Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 41 Barbora Čaputová Mgr. Barbora Čaputová, PhD. earned her MA in Comparative Studies of Religion and PhD from the Institute of World Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences with an interdisciplinary dissertation on Mircea Eliade. She currently leads a reading club at the high school for mentally disabled students in Bratislava, Slovakia. She is also involved in a project Prototype of an online study tool for bibliotherapy. Barbora authored several studies on Mircea Eliade. Her email contact is barbora.caputova@gmail.com. 1 Introduction There is no doubt that Mircea Eliade was an influential scholar of his time who enjoyed professional recognition during his lifetime. Nevertheless, after his death there was a wave of criticism of his work and his approach to the study of religions. Among other things, he was also referred to as a “mystic.” This label, no matter how derogatory it was intended, has its justification from a certain point of view. His research avoids positivist methods and is far from scientism. He honors life experience (he was influenced by the philosophy of life) and focuses on understanding what we can call spiritual phenomena, looking for the “universal” across time and cultures. His synthetic approach to the study of religions, in which he respected phenomenology as well as the hermeneutic tradition, and took into account his own encyclopedic knowledge from various scientific fields, broad language skills, and personal experience, allowed him to grasp spiritual phenomena openly and from varying perspectives. At the same time, he was able to abstract from his knowledge what he comprehended as the essence of religious experience. He perceived a certain quality in man, which he labeled homo religiosus, and like others before and after him, he captured the great role that time and our experience of time plays in a person’s life. He looked at this quantity through the prism of the history of religions. We can also say that the philosophical systems of the East, especially India, where the very young but already scientifically active Eliade lived for three years, had a great influence on his philosophy of time. He benefited from this sojourn throughout his life, both professionally and personally. It was his only experience with a different culture; he experienced his ups and downs there. And it must be said that Eliade’s immaturity also caused difficulty for him; when he seduced the young daughter of his patron, he had to leave his house and eventually the studies in India. We can say that Indian philosophy remained at the center of Eliade’s thinking about humanity and became the imaginary “backbone” of his own philosophy. In his research, he relied on the sacred–profane dichotomy, while perceiving the importance of a personal relationship with the sacred, which was natural to man from the beginning of time and, ↑↑ Sketch of Mircea Eliade.