M. Eliade’s Concept of Myth
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M. Eliade, myth, mythology, mythological discourse, philosophy

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Legeza, O. (2019). M. Eliade’s Concept of Myth. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (3-4), 145-158. https://doi.org/10.35423/2078-8142.2019.3-4.08


The paper deals with Mircea Eliade’s concept of myth. The study aims to analyze the core features of the myth presented in Eliade’s works and to explain the essentiality of myth in the modern world. The main peculiarity of M. Eliade’s approach is that he discusses myth considering its value for people of archaic cultures since these people understood the fundamentality of this phenomenon. According to Eliade, myth is one of the components of reality and is sacred and veridical for primitive people. In addition, members of primitive cultures distinguish myth from the fictional stories, which means they are able to differentiate truth from fantasies, and myths are always true. Eliade defines five main features of the myth. Firstly, myths are stories about the exploits of gods and heroes. Secondly, myths are both sacred and true. Thirdly, myths are the narratives about the origin of all processes and phenomena. Fourthly, by means of myth, the one can cognize these processes themselves. Finally, the audience always lives the myth by means of the ritual. Furthermore, rituals play a great role in Eliade’s mythological concept since they allow the one to live in mythological time, instead of historical time. The author of the paper argues that Eliade’s myth satisfies the one's existential demands allowing him (her)to structuralize the world and to find a fulcrum. Additionally, myths and their modern equivalents create important behavioral patterns. Considering the importance of myths in modernity, the author of the article comes to the conclusion that such important phenomena as religion (including Christianity), politics, literature, and arts, as well as the traditions, dreams, and imagination, are derived from myths. Therefore, despite the process of demythologization, myths still influence the lives of modern people

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