Chapter

The Influence of Eastern Orthodox Christian Theology on Mircea Eliade’s Understanding of Religion

Bryan Rennie

in Hermeneutics, Politics, and the History of Religions

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195394337
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777358 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394337.003.0009
The Influence of Eastern Orthodox Christian Theology on Mircea Eliade’s Understanding of Religion

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This chapter discusses the influence of Eliade’s Romanian Orthodox theological background on his understanding of religion. It particularly considers Eliade’s early (pre-India) writings, the possible influence of Nae Ionescu and Eliade’s Bucharest friends, and some previously published work on the subject. After establishing a series of consonances or homologies between background and understanding—such as icons as hierophanies—it considers to what extent the former might have determined the latter. Recognizing certain divergences, the conclusion is that Orthodox theology has not exerted a dominating influence upon Eliade in the sense of imposing dogmatic assumptions about the real/sacred upon him. Its ritualistic influence, nonetheless, enabled an understanding of religion that would not have been forthcoming given a different cultural background.

Keywords: Eastern Orthodox influence; Nae Ionescu; Ansgar Paus; A. F. C. Webster; Vladimir Lossky; “The Spiritual Itinerary,” homologies; hierophanies; theology; performative theater

Chapter.  7576 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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