Romanian philosopher and writer, who researched magic, primitive rituals and religious evolution. He believed that a first ‘spiritual’ manifestation (hierophany) lies at the heart of any religious experience and holds the key to the values that then emerge (e.g. the appearance of Christ). In organised religion, just as in mythology, believers are constantly aware of the conflict between linear time and the ‘eternal return’ drawing them back to the mythical source. This is explored in more detail in the chapter ‘The unbearable joy of suffering’.