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but the well-known charges concerning his political sympathies and involvements during the 1930s and 1940s. 212). 11 Oct 2013 16:48:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1996. homo religiosus. seeking to bring Eliade'swork to bearon postmodernism. F Schlegel. 163). the first seems the strongest. illud tempus. Rennie claims that "antisemitism could be said to be fundamentalin Christianityin the same way" (p. 61-76) and concludes with the misleading suggestion that "the concept of 'myth' was formed as 'otherpeoples' myths' ratherthan as 'myths'tout court" (p. a claim that he tries to supportby referring(in n. especially in the years since his death. What it accomplishes through careful synthesis and assessment of Eliade's notoriously unsystematic writings in the history of religions is a thoughtful systematizationof his scholarly grammar." Whereas the first of the book's three parts is devoted to clarifying a selection of Eliade's most basic scholarly concepts and concerns (hierophany.History of Religions 77 Reconstructing Eliade: Making Sense of Religion.59. Albany. and so forth). wading throughthe dense slough of criticisms and innuendos leveled against Eliade. This partof the book alone would serve well as a critical introductionto Eliade's work. The raison d'etre of this importantstudy is Rennie's assumption "that Eliade has been so widely misread"(p. 76).115 on Fri. referringto the "inherent"anti-Semitism "in the fundamentaltenets of the Legionary movement" with which the young Eliade was associated. $59. 192) and that "we should not simply ignore his work as corruptedby egregious flaws" (p. is a patently daunting task. and Carlyle come immediately to mind as contemplatorsof "myth"who invoked thatcategory in reflecting on their own culture and society as well as on others. By BRYAN S. xii+293. In making this claim and contending that Eliade "correct[ed]this misapprehension" (p.95 (paper). Rennie has set up a kind of straw man. the profane. N.50 (cloth). Yet it is not only "the thought of the eminent scholar" (p. as implied in the book's title. To the book's first two parts the third serves as a kind of coda. though the section on "Myths and Mythology" relies too much on the work of G. Although as a rule Rennie'sjudgments seem responsible and reasonable.Y. "simply incorrect"(p.the sacred. 1). 20) to John Dominic Crossan'sWhoKilled Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitismin the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus (San Francisco:Harper. For there definitely were important contributorsto the formation of the modem notion of "myth"who did not associate myth exclusively with "other people. Pp."and modem "Europeananti-Semitism"as This content downloaded from 129. in a few instances greater care could have been taken in his own appeal to secondary sources. coincidentia oppositorum. symbol. For example.: SUNY Press. His impatience is understandable. or "simply untrue"(p. 161).95. myth. 175). These include not only the standardcomplaints about his scholarship (i. and history). the second part assesses various criticisms that have been made of him. Yet readersmay recall that Crossan goes out of his way to distinguish between early "Christian anti-Judaism"as "religious prejudice. Rennie is sometimes quick to dismiss statements or allegations by the latter's detractorsas "simply inaccurate"(p.e. the reputationof Eliade himself that apparentlyneeds "reconstructing." Schelling. Of the three parts. its allegedly relativistic perspective. S. $19. Kirk (pp. 190). RENNIE. whose underlyingphilosophy and method Rennie astutely probes.. where he establishes himself as a formidableand unabashed defender of Eliade. but.1995). In the book's second part. defective comparativemethod. 76). irresponsible use of source material.
'" (This is Rennie'squotationof Dubuisson. regardlessof whetheror not he has insisting proven that "thereis to date no evidence of actual membership. 172)-refers to "the chaste (pudique) version [of Eliade's past] proposed by Eliade himself: 'the imprudenceand the faults committedin my youth constitute a series of misunderstandingswhich followed my [sic] all my life. sifting through and assessing all the pertinentBritish Foreign Office files in order to refute allegations tying Eliade to the Iron Guard and even to the cause of Nazi Germany. that Rennie succeeds in maintaining a neutral stance in all his treatmentsof the charges against Eliade. 221. 1960. "insistent nationalism" has amounted to more than a mere matter of taste. Rennie's handling of them seems meticulous. In its effects on countless lives. what "truth"is it that Rennie (or Eliade) has in mind? Whose "misunderstandings" (malentendus)was Eliade speaking of? His own. who in turnis quotingfrom Eliade.Although I have not examined those files and therefore cannot assess them myself. 47. in his journal. p. 177). when in fact Eliade himself had noted this connection as early as an 6. Given Rennie's admission that "Eliade's thought" and "postmodernism" This content downloaded from 129." To be sure. however. Rennie asserts that Daniel Dubuisson "'poisons the well' of discourse"when the latter-as his words are accuratelytranslated.memoirs. 1). 11 Oct 2013 16:48:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .excepting a typo. Rennie should be commended for that Eliade be judged fairly. Mythologiesdu XXe siecle [Dumezil. 172). Rennie seems no less partialin suggesting that it may be a self-critical statement of "truth. Smith for having "suggest[ed]" in a book published in 1978 that Goethe's influence is manifest in Eliade'sconcept of "morphology"(ReconstructingEliade. as Rennie complains. and interviews? What I am suggesting is that the above-quoted statementfrom Eliade begs the question and is so semantically vague as to be practically meaningless. n. it seems flippantto allow only that "insistent nationalism in the thirties is certainly distasteful. 177). or those of his detractors? In saying that those misunderstandings "followed" (poursuivraient)him. and fair.Eliade] [Lille: Presses Universitairesde Lille. This does not mean. This section of the book will be particularlyuseful to readers interested in the ongoing controversy surroundingthe question of Eliade's politics. and no less "especially" in the thirties than today. 32). journals. was Eliade blaming himself? Or was he blaming others?If he was concerned about those misunderstandings.115 on Fri. Z.59. For example.95. the third part compellingly demonstrates the ongoing pertinence of Eliade's work to the contemporaryacademic study of religion and to the contemplation of religious phenomena in the postmodern world. Elsewhere.publishedlateras Fragmentsd'unjournal entryof February (Paris: Gallimard. Levi-Strauss. Rennie seems to credit J.) If. thorough. p. Les moissons du solstice: MemoireII [1947-1960] [Paris:Gallimard. Rennie proves himself most engaging as an archival researcher. 135.or of any real involvement with any fascist or totalitarianmovements or ideals" (p. p. and certainly on those of its victims. by Rennie (p. However.of active services rendered. Dubuisson "simply does not permit the possibility that Eliade might be telling the truthhere" (p. especially to our palate in the nineties" (p. if Duboisson seems prejudicial in insinuating that it betrays an effort by Eliade to whitewash his own past. why did he not try to clear them up in any of his publishedvolumes of autobiography.78 Book Reviews "racial prejudice"(Who Killed Jesus? p. 1973).1988]. Combined with the book's first part. Hence. 1993].
New Haven. Yet he manages to draw some highly suggestive (though far from fully developed) parallels between Eliade and a number of postmodernist theorists on questions of ontology.History of Religions 79 are both "to some extent imaginary constructs. too.59. the power of healing. While surely not marking the end of the deconstructing or reconstructingof Eliade.here McDannell offers a broadly Catholic-in contrast to Puritan and Reformed-perspective on American religious history. In eight chapters. $35. 232-41). using Protestant."his effort to use these two "constructs" to clarify each other seems somewhat contrived (pp. lay clergy boundaries."ThroughoutAmerican history. are more broad ranging.95. and the like.Most of these work from analysis of artifacts.115 on Fri. not intrinsic. 1995. 1). with a recent cultural studies critique that suspects mass readings This content downloaded from 129. Pp. ERICJ. 272).the book ing traditionsof interpretation comes acrossas a collection of essays exploringclosing connectedthemes-popular conflation of sacred and profane. Importantto her argumentis the thesis that there is nothing new about any of the mingling. and Mormon documentation. What do these essays and case studies include? An introductorychapterargues for a contextual. with a numberfull color. in her epilogue. reading of religious meaning through its material expressions. Conn. some 153 of them. 11 Oct 2013 16:48:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but it does suggest the experimental and suggestive. ZIOLKOWSKI Lafayette College Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America. Christians have explored the meaning of the divine. 153 illustrations. refers to the "case studies" in her book (p.the volume offers assortedcase studies to argue a set of propositions regardingChristianityand materialculture. Colleen McDannell writes in her introductoryparagraphs. historicism. 271). A major part of that documentation is contained in the illustrations that accompany the text. that historically sacred and profane were always intertwined in American culture and are not recent spin-offs of secularization. landscapes. the nature of death. Rennie's book will have to be taken into account by anyone who aspires to engage seriously in either enterprise within the near future. This does not make it less effective as a book. Catholic. more than definitive. By COLLEEN MCDANNELL. Her book explores some of the material trail these Christiansleft in the nineteenth century and continue to leave in the twentieth. and the experience of the body by interacting with a created world of images and shapes" (p. seeing them as evidence for the conclusion that "the practice of Christianityis a subtle mixture of traditionalbeliefs and personal improvisations"(p. Her work falls into line.: Yale University Press. and other matters. Given this format. Acknowledging historianJon Butler. gender issues. however. She is "incarnational"-at home in material culture-finding the sacred interfused with the profane and what many would call the productions of kitsch. xii+312. characterof the project. either in advancing theoretical and methodological claims or in examinof materialChristianity. McDannell herself.00 (cloth). At least three. or art. making this book about an often sensuous religious material culture itself a sensuous object.