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Encyclopedia > Eternal return (Eliade)

The "Eternal return" is, according to the theories of religious historian Mircea Eliade, a belief, expressed (sometimes implicitly but often explicitly) in religious behavior, in the ability to return to the mythical age, to become contemporary with the events described in one's myths.[1] It should be distinguished from the philosophical concept of eternal return, which holds that, statistically speaking, all arrangements of matter in the universe must necessarily recur if given an infinite amount of time. This article is becoming very long. ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Eternal return or sometimes eternal recurrence is a concept originating from ancient Egypt and developed in the teachings of Pythagoras. ... In physics, matter is commonly defined as the substance of which physical objects are composed, not counting the contribution of various energy or force-fields, which are not usually considered to be matter per se (though they may contribute to the mass of objects). ... The Universe is defined as the summation of all particles and energy that exist and the space-time in which all events occur. ...


Sacred and profane

According to Eliade,

"all the definitions given up till now of the religious phenomenon have one thing in common: each has its own way of showing that the sacred and the religious life are the opposite of the profane and secular life."[2] In various religions, sacred (from Latin, sacrum, sacrifice) or holy, objects, places or concepts are believed by followers to be intimately connected with the supernatural, or divinity, and are thus greatly revered. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Profanity is a word choice or usage which many consider to be offensive. ... This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ...

This concept had already been extensively formulated by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in 1912,[3] and scholars like Jack Goody gave evidence that it is not universal.[4][5] Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. ... David Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as the founder of modern sociology. ... Jack Goody (born 1918 or 1919) is a British social anthropologist. ...

This sharp distinction between the sacred and the profane is Eliade’s trademark theory. According to Eliade, traditional man distinguishes two levels of existence: (1) the Sacred, and (2) the profane world. (Here "the Sacred" can be God, gods, mythical ancestors, or any other beings who established the world's structure.) To traditional man, things "acquire their reality, their identity, only to the extent of their participation in a transcendent reality".[6] Something in our world is only "real" to the extent that it conforms to the Sacred or the patterns established by the Sacred. The dichotomy between the sacred and the profane has been identified by French sociologist Emile Durkheim as the central characteristic of religion: religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden. ...

Hence, there is profane space, and there is sacred space. Sacred space is space where the Sacred manifests itself; unlike profane space, sacred space has a sense of direction:

"In the homogeneous and infinite expanse, in which no point of reference is possible and hence no orientation is established, the hierophany [appearance of the Sacred] reveals an absolute fixed point, a center."[7] Hierophany (from the Greek roots hieros - sacred, holy -, and epiphaneia - appearance) signifies a manifestation of the Sacred. ...

Where the Sacred intersects our world, it appears in the form of ideal models (e.g., the actions and commandments of gods or mythical heroes). All things become truly "real" by imitating these models. Eliade claims: "For archaic man, reality is a function of the imitation of a celestial archetype."[8] As evidence for this view, in Cosmos and History he cites a belief of the Iranian Zurvanites. The Zurvanites believed that each thing on Earth corresponds to a sacred, celestial counterpart: for the physical sky, there is a sacred sky; for the physical Earth, there is a sacred Earth; actions are virtuous by conforming to a sacred pattern.[9] These are some other examples Eliade gives: An archetype is a generic, idealized model of a person, object, or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned, or emulated. ... Zurvan is the Persian god of infinite time, space and fate. ...

"According to Mesopotamian beliefs, the Tigris has its model in the star Anunit and the Euphrates in the star of the Swallow. A Sumerian text tells of the 'place of the creation of the gods,' where 'the [divinity of] the flocks and grains' is to be found. For the Ural-Altaic peoples the mountains, in the same way, have an ideal archetype in the sky. In Egypt, places and nomes were named after the celestial 'fields': first the celestial fields were known, then they were identified in terrestrial geography."[10] The Religions of the Ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of emerging Henotheism (Akhenaton, early Judaism). ... The Tigris is the eastern member of the pair of great rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of Anatolia through Iraq. ... For other uses, see Ishtar (disambiguation). ... Surfer Rosa The Euphrates (IPA: /juːˈfreɪtiːz/; Greek: Euphrátēs; Akkadian: Pu-rat-tu; Hebrew: פְּרָת Pĕrāth; Syriac: Prâth; Arabic: الفرات Al-Furāt; Turkish: Fırat; Kurdish: فرهات, Firhat, Ferhat, Azeri: Fərat) is the western of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia (the other... For other uses, see Pisces. ... Sumer (or Šumer) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The term Sumerian applies to all speakers... The Ural-Altaic language family is a grouping of languages which was once widely accepted by linguists, but has since become contoversial. ... The nomes of Ancient Egypt A nome (Greek: district) is a subnational administrative division of Ancient Egypt. ...

Further, there is profane time, and there is sacred time. According to Eliade, myths describe a time that is fundamentally different from historical time (what modern man would consider "normal" time). "In short," says Eliade, "myths describe … breakthroughs of the sacred (or the ‘supernatural’) into the World".[11] The mythical age is the time when the Sacred entered our world, giving it form and meaning: "The manifestation of the sacred ontologically founds the world".[12] Thus, the mythical age is sacred time, the only time that has value for traditional man.

Origin as power

According to Eliade, in the archaic worldview, the power of a thing resides in its origin, so that "knowing the origin of an object, an animal, a plant, and so on is equivalent to acquiring a magical power over them".[13] The way a thing was created establishes that thing's nature, the pattern to which it should conform. By gaining control over the origin of a thing, one also gains control over the thing itself.

Eliade concluded that, if origin and power are to be the same, "it is the first manifestation of a thing that is significant and valid".[14] The Sacred first manifested itself in the events of the mythical age; hence, traditional man sees the mythical age as the foundation of value.

Sacred time

Eliade's theory implies that as the power of a thing lies in its origin, the entire world's power lies in the cosmogony. If the Sacred established all valid patterns in the beginning, during the time recorded in myth, then the mythical age is sacred time — the only time that contains any value. Man's life only has value to the extent that it conforms to the patterns of the mythical age. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The religion of the Australian Aborigines is supposed to contain many examples of the veneration paid to the mythical age. Just before the dawn of the first day, the Bagadjimbiri brothers emerged from the Earth in the form of dingos, and then turned into human giants whose heads touched the sky. Before the Bagadjimbiri came, nothing had existed. But when the sun rose, and the brothers began naming things, the "plants and animals began really to exist".[15] The brothers met a group of people and organized them into a civilized society. The people of this tribe — the Karadjeri of Australia — still imitate the two brothers in many ways: Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. ... In Aboriginal mythology (specifically: Karadjeri), the Bagadhimbiri are two brothers and creator gods. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus dingo (Meyer, 1793) Dingo range Breed standards (external link) ANKC The dingo (plural dingoes or dingos) or warrigal, Canis lupus dingo, is a type of wild dog, probably descended from the Indian Wolf (Canis Indica). ...

"One of the Bagadjimbiri stopped to urinate [...] That is the reason why the Australian Karadjeri stop and take up a special position in order to urinate. [...] The brothers stopped and ate a certain grain raw; but they immediately burst into laughter, because they knew that one ought not eat it so [...] and since then men imitate them whenever they have this grain cooked. The Bagadjimbiri threw a primal (a kind of large baton) at an animal and killed it—and this is how men have done it ever since. A great many myths describe the manner in which the brothers Bagadjimbiri founded all the customs of the Karadjeri, and even their behavior."[16]

The mythical age was the time when the Sacred appeared and established reality. For traditional man, Eliade argues, (1) only the first appearance of something has value; (2) only the Sacred has value; and, therefore, (3) only the first appearance of the Sacred has value. Because the Sacred first appeared in the mythical age, only the mythical age has value. According to Eliade’s hypothesis, "primitive man was interested only in the beginnings … to him it mattered little what had happened to himself, or to others like him, in more or less distant times".[17] Hence, traditional societies express a "nostalgia for the origins",[18] a yearning to return to the mythical age. To traditional man, life only has value in sacred time.

Myths, rituals, and their purpose

Eliade also explained how traditional man could find value for his own life (in a vision of where all events occurring after the mythical age cannot have value or reality); he indicated that, if the Sacred's essence lies only in its first appearance, then any later appearance must actually be the first appearance. Thus, an imitation of a mythical event is actually the mythical event itself, happening again — myths and rituals carry one back to the mythical age: In traditional societies, myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice. ...

"In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time."[19] “Heroine” redirects here. ...

Myth and ritual are vehicles of "eternal return" to the mythical age. Traditional man's myth- and ritual-filled life constantly unites him with sacred time, giving his existence value. As an example of this phenomenon, Eliade cites church services, by which churchgoers "return" to the sacred time of Scripture:

"Just as a church constitutes a break in plane in the profane space of a modern city, [so] the service celebrated inside [the church] marks a break in profane temporal duration. It is no longer today's historical time that is present—the time that is experienced, for example, in the adjacent streets—but the time in which the historical existence of Jesus Christ occurred, the time sanctified by his preaching, by his passion, death, and resurrection.[20]

Cyclic time

Eliade attributes the well-known "cyclic" view of time in ancient thought to the eternal return. In many religions, a ritual cycle correlates certain parts of the year with mythical events, making each year a repetition of the mythical age. For instance, Australian Aborigines annually reenact the events of the "Dreamtime": opens chapter nine of The Dreaming Universe (1994) entitled The Dreamtime with a quote from The Last Wave, a film by Peter Weir: Aboriginals believe in two forms of time. ...

"The animals and plants created in illo tempore by the Supernatural Beings are ritually re-created. In Kimberley the rock paintings, which are believed to have been painted by the Ancestors, are repainted in order to reactivate their creative force, as it was first manifested in the mythical times, at the beginning of the World."[21] This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. ... The Kimberley is one of the nine regions of Western Australia, consisting of the local government areas of Broome, Derby-West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham-East Kimberley. ...

Every New Year, the people of Mesopotamia reenacted the Enuma Elish, a creation myth, in which the god Marduk slays Tiamat, the primordial monster, and creates the world from her body. They correlated the birth of the year with the mythical birth of the world.[22] Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, and parts of eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and southwest Iran. ... Enûma Elish is the creation epic of Babylonian mythology. ... Marduk (Sumerian spelling in Akkadian: AMAR.UTU solar calf; Biblical: Merodach) was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon permanently became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century... Tiamat is a mother goddess in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, and a central figure in the Enûma Elish creation epic. ...

By periodically bringing man back to the mythical age, these liturgical cycles turn time itself into a circle. Those who perform an annual ritual return to the same point in time every 365 days: "With each periodical [ritual] festival, the participants find the same sacred time—the same that had been manifested in the festival of the previous year or in the festival of a century earlier."[23]

According to Eliade, some traditional societies express their cyclic experience of time by equating the world with the year:

"In a number of North American Indian languages the term world (= Cosmos) is also used in the sense of year. The Yokuts says 'the world has passed,' meaning 'a year has gone by.' For the Yuki, the year is expressed by the words for earth or world. [...] The cosmos is conceived [of] as a living unity that is born, develops, and dies on the last day of the year, to be reborn on New Year's Day. [...] At every New Year, time begins ab initio."[24]

The New Year ritual reenacts the mythical beginning of the cosmos. Therefore, by the logic of the eternal return, each New Year is the beginning of the cosmos. Thus, time flows in a closed circle, always returning to the sacred time celebrated during the New Year: the cosmos's entire duration is limited to one year, which repeats itself indefinitely.

These ritual cycles do more than give humans a sense of value. Because traditional man identifies reality with the Sacred, he believes that the world can endure only if it remains in sacred time. He periodically revives sacred time through myths and rituals in order to keep the universe in existence. In many cultures, this belief appears to be consciously held and clearly stated. From the perspective of these societies, the world

"must be periodically renewed or it may perish. The idea that the Cosmos is threatened with ruin if not annually re-created provides the inspiration for the chief festival of the California Karok, Hupa, and Yurok tribes. In the respective languages the ceremony is called 'repair' or 'fixing' of the world, and, in English, 'New Year'. Its purpose is to re-establish or strengthen the Earth for the following year or two years."[25] The Ancient and Medieval cosmos as depicted in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Karuk Karuk (also Karok) are an indigenous people of California in the United States. ... A smoky day at the Sugar Bowl Edward Curtis, photographer The Hupa are an Athabaskan tribe which inhabit northwestern California. ... Reconstruction of a Yurok Native American plankhouse constructed of redwood boards. ...

Human creativity

To some, the theory of the eternal return may suggest that traditional societies are stagnant and unimaginative, afraid to try anything new. However, Eliade argues that the eternal return does not lead to "a total cultural immobility".[26] If it did, traditional societies would never have changed or evolved, and "ethnology knows of no single people that has not changed in the course of time".[27] The mere fact that traditional societies have colonized new lands and invented new technologies proves that the eternal return hasn't suppressed their sense of initiative.[28]

Far from suppressing creativity, Eliade argues, the eternal return promotes it:

"There is no reason to hesitate before setting out on a sea voyage, because the mythical Hero has already made [such a voyage] in the fabulous Time. All that is needed is to follow his example. Similarly, there is no reason to fear settling an unknown, wild territory, because one knows what to do. One has merely to repeat the cosmogonic ritual, whereupon the unknown territory (= 'Chaos') is transformed into 'Cosmos'."[29]

According to Eliade, traditional man's creative possibilities are endless because "the possibilities for applying the mythical model are endless".[30]

"Terror of History"

According to Eliade, this yearning to remain in the mythical age causes a "terror of history". Traditional man desires to escape the linear march of events, empty of any inherent value or sacrality. In Chapter 4 of Cosmos and History (entitled "The Terror of History") and in the appendix to Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, Eliade suggests that the abandonment of mythical thought and the full acceptance of linear, historical time, with its "terror", is one of the reasons for modern man's anxieties. Traditional societies escape this anxiety to an extent, as they refuse to completely acknowledge historical time. Eliade describes the difference between ancient and modern man's reactions to history, as well as modern man's impotence before the terror of history, as follows: Modernity is a term used to describe the condition of being modern. Since the term modern is used to describe a wide range of periods, modernity must be understood in its context. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

"In our day, when historical pressure no longer allows any escape, how can man tolerate the catastrophes and horrors of history—from collective deportations and massacres to atomic bombings—if beyond them he can glimpse no sign, no transhistorical meaning; if they are only the blind play of economic, social, or political forces, or, even worse, only the result of the 'liberties' that a minority takes and exercises directly on the stage of universal history?

"We know how, in the past, humanity has been able to endure the sufferings we have enumerated: they were regarded as a punishment inflicted by God, the syndrome of the decline of the 'age,' and so on. And it was possible to accept them precisely because they had a metahistorical meaning [...] Every war rehearsed the struggle between good and evil, every fresh social injustice was identified with the sufferings of the Saviour (or, for example, in the pre-Christian world, with the passion of a divine messenger or vegetation god), each new massacre repeated the glorious end of the martyrs. [...] By virtue of this view, tens of millions of men were able, for century after century, to endure great historical pressures without despairing, without committing suicide or falling into that spiritual aridity that always brings with it a relativistic or nihilistic view of history"[31]

Terror of the eternal return

In general, according to Eliade, traditional man sees the eternal return as something positive, even necessary. However, in some religions, such as Buddhism and certain forms of Hinduism, the traditional cyclic view of time becomes a source of terror: A silhouette of Buddha at Ayutthaya, Thailand. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ...

"In certain highly evolved societies, the intellectual élites progressively detach themselves from the patterns of traditional religion. The periodical resanctification of cosmic time then proves useless and without meaning. [...] But repetition emptied of its religious content necessarily leads to a pessimistic vision of existence. When it is no longer a vehicle for reintegrating a primordial situation [...] that is, when it is desacralized, cyclic time becomes terrifying; it is seen as a circle forever turning on itself, repeating itself to infinity."[32] Elite may refer to Elitism - the concept of social stratification by innate or social qualities Elite - computer software game Elite - a skilled hacker Leet - an online culture or attitude sometimes identified by frequent use of leetspeak Elite Systems, a UK video game developer. ...

When the world becomes desacralized, the traditional cyclic view of time is too firmly entrenched to simply vanish. It survives, but in a profane form (such as the myth of reincarnation). Time is no longer static, as for the Karadjeri, for whom almost every action imitates a mythical model, keeping the world constantly in the mythical age. Nor is time cyclical but sacred, as for the ancient Mesopotamians, whose ritual calendar periodically returned the world to the mythical age. Rather, for some Dharmic religions, "time was homologized to the cosmic illusion (māyā)".[33] Reincarnation, literally to be made flesh again, is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. ... map showing the prevalence of Dharmic (yellow) and Abrahamic (purple) religions in each country. ... Maya (illusion) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...

For most of traditional humanity, linear history is profane, and sacredness lies in cyclic time. But, in Buddhism, Jainism, and some forms of Hinduism, even cyclic time has become profane. The Sacred cannot be found in the mythical age; it exists outside all ages. Thus, human fulfilment does not lie in returning to a sacred time, but in escaping from time altogether, in "a transcendence of the cosmos."[34] In these religions, the "eternal return" is less like the eternal return in most traditional societies (for whom time has an objective beginning, to which one should return) and more like the philosophical concept of eternal return — an endless cosmic cycle, with no beginning and, thus, no inherently sacred time. This article is under construction. ... Transcendence may refer to: Transcendence (mathematics) Transcendental number, a real number that is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients Transcendental element, an element of a field extension that is not the root of any polynomial with coefficients from the base field Transcendental function, a function which does... Eternal return or sometimes eternal recurrence is a concept originating from ancient Egypt and developed in the teachings of Pythagoras. ...

Scholarly criticism

Although immensely influential in religious studies, the ideas behind Eliade's hypothesis of the eternal return are less well accepted in anthropology and sociology. According to the classicist G. S. Kirk, this is because Eliade overextends the application of his ideas: for example, Eliade claims that the modern myth of the "noble savage" results from the religious tendency to idealize the primordial, mythical age.[35] Kirk claims that Eliade's relative unpopularity among anthropologists and sociologists also results from Eliade's assumption — essential for belief in the eternal return as Eliade formulates it — that primitive and archaic cultures had concepts such as "being" and "real", although they lacked words for them.[36]

Kirk thinks Eliade's theory of eternal return applies to some cultures. Specifically, he agrees that Australian Aborigines used myths and rituals "to bring the Dreamtime [= the Australian mythical age] into the present with potent and fruitful results".[37] However, Kirk argues, Eliade takes this Australian phenomenon and applies it to other cultures uncritically. In short, Kirk sees Eliade's theory of eternal return as a universalization of the Australian Dreamtime concept.[38] opens chapter nine of The Dreaming Universe (1994) entitled The Dreamtime with a quote from The Last Wave, a film by Peter Weir: Aboriginals believe in two forms of time. ...

As two counterexamples to the eternal return, Kirk cites Native American mythology and Greek mythology. The eternal return is nostalgic: by retelling and reenacting mythical events, Australian Aborigines aim to evoke and relive the Dreamtime. However, Kirk believes that Native American myths "are not evocative or nostalgic in tone, but tend to be detailed and severely practical".[39] In many Native American mythologies, animals once acted like humans, during the mythical age; but they don't any longer: the division between animals and men is now a firm one, and according to Kirk, "that in itself reduces the effectiveness of myth-telling as a reconstitution" of the mythical age.[40] As for Greek myths, many of them fall outside any sacred age of origins: this challenges Eliade's claim that almost all myths are about origins, and that people retell and reenact myths to return to the time of origins.[41] (Note that the classicist Kirk uses a much broader definition of "myth" than many professional folklorists. According to the classical definition used by folklorists, many Greek stories conventionally called "myths" are not myths, precisely because they fall outside a sacred age of origins.[42])

Even Wendy Doniger, a religious-studies scholar and Eliade's successor at the University of Chicago, claims (in the Introduction to Eliade's own Shamanism) that the eternal return does not apply to all myths and rituals, although it may apply to many of them.[43]

References in popular culture

In T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin (the "Sacred Time" chapter), Merlin's mother says that "stories" — specifically, myths — are "real enough to help [her] live. And work. And find the meaning hidden in every dream, every leaf, every drop of dew."[44] She states that "they dwell in sacred time, which flows in a circle. Not historical time, which runs in a line."[45] Thomas Archibald (T.A.) Barron (born March 26, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American writer of young adult and fantasy literature. ... The Lost Years of Merlin is a work of childrens literature by T.A. Barron, published by Ace. ...


  1. ^ Wendy Doniger, "Foreward to the 2004 Edition", Eliade, Shamanism, p.xiii
  2. ^ Patterns in Comparative Religion, pg. 1
  3. ^ Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, (1912, English translation by Joseph Swain: 1915) The Free Press, 1965. ISBN 0-02-908010-X, new translation by Karen E. Fields 1995, ISBN 0029079373 (p.47)
  4. ^ The sacred-profane distinction is not universal. Retrieved on 2007-07-10. quote: "neither do the Lo Dagaa [group in Gonja, editor note] appear to have any concepts at all equivalent to the vaguer and not unrelated dichotomy between the sacred and the profane"
  5. ^ Sacred and Profane - Durkheim's Critics. Retrieved on 2007-07-10.
  6. ^ Comos and History, pg. 5
  7. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, pg. 21
  8. ^ Comos and History, pg. 5
  9. ^ Cosmos and History, pg.6
  10. ^ Cosmos and History, pg. 6
  11. ^ Myth and Reality, pg. 6
  12. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, pg. 21
  13. ^ Myth and Reality, pg. 15
  14. ^ Myth and Reality, pg. 34
  15. ^ Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, pg. 191
  16. ^ Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, pg. 191
  17. ^ Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, pg. 44
  18. ^ Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, pg. 44
  19. ^ Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, pg. 23
  20. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, p. 72
  21. ^ Myth and Reality, pg. 43
  22. ^ Myth and Reality, pg. 48
  23. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, p. 69
  24. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, p. 73
  25. ^ Myth and Reality, pp. 43-44
  26. ^ Myth and Reality, p. 140
  27. ^ Myth and Reality, p. 140
  28. ^ Myth and Reality, p. 141
  29. ^ Myth and Reality, p. 141
  30. ^ Myth and Reality, p. 141
  31. ^ Cosmos and History, pp. 151-52
  32. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, pg. 107
  33. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, pg. 109
  34. ^ The Sacred and the Profane, pg. 109
  35. ^ Kirk, Myth, footnote, p. 255
  36. ^ Kirk, Myth, footnote, p. 255
  37. ^ Kirk, The Nature of Greek Myths, p. 64
  38. ^ Kirk, The Nature of Greek Myths, p. 64
  39. ^ Kirk, The Nature of Greek Myths, p. 64
  40. ^ Kirk, The Nature of Greek Myths, p. 65
  41. ^ Kirk, The Nature of Greek Myths, p. 65
  42. ^ Dundes, p. 45
  43. ^ Shamanism, p. xiii
  44. ^ Barron, pg. 36
  45. ^ Barron, pg. 36

David Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as the founder of modern sociology. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Gonja (also Ghanjawiyyu) is a kingdom in northern Ghana; the word can also refer to the people of this kingdom. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Barron, T. A. The Lost Years of Merlin. New York: Ace Books, 1999
  • Dundes, Alan. "Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect". Western Folklore 56 (Winter, 1997): pp. 39-50.
  • Eliade, Mircea:
    • Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1959
    • Myth and Reality. Trans. Willard R. Trask. New York: Harper & Row, 1963
    • Myths, Dreams and Mysteries. Trans. Philip Mairet. New York: Harper & Row, 1967
    • Patterns in Comparative Religion, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1958
    • Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004
    • The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. Trans. Willard R. Trask. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1961
  • Kirk, G. S.
    • The Nature of Greek Myths, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1974.
    • Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.



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