First, I should stress that I do not entirely agree with all of Eliade's ideas. His ideas about the nature of religion strike me as interesting and probably correct in some of their outlines but also a bit dated and ethnocentric as well in some areas (a trap perhaps nobody can completely escape from).
On the whole the book is thought-provoking and informative. I didn't find it to be as groundbreaking as Myth and Reality, but it is interesting nonetheless. The focus is far more on the subjective world than these other books.... On the whole it is probably one of the best introductions to Eliade's thought that is out there.
Years ago, I was assigned this book in one of my university classes. I number it in my most memorable and personally influential works that I have ever read. At the time, I had just begun to study archaeology and had very little understanding of the concept of ethnocentricism. My personal way of thinking was very black and white. The only real experience that I had with the dichotomies of the sacred versus the profane at that point was my own experiences. The Sacred and the … more