Changing Religious Worlds

The Meaning and End of Mircea Eliade

Edited by Bryan Rennie

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series, Issues in the Study of Religion
Paperback : 9780791447307, 330 pages, November 2000
Hardcover : 9780791447291, 330 pages, November 2000

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Part I: Critique

1. Building on Eliade's Magnificent Failure
Roger Corless

2. Methods, Theories, and the Terrors of History: Closing the Eliadean Era with Some Dignity
Russell T. McCutcheon

3. Are There Modern Myths?
Robert A. Segal

Part II: Philosophy

4. Eliade, Subjectivity, and Hermeneutics
Tim Murphy

5. The Phenomenology of Mircea Eliade
Allan W. Larsen

6. Eliade, the Comparative Method, Historical Context, and Difference
Carl Olson

Part III: Literature

7. The United States' Response to Mircea Eliade's Fiction
Mac Linscott Ricketts

8. Romantic Postmodernism and the Literary Eliade
Rachela Permenter

9. The Man Who Could Read Stones
Mircea Eliade, translated by Mac Lincott Ricketts

Part IV: Personal Reflections

10. Smiles and Whispers: Nostalgic Reflections on Mircea Eliade's Significance for the Study of Religion
N. J. Girardot

11. Methodological, Pedegogical, and Philosophical Reflections on Mircea Eliade as Historian of Religions
Wendell Charles Beane

12. Conversation with an Indian Nationalist and Intermezzo: Fragments from a Civil Revolt
Mircea Eliade, Translated by Mac Linscott Ricketts

Part V: Applications

13. Mircea Eliade's View of the Study of Religion as the Basis for Cultural and Spiritual Renewel
Douglas Allen

14. Eliade's Interpretation of Sacred Space and Its Role Toward the Cultivation of Virtue
David Cave

15. The Concept of World Habitation: Eliadean Linkages with a New Comparativism
William E. Paden

Part IV: Conclusion

16. The Meaning and End of Eliade
Bryan Rennie

Subject Index
Name Index

Assesses Mircea Eliade's contribution to the contemporary understanding of religion and the academic study of religion.


Changing Religious Worlds measures the nature and significance of Mircea Eliade's contribution to the understanding and academic study of religion in North America today. It includes the perspectives of the continent's leading experts on Eliade and his thought, both critical and supportive. It also includes previously unpublished fiction and journal entries from Eliade himself. The book ponders whether it is time to leave Eliade behind or whether we can yet learn from either his insights or his errors, and whether the changing world has left Eliade behind or whether it is finally catching up with him. Particular consideration is given to whether Eliade makes any lasting contribution to our ability to deal with the changing face of religion and the ability to "change over" into the religious world of the other and to see through the eyes of the other.

Contributors include Douglas Allen, Wendell Charles Beane, David Cave, Roger Corless, Norman Girardot, Alan Larsen, Russell McCutcheon, Tim Murphy, Carl Olson, William Paden, Rachela Permenter, Mac Linscott Ricketts, and Robert Segal.

Bryan Rennie is Associate Professor of the History and Philosophy of Religion at Westminster College. He is the author of Reconstructing Eliade: Making Sense of Religion, also published by SUNY Press.


"A collection of essays of this variety and caliber is an important part of the ongoing recognition, controversy, and influence of Eliade. " — Robert N. Minor, The University of Kansas

"This book is a timely discussion of Eliade's legacy to the study of myth, religious history and philosophy, and literature, from a variety of points of view. There is much value to the critical approaches included in this book. " — Matei Calinescu, Indiana University, Bloomington