Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 1985.
LibraryThing member thcson
When I first read the three volumes of Eliade's History of Religious Ideas I was a bit disappointed by the lack of generalization. It seemed to me that he focused far too much on mind-numbing details about religious practice and far too little on the sociological theory of religion, on the surrounding historical context and on comparative questions. But as I've grown older and read more in history, I've come to appreciate this aspect of Eliade's work. I'm quite sure that his omission of theoretical aspects is intentional. In Eliade's opinion, theorizing religion was to trivialize it. Consequently, to me this doesn't seem like a modern book, but there's a certain wisdom in Eliade's approach which should be rewarding if you take it in the right way.
LibraryThing member gmicksmith
Eliade points out in a salient remark that Muhammed is the only founder of a universal religion of which we have "a detailed biography" (p. 62); however, this is not to suggest that "the historicity of these sources is not always guaranteed" (p. 62 n. 1). The biography of Muhammed quickly emerged as a mythologized savior story. As his peaceful mission failed, Muhammed turned to violence as a way to spread the message of the Koran. He raided "Meccan caravans" and "forced" Jewish tribes to leave Medina (p. 74).