Wilhem Dancă

"The Mystical Dimension of the Sacred in the Work of Mircea Eliade "

Abstract Curriculum Vitae


My paper will attempt to outline the efforts of the young Eliade to understand what religion means and his debts to the friends and teachers he had before the Second World War. The cultural atmosphere in Romania (particularly Bucharest) of that time was focused upon the characteristics of Romanian spirituality. Political events (the unification of today's Romania in 1918) determined this kind of attitude and also the new position of the Orthodox Church in Romania (which, in 1925 became a patriarchate).

The mystical perspective of Romanian spirituality influenced the researches of the young Eliade, who wanted to engage his own Romanian culture in dialog with other, larger cultures. Though Eliade didn't consider the historical religions, he found the ground of all religions to be the natural experience of the sacred. As result, when he spoke about Greek, Egyptian, or Indian religions, he emphasized concepts such as "asceticism," "absolute liberty," "plenitude of life," "achievement in itself," "harmony with the universe," and so on. The same things were emphasized when he spoke about Spanish or German mystics.

What are absent from his researches are moral considerations. In fact, this is common in all mystics. If we consider the character of his literary writings, we can realize that they represent a metaphysical interpretation of life, which does not include any moral attitude. This essay will try to explain Eliade's vision of religion considering both his scientific and his literary work.

In conclusion: the experience of the sacred in Mircea Eliade's thought is a natural experience that is not contrary to the supernatural experience of the divine. Homo religiosus, according to Mircea Eliade is the mystical human being in his or her natural mode everywhere and from any time. The phenomenological apprehension of this condition involves minimum personal experience of the sacred. Thus, reading Eliade's work, we can understand his personality and also our present condition, that is to say, open at any time to the revelation of the sacred (divine).

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Information: Education: Employment: Published work:
A. Books:
  1. Definitio sacri (The Definition of the Sacred), Ars Longa, Iasi 1998
  2. Bazele filozofice ale teologiei (The Philosophical Foundations of The theology), Editura Arhiepiscopiei Romano-Catolice, Bucuresti 1999
  3. Introducere în teologia fundamentala (An Introduction to Fundamental Theology), Editura Arhiepiscopiei Romano-Catolice, Bucuresti 1999
B. Essays and Articles about Mircea Eliade's work:
  1. "Transcendenta sacrului la Mircea Eliade. Sacrul - categorie echivoca (I)," în: Cronica 21-22 (noiembrie 1996) 14
  2. "Realitate ultima. Dimensiunea transcendenta a sacrului," în: Mesagerul Sfântului Anton (noiembrie 1996) 12-13
  3. "Transcendenta sacrului la Mircea Eliade. Sacrul si metoda" (II), în: Cronica 23-24 (decembrie 1996) 6
  4. "Transcendenta sacrului la Mircea Eliade. Sacrul si istoria religiilor" (III), în: Cronica 1-2 (ianuarie 1997) 6
  5. "Mircea Eliade si dialogul ecumenic. O contributie la biografia integrala a savantului român," în: Mesagerul Sfântului Anton (ianuarie-februarie 1997) 24-26
  6. "Transcendenta sacrului la Mircea Eliade. Sacrul si simbolul" (IV), în: Cronica 3-4 (februarie 1997) 6
  7. "Mircea Eliade. 10 ani de la moarte," în: Actualitatea Crestina 19 (1996) 6-8
  8. "Mircea Eliade. 90 de ani de la nastere," în: Mesagerul Sfântului Anton (mai - iunie 1997) 20-21
  9. "'Misterele' lui Mircea Eliade," în: Altarul Banatului 10-12 (1997) 53-61
  10. "Mircea Eliade, un crestin care venea din Rasarit si se îndrepta spre Apus," în: Actualitatea Crestina 13-14 (1998) 20-21
  11. "Homo Religiosus si ontologia pragmatica," în: C. Mircea/R. Lazu (ed.), Orizontul sacru, Polirom: Iasi 1998, pp. 77-94
  12. "Omul nu poate trai fara sacru," în: Almanahul Presa Buna, Editura Presa Buna, Iasi 1999, pp. 173-180

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