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RLG101H5 Study Guide - Mircea Eliade, Mysterium Tremendum, Hierophany

Course Code
David Miller

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Essay Questions
1. F. Max Muller is regarded as one of the founding fathers of religionswissenschaft (the
science of religion) What is the method of religionswissenschaft?
2. Discuss MIRCEA ELIDAE’s concept of “Heirophanies”?
3. Why did Mircea Eliade find the idea of “reductionism” in the field of history of religions
so dangerous?
historians of religion
1. The method of Religionswissenschaft that influenced Mircea Eliade consisted of two dimensions Historical and
Systematic. First he used the Systematic dimension (morphological method) in his book. In his book he started it
by using how the sky, waters, earth, and stones were created. These analyses were based on Eliade's notion of
the dialectic of the sacred, in order to show how far those hierophanies constitute autonomous forms. Since the
method that Eliade used was based of Max Muller - throughout the book he examined
both the lower and higher religious forms, as in done in evolutionary schemes.
pg 87
2. Contributions of Mircea Eliade
he exerted a tremendous influence on more advance student with yoga and shamanismand australian religion.
Eliade was also willing to use nonphilosophical and nonethological terms in an elegant literary styleto discuss
religious subjects that attracted many secularized youth. He was also the first at finding the historical studies
called History of Religion. He also insisted that a work of art reveals its meaning only when it is seenas an
autonomous artistic creation and nothing else.
pg 88
3. Mysterium Tremendum - refers to the mystry before which one trembles, which evokes a strong sense of
"creture feeling". This experience according to Otto, includes a double dimension of a response to the holy -
which is an element of shaking fear or replusion and an element of powerful attraction or fascination. The
experience of holy is basic to all religious experience.
pg 140
4. Characteristics of Mysticism according to William James
Ineffability - emphasizes the private, or at least incomumicable, quality of the experience
Noetic quality of the experience - mystical insight hardly ever auguments theoretical knowledge
The Passivity of the mystical experience which is its most distinctive characteristic. Once the higher power takes
possession, all voluntary preparation appears to lose its efficacy.
Transien cy prolongs periods in enhanced states of consciousness
Integration - the mystical consciousness somehow succeeds in overcoming previopusly existing opposition in its
integration with a higher reality.
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