Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) is one of the greatest erudites of the last century. Born in Romania, lived and taught in a number of countries around the world, Eliade is among the most prominent researchers of the history of religions. His many works cover a wide range of topics related to it - ancient Hindu philosophy, mythological systems of the East and West, beliefs and rites of the peoples of Indonesia and Australia, mythological thinking in different historical eras, рeligious symbolism and mysticism, magic and occultism, shamanism, etc.
He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. 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. One of his most influential contributions to religious studies was his theory of Eternal Return, which holds that myths and rituals do not simply commemorate hierophanies, but, at least to the minds of the religious, actually participate in them.