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Rites and Symbols of Initiation

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Organizing data from cultures the world over, Eliade lays out the basic patterns of initiation: group puberty rites, entrance into secret cults, shamanic instruction, individual visions, and heroic rites of passage. The vast information, assembled so beautifully, transcends usual scholarship. Eliade always affirms the greater experience in all initiations - the indissolubl ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published May 15th 1998 by Spring Publications (first published 1958)
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4.17  · 
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 ·  312 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Philippe Malzieu
Eliade is a key to understand religion and spirituality. In this book, he describes the rite of passage in different country, in no occidental people. It's surprising to discover that the rites of passage to adult are at the same dimension in Africa or Oceania. And it's also the same in secret society where initiation begin by a symbolic death, for exemple in Free Mason.
It appears to be so important that we can be anxious that this phenomena desappeared in our countries.
Interesting, but repetitive and cursory.
Author set out to show the similar themes in many world initiation rites. In the end, there was not that wide a spectrum of themes, so he proved his point, but the study listed same examples over and over.

i was finishing this book at physical therapy, with a bag of ice on my shoulder. i couldnt help overhear an older lady across the room update a therapist on her family. apparently her adult son was till having delusions of being decapitated and murdered.
Nick Mather
As one of the primary figures in comparative religion, Eliade's work is always foundational. He pulls together information from anthropological reports to piece together patterns that seem to be inherent in initiation rites the world over. The emphasis on this book is on small-scale socieites (he uses the term "primitive" which has since been dropped by anthropologists). Despite the possibly dated and problematic anthropological reports, Eliade does ask a good question: Do we lack any meaningful ...more
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
A beautiful research on mysteries of birth and rebirth, folk heroes and magicians, tribal ritual ceremonies and so on ...
What ever written by Mircea Eliade about Myth, religion, ritual and traditional ceremonies, is highly knowledgeable and worth to read ...
این کتاب با عنوان "آیین ها و نمادهای آشناسازی" توسط نصرالله زنگوئی به فارسی برگردانده شده و انتشارات آگاه در 1368 آن را منتشر کرده است.
Josh Anderson
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of religions, early Christian and Pagan conflict, hermetic practice, shamanism, yoga or secret societies. If one wants to get a grasp on perennial archetypes, and the supposed psychodrama that lies within mankind's time eternal, Eliade is the one to read. He is for the person of adventurous faith and of unquenched skepticism.
Jacqueline Horsfall
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who enjoys mythologist Joseph Campbell's books, this is a wonderful in-depth look at the birth-death-rebirth theme in world mythology. I re-read Eliade's study every few years to remind myself of what's really important in this life.
Mohammad Mirzaali
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
آیینهای تشرف مناسکیاند که فرد «مبتدی» طی آنها از زندگی نامقدس قبلی خود جدا میشود و حیات مجدد و مقدس مییابد. فرد با برپایی این آیین عضوی از یک اجتماع یا انجمن دینی سرّی میشوند یا منزلت شَمَنی و ممتازی از مییابند. الیاده این آیینها را از جوامع و ادیان ابتدایی تا مسیحیت تحلیل میکند و تفسیر شگفتانگیزی از عناصر مقوّم آن به دست میدهد ...more
Robert Lloyd
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant study

I highly enjoyed this book. I liked how the author blended the disciplines of theology, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology. What was especially striking to the me is how many similar correspondences could be found across various cultures regarding how people would be initiated and the various yet similar ways this was done.

Finally, I loved how the author reminded us of some of the wonder we have lost as we in modern and postmodern society lose our grasp of the language of
Edric Unsane
I was shocked by how much research must have went into this work. Don't let the page count mislead you, as the book is beaming with details and elucidations. I highly recommend Rites and Symbols of Initiation.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myth
Este livro mereceria quatro estrelas pela clara explicação dos temas e motivos iniciáticos presentes em várias épocas e vários locais, mas a parte final do livro, em que o autor investiga o Cristianismo e as sociedades modernas, é bastante valiosa (e um pouco ousada).
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Am citit-o pentru cursul de antropologie si am indragit-o imediat. Cel mai mult mi-a placut partea cu motivele literare si initierea in literatura.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mar 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
The lectures that earned E a place at Chicago.
A compilation of lectures on initiation in traditional cultures by professor Eliade. A bit repetitive, and I don't like that most of the book is about tribal initiations rather than those of more developed cultures such as Ancient Greece and Rome. I suppose that's got more to do with the fact that these tribes were still around for scientists to research, whereas there is little information about intiation in Higher Cultures that are dead. But this could be a personal bias and if you want a quic ...more
David Lugo
Interesante pero repetitivo, esperaba algunos ejemplos de ritos modernos o en la actualidad.
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Romanian-born historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the pre-eminent interpreters of world religion in this century. Eliade was an intensely prolific author of fiction and non-fiction alike, publishing over 1,300 pieces over 60 years. He earned international fame with LE MYTHE DE L'ÉTERNAL RETOUR (1949, The Myth of the Eternal Return) ...more
“Every ritual repetition of the cosmogony is preceded by a symbolic retrogression to chaos. In order to be created anew, the old world must first be annihilated.” 7 likes
“The majority of initiatory ordeals more or less clearly imply a ritual death followed by resurrection or a new birth. The central moment of every initiation is represented by the ceremony symbolizing the death of the novice and his return to the fellowship of the living. But he returns to life a new man, assuming another mode of being. Initiatory death signifies the end at once of childhood, ignorance, and the profane condition.” 1 likes
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