t h i s k i n d of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s d i f f e r s from E l i a d e ' s i n general aim and b i a s . While Leach's assessment of the d i f f e r e n c e between E l i a d e ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i v e work and s t r u c t u r a l i s m per se i s c l e a r l y p a r t i a l to the l a t t e r and g e n e r a l l y misleading i n i t s attempt to describe the nature of t h i s d i f f e r e n c e , i t at l e a s t shows where the two seem to d i f f e r and thus gives us a b a s i s f o r f u r t h e r i n g our understanding of E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, Leach argues that the k i n d of s t r u c t u r e s which E l i a d e a r r i v e s at through h i s comparative i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of r e l i g i o u s symbols are not " s t r u c t u r e s " at a l l from the viewpoint of s t r u c t u r a l i s m . The b a s i c character of h i s argument appears i n the f o l l o w i n g statements: . . . comparative ethnography i n the s t y l e which E l i a d e employs, can only i l l u s t r a t e by example, i t can never p r o p e r l y be used as a b a s i s f o r g e n e r a l i z a t i o n , . . . , . the most i n t e r e s t i n g p a r t s of E l i a d e ' s work become fogged by h i s f a i l u r e to d i s t i n g u i s h c l e a r l y between the content of a set of symbols and i t s structure.60 58 Edmund Leach, "Sermons by a Man on a Ladder," The New  York Review, V o l . I l l , No.6 (Oct. 20, 1966), pp.28-31. 59 See, f o r example, the a r t i c l e by David Rasmussen which was c i t e d above, esp. p.143; and a l s o , Paul Ricoeur, "The Problem of the Double-sense as Hermeneutic Problem and as Semantic Problem," Myths and Symbols: Studies i n Honor of  Mircea E l i a d e , ed. J.M. Kitagawa and C H . Long -^Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1969), pp.63-79. 6 0 L e a c h , p.28. -55-In terms of A l l e n ' s f o r m u l a t i o n of the general c r i t i c i s m of E l i a d e ' s approach, these statements suggest Leach does not f i n d i t p o s s i b l e to g e n e r a l i z e from E l i a d e ' s p a r t i c u l a r examples to h i s "profound" u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e s ; the only guideposts he can f i n d are some snippets of ethnography provided i n F r a z e r i a n f a s h i o n , and a concept of s t r u c t u r e which confuses i t w i t h content. His b a s i c c r i t i c i s m of E l i a d e , then, i s that E l i a d e grants to p a r t i c u l a r kinds of r e l i g i o u s symbols the s o r t of general s i g n i f i c a n c e that belongs only to genuine s t r u c t u r e s , which are s o l e l y concerned w i t h the r e l a t i o n s between symbols. The nature of Leach's c r i t i c i s m i s most c l e a r l y expressed i n an example he gives of E l i a d e ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the ethnographic data. The example concerns the fundamental system by which r e l i g i o u s man comprehends h i s universe. C a l l i n g t h i s E l i a d e ' s " ' a c r h a i c ' system,'! Leach describes i t as f o l l o w s : The b a s i c r e l i g i o u s d i s t i n c t i o n i s between the here-now and the other. The other i s the sacred. The here-now i s the center of the universe and man constructs i t i n i m i t a t i o n of a prototype already e x i s t i n g i n the other. Man enters the here-now from the other at b i r t h and r e t u r n s to the other at death. Time i s thus a c y c l e , an e t e r n a l r e t u r n . Leach admits most a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s would consider the p a t t e r n portrayed here v a l i d f o r numerous sets of ethnographic data, but he s t r e s s e s that i t i s the p a t t e r n alone which ... Ibid.;, pp., 30-31, -56-i s important, whereas the p a r t i c u l a r symbols i n v o l v e d are of only passing i n t e r e s t . To show how E l i a d e has missed t h i s p o i n t , he discusses the r o l e played i n t h i s system by those symbols that serve to e s t a b l i s h a l i n k between the here-now and the other (which are always r a d i c a l l y separated by the sea, the sky, or a range of mountains, f o r example). He attempts to c h a r a c t e r i z e the d i f f e r e n c e between true s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s and E l i a d e ' s i n t e r p r e t i v e work i n the f o l l o w i n g words; In t h i s k i n d of a n a l y s i s we a t t a c h importance to s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s r a t h e r than to symbols as such; the ladder, the t r e e , the boat, the bridge are a l l "the same" because they do the same t h i n g , they l i n k the two worlds. But i n E l i a d e ' s Jungian scheme i t i s the symbol per se that matters, so he t e l l s us about trees and ladders as means of reaching the other world but never gets around to boats or b r i d g e s , or tunnels, or rocky c l i f f s , or heavenly f i s h i n g nets, or magic beanstalks, a l l of which t h i n g s , and many others besides, can serve the same f u n c t i o n i n m y t h i c a l syntax.62 Although t h i s exampjs i s exaggerated ( f o r E l i a d e discusses a f a r broader range of symbols s e r v i n g t h i s f u n c t i o n than Leach i s w i l l i n g to admit), i t at l e a s t shows where E l i a d e ' s i n t e r p r e t i v e scheme d i f f e r s from s t r u c t u r a l i s m . I t at l e a s t i n d i c a t e s that the formal r e l a t i o n s between symbols i n m y t h i c a l syntax are not of overwhelming importance to E l i a d e , 6 2 I b i d . , p.31, See, f o r example, E l i a d e , Shamanism, pp,487-94; and The Two and the One, pp,160-88, -57-When Leach says, " i n E l i a d e ' s Jungian scheme i t i s the symbol per se that matters," he in t i m a t e s that E l i a d e does not share the s t r u c t u r a l i s t ' s e x c l u s i v e concern w i t h the syntax of a set of symbols, but has other i n t e r e s t s . One must moreover f e e l that there i s a very s p e c i f i c reason f o r a s s o c i a t i n g E l i a d e w i t h Jung i n a d i s c u s s i o n of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s , f o r le a d i n g s t r u c t u r a l i s t s o f t e n p o i n t to Jung as the example of a scholar who makes the e r r o r of a t t r i b u t i n g general s i g n i f i c a n c e to p a r t i c u l a r symbols r a t h e r than to the r e l a t i o n s between symbols (the French a n t h r o p o l o g i s t Claude L e v i - S t r a u s s . c a l l s t h i s e r r o r the "Jungian t r a p " ) . Leach perhaps a s s o c i a t e s E l i a d e w i t h Jung i n order to show that E l i a d e ' s concern i s w i t h something on the order of Jung's archetypes of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious. He means to show that E l i a d e f a i l s to d i s t i n g u i s h between the " h i s t o r i c a l " problem of e x p l a i n i n g why c e r t a i n symbols f r e q u e n t l y crop up i n d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s contexts and the s t r u c t u r a l one of determining the r e l a t i o n s between symbols. Jung addresses him s e l f to t h i s " h i s t o r i c a l " problem i n h i s theory of the archetypes of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious, and Leach seems to t h i n k that E l i a d e s i m i l a r l y t r e a t s t h i s problem w i t h h i s d e l i b e r a t i o n s on the u n i v e r s a l and ar c h e t y p a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Cosmic Tree, the M y s t i c a l L i g h t , or the symbolism of knots. The s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s Leach, p.30. -58-between E l i a d e and Jung i n t h i s matter are indeed important f o r understanding E l i a d e ' s p a r t i c u l a r view of s t r u c t u r e , but to p r o p e r l y compare the two, one must get beneath the ft 5 s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l on which Leach a s s o c i a t e s them. The outstanding s i m i l a r i t y between E l i a d e and Jung i s t h e i r use of the term "archetype. " There i s no simple answer to the question of how o f t e n , i f ever, E l i a d e uses the term w i t h i t s Jungian meaning i n mind, Mac R i c k e t t s p o i n t s out that the only passage where E l i a d e r a i s e s t h i s question c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e s that he has never used the term ft ft "archetype" i n i t s Jungian sense. In t h i s passage (from the Preface to the 1959 e d i t i o n of Cosmos and H i s t o r y ) , he says that h i s f a i l u r e to s p e c i f y t h i s p r e v i o u s l y was a " r e g r e t t a b l e e r r o r , " f o r he used "archetype" only as a synonym f o r paradigm or exemplary model, and only to emphasize a p a r t i c u l a r f a c t : namely, that f o r the man of a r c h a i c and t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s , the models f o r h i s 1, i n s t i t u t i o n s and the norms f o r h i s v a r i o u s categories of behavior are b e l i e v e d to have With Leach, the mere observation that E l i a d e ' s works have o f t e n been t r a n s l a t e d under the sponsorship of the B o l l i n g e n Foundation or prepared f o r the Jungian Eranos conferences i s s u f f i c i e n t to c l a s s i f y him as "Jungian.". ft ft R i c k e t t s , "The Nature and Extent of E l i a d e ' s ' Jungianism,'" Union Seminary Q u a r t e r l y Review, XXV, No. 2 (Winter 1970), p.216. -59-been " r e v e a l e d " -.at the beginning of time, t h a t , consequently, they are regarded as having a superhuman and " t r a n s c e n d e n t a l " o r i g i n , 6 7 Despite t h i s d i s c l a i m e r , many statements which E l i a d e has made concerning archetypes are s u s c e p t i b l e to a Jungian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , These are statements i n which he speaks of the archetypes found i n a r c h a i c symbolism not only as being important f o r the man of a r c h a i c s o c i e t i e s , but a l s o as l i v i n g on i n the behavior and e s p e c i a l l y i n the unconscious a c t i v i t y of, modern man. Yet t h i s i n i t s e l f does not prove that E l i a d e and Jung mean the. same t h i n g when they use the term "archetype" i n d i s c u s s i n g symbolic expressions which l i v e on r e g a r d l e s s of the c a p r i c e s of h i s t o r y , As R i c k e t t s puts i t ; "The question i s , how do they l i v e ? " Jung's theory i n t h i s matter i s w e l l known, He c a l l s c e r t a i n symbolic expressions " a r c h e t y p a l " because he b e l i e v e s they became imprinted on the human mind as a r e s u l t of profound experiences during the course of man's h i s t o r y and were t r a n s m i t t e d down to the present day as p a r t of man's o v e r a l l p s y c h o l o g i c a l make-up. He c a l l s them "archetypes of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious," f o r he b e l i e v e s they belong to an i n h e r i t e d and transpersonal zone of the i n d i v i d u a l human psyche ( i . e . , the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious, which along w i t h the conscious and the 67 E l i a d e , Cosmos and H i s t o r y , t r . W i l l a r d Trask (New York; Harper and Row, 1959), p . v i i i , 6 8 R i c k e t t s , " E l i a d e ' s 'Jungianism'," p.217. -60-personal unconscious c o n s t i t u t e s h i s o u t l i n e of the psyche). How f a r does E l i a d e f o l l o w t h i s theory i n h i s understanding of the u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l i g i o u s symbolism? One can at l e a s t conclude that he e n l i s t s the a i d of Jung's "depth-psychology" i n t r y i n g to persuade the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to overcome h i s h e s i t a t i o n s about t h i s u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , E l i a d e w r i t e s ; By d i r e c t i n g a t t e n t i o n to the s u r v i v a l of symbols and m y t h i c a l themes i n the psyche of modern man, by showing that the spontaneous r e d i s c o v e r y of the archetypes of a r c h a i c symbolism i s a common occurence i n a l l human beings, i r r e s p e c t i v e of race and h i s t o r i c a l surroundings, depth-psychology has f r e e d the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s from h i s l a s t h e s i t a t i o n s . 6 9 In t h i s and other passages E l i a d e appears to seek an explanation f o r the c a p a c i t y of r e l i g i o u s symbolic . expressions to s u r v i v e . However, he i s u l t i m a t e l y u n s a t i s f i e d w i t h any s o l u t i o n to t h i s problem (such as Jung's) which t r e a t s i t as a " h i s t o r i c a l " problem, f o r , i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , he considers i t a t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l matter. This i s i n d i c a t e d by a statement he makes e a r l i e r i n the passage j u s t quoted: One has only to take the t r o u b l e to study the problem, to f i n d out t h a t , whether obtained by d i f f u s i o n or spontaneously discovered, myths and r i t e s always d i s c l o s e a boundary s i t u a t i o n of man--not only a h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n . A boundary s i t u a t i o n i s one which man discovers i n becoming conscious of h i s place i n the universe.70 E l i a d e , Images and Symbols, pp.34-35. I b i d . , p.34. -61-E l i a d e b e l i e v e s symbolic expressions which are widely disseminated simply owe t h i s to the f a c t that they answer personal e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n s which confront man at a l l periods and l e v e l s of c u l t u r e . According to him, r e l i g i o u s symbols f u n c t i o n to transform these personal s i t u a t i o n s i n t o something u n i v e r s a l , That i s to say, r e l i g i o u s symbols show them to be "boundary s i t u a t i o n s " by r e v e a l i n g that these h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n s have a meaning and a s o l u t i o n which i s paradigmatic and t r a n s -h i s t o r i c a l . Thus, E l i a d e does not f o l l o w the theory that the u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l i g i o u s symbols i s explained by the f a c t that they have become imprinted on the human psyche during the course of h i s t o r y . He emphasizes that r e l i g i o u s symbols always r e f e r to what i s u n i v e r s a l or paradigmatic, and r e j e c t s the need f o r e x p l a i n i n g t h i s as a h i s t o r i c a l f a c t , whether by p s y c h o l o g i c a l theory, by d i f f u s i o n i s m , or by any other means. He notes t h a t , i n s o f a r as the unconscious i s the r e s u l t of countless e x i s t e n t i a l experiences i t cannot but resemble the v a r i o u s r e l i g i o u s u niverses. For r e l i g i o n i s the paradigmatic s o l u t i o n f o r  every e x i s t e n t i a l c r i s i s . I t i s the paradigmatic s o l u t i o n not only because i t can be i n d e f i n i t e l y repeated, but a l s o because i t i s b e l i e v e d to have a transcendental o r i g i n and hence i s v a l o r i z e d as a r e v e l a t i o n r e c e i v e d from an other, transhuman world.71 This means that when E l i a d e speaks of the u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l i g i o u s symbols, he r e f e r s to t h e i r E l i a d e , Sacred and Profane, p.210 ( i t a l i c s mine). - 6 2 -c a p a c i t y f o r r e v e a l i n g paradigmatic s o l u t i o n s f o r c r i t i c a l human s i t u a t i o n s , archetypes f o r meaningful human exi s t e n c e . The problem of understanding t h e i r expressive c a p a c i t y i s f o r him a s t r u c t u r a l problem; i t i s c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the h i s t o r i c a l problem of e x p l a i n i n g why these symbols so f r e q u e n t l y crop up i n completely separate r e l i g i o u s contexts. E l i a d e d i f f e r s from the s t r u c t u r a l i s t because he conceives the problem by reference to the expressive q u a l i t i e s of r e l i g i o u s symbols r a t h e r than to t h e i r s y n t a c t i c a l p r o p e r t i e s . E l i a d e a r r i v e s at h i s concept of s t r u c t u r e through a theory of archetypes; t h i s i s not, however, a theory i n which " i t i s the symbol per se tha t matters." E l i a d e t e l l s us that symbols always p o i n t beyond themselves; they always have an ar c h e t y p a l r e f e r e n t . He never says, however, that a p a r t i c u l a r symbol has ar c h e t y p a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , but only that each symbol tends toward an archetype. Thus, to use Leach's example, when E l i a d e i s confronted w i t h a number of symbols which l i n k the here-now w i t h the other: t r e e s , ladders, boats, b r i d g e s , e t c . , he c o r r e c t l y views them as v a r i a n t s of the same t h i n g . They are "the same," f o r E l i a d e , because each tends to become the ar c h e t y p a l a x i s mundi, the Center of the World. This i s d i f f e r e n t from saying they are "the same" because they serve "the same f u n c t i o n i n m y t h i c a l syntax." When E l i a d e approaches the v a r i o u s examples of the symbolism of the center, h i s concern i s not w i t h the s y n t a c t i c a l f u n c t i o n of each -63-symbol. Instead, h i s concern i s w i t h the c a p a c i t y of each symbol to express the meaning of the whole symbolism and r e v e a l i t s a s s o c i a t e d experience of being at the Center of the World, Thus, when confronted w i t h a set of symbols i n which each shares the same f u n c t i o n and has no s p e c i a l importance i n i t s e l f , E l i a d e responds d i f f e r e n t l y from the s t r u c t u r a l i s t . The l a t t e r , seeing the r e l a t i v e unimportance of the p a r t i c u l a r symbols, only attaches importance to the s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n which defines t h e i r common f u n c t i o n , understood as a s y n t a c t i c a l one, He as concerned only w i t h the s y n t a c t i c a l p r o p e r t i e s of symbols and i s i n d i f f e r e n t to the question of content and, a l s o , s u b j e c t i v i t y . E l i a d e , on the other hand, i s concerned p r i m a r i l y w i t h the expressive q u a l i t i e s of symbols. P a r t i c u l a r symbols are unimportant as such, f o r him, because they p o i n t beyond themselves, " r e v e a l i n g a modality of the r e a l or a c o n d i t i o n of the world which i s not evident on the plane 7 2 Of immediate experience. 1 1 He s t r e s s e s t h i s " n o n - d i s c u r s i v e " f u n c t i o n of symbols to p o i n t beyond the contingencies of the immediate s i t u a t i o n to what i s a r c h e t y p a l and atemporal i n th a t s i t u a t i o n . Each symbol of the center, f o r example, i s able to r e v e a l that t h i s world i s "open" to the other world ("the sacred") i n s o f a r as i t becomes the a r c h e t y p a l a x i s mundi. Thanks to such a symbol, one's own house or E l i a d e , The Two and the One, p,201. -64-v i l l a g e may be experienced as being "open" to the sacred, f o r by means of such a symbol that house or v i l l a g e can be a s s i m i l a t e d to the a x i s mundi, the Center of the World. E l i a d e describes t h i s f u n c t i o n of the r e l i g i o u s symbol i n the f o l l o w i n g way; A r e l i g i o u s symbol t r a n s l a t e s a human s i t u a t i o n i n t o cosmological terms, and v i c e v e r s a ; to be more p r e c i s e , i t r e v e a l s the u n i t y between human existence and a s t r u c t u r e of the Cosmos. Man does not f e e l h i m s e l f " i s o l a t e d " i n the Cosmos, he i s open to a World which thanks to the symbol, becomes " f a m i l i a r . " 7 3 This understanding of the r o l e of r e l i g i o u s symbols i n g i v i n g meaning and s t r u c t u r e to human experience a r i s e s out o f E l i a d e ' s concern f o r t h e i r expressive q u a l i t i e s r a t h e r than t h e i r s y n t a c t i c a l p r o p e r t i e s , To summarize, i n l i g h t of the current vogue f o r s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s , i t has been necessary to see how E l i a d e ' s view of s t r u c t u r e compares to that of the " s t r u c t u r a l i s t s . " The d i f f e r e n c e between the two i s that E l i a d e i s concerned w i t h the expressive q u a l i t i e s of r e l i g i o u s symbols and the s t r u c t u r a l i s t s w i t h t h e i r s y n t a c t i c a l p r o p e r t i e s . This means that i n s t e a d of wishing to show what the symbols stand f o r on the l e v e l of syntax, E l i a d e wants to show what they express on a n o n - d i s c u r s i v e l e v e l ; he wants to show how they are able to confer a meaning upon human existence which i s not evident on the I b i d , , p,207, -65-plane of immediate experience, E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s symbolism do not define formal r e l a t i o n s between elements i n a s y n t a c t i c a l system, but r a t h e r r e l a t i o n s between the r e l i g i o u s subject and the r e a l world of sacred r e a l i t i e s , The s t r u c t u r e s which E l i a d e i d e n t i f i e s are never merely formal or s y n t a c t i c a l , f o r they always s i g n i f y the way i n which the r e l i g i o u s subject organizes h i s experience. The s t r u c t u r e of the symbolism of the center, f o r example, shows how r e l i g i o u s man organizes the space which surrounds him i n t o a u n i f i e d and meaningful whole, In E l i a d e ' s view of s t r u c t u r e the accent i s always upon what r e l i g i o u s symbols r e v e a l ; the archetypes f o r meaningful human existence. Such a general, n o n - s y n t a c t i c a l view of r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s i s not, however, p e c u l i a r to E l i a d e alone, One of t e n hears i n current d i s c u s s i o n about r e l i g i o n that i t serves to s t r u c t u r e human exist e n c e i n some meaningful way. The c r u c i a l question, of course, i s how does i t serve to s t r u c t u r e human experience? Commonly, t h i s question i s answered i n terms of the r o l e of r e l i g i o n i n mai n t a i n i n g s o c i a l cohesion, p r e s e r v i n g c u l t u r a l v a l u e s , or supporting t r a d i t i o n a l sources of a u t h o r i t y . E l i a d e describes the r o l e of r e l i g i o n as that of ma i n t a i n i n g absolute and axiomatic v a l u e s , paradigms f o r a l l human a c t i v i t y which have a superhuman and "tra n s c e n d e n t a l " o r i g i n . He f e e l s these paradigms or archetypes s u r v i v e apart from the a r c h a i c symbolisms i n which the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s f i n d s them. -66-These ar c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n s , the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, p r e - e x i s t t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l appearances; they not only have an important r o l e i n the r e l i g i o - h i s t o r i c a l contexts where they appear but a l s o s u r v i v e i n n o n - r e l i g i o u s contexts. E l i a d e ' s View of the T r a n s h i s t o r i c i t y of R e l i g i o u s Structures In what sense do E l i a d e ' s s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred p r e - e x i s t t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l appearances? What status do they have which can account f o r t h e i r t r a n s h i s t o r i c i t y and t h e i r " s u r v i v a l " i n n o n - r e l i g i o u s contexts? Robert B a i r d has made important c r i t i c a l comments on t h i s question. As f a r as he i s concerned, only by assuming that these s t r u c t u r e s have o n t o l o g i c a l status can one accept E l i a d e ' s claims about t h e i r nature and h i s methodological use of them. He f e e l s i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r E l i a d e to g e n e r a l i z e from h i s p a r t i c u l a r examples to h i s u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e s only because an ontology i s p o s i t e d along the way. Baird's remarks on t h i s i s s u e form part of h i s o v e r a l l d e l i b e r a t i o n s on the d i f f e r i n g natures of the phenomenological and h i s t o r i c a l approaches to r e l i g i o n , ^ He f i n d s the 7^See Robert D, B a i r d , " I n t e r p r e t i v e Categories and the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s / " Oh Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , ed. James S. H e i f e r , B e i h e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968), pp.17-36;"Normative Elements i n E l i a d e ' s Phenomenology of Symbolism," Union Seminary Qua r t e r l y Review, XXV, No,4 (1970), pp.505-16; Category Formation and the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s (Herderstraat 5, the Netherlands: Mouton and Co. f N.V., 1971). -67-c e n t r a l problem to be whether or not a phenomenological approach such as E l i a d e ' s has more i n common w i t h such normative d i s c i p l i n e s as theology and the philosophy of r e l i g i o n than w i t h such d e s c r i p t i v e ones as h i s t o r y and the s o c i a l sciences. He defines normative d i s c i p l i n e s as f o l l o w s ; . . .when c e r t a i n d i s c i p l i n e s are described as normative i t i s u s u a l l y meant that they are not merely attempt to describe c e r t a i n views about r e a l i t y , but propose to describe r e a l i t y i t s e l f . That i s , normative d i s c i p l i n e s are so c a l l e d because of t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l stance.75 He maintains that E l i a d e p o s i t s such an o n t o l o g i c a l stance i n h i s phenomenological approach to r e l i g i o n . B a i r d argues t h a t , w h i l e E l i a d e i n v e s t i g a t e s h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s , he a l s o presents an "ontology of the sacred" which becomes i n d i s u p t a b l y evident as one examines h i s ideas, f i r s t , on the s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s symbolism, second, on the ("authentic") existence of those who l i v e by these s t r u c t u r e s , and f i n a l l y , on the duty of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to r e f l e c t p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y upon the "meaning" of r e l i g i o u s symbols and behavior. According to B a i r d , the ontology of the sacred has a r o l e i n E l i a d e ' s thought beyond i t s place i n the r e l i g i o u s views of r e a l i t y which he i n t e r p r e t s ; i t has a c r u c i a l r o l e i n the method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i t s e l f . In E l i a d e ' s i n q u i r y i n t o the s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s symbolism, he notes, E l i a d e i n t e r p r e t s the meaning of symbols from d i v e r s e B a i r d , "Normative Elements i n E l i a d e ' s Phenomenology of Symbolism;" p.505. -68-h i s t o r i c a l contexts i n l i g h t of one another and, u l t i m a t e l y , i n l i g h t of a complete "symbol system", This procedure i s p o s s i b l e , B a i r d argues, only i f the i n t e r p r e t e r h i m s e l f accepts an ontology of the sacred which includes i t s s t r u c t u r e s , "This o n t o l o g i c a l stance i s most apparent," he s t a t e s , when c l e a r hierophanies are used to c l a r i f y the " i n t e n t i o n " of obscure "hierophanies.'" Such a hermeneutic i s p o s s i b l e only i f one assumes not only that the sacred has o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s , but a l s o that i t s s t r u c t u r e s Cand hence the systems of symbolism) a l s o have o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s . Only on t h i s b a s i s could a symbolism r e v e a l the meaning or i n t e n t i o n of a symbol.76 B a i r d f u r t h e r develops t h i s p o i n t i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s view of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s e x i s t e n c e , E l i a d e does not merely say that the " a r c h a i c " mode of existence i s one o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, but concludes that t h i s k i n d of existence i s more " a u t h e n t i c " than modern existence because i t i s more f u l l y absorbed i n the sacred and i t s s t r u c t u r e s , B a i r d comments on the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s view as f o l l o w s : Once one sees the sacred or r e l i g i o n as an o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y , and one operates as though i t s s t r u c t u r e s are a l s o o n t o l o g i c a l l y r e a l , having i d e n t i f i e d these s t r u c t u r e s , one has discovered r e a l i t y . I t then f o l l o w s that those whose l i v e s are l i v e d i n the sacred as completely as p o s s i b l e are the most 77 authentic since they e x i s t c l o s e s t to r e a l i t y . 7 6 I b i d . , p-,512. 7 7 I b i d . , p,513. -69-B a i r d a l s o examines E l i a d e ' s ideas on the need f o r p h i l o s o p h i z i n g i n the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s , He contends that w h i l e E l i a d e urges h i s t o r i a n s of r e l i g i o n s to "complete" t h e i r i n v e s t i g a t i v e work w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e f l e c t i o n upon the "meaning"rof t h e i r m a t e r i a l s , E l i a d e ' s own p h i l o s o p h i z i n g i s needed at the beginning of h i s s t u d i e s . This means that unless E l i a d e i s w i l l i n g to give p h i l o s o p h i c a l argumentation f o r the o n t o l o g i c a l stance which he p o s i t s from the outset of h i s s t u d i e s , they cannot be taken s e r i o u s l y on a p h i l o s o p h i c a l or even on a h e u r i s t i c l e v e l of understanding. He e x p l a i n s t h i s i n the f o l l o w i n g way: The question now a r i s e s as to whether i t would be p o s s i b l e to empty E l i a d e ' s phenomena o l o g i c a l method of i t s o n t o l o g i c a l " p o s t u l a t e s " and continue to use i t as a Q i e u r i s t i c O l e v e l of understanding . . . we are; forced to answer i n the negative, Here, i f one e l i m i n a t e s the metaphysical, he e l i m i n a t e s the t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s . And the e l i m i n a t i o n of the t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s e l i m i n a t e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f f i n d i n g a t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l r e l i g i o u s meaning i n a symbol or myth or r i t e . Without i t s i m p l i e d ontology, t h i s method f a l l s to the ground and becomes at best a means of c l a s s i f y i n g data.78 For B a i r d , then, the t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l and the metaphysical-o n t o l o g i c a l are one and the same, and the use of t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e s must be j u s t i f i e d by arguments of a metaphysical and o n t o l o g i c a l order, Because these s t r u c t u r e s supposedly have a v a l i d i t y and a meaning of t h e i r own, apart from t h e i r c o n d i t i o n e d expressions i n h i s t o r y , i t f o l l o w s f o r him that they have o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y . I t i s suggested here B a i r d , Category Formation and the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , p.89. ' -70-that t h i s c o n c l u s i o n can be questioned. As B a i r d shows, E l i a d e ' s method i s unique, and at the same time open to c r i t i c i s m , because of i t s t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e s . Unless one accepts that these s t r u c t u r e s are t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l , there would be no reason to b e l i e v e that h i s t o r i c a l l y d i s s i m i l a r hierophanies w i l l shed l i g h t upon one another, More i m p o r t a n t l y , there would be no reason to b e l i e v e that one could define man's r e l i g i o u s mode of existence i n terms of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these s t r u c t u r e s , E l i a d e ' s method depends on i t s t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e s because i t has the aim of d e s c r i b i n g homo r e l i g i o s u s ; man i n h i s r e l i g i o u s dimension apart from p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s persons i n h i s t o r y . B a i r d shows he i s aware of t h i s i n the f o l l o w i n g ; We began our d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s phenomenological method by s t a t i n g t h a t i t was p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s . I t might be countered that t h i s does not mean that i t i s u n i n t e r e s t e d i n r e l i g i o u s people. For, the only way E l i a d e proposes to adequately understand r e l i g i o u s man i s by the s t r u c t u r e s i n which he p a r t i c i p a t e s . However, the emphasis i s c e r t a i n l y on the s t r u c t u r e s . . , . I t i s true that E l i a d e ' s goal i s to understand homo r e l i g i o s u s . But homo  r e l i g i o s u s i s not an h i s t o r i c a l but an arch e t y p a l r e l i g i o u s man.™ In a r r i v i n g at a d e s c r i p t i o n of homo r e l i g i o s u s by reference to the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred, E l i a d e i d e n t i f i e s 7 9 I b i d . , p.86. -71-c e r t a i n f a c t o r s which determine the nature of human r e l i g i o u s behavior, yet transcend a l l i t s p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l forms. He i d e n t i f i e s those " t r a n s - e x p e r i e n t i a l " f a c t o r s which shape the l i f e of man as a r e l i g i o u s being. They are t r a n s - e x p e r i e n t i a l because they come from outside of one's immediate s i t u a t i o n . Yet the questions: where do they come from--a zone of man's unconscious, some metaphysical realm, e t c . ? ; and, what i s t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s - - r e a l , i d e a l , e t c , ? , are not important f o r E l i a d e . As a phenomenologist, he i s concerned w i t h t h e i r meaning r a t h e r than t h e i r o r i g i n , t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e r a t h e r than t h e i r s t a t u s . I t i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r him to un d e r l i n e the importance which they have i n d e f i n i n g an e s s e n t i a l dimension of man, that i s , i n a r r i v i n g at a d e s c r i p t i o n o f homo r e l i g i o s u s . In other words, E l i a d e does not consider r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l because they have o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y or a metaphysical o r i g i n ; he considers them t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l because he b e l i e v e s they have a permanent s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r human l i f e and correspond to a primary dimension of human existence which transcends h i s t o r y . The r e s t of t h i s chapter w i l l be devoted to examining t h i s view. Homo R e l i g i o s u s ; An E s s e n t i a l and Primary Dimension of Man E l i a d e considers r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s the most fundamental k i n d of t r a n s - e x p e r i e n t i a l f a c t o r s known to man. -72-Joseph Dabney B e t t i s e x p l a i n s t h i s idea i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of E l i a d e ' s understanding of r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s ; What we experience i s a product of the data i n our environment and the images, models, ideas and expectations which we b r i n g to i t . These t r a n s ^ e x p e r i e n t i a l f a c t o r s may come from a number of places and f u n c t i o n i n a v a r i e t y of ways, but they have a s i g n i f i c a n t i n f l u e n c e i n shaping our world. When these images and models c o n s t i t u t e our. fundamental world-view or l i f e - s t y l e , they become r e l i g i o u s . R e l i g i o u s symbols and images provide the fundamental archetypes of paradigmatic models f o r o r g a n i z i n g and shaping the r e l i g i o u s man's environment.80 This c o r r e c t l y represents E l i a d e ' s understanding of r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s as "real,?' not because they have o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s , but because they confer u l t i m a t e meaning upon human e x i s t e n c e , For E l i a d e , r e l i g i o n i s "the paradigmatic s o l u t i o n f o r every e x i s t e n t i a l c r i s i s " ; r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s are necessary and u n i v e r s a l because they appear, and reappear, whenever man's fundamental conceptions, b e l i e f s , or doubts about exi s t e n c e are at stake. Thus, i f there i s a s i n g l e normative p r e s u p p o s i t i o n which determines the nature of E l i a d e ' s thought about r e l i g i o n , i t i s h i s view that r e l i g i o n i s a very p a r t i c u l a r dimension of human existence which i s concerned w i t h u l t i m a t e or " t o t a l " meaning, He aims to e s t a b l i s h the s p e c i f i c i t y of man's r e l i g i o u s dimension, as Otto d i d w i t h s u J o s e p h Dabney B e t t i s , ed,, Phenomenology o f R e l i g i o n (New York; Harper and Row, 1969), p,202, -73-n ^ s £ p r i o r i r e l i g i o u s category of the human mind, by i d e n t i f y i n g the b a s i s f o r human r e l i g i o u s n e s s at the l e v e l of s t r u c t u r e , This u n i v e r s a l , p r e - o b j e c t i v e b a s i s emerges i n the way he defines the mode of existence of homo  r e l i g i o s u s , E l i a d e defines the mode of exist e n c e of homo r e l i g i o s u s by reference to the s t r u c t u r e s i n which he p a r t i c i p a t e s ; these ''structures of the sacred" are n e c e s s a r i l y d e r i v e d through studying the r e l i g i o u s expressions of p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l persons. Because h i s concern i s i n i t i a l l y with, the myths, r i t e s , and symbols through which man expresses the r e v e l a t i o n s of the sacred, h i s a n a l y s i s produces s t r u c t u r e s which are,' i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , s t r u c t u r e s of sacred m a n i f e s t a t i o n , In Charles Long's. b r i l l i a n t phrase; "His a n a l y s i s ' describes the p r e - o b j e c t i v e 81 l a t e n t s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s •expression,". Yet? as Long a l s o r e a l i z e s , the matter does not end here, The s t r u c t u r e s .described are a l s o , i n the, f i n a l i n s t a n c e , s t r u c t u r e s of human thought and behavior, They r e f e r u l t i m a t e l y to something i n the existence of those who p a r t i c i p a t e i n these s t r u c t u r e s which i s p r i o r to expression, or as Long says, p r i o r to r e f l e c t i o n , While others may descr i b e the u n i v e r s a l , p r e - o b j e c t i v e b a s i s of human r e l i g i o u s n e s s as an a p r i o r i category of man's mind or a c e r t a i n zone of h i s unconscious, according to Long, E l i a d e ' s describes i t as a s p e c i f i c dimension of 8 1 L o n g , p.77. -74-man's p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e . Long's observation g r e a t l y c l a r i f i e s E l i a d e ' s view of r e l i g i o n as an e s s e n t i a l dimension of man, fo r i t d i s c l o s e s that homo r e l i g i o s u s i s one among s e v e r a l designations which have been introduced i n t o modern s c h o l a r s h i p to describe p a r t i c u l a r aspects of man's p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e . Long w r i t e s : The new d e f i n i t i o n s of man introduced over the l a s t one hundred years add to the des i g n a t i o n homo sapiens supplementary or a l t e r n a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n s of the human, Compare, f o r example, the f o l l o w i n g as d e s c r i p t i o n s of man; homo geographicus, homo ludens, homo labor ans , homo faber, homo r e l i g i o s u s . I t was obvi o u s l y common knowledge p r i o r to the l a s t one hundred years that man l i v e d i n a landscape, that he played, made t o o l s , worshipped, and so on, But what was not so obvious was the importance and status of these dimensions of h i s l i f e as p a r t of a t o t a l d e f i n i t i o n of h i s being, These d e f i n i t i o n s of man r e f e r to h i s ordi n a r y p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e . 8 2 This observation c l a r i f i e s the sense i n which homo r e l i g i o s u s i s , f o r E l i a d e , not so much a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of man, e x i s t i n g i n or outside of h i s t o r y , as a p a r t i c u l a r dimension of human existe n c e . Every e f f o r t to understand man i n one of h i s fundamental dimensions i n v a r i a b l y has a tendency to become a l l -encompassing and e x c l u s i v e , Every d i s c i p l i n e tends to incorp o r a t e as much as p o s s i b l e under i t s view o f man and b e l i e v e s i n the s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the values i t stud i e s I b i d , , p,83. -75-f o r the understanding of man i n general, In the study of r e l i g i o n , as James S. H e i f e r p o i n t s out, the hermeneutical s i t u a t i o n of many scholars i s determined by a b e l i e f i n the u l t i m a c y of r e l i g i o u s v a l u e s . The r e s u l t i s that the hermeneutical procedure becomes a r e l i g i o u s e x e r c i s e i n i t s e l f ; how e l s e , s c h o l a r s say, can one study the u l t i m a t e values of others except i n r e l a t i o n to one's own sense of the u l t i m a t e and i n view of the p o s s i b i l i t y that one may grow r e l i g i o u s l y i n so studying them. H e i f e r concludes from t h i s s i t u a t i o n that "the b a s i c problem i n the e n t i r e f i e l d of the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s i s methodological s o l i p s i s m and i t s cohort, the: u l t i m a c y of r e l i g i o u s value si " He continues; Strangely, but a p p r o p r i a t e l y , economic h i s t o r i a n s are not more "economic", m i l i t a r y h i s t o r i a n s more " m i l i t a n t " , i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r i a n s more " i n t e l l e c t u a l " , or s o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s more " s o c i a l * why must h i s t o r i a n s of r e l i g i o n s p e r s i s t i n being more " r e l i g i o u s " ? This i s of course a r h e t o r i c a l question, f o r as H e i f e r knows, the " r e l i g i o u s " character accorded by some to the study of r e l i g i o n i s presupposed i n the view of i t s m a t e r i a l s that they have a q u a l i t y of u l t i m a c y . E l i a d e f o l l o w s t h i s view i n h i s study of r e l i g i o u s m a t e r i a l s , f o r he considers homo r e l i g i o s u s man's most fundamental dimension. Homo r e l i g i o s u s , he t e l l s us, represents the " t o t a l man"; the experience of the sacred, 8 3James S, H e i f e r , ed., On Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , B e i h e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968), p.7. -76-he says, i s the c o r r e l a t e of "man's s p e c i f i c e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n of ' b e i n g - i n - t h e - w o r l d ' . " T h i s a t t i t u d e i s revealed throughout h i s quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s , While he begins t h i s quest w i t h h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s h i s aim i s to describe a dimension of man's p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e apart from h i s t o r y . He seeks to transform the h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s i n t o a d e s c r i p t i o n of man as a r e l i g i o u s being, that i s , as a being who t r u l y l i v e s i n transcending h i s t o r y through p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred. Of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s ' aim, E l i a d e w r i t e s ; He attempts to decipher, i n the temporal sphere of h i s t o r i c a l a c t u a l i t y the f a t e of experiences a r i s i n g from an i n f l e x i b l e human d e s i r e to transcend the temporal and the h i s t o r i c . A l l a u t h e n t i c r e l i g i o u s experience i m p l i e s a desparate e f f o r t to penetrate to the root of t h i n g s , the u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y . But every expression or conceptual f o r m u l a t i o n of a given r e l i g i o u s experience l i e s i n a h i s t o r i c a l c ontext. . ..The supreme merit of any h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i s p r e c i s e l y h i s endeavor to dis c o v e r i n a " f a c t " duly conditioned by the h i s t o r i c a l moment and the c u l t u r a l s t y l e of the age the e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n which caused i t . 8 5 In moving from the l e v e l of the h i s t o r i c a l l y concrete to that of e x i s t e n t i a l experience>; where he can grasp the s p e c i f i c mode of being-in-the-world of homo r e l i g i o s u s , the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s must perform a r e l i g i o u s e x e r c i s e h i m s e l f . He must comprehend the u l t i m a t e and t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l meaning of the h i s t o r i c a l l y c o nditioned f a c t s , E l i a d e , The Quest, pp.8-9, E l i a d e , The Two and the One, pp,191-92, -77-•k -k k To summarize, i n h i s quest f o r t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s E l i a d e moves from the h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d events to the e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n s which produced them, and f i n a l l y to the mode of being which u n d e r l i e s these s i t u a t i o n s , In t h i s manner he forms a morphology of r e l i g i o - h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s and explores the r e l a t i o n between man and the world of sacred r e a l i t i e s , Examination of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p permits him to define the mode of being of homo r e l i g i o s u s , man i n h i s e s s e n t i a l , p r e r e f l e c t i v e r e l i g i o u s dimension. I t a l s o enables the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n * , using E l i a d e ' s methodology, to discover t h i s mode of b e i n g - i n -the-worldfor modern consciousness. As w i l l be pointed out i n the next chapter, t h i s n e c e s s i t a t e s an act of c r e a t i v e s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g , an act which partakes of a r e l i g i o u s e x e r c i s e , f o r the recovery of the a r c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s by modern awareness has important s p i r i t u a l consequences f o r man*s b a s i c understanding of hi m s e l f and h i s world. - 7 8 -IV, E l i a d e ' s R e l i g i o u s Hermeneutics and The " N o s t a l g i a For Para d i s e " E l i a d e ' s hermeneutics can be c a l l e d " r e l i g i o u s " f o r two reasons; f i r s t , because i t deals w i t h r e l i g i o u s m a t e r i a l s , and second, because as a " c r e a t i v e " hermeneutics i t i s a r e l i g i o u s e x e r c i s e . According to E l i a d e , c r e a t i v e hermeneutics changes man. He b e l i e v e s that every true hermeneutical encounter gives r i s e to an experience of a r e l i g i o u s nature. Because i t i s an encounter w i t h some "other" world of meaning i t a l t e r s one's fundamental conceptions about h i s own world. Because i t awakens the consciousness of an "other" mode of being-in-the-world, i t causes one to r e f l e c t c r i t i c a l l y upon h i s p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n i n the world. C r e a t i v e hermeneutics changes man, then, because i t i n v o l v e s an act of c r i t i c a l s e l f -understanding: "the e f f o r t to: understand the s e l f through the mediation of the other," Therefore, the c r e a t i v e "hermeneut" r e l a t e s to some "other" world i n order to confer a meaning upon h i s own everyday world, j u s t as r e l i g i o u s man r e l a t e s to the world of m y t h i c a l ancestors or d i v i n e beings f o r the same reason. He a l s o shares i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a t t i t u d e of r e l i g i o u s man toward the "other" world, an a t t i t u d e which E l i a d e c a l l s the " n o s t a l g i a f o r paradise"; he considers the"other" -79-world more r e a l than the world of present r e a l i t i e s and seeks to recover t h i s p r i m o r d i a l world. This i s not to suggest that the modern hermeneut yearns to recover what i s r e a l and p r i m o r d i a l i n the same concrete way as does a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s man. As w i l l be shown here, c r e a t i v e hermeneutics has the aim of self- u n d e r s t a n d i n g , not of re c o v e r i n g i n  a c t u a l i t y some previous mode of existence or view of the world. S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t w i l l be shown that E l i a d e ' s hermeneutical quest to recover the a r c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s i s n e i t h e r an o b j e c t i v e quest f o r o r i g i n s nor an attempt to r e s u r r e c t a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s i n concreto. The manner i n which i t t r e a t s the question o f o r i g i n s w i l l be discussed i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h i s chapter i n r e l a t i o n to the theme of the " n o s t a l g i a f o r paradise';,*" In the second s e c t i o n , E l i a d e ' s understanding of the problems i n v o l v e d i n grasping a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s views w i l l be explained. In the t h i r d s e c t i o n , the true i n t e n t i o n of E l i a d e ' s c r e a t i v e hermeneutics i n r e c o v e r i n g the ar c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s w i l l be d i s c l o s e d , In the f i n a l s e c t i o n , E l i a d e ' s i d e a that the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i s i n a prime p o s i t i o n to r e f l e c t c r i t i c a l l y upon the s p i r i t u a l s i t u a t i o n of modern man through a hermeneutics of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s w i l l be discussed. The " N o s t a l g i a f o r Paradise" The theme of the " n o s t a l g i a f o r pa r a d i s e " has a r o l e -80-i n Eliade's. understanding of sacred time and space, the symbolism of the center, m i l l e n i a l i s m , and every other instance of r e l i g i o u s man's yearning to r e g a i n contact w i t h some ''other" world. I t has two e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s : f i r s t , r e l i g i o u s man considers the "other" world a world of absolute r e a l i t y , of pure c r e a t i v e being, and thus of the beginnings of a l l t h i n g s ; second, he b e l i e v e s i t i s a world from which he i s forever separated because of a d e c i s i v e deed that took place i n the time of the beginnings. The f i r s t c o n s t i t u t e s a v i s i o n of paradise and the second the idea of a " f a l l " from paradise. R e l i g i o u s man must never lose s i g h t of the p a r a d i s a i c a l s t a t e of the beginnings, nor f o r g e t the d e c i s i v e deed by which he was cut o f f from that s t a t e and a r r i v e d at h i s present c o n d i t i o n . A l l of t h i s i s preserved f o r him i n myth, E l i a d e c a l l s myth "sacred h i s t o r y " because i t records a l l the events which are r e a l and important f o r r e l i g i o u s man, L i k e any h i s t o r y , myth t e l l s how man became what he i s today; m o r t a l , sexual, e t c , In h i s a r t i c l e "The Yearning f o r Paradise i n P r i m i t i v e T r a d i t i o n " . E l i a d e e x p l a i n s t h i s idea as f o l l o w s : . , , i n d e s c r i b i n g the p r i m o r d i a l s i t u a t i o n the myths r e v e a l i t s p a r a d i s i a l Csic3 q u a l i t y by the f a c t that i n i l l o tempore Heaven i s s a i d to have been very near E a r t h or that i t was easy to reach by means of a t r e e , or a v i n e , or a ladder, or by cl i m b i n g a mountain. When Heaven was rudely "separated" from Earth, when i t became " d i s t a n t " as i t i s today, when the t r e e or the v i n e l e a d i n g from E a r t h to Heaven was cut, or the mountain which touched -81-Heaven was l e v e l l e d — t h e p a r a d i s i a l s t a t e was over and humanity a r r i v e d at i t s present s t a t e ,'86 In myth we f i n d expressed both e s s e n t i a l f eatures of the theme of the " n o s t a l g i a f o r paradise": the view that events which took place i n the beginning have greater s i g n i f i c a n c e than a l l subsequent events; and, the view that man's present c o n d i t i o n i s explained by a deed which took place i n that p r i m o r d i a l era. The " n o s t a l g i a f o r p a r a d i s e " has a place i n modern c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n and hermeneutics because these two v e s t i g e s of m y t h i c a l t h i n k i n g are s t i l l present, E l i a d e describes the f i r s t view as a b e l i e f i n the " p r e s t i g e of beginningsT" In d i s c u s s i n g "The Myth of the Noble Savage, or the P r e s t i g e of the Beginning," he says i t u n d e r l i e s many of the a t t i t u d e s h e l d i n recent c e n t u r i e s toward p r i m i t i v e man, e a r l y human h i s t o r y , and man's e a r l y childhood, as w e l l as the a t t i t u d e of p r i m i t i v e man hims e l f toward h i s p r i m o r d i a l ancestors ( f o r he too knew the myth of the "noble savage"). E l i a d e speaks of "a general a t t i t u d e to what happened ' i n the beginning': and ex p l a i n s the meaning t h i s a t t i t u d e has i n a l l i t s forms, as f o l l o w s : "Whatever the d i f f e r e n c e s between these images and formulae, i n the f i n a l reckoning they a l l mean the same t h i n g ; that 86Eliade, "The Yearning f o r Paradise i n P r i m i t i v e T r a d i t i o n " , Daedalus, LXXXVIII (1959), p , 2 2 5 , -82-the e s s e n t i a l human c o n d i t i o n precedes the a c t u a l human 87 c o n d i t i o n . " This view i s a f f i r m e d , he says, i n most of man's h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c p o s i t i o n s . C e r t a i n events are' s e l e c t e d from man's past as d e c i s i v e and determining f o r a l l time, as models f o r present and f u t u r e a c t i v i t y ; they are examples of what i t r e a l l y means to be human. The idea i s thus preserved by the h i s t o r i a n of a r e a l world of model events, as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from h i s own everyday world, However, f o r him, i n s t e a d of t a k i n g place " i n the beginning" these events take p l a c e " i n the past"; t h a t i s , f o r him, the beginning i s the past. M y t h i c a l man understood how he a r r i v e d at h i s present c o n d i t i o n through remembrance of what happened i n the beginning; modern man achieves s i m i l a r awareness through the study of the past. This does not mean, however, that every h i s t o r i c a l study aiming to show how man has become what he i s today can be considered " m y t h i c a l " i n the proper sense. The s p e c i f i c nature of myths i s such that they o f f e r e s s e n t i a l i s t i c , almost s i m p l i s t i c , d e s c r i p t i o n s of how man a r r i v e d at h i s present c o n d i t i o n , and o f t e n represent a long and complicated process by a s i n g l e and sudden event, When one r e f e r s to the great mythmakers of contemporary c u l t u r e : Marx, Darwin, Freud, e t c , i t i s because they have o f f e r e d such d e s c r i p t i o n s y they have E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , p,54, -83-t o l d how man has emerged as an e s s e n t i a l l y s o c i a l being, as a b i o l o g i c a l being, or as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l being. Freud even represents a long and complicated process of human development by a s i n g l e event: the f i r s t p a r r i c i d e . Furthermore, t h i s event can be thought of as a " f a l l , " which i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of m y t h i c a l explanations of how man has become what he i s today. The question now a r i s e s as to how these v e s t i g e s of my t h i c a l t h i n k i n g are expressed i n E l i a d e ' s thought, how a c e r t a i n " n o s t a l g i a f o r pa r a d i s e " i s evident i n h i s quest f o r the a r c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s . As was pointed out i n the previous chapter, he seeks something o r i g i n a l i n man--the e s s e n t i a l which precedes the actual--and has an i n t e r e s t i n exemplary forms and values, those of authentic or meaningful human existen c e , While h i s quest f o r o r i g i n s i s ther e f o r e not an o b j e c t i v e quest f o r the beginnings of r e l i g i o n , i t s u n d e r l y i n g assumption i s that man's r e l i g i o u s dimension i s most f u l l y evident i n " a r c h a i c " man. From the viewpoint of modern man, who has l o s t h i s sense of r e l i g i o u s n e s s , the world of a r c h a i c man may then be seen as a l o s t paradise. This a t t i t u d e i s expressed i n E l i a d e ' s myth of man's second " f a l l " i n t o d e s a c r a l i z e d modern existence. In h i s view: . , . i t could be s a i d that n o n r e l i g i o n i s equivalent to a new " f a l l " of man--in other words that n o n r e l i g i o u s man has l o s t the c a p a c i t y to l i v e r e l i g i o n c o n s c i o u s l y , and hence to understand and assume i t ; but t h a t , i n h i s deepest being, he s t i l l r e t a i n s a memory of i t , as, a f t e r the f i r s t " f a l l , " h i s ancestor, the p r i m o r d i a l man r e t a i n e d -84-i n t e l l i g e n c e enough to enable him to re d i s c o v e r the traces of God that are v i s i b l e i n the world, A f t e r the f i r s t " f a l l ' ' the r e l i g i o u s sense descended to the l e v e l of the " d i v i d e d " consciousness; now a f t e r the second " f a l l " i t has f a l l e n even f u r t h e r , i n t o the depths of the „g unconscious; i t has been "forgotten.". E l i a d e ' s myth of man's second " f a l l " thus expresses the same idea as the myth of h i s f i r s t " f a l l " ; man has been '.'separated" from the s t a t e of h i s ancestors, and, at the same time, he r e t a i n s a memory of t h i s s t a t e and can perhaps r e d i s c o v e r i t , The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n w i l l d iscuss how E l i a d e conceives t h i s s e p a r a t i o n and gives suggestions f o r the endeavor of re d i s c o v e r y . The Gap Separating "Modern" and "A r c h a i c " Man E l i a d e b e l i e v e s that the d i f f i c u l t y i n modern man's achieving a proper understanding of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s man l i e s i n the f a c t that he has c o n s c i o u s l y chosen to r e j e c t h i s predecessor's way of l i f e . However, f o r E l i a d e , the gap separating modern n o n r e l i g i o u s man from a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s man i s not absolute, According to him, n o n r e l i g i o u s man descends from homo  r e l i g i o s u s and, whether he l i k e s i t or not, he i s a l s o the work of r e l i g i o u s man. . . I n short, he i s the r e s u l t of a process of d e s a c r a l i z a t i o n . . , . t h i s means that n o n r e l i g i o u s man has been formed by opposing h i s predecessor, by attempting to empty h i m s e l f of a l l . r e l i g i o n and a l l E l i a d e , Sacred and Profane, p,213. -85-transhuman meaning. He recognizes h i m s e l f i n p r o p o r t i o n as he " f r e e s " h i m s e l f from the " s u p e r s t i t i o n s " of h i s ancestors,.,. To acquire a world of h i s own, he has d e s a c r a l i z e d the world i n which h i s ancestors l i v e d ; but to do so he has been o b l i g e d to adopt the opposite of an e a r l i e r type of behavior, and that behavior l i s s t i l l e m otionally present to him, i n one form or another, ready to be r e a c t u a l i z e d i n h i s deepest being.°^ Modern man i s e s s e n t i a l l y faced w i t h the same d e c i s i o n as was r e l i g i o u s man i n h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h "trancendental" sacred r e a l i t i e s ; however, he makes an opposite choice, f o r he decides to r e j e c t transcendence. As Guy Welbon puts i t , E l i a d e "considers d e s a c r a l i z a t i o n 90 to be the a c t u a l i z a t i o n of a p r i m o r d i a l a l t e r n a t i v e " . What, then, r e a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s modern and ar c h a i c man? What i s i m p l i e d i n t h i s choice? As E l i a d e sees i t , i n choosing to r e j e c t transcendence, modern man has decided to l i v e i n l i n e a r , h i s t o r i c a l time and to deny the exist e n c e of any r e a l i t y beyond h i s immediate, e m p i r i c a l world. E l i a d e defines the two main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the world-view of a r c h a i c s o c i e t i e s i n d i r e c t o p p o s i t i o n to t h i s modern a t t i t u d e . The f i r s t he c a l l s "the r e v o l t against l i n e a r time" and the second " a r c h a i c ontology".- With regard to the f i r s t , he s t a t e s : °*Ibid, pp.;203-4, 9 0G. Richard Welbon, "Some Remarks on the Work of Mircea E l i a d e " Acta P h i l o s o p h i c a e t TheoTogica, Vol,2 (1964), p.481, -86-In studying these t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s , one c h a r a c t e r i s t i c has e s p e c i a l l y s t r u c k us; i t i s t h e i r r e v o l t against concrete, h i s t o r i c a l time, t h e i r n o s t a l g i a f o r a p e r i o d i c a l r e t u r n to the m y t h i c a l time of the beginning of t h i n g s , to the "Great Time:,',91 Ar c h a i c man defends h i m s e l f against concrete, h i s t o r i c a l time through the r e p e t i t i o n of archetypes b e l i e v e d to o r i g i n a t e outside of h i s t o r y . Modern man, of course, has great d i f f i c u l t y i n understanding how i t i s p o s s i b l e to l i v e t h i s l i f e of endless r e p e t i t i o n , f o r he i s pre-eminently " h i s t o r i c a l man^" that i s , "man who is_ 92 i n s o f a r as he makes h i m s e l f , w i t h i n h i s t o r y T h e p o s s i b i l i t y of comprehending the l i f e - s t y l e of a r c h a i c man l i e s , f o r E l i a d e , i n p o s i t i n g an a r c h a i c ontology. He s t a t e s ; I t matters l i t t l e i f the formulas and images through which the p r i m i t i v e expresses " r e a l i t y " seem c h i l d i s h and even absurd to us. I t i s the profound meaning of p r i m i t i v e behavior that i s r e v e l a t o r y ; t h i s behavior i s governed by b e l i e f i n an absolute r e a l i t y opposed to the profane world of " u n r e a l i t i e s " . . . Hence we are j u s t i f i e d i n speaking of an a r c h a i c ontology, and i t i s only by t a k i n g t h i s ontology i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n that we succeed i n understanding--and hence i n not s c o r n f u l l y dismissing--even the most extravagant behavior on..the p a r t of the p r i m i t i v e world; i n f a c t , t h i s behavior corresponds to a desperate e f f o r t not to l o s e contact w i t h being.93 ^ Cosmos and H i s t o r y , p , i x , 9 2 I b i d . 9 3 I b i d . p,92 -87-Thus, a l l of the attempts by a r c h a i c man to " k i l l ' 1 Time through a r c h e t y p a l formulas or images represent an e f f o r t to saturate h i s l i f e w i t h being, which i s opposed to becoming, or the f l u x of Time, While the world of a r c h a i c man i s f a r removed from that of the modern i n t e r p r e t e r , t h i s does not l e s s e n , but enhances, the value of seeking to understand i t , I t w i l l be remembered that the value of the hermeneutical e f f o r t l i e s p r e c i s e l y i n the f a c t that i t seeks to comprehend something ''other.". According to E l i a d e , the value f o r modern Western man of c o n f r o n t i n g both a r c h a i c and non-Western peoples can be measured i n terms of s e l f -understanding, He s t a t e s : , , , t h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h "the o t h e r s " helps Western man b e t t e r to understand hi m s e l f . The e f f o r t expended i n c o r r e c t l y understanding ways of t h i n k i n g that are f o r e i g n to the Western r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n - - a n e f f o r t which i s , p r i m a r i l y , that of deciphering the meanings of myths and symbols--is r e p a i d by a considerable enrichment of consciousness,94 E l i a d e f e e l s t h a t , despite i t s p o t e n t i a l v a l u e , few rewards have yet been reaped from t h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n , He a t t r i b u t e s t h i s to the i n c a p a c i t y of r e d u c t i o n i s t i c i d e o l o g i e s of the Western r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n to understand c o r r e c t l y the r e l i g i o u s worlds of "the others". Moreover, he o f f e r s c e r t a i n suggestions f o r t r u l y reaping E l i a d e , Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , p,9. - 8 8 -the b e n e f i t s of the encounter w i t h "the others, •". f o r b r i d g i n g the gap which separates modern n o n r e l i g i o u s man from the a r c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s , E l i a d e makes h i s suggestions i n response to one great problem; "the m a j o r i t y of h i s t o r i a n s of r e l i g i o n s defend themselves against the messages w i t h which t h e i r documents 95 are f i l l e d . " This may be overcome, f i r s t , he suggests, by avoiding excessive s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . He t h e r e f o r e i n v i t e s the v a r i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s ( I n d o l o g i s t s , J u d a i c i s t s , S i n o l o g i s t s , e t c ) to become acquainted w i t h developments i n areas o u t s i d e t h e i r own. Second, he implores the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to c a r r y out h i s own i n t e r p r e t i v e work; he has served long enough, due to h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l t i m i d i t y , to provide "raw m a t e r i a l s " f o r the philosophers and s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s . T h i r d , he says the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n progresses l i t t l e i n h i s own i n t e r p r e t i v e work i f he i m i t a t e s some fashionable philosopher or borrows h i s models from the s o c i a l sciences. Fourth,, he p o i n t s out t h a t , i n f a c t , the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s needs to r e c t i f y c e r t a i n f a s h i o n a b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of r e l i g i o n (an outstanding example being the idea of Feurbach and Marx that r e l i g i o n i s a l i e n a t i o n ) . F i n a l l y , he asks the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to be mindful of "the f a l l a c y of d e m y s t i f i c a t i o n * 1 1 of the f a l s e n o t i o n that he ought to seek E l i a d e , The Quest, p.62, For a more complete view of the suggestions summarized here, see pp,62ff. - 8 9 -an a l t e r n a t i v e , r a t i o n a l e x p l a n a t i o n f o r r e l i g i o u s views, which, at f i r s t , make l i t t l e sense to the modern Western mind. This i s the crux of the matter; the aim should be t o recover the s p i r i t u a l messages contained i n the m a t e r i a l s , not to reduce them to f i t p r o v i n c i a l p h i l o s o p h i e s or s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c models, so t h a t , c l a d i n contemporary garb, they are i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from the views of modern 96 t h i n k e r s , E l i a d e suggests that the a t t i t u d e of the v a r i o u s reductionisms toward "the o t h e r s " may betray a 97 s u p e r i o r i t y complex on the p a r t of Western s c h o l a r s . He f e e l s that i n s t e a d of i n t e r p r e t i n g them from the p o i n t of reference of our p a r t i c u l a r moment i n h i s t o r y , s i t u a t i n g them somewhere behind us i n our h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n a r y development, we ought to r a i s e them to a l e v e l of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on which they can serve as a b a s i s f o r c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n upon p r o v i n c i a l ways of t h i n k i n g . He suggests the need f o r an e f f o r t to " r e v a l o r i z e " or to "save" a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s . This e f f o r t i s e x e m p l i f i e d when he p o s i t s an " a r c h a i c ontology" to make sense of p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s which are otherwise incomprehensible to the Western r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n . .A hermeneutical e f f o r t of t h i s k i n d presupposes a d e v a l u a t i o n of comtemporary As, f o r example, when the r e l i g i o u s views of e a r l y C h r i s t i a n i t y , haying been "demythologised" from the p o i n t of view of e x i s t e n t i a l i s m , become i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophy i t s e l f . 9 7 I b i d , , p,9,11.4. -90-r a t i o n a l thought and w i l l i n e v i t a b l y meet w i t h r e s i s t a n c e from s c i e n t i f i c a l l y minded s c h o l a r s / They w i l l be i n c l i n e d "to suspect obscurantism or n o s t a l g i a " , E l i a d e says, i n authors who see i n the d i f f e r e n t forms of r e l i g i o n something other than s u p e r s t i t i o n , ignorance, or, at the most, p s y c h o l o g i c a l behavior, s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , and rudimentary i d e o l o g i e s f o r t u n a t e l y l e f t behind us by the progress of s c i e n t i f i c thought and the triumph of technology,98 I t has already been admitted i n the present a n a l y s i s that there i s a c e r t a i n " n o s t a l g i a " inherent i n the hermeneutical e f f o r t to " r e v a l o r i z e " or recover a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s . I t remains to be shown that t h i s " n o s t a l g i a " must not be understood as a d e s i r e to r e t u r n to the a c t u a l way of l i f e of premodern r e l i g i o u s s o c i e t i e s , w i t h t h e i r s o - c a l l e d s u p e r s t i t i o n s and n o n - r a t i o n a l i d e o l o g i e s , C r e a t i v e Hermeneutics C e r t a i n scholars suspect obscurantism or n o s t a l g i a i n E l i a d e ' s e f f o r t to " r e v a l o r i z e " a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s because they f i n d i t p a r a d o x i c a l , Having heard from an e a r l i e r generation of scholars that the study of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o n s i s important to modern man because i t shows how f a r man's r e l i g i o u s sense has developed i n l e a v i n g behind these "lower" forms of r e l i g i o n , they stand aghast at E l i a d e ' s view that the study of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o n s w i l l I b i d . , pp,66-67. -91-r e s t o r e to modern man h i s true sense of r e l i g i o u s n e s s . Because E l i a d e holds a noble conception of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s e x i s t e n c e , and argues that modern exist e n c e i s by c o n t r a s t impoverished and b e r e f t of meaning, he i s suspected of being a proponent of baseless a n t i - p o s t i v i s t i n v e c t i v e , or a v i c t i m of n o s t a l g i a f o r the supposedly b e a t i f i c e x i s t e n c e of premodern man, He i s suspected of "using' 1 the study of ar c h a i c r e l i g i o u s behavior to preach about modern Western man's an x i e t y or to prophesy the appearance of the means f o r human s a l v a t i o n on the ho r i z o n of non-Western s p i r i t u a l i t y , I t w i l l be shown that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n stems from a b a s i c misunderstanding of E l i a d e ' s c r e a t i v e hermeneutics. This misunderstanding l i e s i n the assumption that E l i a d e ' s quest f o r the ar c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s seeks the r e t u r n , i n a c t u a l i t y , to a form of premodern r e l i g i o u s behavior. C e r t a i n i n t e r p r e t e r s of h i s thought assume that he advocates the o b j e c t i v e r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s existence because they confuse h i s quest f o r the ar c h a i c homo-rellglosus w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n a r y quest f o r the e a r l i e s t form of r e l i g i o n . The two tasks are even confused i n cases\ where i t i s e x p l i c i t l y noted that E l i a d e r e j e c t s the use of a h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n a r y framework i n h i s study of r e l i g i o n , Such a confusion of tasks i s evident, f o r example, i n an otherwise i n s i g h t f u l review of E l i a d e ' s works by the -92-99 well-known l i t e r a r y c r i t i c Northrop Frye, He notes i n h i s review, that i n E l i a d e ' s "grammar of comparative symbolism" something primary and u n i v e r s a l i n r e l i g i o n i s uncovered, something "of the type that T y l o r c a l l e d animism!' He adds; " E l i a d e t h i n k s of t h i s animism, however, not as c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y p r i o r to a l l other r e l i g i o n s , as T y l o r d i d , but as l a t e n t i n a l l r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e s and the key to most of t h e i r imagery/'. He thus recognizes that E l i a d e has dispensed w i t h h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n i s m and given us a view of a r c h a i c imagery and symbolism which shows' i t s importance to man i n general, not to: only one stage i n h i s h i s t o r i c a l development. In a d d i t i o n , Frye .does not h e s i t a t e to announce the relevance of E l i a d e ' s work to the modern l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , " I t i s obvious,", he s t a t e s , "that such s t u d i e s as E l i a d e ' s have an immediate relevance to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m - ^ s o immediate that a c r i t i c who ignores t h i s k i n d of work i s r i s k i n g competence i n h i s own f i e l d , " In view of these remarks, Frye's c o n c l u s i o n about E l i a d e l s e f f o r t to r e s t o r e the. value of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s s u r p r i s e s us, He w r i t e s ; Sacred trees and stones, c i t i e s at the " N o r t h r o p Frye, "World Enough Without Time," The Huds Review, 12 (1959), pp.423-31, 1 0 0 i b i d ; , p;427; 1 0 1 I b l d . , p,431, -93-navel of the ear t h , a p r i m o r d i a l time of the gods, are a l l p r o j e c t i o n s , and i t would be the s i l l i e s t k i n d of s e l f -hypnosis to t r y to t a l k ourselves i n t o accepting such p r o j e c t i o n s again. The d i f f e r e n c e between s u p e r s t i t i o n and r e l i g i o n , which seems to disappear from E l i a d e ' s argument, i s that i n r e l i g i o n such f e e l i n g s are t r a n s f e r r e d from the p h y s i c a l to the s p i r i t u a l world, from outer time and space to inner experience. . . . t h i s process i s of immense help i n the development of a higher r e l i g i o n and i s probably e s s e n t i a l to i t . ^ ^ Frye here uses a form of dialogue which, as he i s aware, E l i a d e has labored to do away w i t h , a dialogue burdened w i t h notions of " s u p e r s t i t i o n , " " p r o j e c t i o n s " , "higher" and "lower" r e l i g i o n s , e t c . He f a i l s to recognize t h a t , i n r e j e c t i n g these notions of h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n i s m , E l i a d e has sought to r e s t o r e the value of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s through a non-objective quest, that i s , by means of a hermeneutical procedure. I t i s a hermeneutical procedure which i n v o l v e s c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n ; i t i n v o l v e s , as a necessary r e s u l t of the encounter w i t h "other" r e a l i t i e s , the devaluation and r e i a t i v i z a t i o n of contemporary existence. E l i a d e ' s " r e v a l o r i z a t i o n " of a r c h a i c existence d i s p l a y s the k i n d of c r i t i c i s m of contemporary c u l t u r e which i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of c r e a t i v e hermeneutics. I t does not d i s p l a y , as Frye t h i n k s , the k i n d of " i n s e n s i t i v i t y to culture'' which i s " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c 103 of preachers of a n x i e t y " i n modern exi s t e n c e . 1 0 3 I b i d . -94-The c r i t i c i s m of E l i a d e by the theologian Kenneth Hamilton i s s i m i l a r to that of Frye i n that i t misrepresents E l i a d e ' s hermeneutical quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s as an argument f o r the r e t u r n to a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s e x i s t e n c e . " ^ 4 He a l s o sees the relevance to modern man of E l i a d e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s man. He f e e l s , however, that i t i s p r e c i s e l y the k i n d of r e l i g i o u s n e s s which E l i a d e describes that the modern the o l o g i a n ought to recognize and oppose i n d e f i n i n g a form of f a i t h which i s appropriate f o r modern, h i s t o r i c a l man. His main poin t i s that i t would be both i r r e s p o n s i b l e and impossible f o r the modern C h r i s t i a n to assume the mode of exi s t e n c e of homo r e l i g i o s u s , c h a r a c t e r i z e d as i t i s by "a sense of cosmic cosiness." He s t a t e s : The f a c t that the r e l i g i o u s consciousness of modern C h r i s t i a n s i s no longer "open" to the cosmos as was the consciousness of medieval C h r i s t i a n s or of a r c h a i c man may mean more gain than l o s s . Perhaps the assumption of homo r e l i g i o s u s that he need only decipher what the cosmos says i n order to understand the mystery of l i f e was an i l l - f o u n d e d assumption needing to be cor r e c t e d by the co u n t e r t h e s i s of n o r i r e l i g i o u s man that the cosmos holds no cipher.105 Hamilton's suggestion of a co u n t e r t h e s i s i s w e l l - s t a t e d , but i t i s not E l i a d e ' s awareness of t h i s c o u n t e r t h e s i s 1 0 4 K e n n e t h Hamilton, "Homo R e l i g i o s u s and H i s t o r i c a l F a i t h , »• J o u r n a l of B i b l e and R e l i g i o n , 33 (1965), pp. 213-222 1 Q 5 I b i d . , p.216. -95-which i s at stake, E l i a d e has pointed out that modern man has i n f a c t chosen to d e s a c r a l i z e the cosmos i n h i s theory of man's second " f a l l , " What i s at stake i s E l i a d e ' s contention that modern man can achieve a r e s t o r e d awareness of the views of homo r e l i g i o s u s . Hamilton addresses hi m s e l f to t h i s i s s u e when he asks; "Can the s p i r i t u a l outlook of homo r e l i g i o s u s be r e v i v e d i n our 106 modern, h i s t o r i c a l l y - m i n d e d , a n t i - m e t a p h y s i c a l age?" Yet he s t i l l misconstrues E l i a d e ' s understanding of the s p i r i t u a l reawakening which may occur as a r e s u l t of the hermeneutical encounter w i t h non-Western c u l t u r e s . According to Hamilton's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of E l i a d e ' s views, the twice-f a l l e n man of the modern Western world ought to look to the h o r i z o n of non-Western, n o n - C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n s f o r an a c t u a l s o l u t i o n to h i s s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s . He represents E l i a d e ' s understanding as f o l l o w s : . . , as i t i s i n the C h r i s t i a n i z e d West that s e c u l a r i z a t i o n has proceeded most r a p i d l y , we should expect the n o n - C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n s to take the lead i n h a l t i n g — a n d perhaps i n r e v e r s i n g - - t h e second F a l l . . . . Should we a l s o expect, from the same sources, a second saviour?107 Again, the s p e c i f i c a l l y hermeneutical nature of E l i a d e ' s encounter w i t h the worlds of homo r e l i g i o s u s i s ignored. C r e a t i v e hermeneutics has no i n t e n t i o n of " r e v e r s i n g " man's second " f a l l , " f o r i t i s t h i s " f a l l " which makes that I b i d , , p.221. I b i d . , p.215. -96-hermeneutics both necessary and p o s s i b l e ; i t i s , i n essence, a f a l l i n t o h i s t o r y . In c o n c l u s i o n , the important t h i n g i s that hermeneutics i s an a c t i v i t y p e c u l i a r to contemporary man, f o r i t i s an e x e r c i s e i n sel f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g through the h i s t o r i c a l study of other c u l t u r e s . Charles Long expresses t h i s idea when he says of hermeneutics: " i t presupposes 108 modernity." At the same time, however, i t presupposes a c e r t a i n d e valuation or r e l a t i v i z a t i o n of modernity: i t confronts the contemporary i n t e r p r e t e r w i t h the r e a l i z a t i o n that h i s existence i s only one among many p o s s i b i l i t i e s . As a r e s u l t , i t a l t e r s h i s fundamental view of e x i s t e n c e . As E l i a d e puts i t : In the end, c r e a t i v e hermeneutics changes man; i t i s more than i n s t r u c t i o n , i t i s a l s o a s p i r i t u a l technique s u s c e p t i b l e of modifying the q u a l i t y of existence i t s e l f . This i s true above a l l f o r the h i s t o r i c o -r e l i g i o u s hermeneutics.. . For i n pr e s e n t i n g and a n a l y z i n g the A u s t r a l i a n , A f r i c a n or Oceanian myths and r i t u a l s , i n g i v i n g a commentary on the hymns of Zar a t h u s t r a , T a o i s t t e x t s , or the shamanistic mythologies and techniques, the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s u n v e i l s some e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n s that are unknown or that are imaginable o n l y w i t h great d i f f i c u l t y by the modern reader; the encounter w i t h these " f o r e i g n " worlds cannot continue without consequences.109 These consequences are, f o r E l i a d e , i n d i v i d u a l s e l f -understanding, renewal of thought i n Western c u l t u r e s , and a l t e r a t i o n i n the s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n of modern man. Long, p.79. E l i a d e , The Quest, p.62. - 9 7 -These consequences w i l l be considered i n the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n of the r o l e of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i n r e l a t i o n to the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity. The H i s t o r i a n of R e l i g i o n s and the S p i r i t u a l S i t u a t i o n of Modern Man E l i a d e ' s quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s i s a c r e a t i v e hermeneutics because he seeks through o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s to transcend h i s t o r y and discover the u n i v e r s a l , p r e - o b j e c t i v e b a s i s of human r e l i g i o u s n e s s . The three consequences of t h i s a p p r o a c h — s e l f -understanding, c u l t u r a l renewal, and a l t e r a t i o n of man's s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n - - a r e c e n t r a l to E l i a d e ' s b e l i e f i n the power of h i s hermeneutics to transform the awareness of modern man. In the l i g h t of t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e w i l l be discussed, f i r s t , the r o l e of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i n c o n t r i b u t i n g to man's t o t a l understanding of h i m s e l f through the study of a r c h a i c r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s . Second w i l l be discussed the idea of c u l t u r a l renewal as i t r e l a t e s to the e f f o r t s of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to u n v e i l " f o r e i g n " e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n s and thus permit c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n upon a t t i t u d e s toward existence i n contemporary c u l t u r e . F i n a l l y w i l l be discussed the p o t e n t i a l a b i l i t y of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to a l t e r the s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n of modern man, to show modern man that h i s t o t a l s i t u a t i o n - 9 8 -has both a h i s t o r i c a l and a t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l , or s p i r i t u a l dimension. The e f f o r t to understand the s e l f through the mediation of the other can succeed only i n s o f a r as "the other" corresponds to something recognizable i n the s e l f . In E l i a d e ' s study of the a r c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s , he t e l l s us that i t c o n s t i t u t e s a form of behavior " s t i l l e m o tionally present'.' to modern n o n r e l i g i o u s . man, which i s "ready to be r e a c t u a l i z e d i n h i s deepest being,!'. Thus, the aim of h i s t o r i c o - r e l i g i o u s hermeneutics i s to seek "the other" or "the a r c h a i c " as a dimension of the i n t e r p r e t i n g subject h i m s e l f ; t h i s hermeneutics i s an a l t e r n a t i v e to the h i s t o r i c a l - e v o l u t i o n a r y quest f o r the o r i g i n a l form of r e l i g i o n i n o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y . In h i s comments on the f a i l u r e of the o b j e c t i v e quest f o r the o r i g i n s of r e l i g i o n , Charles Long presents t h i s idea of an a l t e r n a t i v e quest. According to him, the search f o r o r i g i n s - - t h e a r c h a i c i n o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y — m u s t now be complemented by a search of the archaism of the subject. This archaism i s no longer a search f o r o r i g i n s i n o b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y , for', as we i. have seen, t h i s poses an impossible task. This "new archaism" a r i s e s i n r e l a t i o n to the u n i v e r s a l s t r u c t u r e and i n t e n t i o n a l i t y r e v e aled i n r e l i g i o u s symbols. We now wish to understand the meaning of the ar c h a i c as a c o n s t i t u e n t element i n man's understanding of h i m s e l f and h i s world. HO Long, p.74. -99-Charles Long would r e p l a c e the idea of an o r i g i n a l , o b j e c t i v e stage of human r e l i g i o u s l i f e w i t h the idea of i t s u n i v e r s a l , p r e - o b j e c t i v e s t r u c t u r e , This p o s i t i o n p a r a l l e l s that of E l i a d e i n t h i s statement: " I t s u f f i c e s to say that the 'sacred' i s an element i n the s t r u c t u r e of consciousness, not a stage i n the h i s t o r y of 1 1 1 consciousness," Through the comprehension of the ar c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s on a p r i m o r d i a l l e v e l of h i s being, modern man can add to an understanding of himse l f . He achieves " t o t a l " understanding when he comprehends h i m s e l f i n a l l of h i s dimensions, even those that have been " f o r g o t t e n " i n the present h i s t o r i c a l moment, only to be rediscovered i n h i s encounter w i t h "the oth e r s . " When, i n h i s encounter w i t h the "other s , " man discovers the p o s s i b i l i t y of assuming a " f o r g o t t e n " or " a l i e n " mode of e x i s t e n c e , he i s moved to r e f l e c t c r i t i c a l l y upon contemporary a t t i t u d e s toward exis t e n c e . "For, a f t e r a l l , " E l i a d e e x p l a i n s , " r e c o g n i z i n g the existence of 'others' i n e v i t a b l y b rings w i t h i t the r e l a t i v i z a t i o n , or even 112 the d e s t r u c t i o n , of the o f f i c i a l c u l t u r a l w orld." However, only through such c r i t i c i s m of fundamental, contemporary views can we t r u l y comprehend the other and " i n t e r p o l a t e " that other i n t o our l i v e s . Charles Long E l i a d e , The Quest, from the Preface. E l i a d e , The Quest, p.4. -100-expresses t h i s view i n the passage where he presents h i s d e f i n i t i o n of hermeneutics: Every adequate hermeneutics i s at heart an essay i n self- u n d e r s t a n d i n g . I_t i s the e f f o r t to understand the s e l f through  the mediation of the other. By s e l f -understanding I do not mean the r e d u c t i o n of the other to the cate g o r i e s of contemporaneity. Self-understanding through the mediation of the other i n v o l v e s the p r i n c i p l e of r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m . I t i s t h i s r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m of s e l f and other which permits the i n t e r p o l a t i o n of the phenomenon i n t o our l i v e s . H 3 When E l i a d e speaks of c u l t u r a l renewal or enrichment of consciousness i n the modern Western world he has t h i s k i n d of r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m i n mind. As mentioned above, he shows the way to a true comprehension of p r i m i t i v e man's l i f e of "archetypes and r e p e t i t i o n " through demonstrating t h a t , from the p r i m i t i v e ' s own p o i n t of view, t h i s e x istence p a r t i c i p a t e s i n an " a r c h a i c ontology, " In another instance he experiments w i t h r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m of the a t t i t u d e s toward death of modern h i s t o r i c a l man and of homo r e l i g i o s u s , and shows the d i f f e r e n c e between the e x i s t e n t i a l views of death on the one hand as Nothingness, and on the other as I n i t i a t i o n . E l i a d e b e l i e v e s the discovery of other e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n s has a s p e c i a l importance f o r modern man because he i s the v i c t i m of h i s I 1 o Long, p.78 I i t a l i c s mine). 1 1 4 E l i a d e , " R e l i g i o u s Symbolism and Modern Man's Anxiety", i n Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , pp.231-45. -101-own h i s t o r i c i t y , of the b e l i e f that the present h i s t o r i c a l moment s o l e l y c o n d i t i o n s h i s s i t u a t i o n . Contemporary man i s unaware, according to E l i a d e , that h i s p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n can have a t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l meaning. E l i a d e f e e l s that the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s i s i n a prime p o s i t i o n to r e v e a l t h i s f a c t to modern consciousness because he has a knowledge of the symbolism and imagery through which man has a t t a i n e d the U n i v e r s a l i n h i s moments as homo r e l i g i o s u s . The r o l e which E l i a d e asks the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to take i n a l t e r i n g man's present s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n i s , then, mainly one of r e v e a l i n g to modern man the value and meaning of a r c h a i c symbols and archetypes. R e l i g i o u s symbolism, i s f o r him, the v e h i c l e par e x c e l l e n c e by which a consciousness may transcend i t s own h i s t o r i c i t y . The i d e a that the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s can become a r e l i g i o u s e x e r c i s e i s t h e r e f o r e most apparent i n E l i a d e ' s statements about the study of r e l i g i o u s symbolism. He w r i t e s : By envisaging the study of man not only inasmuch as he i s a h i s t o r i c being, but a l s o as a l i v i n g symbol, the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s could become ( i f we may be pardoned the word) a metapsychoanalysis. For t h i s would l e a d to an awakening, and a renewal of consciousness, of the a r c h a i c symbols and archetypes, whether s t i l l l i v i n g or now f o s s i l i s e d i n the r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s of a l l mankind. . . . One could e q u a l l y w e l l c a l l t h i s a new m a l e u t i c s . J u s t as Socrates. . .acted on the mind o b s t e t r i c a l l y , b r i n g i n g to b i r t h thoughts i t d i d not know i t contained, so the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s could b r i n g f o r t h a new man, more authentic and more complete: f o r , through -102-the study of the r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s , modern man would not only r e d i s c o v e r a k i n d of ar c h a i c behavior, he would a l s o become conscious of the s p i r i t u a l r i c h e s i m p l i e d i n such behavior.115 E l i a d e thus d i s c l o s e s that the u l t i m a t e aim of h i s hermeneutics i s not simply to r e d i s c o v e r a r c h a i c behavior, but to give i t new and enriched s i g n i f i c a n c e . He seeks both to r e d i s c o v e r past h i s t o r i c a l s i t u t a t i o n s of man and to r e v e a l the t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l meaning of these s i t u a t i o n s . In c o n c l u s i o n , i t can be s a i d that E l i a d e aims to transcend h i s t o r y through the study of h i s t o r y . This means that i n uncovering the p r i m o r d i a l c o n d i t i o n of the ar c h a i c homo r e l i g i o s u s to modern man, he opens the way f o r the emergence of a more complete being. E l i a d e ' s h i s t o r i c o -r e l i g i o u s hermeneutics i s then i n v o l v e d i n the k i n d of r e t u r n to the p r i m o r d i a l s i t u a t i o n which he describes i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of yoga. The y o g i becomes l i b e r a t e d when i n r e c o v e r i n g the p r i m o r d i a l s t a t e he i s i n i t i a t e d i n t o a t o t a l l y new mode of being; as E l i a d e puts i t : "The man 'de l i v e r e d i n l i f e ' regains h i s o r i g i n a l s i t u a t i o n enriched 116 by dimensions of freedom and transconsciousness.". Thus i t i s w i t h the quest f o r homo r e l i g i o s u s , which does not r e t u r n modern man to a mode of exist e n c e l i v e d i n E l i a d e , Images and Symbols, p.35. 1 1 6 E l i a d e , P a t a f a j a l i and Yoga, t r . Charles L. Markmann (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1969), p.121. - 1 0 3 -o b j e c t i v e a r c h a i c h i s t o r y , but r a t h e r seeks to i n i t i a t e him i n t o a new s p i r i t u a l awareness through the r e d i s c o v e r y of the a r c h a i c modality i n h i m s e l f , •k k k To summarize, i n E l i a d e ' s r e l i g i o u s hermeneutics " n o s t a l g i a f o r p a r a d i s e " takes the form of an elevated s p i r i t u a l technique. I t could be compared w i t h the yearning f o r the p r i m o r d i a l s t a t e of v a r i o u s mystics or the search f o r the " f i r s t philosophy" by t h i n k e r s both ancient and modern, the only d i f f e r e n c e being that E l i a d e ' s quest begins w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l l y given and not w i t h i n t r o s p e c t i o n , I t begins w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l l y given "other" as i t s i n d i s p e n s i b l e guide, and a t t a i n s to s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g through the r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m of the s e l f and the other, Thus, " c r e a t i v e hermeneutics changes man"; a l l the consequences f o r modern man of the encounter w i t h h i s t o r i c o - r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t i e s are made p o s s i b l e by the act of r e c i p r o c a l c r i t i c i s m . These r e s u l t s are thwarted by defending oneself against the s p i r i t u a l messages revealed by h i s t o r i c o - r e l i g i o u s f a c t s i n the p r o v i n c i a l manner of Western thought. Self-understanding w i l l f o l l o w from the encounter w i t h the other only when the other i s taken s e r i o u s l y and r a i s e d to a l e v e l on which i t can t r u l y serve as the b a s i s f o r r a d i c a l s e l f - c r i t i c i s m . -104-Conclusion The importance of E l i a d e ' s study of r e l i g i o u s phenomena i s tha t i t describes what r e l i g i o u s existence i s , apart from the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , economic, and h i s t o r i c a l f a c t o r s which n e c e s s a r i l y c o n d i t i o n a l l r e l i g i o u s phenomena. The s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s of h i s d e s c r i p t i o n are: f i r s t , r e l i g i o u s e x i s t e n c e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an a t t i t u d e toward h i s t o r y which i s the opposite of that which u n d e r l i e s most modern i d e o l o g i e s and t h e o r i e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; second, i t i s dominated by archetypes and symbols which r e v e a l t h e i r meaning at a no n - d i s c u r s i v e l e v e l r a t h e r than the r a t i o n a l l e v e l of discourse; and f i n a l l y , i t i s not comprehensible to those who i n s i s t upon reducing i t to the i d e o l o g i c a l categories of the Western r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n . For E l i a d e , t h e r e f o r e , the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity i s , f i r s t of a l l , the d i f f i c u l t i e s which are inherent i n the hermeneutical s i t u a t i o n of the modern i n t e r p r e t e r . These d i f f i c u l t i e s a r i s e out of the f a c t that the i n t e r p r e t e r must seek to understand a mode of existence which transcends the temporal and h i s t o r i c . To overcome these d i f f i c u l t i e s , E l i a d e suggests an approach to r e l i g i o - h i s t o r i c a l phenomena which transcends t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r c o n d i t i o n i n g s , or at l e a s t gets beyond the view -105-that they are c o n s t i t u t e d s o l e l y by these c o n d i t i o n i n g s . H i s approach brackets out the var i o u s reductionisms which t r e a t r e l i g i o u s phenomena as a f u n c t i o n of s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , economic, and other n o n - r e l i g i o u s f a c t o r s . T r e a t i n g r e l i g i o n as a f u n c t i o n of the sacred i s a pur e l y morphological task without any aim toward e x p l a i n i n g what has produced a r e l i g i o u s phenomenon. I t s aim, i n s t e a d , i s to dis c o v e r the s t r u c t u r e and meaning which the phenomenon has when taken together w i t h other phenomena of the same u n i v e r s a l , a h i s t o r i c a l type. Morphological i n t e r p r e t a t i o n gives us an understanding of the s p e c i f i c nature of r e l i g i o u s existence because i t shows the meaning which r e l i g i o u s phenomena r e v e a l through t h e i r common s t r u c t u r e . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s t r u c t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s l i f e leads to a d e s c r i p t i o n of homo r e l i g i o s u s , i n which h i s existence i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the " s t r u c t u r e s of the sacred". By v i r t u e of t h i s i n t e r p r e t i v e procedure, E l i a d e ' s approach claims to provide an understanding of r e l i g i o n as something i n and of i t s e l f , an understanding of man i n h i s e s s e n t i a l l y and d i s t i n c t l y r e l i g i o u s dimension. This understanding transcends the d i f f i c u l t i e s presented by the h i s t o r i c i t y of p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s f a c t s by transforming them i n t o a p i c t u r e of the arch e t y p a l homo r e l i g i o s u s ,• While one might expect that the c o n t r i b u t i o n of the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s to d i s c u s s i o n on the problem of r e l i g i o n and modernity would end w i t h an understanding of -106-what r e l i g i o u s e xistence i s as revealed by r e l i g i o -h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s , t h i s i s not so w i t h E l i a d e . He f e e l s a true understanding of r e l i g i o u s f a c t s from past h i s t o r i c a l contexts w i l l modify the q u a l i t y of present exis t e n c e . In other words, he f e e l s the messages which these f a c t s r e v e a l to modern man can change him. They can help man to complete h i s understanding of h i m s e l f because they r e v e a l what i s u n i v e r s a l and t r a n s h i s t o r i c a l i n h i s s i t u a t i o n i n the world. In E l i a d e ' s view of r e l i g i o n and modernity, i t i s not only a problem of modern man's l o s i n g a sense of the r e l i g i o u s , but a l s o of l o s i n g a sense of the e s s e n t i a l human c o n d i t i o n which precedes a c t u a l human exist e n c e . One outstanding f a c t about E l i a d e which has emerged i s that he i s , above a l l , a humanist. He i s a humanist who i s concerned w i t h the e s s e n t i a l human c o n d i t i o n , and he sees h i s study of the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s as a preparatory work f o r understanding the essence or u n i t y of humanity, a p r e p a r a t i o n , that i s , f o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l anthropology. I t w i l l be remembered that he says "homo r e l i g i o s u s represents the ' t o t a l man',", He a l s o says ; More than any other humanistic d i s c i p l i n e ( i , e , , psychology, anthropology, s o c i o l o g y , etc,) h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n s can open the way to a p h i l o s o p h i c a l anthropology. E l i a d e , The Quest, p.9. -107-And again; C e r t a i n l y , the u n i t y of the human species i s accepted de f a c t o ..in other d i s c i p l i n e s , f o r example, l i n g u i s t i c s , anthropology, so c i o l o g y . But the h i s t o r i a n of r e l i g i o n s has the p r i v i l e g e of grasping t h i s u n i t y at the highest l e v e l s — o r the deepest—and such an experience i s s u s c e p t i b l e of e n r i c h i n g and changing him.HS This d e s i r e to grasp the essence of humanity through the encounter w i t h man i n h i s r e l i g i o u s s t a t e before the "second f a l l " r e v e a l s the " n o s t a l g i a f o r p a r a d i s e " i n E l i a d e ' s quest. This i s not, however, the abject n o s t a l g i a of the malcontent i n modern s o c i e t y ; i t i s the n o s t a l g i a of the hermeneut, who b e l i e v e s i n the relevance to modernity of a l l past e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n s of man. This n o s t a l g i a i s born of the idea that man's present s i t u a t i o n i n the world i s only one p o s s i b i l i t y among others and the r e a l i z a t i o n that a l l p o s s i b l e human s i t u a t i o n s share some b a s i c u n i t y . 'Ibid. , p. 69. -108-B i b l i o g r a p h y I. L i s t of Books i n E n g l i s h by Mircea E l i a d e M e t a l l u r g y , Magic, and Alchemy, Cahiers de Zalmoxis, I . P a r i s : L i b r a r i e O r i e n t a l i s t e Paul Geuthner, 1938. The Myth of the E t e r n a l Return. T r a n s l a t i o n of Le Mythe de  1'Eternal .Retour (1949) from the French by W i l l a r d Trask, B o l l i n g e n S e r i e s XLVI. New York: Routledge and Kegan P a u l , 1955. Reprinted as Cosmos and H i s t o r y . New York: Harper and Row, 1959. Patterns i n Comparative R e l i g i o n . T r a n s l a t i o n of T r a i t e  d ' H i s t o i r e des R e l i g i o n s (1949) from the French by Rosemary Sheed. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1959. B i r t h and R e b i r t h . T r a n s l a t i o n of Naissances Mystiques (1959) from the French by W i l l a r d R. Trask. New York: Harper and Row; London: H a r v i l l Press 1958. Reprinted as R i t e s and Symbols of I n i t i a t i o n . New York: Harper, 1965. Yoga; Immortality and Freedom. T r a n s l a t i o n of Le_ Yoga: Immortalite et L i b e r t e (1954) from the French by W i l l a r d R. TraskT TtoTlingen Series LVI. New York and London: Routledge and Kegan P a u l , 1958. The Sacred and the Profane. T r a n s l a t i o n of Le Sacre et l e Profane (1965) from the French by W i l l a r d R. Trask. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1959. F i r s t p u b l ished i n German as Das H e i l i g e und das Profane, 1957. Reprinted. New York: Harper and Row, 1961. Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s . T r a n s l a t i o n of Mythes, Reves, et Mysteries (1957) from the French by P h i l i p M a i r e t . New York: Harper and Row; London: H a r v i l l Press, 1960. Images and Symbols. T r a n s l a t i o n of Images et Symboles (1952) from the French by P h i l i p M a i r e t . New York: Sheed and Ward; London: H a r v i l l Press, 1961. The Forge and the C r u c i b l e . T r a n s l a t i o n of Forgerons et A l c h i m i s t e s (1956) from the French by Stephen C o r r i n . New York: Harper and Row; London: Rider and Company, 1962. -109-Myth and R e a l i t y . T r a n s l a t i o n of Aspects du Mythe (1963) from the French by W i l l a r d R. Trask. New York: Harper and Row, 1963; London: George A l l e n and Unwin, 1964. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. T r a n s l a t i o n of Le Chamanisme et l e s Techniques Arch'aiques de 1'Extase TT951) from the French by W i l l a r d R. Trask. B o l l i n g e n S e r i e s LXXVI. P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1954. The Two and the One. T r a n s l a t i o n of Mephistopheles et  1'Androgyne (1962) from the French by J.M. Cohen. New York: Harper and Row; London: H a r v i l l Press, 1965. A l s o published as Mephistopheles and the  Androgyne. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1965. From P r i m i t i v e s to Zen: A Thematic Sourcebook on the  H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s . New York: Harper and" Row; London: C o l l i n s , 1967. The Quest: H i s t o r y and Meaning i n R e l i g i o n . Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1969 P a t a n j a l i and Yoga. T r a n s l a t i o n of P a t a n j a l i et l e Yoga from the French by Charles L. Markmann. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1969. Two Tales of the Occult. T r a n s l a t e d from the Romanian by W i l l i a m A. Coates. New York: Herder and Herder, 1970. Zalmoxis: The Vanishing God. T r a n s l a t i o n of De Zalmoxis a~Gengis-Khan (1970)"from the French by W i l l a r d R. Trask. Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1972. A u s t r a l i a n R e l i g i o n s : An I n t r o d u c t i o n . Ithaca and London: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. I I . L i s t of A r t i c l e s by E l i a d e C i t e d and Consulted The Yearning f o r Paradise i n P r i m i t i v e T r a d i t i o n " . Daedalus, LXXXVIII (1959), pp.255-67. Reprinted w i t h r e v i s i o n s i n Myths, Dreams, and M y s t e r i e s , pp.59-72. -110-"Methodological Remarks on the Study of R e l i g i o u s Symbolism". The H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s : Essays i n Methodology. Ed. M. E l i a d e and J.M. Kitagawa. Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1959, pp.86-107. Reprinted w i t h r e v i s i o n s i n The Two and the One, pp.189-211. "Stru c t u r e s and Changes i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s " . The  C i t y I n v i n c i b l e . Ed. C H . K r a e l i n g and R.M. Adams. Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1960, pp.351-66. "The H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s i n Retrospect: 1912-1962". The  J o u r n a l of B i b l e and R e l i g i o n , 31(1963), pp.98-107. Reprinted w i t h r e v i s i o n s i n The Quest: H i s t o r y and  Meaning i n R e l i g i o n , pp. 12-36. "The Quest f o r the ' O r i g i n s ' of R e l i g i o n " . H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , 4(1964), pp.154-69. Reprinted with'.revisions i n The Quest: H i s t o r y and Meaning i n R e l i g i o n , pp.37-53. " C r i s i s and Renewal i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s " . H i s t o r y  of R e l i g i o n s , 5(1965)', pp. 1-17. Reprinted w i t h r e v i s i o n s i n The Quest: H i s t o r y and Meaning i n R e l i g i o n , pp.54-71. "Archaic Myth and H i s t o r i c a l Man.". McCormick Qu a r t e r l y ( S p e c i a l Supplement: Myth and Modern Man), 18(1965), pp.23-36. "On Understanding P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n s " . Glaube, G e i s t , Geschichte: F e s t s c h r i f t f u r Ernst Benz. Ed. G. M u l l e r and W. Z e l l e r . Leiden: E.J. B r i l l , 1967, pp.498-505. " H i s t o r i c a l Events and S t r u c t u r a l Meaning i n Tension". C r i t e r i o n , 6(Winter 1967), pp.29-31. "Comparative R e l i g i o n : I t s Past and Future". Knowledge and  the Future of Man. Ed. Walter J . Ong. New York: H o l t , Reinhart, and Winston, 1968, pp.245-54. "A Cosmic T e r r i t o r i a l Imperative?" Center Report (Center f o r the Study of Democratic I n s t i t u t i o n s , Santa Barbara, Ca.), IV: 2(1971), pp.22-26. -111-I I I . L i s t of Works on E l i a d e C i t e d and Consulted A l l e n , Douglas. "Mircea E l i a d e ' s Phenomenological A n a l y s i s of R e l i g i o u s Experience". The J o u r n a l of R e l i g i o n , 52:1 (1972), pp.170-86. A l t i z e r , Thomas J . J . Mircea E l i a d e and the D i a l e c t i c of the  Sacred. P h i l a d e l p h i a : Westminster Press, 1963. Ba i r d , Robert D. "Normative Elements i n E l i a d e ' s Phenomenolo of Symbolism". Union Seminary Qu a r t e r l y Review, XXV, No. 4 (1970), pp.505-16. Frye, Northrop. "World Enough Without Time". The Hudson  Review, 12(1959), pp.423-31. Hamilton, Kenneth. "Homo R e l i g i o s u s and H i s t o r i c a l F a i t h " . The J o u r n a l of B i b l e and R e l i g i o n , 33(1965), pp.213-22. Hudson, Wilson, M. " E l i a d e ' s C o n t r i b u t i o n to the Study of Myth". T i r e Shrinker to Dragster. Ed. Texas F o l k l o r e S o ciety. A u s t i n , Texas: Encino Press, 1966, pp.218-41. Leach, Edmund. "Sermons by a Man on a Ladder". The New  York Review, V o l I I I , No.6 (Oct. 20,1966), pp. 28^31". Luyster, Robert. "The Study of MythY Two Approaches". The Jou r n a l of B i b l e and R e l i g i o n , 34(1966), pp.235-43. Rasmussen, David, "Mircea E l i a d e : S t r u c t u r a l Hermeneutics and Philosophy". Philosophy Today, 12(1968), pp.138-46 R i c k e t t s , Mac L i n s c o t t . "Mircea E l i a d e and the Death of God". R e l i g i o n i n L i f e (Spring 1967), pp.40-52. "The Nature and Extent of E l i a d e ' s 'Jungianism'" Union Seminary Q u a r t e r l y Review, XXV, No.2. (Winter T970T, pp. 211-347"^ Smith, Jonathan Z. "The Wobbling P i v o t " . The J o u r n a l of R e l i g i o n , 52:1 (1972), pp.134-49. Welbon, G, Richard. "Some Remarks on the Work of Mircea E l i a d e " . Acta P h i l o s o p h i c a et Theologica, V o l . 2 (1964), pp7563-9X -112-IV. A F e s t s c h r i f t f o r E l i a d e Kitagawa, Joseph M. and Long, Charles H. eds. Myths and  Symbols: Studies i n Honor of Mircea E l i a d e . Chicago and London: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1969. V. Other Works C i t e d and Consulted B a i r d , Robert D. " I n t e r p r e t i v e Categories and the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s " . On Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s . Ed, James S. H e i f e r . B e i h e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968), pp.17-36. ' Category Formation and the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s . Herderstraat 5, the Netherlands: Mouton and -Co., N.V., 1971. B e t t i s , Joseph Dabney, ed. Phenomenology of R e l i g i o n . New York: Harper and Row, 1969. Bleeker, C.J. "The Phenomenological Method". The Sacred  Bridge. Leiden: E.J. B r i l l , 1963, pp.1-15. Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of R e l i g i o u s L i f e . Tr. Joseph Ward Swain. New York: The Free Press, 1965. Evans-Pritchard, E.E. Theories of P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n . Oxford: The U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965. H e i f e r , James S., ed. On Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s . B e i h e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968). K r i s t e n s e n , W. Brede. The Meaning of R e l i g i o n . Tr. John B. Carman. The Hague: Martinus N i j h o f f , 1960. Langer, Susanne. Philosophy i n a New Key. New York: The New American L i b r a r y , 1951. Long, Charles H. "Archaism and Hermeneutics". The H i s t o r y  of R e l i g i o n s : Essays on the Problem of Understanding. Ed. J.M. Kitagawa, Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1967, pp.67-87. Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy. Tr. John W. Harvey. New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1958. -113-Oxtoby, W i l l a r d Gurdon, "Religionswissens chaf t R e v i s i t e d . " R e l i g i o n s i n A n t i q u i t y . Ed. Jacob Neusner. Leiden: E,J, B r i l l , 1968, pp,590-608. Penner, Hans H, "Myth and R i t u a l : A Wasteland or a Forest of Symbols." On Method i n the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s . Ed. James S. HeTfer. B e l E e f t 8 of H i s t o r y and Theory (1968), pp.46-57. Ricoeur, P a u l , "The Problem of the Double-sense as Hermeneutic Problem and as Semantic Problem." Myths  and Symbols: Studies i n Honor of Mircea E l i a d e . Ed. J.M. Kitagawa and C H , Long. Chicago: The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1969, pp.63-79. 

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