Mircea Eliade

Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer and philosopher

Mircea Eliade (Romanian: [ˈmirt͡ʃe̯a eliˈade]; March 9 [O.S. February 24] 1907 – April 22, 1986) was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago.

Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade2.jpg
Born(1907-03-09)March 9, 1907
Bucharest, Romania
DiedApril 22, 1986(1986-04-22) (aged 79)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
OccupationHistorian, philosopher, short story writer, journalist, essayist, novelist
GenreFantasy, autobiography, travel literature
SubjectHistory of religion, philosophy of religion, cultural history, political history
Literary movementModernism
ParentsGheorghe Eliade
Jeana née Vasilescu

His theory that hierophanies form the basis of religion, splitting the human experience of reality into sacred and profane space and time, has proved influential.[1]

The best known are the novels Maitreyi ("La Nuit Bengali" or "Bengal Nights"), Noaptea de Sânziene ("The Forbidden Forest"), Isabel și apele diavolului ("Isabel and the Devil's Waters") and Romanul Adolescentului Miop ("Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent"), the novellas Domnișoara Christina ("Miss Christina") and Tinerețe fără tinerețe ("Youth Without Youth"), and the short stories Secretul doctorului Honigberger ("The Secret of Dr. Honigberger") and La Țigănci ("With the Gypsy Girls").

Eliade died in Chicago of complications from a stroke on April 22, 1986 at the age of 79. He is buried at Oak Woods Cemetery in Greater Grand Crossing, Chicago.


  1. Wendy Doniger, "Foreword to the 2004 Edition", Eliade, Shamanism, p.xiii

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