Since the notorious Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, the alt-right has surged into prominence as the most visible expression of right-wing extremism. While most analysts have focused on the political aspect of the movement, my article will explore the spiritual and religious roots and connections of the movement. In particular, I will focus on how Mircea Eliade, one of the most prominent figures in the academic study of the history of religion in the late 20th century, is viewed by many current extreme right thinkers. Drawing on the writings of some of the leading theoreticians and inspirations of the alt-right such as Julius Evola, Alain de Benoist, Aleksandr Dugin and Richard Spencer, as well as the prominent extreme right publishing houses, Arktos and Counter-Currents, I will show how Eliade’s extremely controversial and problematic past is seen as an intellectual and even spiritual source for these leading figures.
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