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Religion after religion : Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos / Steven M. Wasserstrom

Main Author Wasserstrom, Steven M. Country Estados Unidos. Publication Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, cop. 1999 Description XII, 368 p. ; 24 cm ISBN 0-691-00540-0 CDU 291.1
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Monografia Biblioteca de Ciências da Educação
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

By the end of World War II, religion appeared to be on the decline throughout the United States and Europe. Recent world events had cast doubt on the relevance of religious belief, and modernizing trends made religious rituals look out of place. It was in this atmosphere that the careers of Scholem, Eliade, and Corbin--the twentieth century's legendary scholars in the respective fields of Judaism, History of Religions, and Islam--converged and ultimately revolutionized how people thought about religion. Between 1949 and 1978, all three lectured to Carl Jung's famous Eranos circle in Ascona, Switzerland, where each in his own way came to identify the symbolism of mystical experience as a central element of his monotheistic tradition. In this, the first book ever to compare the paths taken by these thinkers, Steven Wasserstrom explores how they overturned traditional approaches to studying religion by de-emphasizing law, ritual, and social history and by extolling the role of myth and mysticism. The most controversial aspect of their theory of religion, Wasserstrom argues, is that it minimized the binding character of moral law associated with monotheism.

The author focuses on the lectures delivered by Scholem, Eliade, and Corbin to the Eranos participants, but also shows how these scholars generated broader interest in their ideas through radio talks, poetry, novels, short stories, autobiographies, and interviews. He analyzes their conception of religion from a broadly integrated, comparative perspective, sets their distinctive thinking into historical and intellectual context, and interprets the striking success of their approaches.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface and Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  • Author's Note (p. xi)
  • Introduction (p. 3)
  • Part I Religion after Religion (p. 21)
  • Chapter 1. Eranos and the "History of Religions" (p. 23)
  • Chapter 2. Toward the Origins of History of Religions: Christian Kabbalah as Inspiration and as Initiation (p. 37)
  • Chapter 3. Tautegorical Sublime: Gershom Scholem and Henry Corbin in Conversation (p. 52)
  • Chapter 4. Coincidentia Oppositorum: An Essay (p. 67)
  • Part II Poetics (p. 83)
  • Chapter 5. On Symbols and Symbolizing (p. 85)
  • Chapter 6. Aesthetic Solutions (p. 100)
  • Chapter 7. A Rustling in the Woods: The Turn to Myth in Weimar Jewish Thought (p. 112)
  • Part III Politics (p. 125)
  • Chapter 8. Collective Renovatio (p. 127)
  • Chapter 9. The Idea of Incognito: Authority and Its Occultation According to Henry Corbin (p. 145)
  • Part IV History (p. 157)
  • Chapter 10. Mystic Historicities (p. 159)
  • Chapter 11. The Chiliastic Practice of Islamic Studies According to Henry Corbin (p. 172)
  • Chapter 12. Psychoanalysis in Reverse (p. 183)
  • Part V Ethics (p. 201)
  • Chapter 13. Uses of the Androgyne in the History of Religions (p. 203)
  • Chapter 14. Defeating Evil from Within: Comparative Perspectives on "Redemption through Sin" (p. 215)
  • Chapter 15. On the Suspension of the Ethical (p. 225)
  • Conclusion (p. 237)
  • Abbreviations Used in the Notes (p. 251)
  • Notes (p. 255)
  • Index (p. 355)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In the nihilistic aftermath of World War II, the efforts of emerging phenomenologist Mircea Eliade, Judaist Gershom Scholem, and Islamicist Henry Corbin formed the discipline of the History of Religions (in Ascona, Switzerland). Their annual meetings, reprinted in the distinguished journal Eranos-Jahrbuch, crystallized a numinous approach to religion that has yet to be overthrown in the academy. Wasserstrom (Judaic studies, Reed Coll.) presents here an account of their theories, arguing that they saw "religion after religion" as a mystical meta-rationalism. Neither a biographical study nor an academic introduction to their work, this thematically driven intellectual history covers their academic output in areas such as poetics, mysticism, and ethics. A powerful and evocative work for mature and informed readers only, this is highly recommended for upper-level religion and religious history collections.ÄSandra Collins, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Steven M. Wasserstrom is the Moe and Izetta Tonkon Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and the Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

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