Mircea Eliade was one of the foremost scholars of the history of religions in the twentieth century and his works remain influential today. In this 1956 work he explores alchemical traditions in Europe, India and China. He looks at alchemy's relationship to the metallurgy, but also explores the way in which metal-transformationwork gave rise to the image of the divine smith. He provides a masterly account of the relationship between alchemical practice and initiation, and highlights its influential role inRenaissance thought. For Eliade, at alchemy's root is a desire to transform, transmute and perfect matter, and the alchemist's own being. As he did in all his work, Eliade drawas from cross-cultural data and Jungian perspectives.
230 pages. New.