Historical Social Research

Christiane Barth: In illo tempore, at the Center of the World: Mircea Eliade and Religious Studies’ Concepts of Sacred Time and Space[Abstract]

Time and space, manifested in such well known phrases and expressions as in illo tempore, ab origine, repetition and regeneration, center, omphalos, as well as the abolition of the profane, belong to the most important yet immensely complex concepts within Mircea Eliade’s work. Based on Eliade’s central publications of The Sacred and the Profane and The Myth of the Eternal Return, this article attempts to trace Eliade’s notions of the terms and their relation to human thought and practice. Furthermore, the article discusses crucial critiques and elaborations of the concepts, implications and methods of Eliade’s research, in order to develop an approach to the social constitution of sacred space which also considers current research in the Social Sciences on the production of space.

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