Religion in Essence and Manifestation

Religion in Essence and Manifestation

G. VAN DER LEEUW
Translated by J. E. Turner
With a new foreword by Ninian Smart
with appendices incorporating the additions to the second German edition by Hans H. Penner
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 732
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zv4zm
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  • Book Info
    Religion in Essence and Manifestation
    Book Description:

    In this book van der Leeuw discusses the horizontal path to God and the vertical paths descending from God and ascending to Him. If God Himself appears, it is in a totally different manner, which results not in intelligible utterance, but in proclamation; and it is with this that theology has to deal."

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5802-6
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xix)
    Ninian Smart

    THIS book is the most famous of the works of the Dutch historian of religion and Christian theologian, Gerardus van der Leeuw. It is a model of one kind of phenomenology of religion, and its republication in English affords the chance to reappraise the achievements embodied in it. Probably few contemporary scholars in the field of religious studies would fail to feel that there are criticisms to be made ofReligion in Essence and Manifestationbut scarcely any would not recognize it as a classic in the field. It still has much to offer in the way of stimulus and...

  4. AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE GERMAN EDITION
    (pp. xx-xxi)
  5. AUTHOR’S NOTE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION
    (pp. xxi-xxi)
  6. TRANSLATOR’S NOTE
    (pp. xxii-xxii)
    J. E. TURNER
  7. GENERAL LITERATURE CITED
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. PART ONE: THE OBJECT OF RELIGION
    • CHAPTER 1 POWER
      (pp. 23-28)

      1. THAT which those sciences concerned with Religion regard as theObjectof Religion is, for Religion itself, the active and primary Agent in the situation or, in this sense of the term, theSubject.In other words, the religious man perceives that with which his religion deals as primal, as originative or causal; and only to reflective thought does this become the Object of the experience that is contemplated. For Religion, then, God is the active Agent in relation to man, while the sciences in question can concern themselves only with the activity of man in his relation to...

    • CHAPTER 2 THEORIZING ABOUT POWER
      (pp. 29-36)

      1. AN Esthonian peasant remains poor, while his neighbour grows steadily richer. One night he meets this neighbour’s “luck” engaged in sowing rye in the fields. Thereupon he wakes his own “luck”, who is sleeping beside a large stone; but it refuses to sow for him, because it is not a farmer’s “luck” at all, but a merchant's; so he himself becomes a merchant and gains wealth.¹

      In this story Power has become a specific power; and this transition occurs very early. The power, the effects of which can be quite readily substantiated, becomes power in particular instances—royal authority,...

    • CHAPTER 3 THINGS AND POWER
      (pp. 37-42)

      1. WE moderns have accustomed ourselves to regard things as mere dead objects with which we deal exactly as we please. Only a poet could vindicate things:

      Gladly do I hearken to the Things singing.

      Touch them—How stiff and mute they are!

      You kill all my Things.¹

      Here once again a philosopher is sensitive to the potency of things, which possess a life of their own despite that “loss of power that has befallen them since the days of the Greeks”;² for the prevailing emphasis on the spiritual and internal, as contrasted with the merely institutional—Spiritualismus—the cult...

    • CHAPTER 4 POTENCY. AWE. TABU
      (pp. 43-51)

      1. THE experience of the potency of things or persons may occur at any time; it is by no means confined to specific seasons and occasions. Powerfulness always reveals itself in some wholly unexpected manner; and life is therefore a dangerous affair, full of critical moments. If then one examines them more closely, even the most ordinary events, the customary associations with one’s neighbours, or similarly one’s long familiar tasks, prove to be replete with “mystic” interconnections. We may say indeed (as e.g. Marett maintains) that the explanation of any fact, however natural it may appear, is ultimately always “mystic”....

    • CHAPTER 5 THE SACRED ENVIRONMENT. SACRED STONES AND TREES
      (pp. 52-58)

      1. AT the close of last century, side by side with Animism, arose so-called “Naturism”—that is the hypothesis that the worship of divine beings had originated in a personification of the powers of Nature. The manifold representatives of natural potencies in Greek religion had long been familiar; the variegated and beauteous world of the Vedic deities had just been disclosed; and this also appeared, to a high degree, to have the manifestations of Nature as its basis. Thus the idea readily arose that, in reflecting on the causes of natural events, primitive man had invented gods, spirits and demons...

    • CHAPTER 6 THE SACRED ENVIRONMENT. SACRED WATER AND FIRE
      (pp. 59-64)

      1. IN the idea of holy water, too, it is clear that so far as concerns the veneration of the potent surrounding world, it is only in a very limited sense actually a matter ofenvironment.For the powerfulness becomes manifested to man in his own experience, while this experience itself implies his developing consciousness of a connection between the essential nature of the object of worship and of the individual as subject. Man feels that his own life is dependent upon, and supported by, the environmental Power. But in his eyes it is not merely the environment, since this...

    • CHAPTER 7 THE SACRED WORLD ABOVE
      (pp. 65-74)

      1. WHEN man seeks the frontiers of his own being, he finds these within himself, in his environment, and in the world above. “Where heaven is, there is God”, said an Ewe tribesman;¹ and it is easy to understand that heaven and its phenomena have not only always taken a prominent place in the poetry and thought of all peoples, but have also been the connecting links with the concepts of the “Wholly Other”. For these the forms assumed by the celestial god, or gods, are unneces sary. Heaven, simply as such, preceded its characters or inhabitants. In Mexico, for...

    • CHAPTER 8 THE SACRED “CONJOINED WORLD”. ANIMALS
      (pp. 75-82)

      1. WE must now discuss the sacred world of man himself, although the surrounding and the upper worlds must also be considered to be his. But the animals with which man lives pertain to his own domain, to himself, in a still more specific sense than does the rest of “Nature”. Once again Chesterton is perfectly correct in saying that “we talk of wild animals; but man is the only wild animal. It is man that has broken out. All other animals are tame animals; following the rugged respectability of the tribe or type.”¹ Humanity, however, does not always break...

    • CHAPTER 9 WILL AND FORM
      (pp. 83-90)

      1. THE principle that the environing and the higher worlds form the world conjoined with primitive man, and that their sacredness can be experienced only in a most intimate community of essential nature, finds yet another expression besides that implied by the term “Power”. For Power acquiresWill.The environment, that is to say, not only shares man’s life and exercises an intense influence over him, but also “wills” something with regard to man, who on his own part desires something therefrom.

      A hint of these conditions subsists in thetheory of Animismas, in its classical form, it dominated...

    • CHAPTER 10 THE FORM OF THE MOTHER
      (pp. 91-100)

      1. “SEARCH out the ancient mother”, old Bachofen warned us years ago.¹ Science has never wholly ignored this admonition, although the peculiar and profound, yet somewhat obscure, theories of this romanticsavanthave only very recently gained due attention. “There is nothing more sacred on earth than the religion of the mother, for it leads us back to the deepest personal secret in our souls, to the relationship between the child and its mother”; in these terms Otto Kern has crystallized the essence of our theme.² Believing that behind Power he decries the outlines of a Form, man recognizes therein...

    • CHAPTER 11 POWER. WILL. SALVATION
      (pp. 101-105)

      1. THE Title of the present Chapter requires brief explanation, “Salvation” having been selected as the most suitable English equivalent for the GermanHeil,together with the occasional alternative “Deliverance” ; unfortunately, neither word can be regarded as an exact rendering for the wealth of ideas implied byHeilitself, even though we possess many closely associated terms derived from the same root, such as heal, health, hail, hale, holy, and whole; while the Latinsalusand the Frenchsalutmay be added in order to clarify the very wide meaning, throughout this volume, of Salvation as always implying such...

    • CHAPTER 12 THE SAVIOUR
      (pp. 106-114)

      1. THESonbrings salvation. He is not only the hope of the living, but also the consolation of the dead; and the potency of the family and the tribe is preserved by the son. When we wish for a son as the sustainer of the race we too desire salvation: we crave life, which surpasses ourselves and our own age, persists after us and is more powerful than we. Life is not only continued in the son: it is (to fall back on mathematical terms) raised to a higher power.

      Where there exists a family or tribal cult, the...

    • CHAPTER 13 POWER AND WILL IN MAN. THE KING
      (pp. 115-127)

      1.LE premier qui fut roi, fut un soldat heureux.Despite all its superficiality Voltaire’s old maxim contains some truth, if only it is taken in its “primitive”, and not in its original, sense. Chesterton is unquestionably right in saying that the idea of the strongest man forcibly making himself king is merely “current cant”, if we disregard the mystical element of admiration which creates the ruler.¹ Yet for primitive man it is precisely power and luck that possess this mystic significance; power and will do not, as for ourselves, unite to constitute a “personality”, a character, but rather an...

    • CHAPTER 14 THE MIGHTY DEAD
      (pp. 128-133)

      1. EARLY Animism derived religion from the cult of ancestors; and in so far as, in fact, the dead are accounted powerful, this was quite correct. It is, however, not their “souls” which possess power but they themselves, their living-dead forms; and to Animism Form is always indispensable. The dead man, then, is no soul without body, but another corporeality which may be more potent even than the living, but can also lose some of its power; for the event of death, which will be discussed later,¹ enhances, but also enfeebles, power.

      In no case, however, can the cult of...

    • CHAPTER 15 THE AWFUL FORM, THE EVIL WILL: DEMONS
      (pp. 134-140)

      1. “ANIMISM” was right, too, in maintaining that the boundary between the dead and every kind of spirit, even gods, is always plastic. But the spirit world is by no means confined to the realm of the departed. Admittedly, many demonic forms originated from belief in the dead and in spectres; I need say no more about this at present. But Power was experienced in other forms also; and in so far as the potentwillis here again decisive in creating these forms, belief in demons is animistic. The powers of life are felt and perceived as terrifying, often...

    • CHAPTER 16 THE SPECIAL FORM OF POWER: ANGELS
      (pp. 141-146)

      1. ANGELS are soul-beings: that is, not independent Power forms, but potencies which emanate from some other Power and appear as forms. Gods can thus send forth angelic beings, but men also; and the idea of the angel is intimately connected with that of the external soul.¹ Angels, then, are Powers that have widened outwards in their extension.

      Even the name, άγγελοѕ, indicates that they are sent forth. We still speak of the angel who protects children, but we seldom realize that it is not an angel sent by God that guards the little one, but the power which the...

    • CHAPTER 17 POWER AND WILL GIVEN FORM IN THE NAME
      (pp. 147-158)

      1. WE have already had occasion to observe that the idea of a god who is in some way or other personal is not an absolutely necessary element in the structure of religion. On the whole, the concept of “personality” is fairly modern and artificial; in the sphere of religion, therefore, it is more advisable to retain “Will” and “Form”, while Form, again, is not always bound up with Will. Still further, the man who must come to some understanding with a power, and who therein experiences a will, attempts by every possible means to give an outline to this...

    • CHAPTER 18 THE SACRED WORLD IN THE BACKGROUND. POWER AND WILL IN THE BACKGROUND
      (pp. 159-168)

      1. THE History of the History of religion is just as meagre as the History of religion itself is profuse. It seems as though only very few ideas could arise within it; even till to-day, unfortunately, a more profound historical comprehension has but seldom been applied to it. In this respect investigators have too often been content to smile at Hegel as an arbitrary constructor and oppressor of History, while in the interval they themselves have done naively and badly what they reproached Hegel for doing, and what at all events he self-confidently and brilliantly executed.

      Thus the dominant but...

    • CHAPTER 19 POWERS
      (pp. 169-176)

      1. THE indefinite and nameless multitude of Powers assumes Form in a plurality of personalities which, each endowed with a name and a sphere of activity of its own, are interconnected by organic relationships.PolydemonismbecomesPolytheism.But these, of course, are not periods in the evolution of belief in God which in due sequence succeed each other. Rather are two different structures to be understood by the two terms. The one comprises the chaotic world of the many potencies with which we are already familiar: sacred beings whose realms of power are separated in either place or time,numina...

    • CHAPTER 20 THE FATHER
      (pp. 177-181)

      1. FORM and Will, then, can fail to such a degree that they are abandoned; and man can calm himself by the belief that his God is the world, is humanity, “growing with the world”.¹ As we shall see,² he can even worship himself as humanity, as the human type: he can also take refuge in the Impersonal, in the Absolute, which “neither acts nor suffers, nor loves nor hates; it has no needs, desires or aspirations, no failures or successes, friends or enemies, victories or defeats”.³ After Greece, India has its say.⁴

      And only that concept of God which...

    • CHAPTER 21 THE ABSOLUTELY POWERFUL
      (pp. 182-188)

      1. OUR second Chapter dealt with Power theorized, rendered absolute, having attained dominance with no creation of form nor inclusion of will. Here, form and will having been abandoned as inadequate, we shall discuss Power unsustained by any person; Power that is not the outcome of will and that does not display itself, but absolutelyis.Obviously the Power considered in Chapter 2 was not “previously” existent: just as little is the Power now in question only a late fruit of maturer speculation. But from the outset there is a tendency to Power simply as such, which at first concerns...

  9. PART TWO: THE SUBJECT OF RELIGION
    • A. The Sacred Man
      • CHAPTER 22 SACRED LIFE
        (pp. 191-205)

        1. JUST as the Object of religion, to faith, is Subject in the sense of “the active and primary Agent”,¹ exactly so for Subject and Object. The sciences concerned with religion observe a person who practises religion, who sacrifices and prays,etc.Faith sees a person to whom something has happened; and Phenomenology describes how man conducts himself in his relation to Power. But it must never be forgotten that this person himself first decides, or alters, his attitude after he has been affected by Power. In this all believers are unanimous, from primitive man who experiences the nearness of...

      • CHAPTER 23 THE GIVEN AND THE POSSIBLE
        (pp. 206-211)

        1. THE sacredness of life is a matter of eitherWhat is given,orPossibility: two viewpoints which must be distinguished, even though they seldom appear in practice in their pure forms. The first of the two asserts that, together with life itself and as such, Power is given. The expansion and expression of life are the development of Power: potencies lie in the given life itself.

        But this by no means implies that man has ever accepted life simply as sacred. “Reverence for life” is in fact wholly modern, and perhaps presupposes moral, though not religious, motives. For apart...

      • CHAPTER 24 THE DEAD MAN
        (pp. 212-213)

        1. WE moderns are inclined to erase the dead man altogether from our roll: he no longer counts. But in the sacred life he is never omitted. Quite apart from any “soul” that he is supposed to have, and from any “immortality” he is believed to receive (the latter demanding conditions quite different from those hitherto considered), the dead counts just as much as the living man, since neither givenness nor possibility as yet deserts him; and precisely because it is assured by rites, his continued existence becomes a matter of course. Thusburial in the crouching position,frequently occurring...

      • CHAPTER 25 REPRESENTATION. THE KING
        (pp. 214-215)

        1. WE have already repeatedly encountered the idea of representation, of official action and existence, which very clearly illuminates the relationship between Objectivity and Subjectivity in religion. Man places himself over against God; but this is not his merely subjective attitude; much more is it an objective action, a being appointed. The relation to Power, then, whether as mere approach, subjection, acquisition or any other relationship, always rests only on the possession of Power. The man who seeks God is himself impelled by God.

        But he is “impelled” as a“representative”: not, that is, as an individual and still less...

      • CHAPTER 26 REPRESENTATION. MEDICINE-MAN AND PRIEST
        (pp. 216-221)

        1. The objectivity of religion has been exhibited in the capacity of representation resting on the possession of power, the representative being effective by virtue of his official status. Thus we can understand why masks play such a great part in the primitive world. Mask dances are very popular and imply far more than mere mummery: on the contrary, the masks in our everyday amusements are vestiges of; official action alike in form and in intention; thebal masquégrants not only liberty in general, but also sets people free from their personality. It is, still further, hardly a matter...

      • CHAPTER 27 REPRESENTATION. THE SPEAKER
        (pp. 222-226)

        1. ACCORDING to the Greek derivation, a prophet is aspeakerwho relates the cult legend at festivals,¹ so that his action, as a representative, is in the first place a speech which, in Greece itself, generally had a technical and semi-priestly, semi-theological cast. We usually presuppose, however, that a prophet experiences his rôle in a much more ecstatic and moreshaman-like way, such that representation involves a tension of personality which we callpossession,and which excludes everything individual, at least so far as the mode of experience itself is concerned. A mentally deranged rftan, referred to by Karl...

      • CHAPTER 28 REPRESENTATION. THE PREACHER
        (pp. 227-229)

        1. POWER, then, impels to speech, to utterance against one’s will and with no intention of one’s own. But it urges towardspreachingalso. Power sends someone forth with a message, either didactic or parabolic, that distinguishes him asevangelistfrom the prophet, while his ambassadorial status marks off theapostlefrom the priest. The prieststands,at the altar or in the pulpit: the evangelist and apostletravelon the highways, with neither pouch nor purse nor shoes,per pedes apostolorum.For something decisive has occurred, some marvel: the world has taken on quite a different aspect. Then there...

      • CHAPTER 29 REPRESENTATION. THE CONSECRATED
        (pp. 230-235)

        1. LONG before Freud compelled them to admit it, wise men knew that human potency, which man directs upon his environment and its power, has its roots to no mean extent in sex life; and now many of them can give their attention to nothing else! In any case, the instincts of sex and hunger are the two great impelling factors whereby the will climbs to power and even rises to heaven; in face of these the consciousness of impotence collapses. Food and drink on the one hand, and on the other sex intercourse, are therefore not merely the two...

      • CHAPTER 30 SAINTS
        (pp. 236-239)

        1. SAINTS are no longer wholly representative; to a markedly high degree they are objects of veneration. Certainly,orant pro nobis—they are potent helpers of mankind as over against the great powers. But the principal feature is Power revealing itself in them. We fail however to imagine this potency sufficiently concretely; we speak, it is true, of the “odour of sanctity”, and this fragrance is by no means merely metaphorical. For on approaching the human queen, the Egyptian god exhaled a scent,¹ and the dying Hippolytus sensed the nearness of Artemis by the “breath of heavenly fragrance” emitted by...

      • CHAPTER 31 DEMONIC HUMAN BEINGS
        (pp. 240-241)

        1. THE terrible figure, the evil will, which revealed themselves to man as Power,¹ take possession of him and thus form a very remarkable dual unity of subject and object, of representative and represented. To a certain extent, indeed, this is to be met with in all representatives; but it receives in the present instance a thoroughly specific character that is due to the manner in which man loves the object of his fear and represents his own awe. This is possible, however, only on the basis of that fusion of subject and object which has been already frequently discussed,...

    • B. The Sacred Community
      • CHAPTER 32 COMMUNITY
        (pp. 242-244)

        1. TO every human beingsolitudeis familiar. “Every woman who bears a child, every man who risks his life, every human being who dies, must pass through the utmost extremity without the help of his fellow creatures who are willing to assist him.”¹ But man cannot be solitary. Whoever is thoroughly isolated weeps like an abandoned child: or like Christ in Gethsemane. From the child to the God-Man, solitude excites dread in us all: for we possess power and life only in the community. It is in fact this primeval dread, and no mere trivial fear, that created gods....

      • CHAPTER 33 MARRIAGE. FAMILY. TRIBE
        (pp. 245-251)

        1.MARRIAGEis “covenant” and "community” simultaneously: it is what is givenandwhat is chosen. Its character as being something given becomes increasingly apparent to the degree that it expands into the family: choice, on the other hand, dominates it so far as it is a union of love. The common element that is sought, and at the same time discovered, is undifferentiated: it concerns the whole life. Differentiation thus relates not to the common factor but to the predominance of either the given, or the chosen, respectively. In every marriage, therefore, covenant struggles with community: in every individual,...

      • CHAPTER 34 THE COVENANT
        (pp. 252-260)

        1. THEcommunityis essentially one unified entity, and the life that is powerful within it is one and indivisible; compared with the community, then, thecovenantis an additional organization of an essentially different type. Thus Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael: Isaac, however, was not only the child of his body but also the son of the promise. An order of salvation separates off from that of Nature, a divine possibility from the—likewise divine—givenness: the charism,¹ the power, becomes divided.

        Whether one wishes it or not, he belongs to the community. But he enters into...

      • CHAPTER 35 THE SECT
        (pp. 261-264)

        1. THE primitive world knew only of the sacred, and not specifically religious, communities; similarly, no specifically religious acts, but solely sacred. To it, therefore, any special cultivation of religious life, either individually or within the community, was quite foreign; and thus Scipio, who went before daybreak up to the Capitol to meditate in thecella jovis,“apparently consulting Jupiter about matters of state”, was a very rare exception that aroused a good deal of astonishment.¹ The first community devoted to specifically religious purposes, then, is the sect, which severs itself not only from the given community but from the...

      • CHAPTER 36 THE CHURCH
        (pp. 265-268)

        1. THE Israelite להק was at the same time the assembly of the people and the worshipping community,¹ the Greek word for this idea being ecclesia;² so that when Jesus chose His disciples and assigned to one of them a special status,³ He not only called together men of like disposition, nor created a mere relationship of teacher and disciple, such as we have just observed in the case of Buddha. His founding of an eccksia must rather "be understood from His total attitude to His own people, from whom, for whom, and as contrasted with whom He gathered and...

      • CHAPTER 37 NATION AND HUMANITY
        (pp. 269-272)

        1. FROM what has already been asserted about the sacred community there clearly follows the truth, as well as the one-sided exaggeration, of the so-calledsociological school.That religion is no private affair, that in the realm of religion communality and collectivity assume an extraordinarily extensive status, in fact that the search for Power is essentially connected with the flight from solitude:—all these are facts. But all the less, therefore, have we any ground for allowing the religious to be merged in the social; for the sacred common element is not sacred because it is common but, on the...

      • CHAPTER 38 COMMUNIO SANCTORUM
        (pp. 273-274)

        1.CREDO . . . communionem sanctorum,of theApostles’ Creed,was added only at a later period tocredo . . . unam sanctam catholicam ecclesiam.Perhaps its original meaning was: “I believe that there subsists a participation in the sacred elements (of the sacrament)”, while in the Middle Ages the expression acquired the significance—community of all, both living and departed. The Reformation, however, opposed the community of saints to the visible hierarchy of the Roman church, and rejoiced that “it was no longer necessary to see it with our eyes nor feel it with our hands”, because...

    • C. The Sacred within Man:: The Soul
      • CHAPTER 39 THE SOUL AS A WHOLE
        (pp. 275-281)

        1. “THOU canst not discover the bounds of the soul albeit thou pacest its every road: so deep is its ground”;¹ and the idea of the soul has never been a means merely of systematizing the functions of human consciousness. On the contrary it was always, and in all its most widely contrasted structures, numinous in its type and a means of indicating the sacred in man. Even the unconscious object can possess a soul, while it is the numinous that endows the living entity with consciousness, and not conversely. “There is life that is not also numinous. But the...

      • CHAPTER 40 SOULS IN THE PLURAL
        (pp. 282-285)

        1. THE second soul structure also, with which we are here concerned, includes not that differentiation between body and soul so familiar to ourselves, but merely that between soul and soul. Thus it can readily be understood how it has happened that we are able to represent the different potencies, experienced within man, as a number of more or less sharply outlined soul-beings; for the very character of soul-stuff, which is in no sense exclusive—in the heart for instance, but simultaneously in the head or elsewhere—itself leads to plurality.

        Of course it is not here a matter of...

      • CHAPTER 41 THE FORM OF THE SOUL
        (pp. 286-288)

        1. SOUL-STUFF has no form other than that of the body or some part thereof, while this in itself is not thought of as soul. “Stuff” itself is formless; and a genuine form is first of all acquired by the soul when man sees his own image, when he perceives himself in a mirror. But this again we must not interpret—with Animism—as if the reflected image had become the cause or stimulus of any primitive psychology. Rather was the sight of oneself a numinous experience, and the mirror image a revelation of the power attached to the self...

      • CHAPTER 42 THE “EXTERNAL SOUL”
        (pp. 289-298)

        1. IN discussing the soul structures thus far referred to we have frequently met with the idea of a soul outside the body—an “external soul”; or as I should prefer to say: psychic powers existed apart from the bodily power of the soul: often the soul of a dead man, but not always. The “external soul”, then, has its own structure: and quite a considerable time ago Frazer¹ made this the object of extensive investigations, but without succeeding in assigning to it its specific and relevant place among the many concepts of the soul. This can be done only...

      • CHAPTER 43 THE UNIQUELY POWERFUL AND DIVINE SOUL
        (pp. 299-307)

        1. IN the structure of soul-stuff, as in that of the plural and the “external soul”, we discerned superior power as being always the basic experience; and the differentiation of the second of these structures, and in the third the separation between ego and environment, alter nothing whatever in this situation. But as soon as a portion of the environment, or of the ego, isdeprivedof its power, thereby becoming incapable of being a soul bearer, everything is changed. In the three preceding structures we know of “no corporeality which was nothing more than mere stuff”;¹ but nowDualism...

      • CHAPTER 44 THE IMMORTAL SOUL
        (pp. 308-312)

        1. WE have already observed that ecstasy is a particular case of the “external soul”;¹ and it is not difficult to understand that the evaporation of the weight of life, and the cessation of the vital functions as this occurs in ecstasy, have powerfully reinforced the idea of the ultimate duality of body and soul. The soul’s destiny is to become free from the body, and to survive in another world untrammelled by all the heaviness of earth; so that what in ecstasy is a momentary liberation must after death manifest itself as eternal reality. The Tupi Guaranis of South...

      • CHAPTER 45 THE CREATURE
        (pp. 313-316)

        1. THE Greek idea of the soul seeks the superior power within man, even if it previously releases him from all the ponderousness of earth. What remains is divine and immortal. Both these expressions have the same meaning: the Greek spirit participated first of all in the Semitic fear ofhubristhat placed man equal to the gods (but in this respect racial distinctions will not suffice!), until the religions of Dionysus and Orpheus brought immortality and identity with the god, asonereality, within the human sphere.¹ The seed present in man needs only to be developed, the spark...

      • CHAPTER 46 THE COUNTRY OF THE SOUL
        (pp. 317-322)

        1. THE superiority sought by man in the soul is not only of another type than the ordinary life of every day, but also, as we have already observed, is localized elsewhere. For it is precisely a life “beyond”; and the most ancient EgyptianTexts,in fact, speak of “that land” whither the dead go and where “to eternity they neither hunger nor thirst”.¹

        To begin with, then, the country of the soul exists in the world: it is wholly an earthly Paradise. Somewhere or other there is a sinister region, an infamous heath, a dark forest, a mysterious cavern:...

      • CHAPTER 47 THE DESTINY OF THE SOUL
        (pp. 323-336)

        1. PRIMARILY life is a cycle, uninterrupted by death if only the correct rites are observed:¹ “I live after I am dead, like Ra,” the sungod,² if only the requisite celebrations have been executed. As has already been observed,burialis the most important of these celebrations; and similarlymourning,which in the entire primitive world had a ritual character. Man laments not merely to relieve his grief, but above all because he thereby assists the life of the departed over the critical point; as one Egyptian Text says: “I am one of the mourners for Osiris, who make him...

  10. PART THREE: OBJECT AND SUBJECT IN THEIR RECIPROCAL OPERATION
    • A. Outward Action
      • CHAPTER 48 CONDUCT AND CELEBRATION
        (pp. 339-342)

        1. ONCE again I wish to recall the initial principle laid down at the outset: the Subject of religion is, in the sense of religion itself, the Object, and its Object the Subject. Even now, when it has become a question of the reciprocal relationship between Subject and Object, the expressions are to be understood only in their figurative meaning.¹ Nor must the designation of the actions performed by the subject, as either “external” or “internal”, be taken to imply any essential distinction; for Chantepie has already stressed the point that any “external” activity can always be understood as “internal”....

      • CHAPTER 49 PURIFICATION
        (pp. 343-349)

        1. NOT without profound reason does the housewife’s “Spring cleaning” still retain a tinge of ritual. For the ultimate motive of purification is no more liberation from actual dirt in the sense of modern hygiene, but release from evil and the induction of good. Occasionally life’s power dwindles: it grows paler and loses its freshness; and all this must be prevented by a periodical turning over a new page in the book of life, so that it begins anew. The accumulated impotence, which is really an evil power, must be removed; and thus the Roman vestal temple, a state shrine,...

      • CHAPTER 50 SACRIFICE
        (pp. 350-360)

        1. THE terms “soul” and “sacrifice” must be included among those presenting the greatest variety of meaning in the whole history of religion; and in both cases we may doubt the advisability of estimating such utterly different phenomena, as are comprised under these words, as being diverse instances of that single self-revelation which will be further discussed in theEpilegomena. With respect to these two ideas, nevertheless, and as indeed I hope that I have already shown with regard to the soul, the phenomena prove to constitute a fundamental unity. Usually, however, a distinction is made between the sacrificial gift...

      • CHAPTER 51 SACRAMENTALS
        (pp. 361-364)

        1. ACCORDING to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, those celebrations which endow a person or thing with a sacred character, or sacredness, are sacramentals. These are especially considered to be: consecration, blessing and exorcism;¹ and I shall discuss these celebrations more fully in dealing with sacred words. But at this stage, and before treating of sacraments, I must introduce this concept because it shows in a most impressive way that sacred action always tends towards the sacramental. For life, that is to say, a fixed number of sacraments is quite insufficient; certainly the idea of the sacrament as...

      • CHAPTER 52 THE SACRAMENT
        (pp. 365-372)

        1. THE wordsacramentshould not be interpreted merely according to its Latin meaning; the Greek expressionmysterionhas to some extent coloured the Roman significance. Thus not onlydevotio, the consecration of the Roman soldier when taking the oath to the colours, but also the entire range of the extraordinarily numinous Greek term, from fulfilled prophecy to the mysterious presence of thenumen,came to be included in it;¹ “all the richness of the significance ofmysterionhas been transposed tosacramentum”.² If therefore we disregard etymology altogether and enquire what a sacrament implies for religion, then if we...

      • CHAPTER 53 SERVICE
        (pp. 373-378)

        1. IN the sacramental and in the sacrament sacred action is a service, aministeriumor anofficium.For in the cult the actual agent is not man nor the human community, but sacred Power, whether this is merely the sacred common element or a sacred will. In worship, therefore, “to do”, “to act”, is always sacramental. Something different and something more is done than what is actually performed: things are manipulated to which man himself is not superior; he standswithina sacred activity and not above this. He does not govern, that is to say, but serves.¹ In...

      • CHAPTER 54 DIVINATION
        (pp. 379-383)

        1. “AN enquirer”, observes Thurnwald, “turns to higher powers through the medium of theoraclewith the intention of receiving instructions for his own conduct, or for the actions of others, in the form of signs”;¹ and the question concerns, first of all, thelocusof power, thesituation.The person in doubt as to which course to pursue attempts to discover what the situation is; divination, therefore, yields prophecy with regard to the future only in a subordinate sense. For the enquirer wants to know not what will happen, but that what he himself desires will occur.² Thus the...

      • CHAPTER 55 SACRED TIME
        (pp. 384-387)

        1. CELEBRATION is carried on intime.We moderns, of course, read time from the clock. But this is time that has already become spatialized, a “spurious concept, due to the trespassing of the idea of space upon the field of pure consciousness”.¹ The spatiality of time, further, brings with it homogeneity; we count the hours and seconds—regard them, that is to say, as equivalent things. But they are neither things, nor perfectly alike: this they become only in space.² Homogeneous time thus measured in hours, days and years, therefore, is only a symbol of real time, of “duration”:³...

      • CHAPTER 56 FESTIVALS
        (pp. 388-392)

        1. THE festival is thetempus par excellence,“selected” from the entirety of duration as particularly potent. In itself any time whatever may be chosen to be a festival period, since every one has its own value and specific powerfulness; and in this sense Guardini very finely Observes¹ that “every hour of the day has its own note. But there are three that confront us with unusually clear features: morning, evening, and between the two the mid-day hour; and these are all sacred.” Morning is a beginning: “the secret of birth renews itself every morning”. The mystery of evening, again,...

      • CHAPTER 57 SACRED SPACE
        (pp. 393-402)

        1. WHAT is true of time is equally true of space. It is no homogeneous mass, nor a sum of innumerable spatial parts; but just as duration subsists in relation to time, so doesextensity (etendue)to space.¹ Even to the animal, indeed, a locality is not some arbitrary point in space, but a resting-place in universal extensity, a “position” which it recognizes and towards which it directs itself. Parts of space, therefore, like instants of time, have their specific and independent value.² They are “positions”; but they become “positions” by being “selected” from the vast extensity of the world....

      • CHAPTER 58 THE SACRED WORD
        (pp. 403-407)

        1. “I CANNOT the mere Word so highly prize”,¹ says Faust, and in its stead he places the deed. But he does not realize that in so doing he is not actually restoring or replacing it, but is merely giving a different translation of the Greek termlogos.For the world of the primitive and of antiquity, and above all the religious world, knows nothing whatever of “empty words”, of “words, words”; it never says: “more than enough words have been exchanged, now at last let me see deeds”; and the yearning no longer to have to “rummage among words”...

      • CHAPTER 59 THE WORD OF CONSECRATION
        (pp. 408-412)

        1. THE repetition of words, to continue, intensifies their power in the same degree as intensifying the tone and the rhythm:¹ this constitutes the Litany type.² “Thou must say it thrice” has always been the maxim of magic; and the accumulation of epithets in invoking the gods has the same purpose.³ The object to which speech is directed, the power to be constrained, is thus as it were enveloped in words or, if the repetition occurs from one of several different points of vantage, for example from or towards the four points of the compass, enclosed within them.

        The content...

      • CHAPTER 60 MYTH
        (pp. 413-417)

        1. ACTUALLY, the myth is nothing other than the word itself. For it is neither speculation nor poem, neither a primitive explanation of the world nor a philosophy in embryo, although it also may be, and indeed frequently is, all of these. It is a spoken word, possessing decisive power in its repetition; just as the essential nature of sacred action consists in its being repeated, so the essence of myth lies in its being told, in being repeatedly spoken anew.¹ Generally, therefore, the attempt to understand myths and mythology has been far too abstract or esthetic; the type of...

      • CHAPTER 61 THE STORY OF SALVATION: THE WORD OF GOD
        (pp. 418-421)

        1. IF the myth concerns the introduction of some cult, the discovery or attainment of a cult image or something similar, we then speak of acult legend.Such is, for example, the dream of the Pharaoh Ptolemy which induced him to have the image of Serapis brought from Sinope, just as in a dream at Jerusalem, Bishop Gualfredus heard about an image of the Lord supposed to have been made by Nicodemus. So he contrived to procure the effigy, which arrived from Joppa at the harbour of Lucca on a ship with neither sails nor rudder. At first no...

      • CHAPTER 62 THE WORD OF MAN: MAGICAL FORMULA AND PRAYER
        (pp. 422-429)

        1. WITHIN the stream of divine utterance there resounds the word of man; but we are very far from being able to distinguish, always and precisely, between God’s word itself and human expression. For the word of Power is mighty in man’s mouth just as it is in God’s. Man’s own word at first, therefore, is magical, creative, and so far as we can speak of “God” in this connection¹ man takes a divine word into his mouth.² Thus in their misery people came in hordes to Empedocles, to enquire the way of salvation and “to hear a little word bringing deliverance.”³...

      • CHAPTER 63 PRAISE, LALLATION, AND SILENCE
        (pp. 430-434)

        1. WHOEVER is deeply moved cries out: he “lifts up” his voice. Crying aloud and singing set power in motion.¹ But the most important type of profoundly emotional utterance ispraise: thesong of praise.It is distinguished from prayer by being, not an assumption of a position before the divine will on the part of man’s will, but a “confirmation” of divine power. Of course this confirmation is by no means a sort of ratification, nor a sentimental assertion, but a “confirmation” in the literal sense, a consolidation of the power, of the will, with which man finds himself...

      • CHAPTER 64 THE WRITTEN WORD
        (pp. 435-446)

        1. “WHAT we have in black and white we can safely take home with us”:—the tendency already discerned in Fetishism¹ becomes evident also in the valuation of the written word. Strictly, then,writingis a charm: written signs are charms. Arune(Gothic,rûna) is a secret, a secret decree or resolve, a mystery; the Old High German verbrûnenmeanssusurrare,“to murmur or whisper”. Thus the living word, filled with power and murmured in a subdued voice, persists in the written characters.² Runes originated with Odin, who in his turn received them from “the powers”, and on...

      • CHAPTER 65 ENDOWMENT WITH FORM IN WORSHIP
        (pp. 447-453)

        1. “WORSHIP assembles together the scattered and sporadic feelings, and transforms an indefinite religious sentiment into an individual, and at the same time collective, religious consciousness.”¹ Thus every thing that we have so far discovered in conduct and celebration, in time and space, in action and word, is part of this thoroughgoing self-comprehension, this confronting of the self with Power, which we callworship. In worship, therefore, man seeks to give form not only to individual and to collective experience, not only to the conduct of himself and his community, but also to the activities of Power, indeed to its...

      • CHAPTER 66 ENDOWMENT WITH FORM IN CUSTOM
        (pp. 454-458)

        1. CONDUCT assumes form ascustom. Observance of the potency of life, tabus, and purifications,¹ the obligations of worship and the other demands of Power upon life, together constitute usage, tradition and custom, whose sphere of operation is more extensive than that of law.² Custom then is essentially religious, because it is the endowing with form of fear and of awe before superior Power. It occupies the intermediate position between mere etiquette, good form and morality; and every now and then it changes into one of these. Good form is its empty shell; but morality may derive its own claim...

    • B. Inward Action
      • CHAPTER 67 RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
        (pp. 459-462)

        1. THE division of our subject into Outward and Inward Action by no means implies a belief in the possibility of separating the inner from the outer:

        Wouldst thou truly study Nature?

        Seek the Whole in every feature.

        Nought’s within and nought’s without,

        For whatever’s in will out.¹

        Everything external is closely connected with something internal; and conversely, without the outer there is no inner, or if there were it would not appear. A sacred stone, a god, a sacrament, therefore, are experiences precisely as fear, love and piety are, since in both cases it is for us a question...

      • CHAPTER 68 THE AVOIDANCE OF GOD
        (pp. 463-471)

        1. WE have already¹ observed how isolated objects, actionsetc., that are “excepted” from the entire world of experience, become declared tabu; and this “excepting” then becomes a “selection” manifested in times and spaces, in persons, objects and wordsetc. In their totality, again, these “selected” factors constitute the realm of thesacred, as this detaches itself from the unselected and secular world, while the contrast between sacred and secular showed itself increasingly to be fundamental. With this, too, from the inner aspect or from the side of experience, awe is correlated (to use Marett’s fine term) which has been...

      • CHAPTER 69 SERVITUDE TO GOD
        (pp. 472-473)

        1. THE opposite Pole to titanic insubordination, and different also from habit as discussed in the previous Chapter, is servitude to God, wholly resigned and unreserved submission to the rule of Power. Man, realizing his own dependence on Power and compelled to assign to this dependence a form in his religious consciousness, has here chosen the form of a servant to express his unrestricted recognition of this subjection. The bodily posture associated with this recognition is, prostrating oneself: before Power man humbles himself. God isLord, not only of the earth like the Semiticbaalim, but also of those who...

      • CHAPTER 70 THE COVENANT WITH GOD
        (pp. 474-476)

        1. JUST as it is possible for men to enter into a covenant, and in association with one another to discover the sacred common element,¹ so too they can conclude a covenant with Power, with Deity. Certain rules are, as it were, laid down according to which the game between God and man is to be played;² man and Power both alike pledge themselves to some definite course of conduct. “Peace” must prevail between them; and in ancient Rome the entire life of the community was based upon a pact,pax deorum. This “peace” was a legally concluded covenant maintained...

      • CHAPTER 71 FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
        (pp. 477-478)

        I. THOSE associated in any covenant are friends;¹ and thus the god who is accepted in the compact, or even concludes this, is a friend too. This friendship with the god, further, may awaken the sense of some likeness between god and man, and so we can well understand that in the sphere of religion man has been very chary of employing the title of friend. Peterson has discussed the genesis of the idea of friendship with the god in the Greek-Semitic world,² and has found it predomi nantly in Hellenistic circles or in those influenced by Hellenism. Previously employed...

      • CHAPTER 72 KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
        (pp. 479-482)

        1. POWER always requires knowledge; this has already been evident in our discussion of the close relationship between the ideas of Power and of capacity.¹ Whoever desires to exercise power must know something about both the sources of his potency and the object to be controlled; and although knowledge is not identical with ability, yet nevertheless capacity is always intimately linked with knowledge. Acquaintance with those formulas that induce power, therefore, becomes highly esteemed, and the knowledge of any tradition, preserved by elders or priests, determines the powerfulness of the community. At all times then, even under most primitive conditions,...

      • CHAPTER 73 THE FOLLOWING OF GOD
        (pp. 483-486)

        1. IF Power possesses a form, and if it moves in some direction comprehensible by man, then he canfollowit. This following, however, is not the non-obligatory and arbitrary attitude such as is often referred to (for example) in Protestant circles, when “merely following Jesus” is censured, as this is advocated by the modernist group. “To follow” always implies the union of the follower’s life with that of him he follows: if I follow after someone I resolve to share his life, to make his fortunes, his victory and defeat, his gain and loss my own: to join my...

      • CHAPTER 74 BEING FILLED WITH GOD
        (pp. 487-492)

        1. IN discussing Shamanism,¹ rapture was found to be one method of enhancing life’s powerfulness. Somewhat crudely, it is true, this may be described as a radical evacuant, undertaken, however, with the intention of a no less thorough replenishing. In order to participate in higher and more potent life man attempts to suppress consciousness completely, whether by drugs of various kinds, by exercise and asceti cism, or finally under the urge of his own psychical constitution or, again, some mental derangement.

        Whether or not this inspiration is ascribed to demonic possession it is in any case an affair of decreasing...

      • CHAPTER 75 MYSTICISM
        (pp. 493-508)

        1. IN mysticism man, desiring to becoming dominant and to exercise power, breaks down the barriers alike of the self and of the external world. He ceases to experience anything whatever as objective, and likewise to be influenced or determined by anything as an object; both object and subject blend in formless and contentless fusion. Ecstasy, as we have just seen, induced the emptying of the self and the possibility of its being filled with some “Other”. In mysticism, also, an evacuating has its place, but equally of object as of subject. Ecstasy, therefore, is certainly inherent in every mystical...

      • CHAPTER 76 THE LOVE OF GOD
        (pp. 509-514)

        1. IN our discussion of fear we have already seen that religious experience is ambivalent: the relationship to Power is always simultaneously a being attractedanda being repelled whenever it attains any marked intensity: bothtremorand fascination. Love in the religious sense, therefore, is by no means a purely harmonious attitude in life, since it never exists wholly free from its apparent opponent, fear, just as fear, on its part, is never present quite apart from love. Even hatred is closely connected with love: “everyone who hates is an unhappy lover without knowing it”.¹ In this sense, then,...

      • CHAPTER 77 CHILDREN OF GOD
        (pp. 515-516)

        1. THE Orphic, appearing in the underworld before the gods, refers to his origin:

        Say: “I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven:

        But my race is of Heaven. his ye know yourselves.”

        Again:

        For I also avow me that I am of your blessed race, ye gods.¹

        The Homeric hero, too, boasts, of his divine descent, and among numberless primitive peoples the link with Power is at the same time the relationship with divine, or at least extremely potent, ancestors. In all these examples, then, man advances this claim to common origin and common potency with the...

      • CHAPTER 78 ENMITY TO GOD
        (pp. 517-528)

        1. THE subject of this Chapter is enmity to God. We are no longer, therefore, discussing the infraction of Power which sets free a reaction, nor the observance of tabus. Nor again are we now concerned with celebration and conduct; or in other words, there is no reference whatever to custom.¹ But when we realize that, in the second half of. this Section,inwardaction comes to the fore, this in no sense means that not custom, but an autonomous morality, is to be dealt with. Certainly morality too will appear in its diversity from religion, but only in a...

      • CHAPTER 79 CONVERSION. REBIRTH
        (pp. 529-534)

        1. IN the previous discussion of human life¹ it was observed how its distinctive periods, indicated by rites, displayed on each of these occasions as it were a new life. Every transition, then, is arebirth: therite de passagedesignates a new beginning. Thus we found, for example, that in primitive initiation ceremonies the neophytes were greeted as just born and their adult life regarded as wholly new; in Greece, also, those adopted by the deity in the mysteries were looked upon asdeuteropotmoi, “those to whom a second destiny was given”.² As we then saw, too, life can...

      • CHAPTER 80 FAITH
        (pp. 535-537)

        1. FAITH is in the first place a conjecture. In saying: “I believe”, we mean that we do not really know, but that we suppose something or other about the matter in question. Whoever believes in God, then, turns away from knowledge about Him; but he is conscious that he has an awareness (Ahnung) of God. The believer, however, has something more than a mere awareness. If someone tells me what at first sight appears incredible, I may eventually reply: “I believe you”; this by no means implies, however, that now I know about the fact told to me, but...

      • CHAPTER 81 ADORATION
        (pp. 538-540)

        1. FAITH itself and as such, therefore, does not “appear”, nor become visible. But there is one phenomenon which, although it is certainly not the “appearance” of faith but its consequence, does reveal its presence. This isAdoration. Whoever believes, adores. He does not merely pray, since prayer originates from care.¹ Need teaches prayer but not adoration, as Scheler finely asserted.² Whoever adores has therefore forgotten his prayer and now knows only God’s glory.

        God reveals His presence:

        Let us now adore Him,

        And with awe appear before Him.

        God is in His temple:

        All within keep silence,

        Prostrate lie...

  11. PART FOUR: THE WORLD
    • CHAPTER 82 WAYS TO THE WORLD. CREATIVE DOMINATION
      (pp. 543-555)

      1. IN Chapter 8 I showed that for primitive man the modern concept of “world” does not really exist, and that far from regarding his environment as an object, he immediately constitutes it his own “conjoint world”; and in this principle the essential feature of the religiousWeltanschauunghas already been expressed. I may now repeat this, however, in the sense that a “religiousWeltanschauung” is never merely a “point of view”, but is always a participation, a sharing. For out of his own particular environment everyone constructs a world for himself which he believes himself able to dominate; there...

    • CHAPTER 83 WAYS TO THE WORLD. THEORETICAL DOMINATION
      (pp. 556-559)

      1. SIDE by side with the domination of the world by means of magic and of the creation of form appears that achieved bythought. “Thought is one of the powers of Being, in which fate breaks loose from itself; it is an existential power.”¹ But by the term “thought” alone the type of world domination referred to here is quite inadequately characterized. For the magical and the mythical form-creating attitudes also presuppose thinking.² We must therefore add that in specificallytheoretical thoughtman frees himself so far as is at all possible from the environing world, and moves as...

    • CHAPTER 84 WAYS TO THE WORLD. OBEDIENCE
      (pp. 560-564)

      1. EITHER by mythical-magical methods therefore, or theoretically, man transforms the world intohisworld, and himself into its sovereign: this is the profound religious basis of all culture.¹ But faith² is essentially hostile to every form of domination of the world without exception, since it regards this as rivalry with God, aspseudo-creation whether magical, mythical or rational, and opposes itself also to culture, even to that which is recognized as essentially religious, seeking its own way to the world.³ It questions, in principle, all human control: even its own pronouncements, so far as these necessarily participate in culture,...

    • CHAPTER 85 GOALS OF THE WORLD. REVELATION. MAN AS THE GOAL
      (pp. 565-572)

      1. BEFORE revelation Phenomenology comes to a halt. It may seem strange that what is “revealed” can never “appear”; and yet this is not so remarkable as we might anticipate. For the “appearance” of any phenomenon as such, that is in the sense of the familiar contrast between Appearance and Reality, must undoubtedly be essentially different from that Self-disclosure of God with which revelation is concerned. In part, experience is an affair of phenomena;¹ and this holds true equally of the experience of revelation. Yet this itself, and in principle, remains wholly withdrawn from our view: it is no making...

    • CHAPTER 86 GOALS OF THE WORLD. REVELATION. THE WORLD AS THE GOAL
      (pp. 573-577)

      1. WE have previously observed how sacred life pursues a cycle and renews itself periodically.¹ The world too can revolve in one and the same orbit: it then includes its goal within itself and reveals to man its own powerfulness.

      The fairy story, for example, reckons with periods of a century: the wight who has been all but released says sorrowfully to the fairy tale hero, who has just missed saving him: “now I must wander about for another hundred years”; and a century later the event is repeated. Between these critical points, however, fairy tale time is quite empty:...

    • CHAPTER 87 GOALS OF THE WORLD. REVELATION. GOD AS THE GOAL
      (pp. 578-588)

      This so-called “Wessobrunn Prayer”, an Old German poem from a MS. of the ninth century, speaks in Christian language of the time when there was “nought of limit and boundary”, when the “Universe” did not yet exist and God alone was there with His holy spirits. Here therefore abeginningis assigned to the world in contrast to God; at one time the world was not: not so with God. Consequently man rises here to aneschaton, to an uttermost boundary of the Universe in its entirety: he disregards both his own existence and that of the world, seeking his...

  12. PART FIVE: FORMS
    • A. Religions
      • CHAPTER 88 RELIGIONS
        (pp. 591-596)

        1. “RELIGION actually exists only in religions”, as Heinrich Frick veryjustly asserts with reference to Schleiermacher’s fifthDiscourse upon Religion.¹ This means that religion does not, as such, appear to us; what we can observe, therefore, is always onlyoneconcrete religion: in other terms, only its prevailing historicalformappears to us.² From this it follows that “primeval religion” is here disregarded.³ The primeval ground of religion, that is in the ontological or metaphysical sense, is in principle concealed. But the historic primeval ground of religion is merely a myth; it is obviously not prehistoric religion, about which, as...

      • CHAPTER 89 RELIGIONS OF REMOTENESS AND OF FLIGHT
        (pp. 597-601)

        1. HISTORICAL form, then, is presented first of all by thereligion of remoteness, the essential nature of which has already been dealt with in Chapter 18, where it has also been pointed out that it received its historic form first of all in China and predominantly, in fact, in Confucianism. This form however, as indeed must be the case in any religion of remoteness, is extremely indefinite. It is not at all remarkable, therefore, that the advocates of so-called natural religion have sought their historical justification principally in that country.¹

        In China the mystical connection between objects, which is...

      • CHAPTER 90 THE RELIGION OF STRUGGLE
        (pp. 602-604)

        1. PREVIOUSLY, in Chapters 19 and 21, we dealt in detail with the plurality and the unity of Powers; and unity implies either the victory of absolute Power (Monism), or that of Form (Theism). Powers, however, may be reduced in number to two which struggle with one another:—Dualism. Religion then becomes the contest between these Powers, and man's own participation therein.

        Dualism subsists in many places, and we have already observed how, in the ancient Egyptian cult, persons assumed the part of the god against his enemies.¹ The Egyptians, indeed, possessed a perfect passion for dualism and divided everything...

      • CHAPTER 91 THE RELIGION OF REPOSE
        (pp. 605-606)

        1. THE religion of repose has already been repeatedly discussed. It has, however, no historic form; nonetheless it must be referred to here because, like atheism and the religion of unrest, which will shortly be dealt with, it is an important element in all historical religions. It is, indeed, no other than mysticism.¹

        Whoever has experienced thefascinansof Power too intensely to withdraw from it or flee before it, but on the other hand shrinks from conflict, or at least cannot regard struggle as the characteristic element in his life, longs for calm, for repose, that shall rule both...

      • CHAPTER 92 THE RELIGION OF UNREST
        (pp. 607-608)

        1. HERE also the religion of unrest, theism, must be assigned its specific position because it too is one element of every historic religion, although it never receives a proper form of its own. It is, then, neither conflict nor calm: it is ruled neither by the ethos of strife nor by the longing for peace. It is in fact the religion of a God Who rests not, Who “shall neither slumber nor sleep”,¹ nor ever leave His people in repose. This, however, excludes neither conflict nor calm; for struggle is one form of unrest, while repose is its Pole...

      • CHAPTER 93 THE DYNAMIC OF RELIGIONS. SYNCRETISM. MISSION
        (pp. 609-612)

        1. IN Chapter 19 we discerned syncretism to be the process leading from polydemonism to polytheism. But we must now apprehend its essential nature somewhat more thoroughly:—in fact, as one form of thedynamic of religions. In other terms, if we wish to discover the essence of the so-called “great religions”, which must now be discussed, it is imperative for us not merely to contemplate their static character, but also to consider their dynamic. A historic religion, then, is a form, an organized system. Nonetheless its characteristics are not fixed and rigid; rather they are in perpetual flux: not...

      • CHAPTER 94 THE DYNAMIC OF RELIGIONS. REVIVALS. REFORMATIONS
        (pp. 613-617)

        1. EVERY religion is perpetuallyreformanda—to be reformed—although it is always already reformed—reformata—also. The dynamic of life compels religion continually to change its form; while it is living it is being reformed; and it is impossible to connect the occurrence of reformations merely with certain definite conflicts, even in the case of the most important, such as (for example) those involved in the different concepts of sin.¹ Reformation, in fact, can be associated with any given condition, any controversy whatever. That of Luther undoubtedly found its life and its justification in a profounder consciousness of sin;...

      • CHAPTER 95 THE RELIGION OF STRAIN AND OF FORM
        (pp. 618-625)

        1. IN approaching the “great” forms among religions, and prepared by the consideration of their dynamic, we become increasingly aware that they can scarcely be characterized by any single term. In order to outline any adequately detailed description of these religions, therefore, nothing less than a vast number of intersecting lines would be adequate for the clear delineation of their contours. But even now, when we are concerned only with typology, we can satisfy ourselves with no single characteristic, as Hegel did. For it is undeniable that in dealing with such complicated historical structures as are the great religions, we...

      • CHAPTER 96 THE RELIGION OF INFINITY AND OF ASCETICISM
        (pp. 626-630)

        1. THE religions of India signify the victory of longing over form. And had the Greeks not been Greeks, they too would probably have carried the desire “to escape from the cycle” onward to the unconsciousness of aNirvana, and intensified care for salvation to the point of asceticism. In the light of actual historical development, however, we find that with all their contempt for the world the Greeks never recognized formlessness as the norm, while in the classical Greek world the idea of asceticism and virginity was indulged only once—by Euripides:¹ a proof both of the greatness of...

      • CHAPTER 97 THE RELIGION OF NOTHINGNESS AND OF COMPASSION
        (pp. 631-635)

        1. IN Buddhism the way of the infinite leads tonothingness. For the older Buddhism, most faithfully preserved in the “little vehicle” (of salvation),Hinayana, is hostile to all sensuous representation: Buddhist art lived inMahayana¹; nor is this to be wondered at, since in the former every presentation of the divine is proscribed: Form disappears, and Will must be annihilated. Buddhism, then, is in the first instance the insight that this vanishing and annihilation are real; it is therefore the religion of the negative.

        In this connection Frick offers an illuminating comparison between the “sacred nights” of the three...

      • CHAPTER 98 THE RELIGION OF WILL AND OF OBEDIENCE
        (pp. 636-640)

        1. HISTORY offers in religion, as elsewhere, only a restricted number of possibilities: the religion of Form, or of formlessness: that of Will, or of nothingness: the religion of asceticism, or of strain: of compassion or of obedience—with these the entire wealth of history appears to be practically exhausted. Just as, in the course of history, mankind turns again and again to some few symbols, so there are also but few traits wherewith the essence of Power can be depicted, and only a few attitudes that can be adopted towards it.

        In the first place, then, the religion of...

      • CHAPTER 99 THE RELIGION OF MAJESTY AND OF HUMILITY
        (pp. 641-644)

        1. “IN the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, say: He is God alone: God the Eternal! He begetteth not, and He is not begotten; and there is none like unto Him.”¹ Here speaks the religion of majesty and of humility. Developed under powerful Jewish and Christian influences, and closely related to these two religions not merely in origin but also in its essence, Islam confronts us with the task of understanding how, nevertheless, it could become not only a “great” religion, but could acquire in this greatness a genuinely specific character. For Islam is not merely a spiritual...

      • CHAPTER 100 THE RELIGION OF LOVE
        (pp. 645-649)

        1. IT has for long been the fashion in treating historical problems, especially in the sphere of religion, to set one’s own religion as scrupulously as possible in the background and to create the impression that, with reference to religions, one was wholly free from prejudice. This attitude, however, was associated with the grave error of supposing that, in the spiritual realm, one may adopt any desired position or abandon it at will, as if it were possible to choose anyWeltanschauungwhatever, or to abstain provisionally from all partisanship. But gradually it is being perceived that manexistsin...

    • B. Founders
      • CHAPTER 101 THE FOUNDER
        (pp. 650-654)

        1. IN Chapters 25ff. the representation of Power by and in man was dealt with:—how men can become “sacred” by participating in Power and make their appearance sustaining some kind of holiness, their effectiveness being then described as that pertaining to status or “office”.

        Now we encounter these “sacred men” once again, but in a completely different connection: it is no longer a matter of the sacred man as a phenomenon, but of the historic bestowing of form upon religion within the respective religions, and of the question as to what part in this historical creation of form...

      • CHAPTER 102 THE REFORMER
        (pp. 655-657)

        1. IF every religion, in accord with its essential nature, is both reformed and to be reformed,¹ then every foundation must, to a certain extent, be at the same time a reformation; and this actually is the case. No “man of God” ever erects his experience on quite new ground, but all build afresh on the ruins of previous settlements. A reformer is thus a kind of rounder, and we employ the narrower designation whenever the historic emphasis falls on the transformation of what has already been given. Thus Mohammed was a reformer, as were Buddha, Zarathustra and Jesus; but...

      • CHAPTER 103 THE TEACHER
        (pp. 658-659)

        1. THE teacher has previously been discussed in Chapter 28. His historical form also is that of a founder, its peculiarity consisting in the fact that his “foundation” becomes detached, as doctrine, from the experience lying at its base. He may be priest, apostle, missionary: in any case his own experience forces him to proclamation; and this then assumes the form of an interconnected whole. The doctrine itself, again, is independent of the teacher; it goes its own way even long after he has departed and his personal activities have been forgotten. A teacher such as Buddha was, indeed, himself...

      • CHAPTER 104 THE PHILOSOPHER AND THE THEOLOGIAN
        (pp. 660-663)

        1. IT appears quite undeniable to my own mind that the great systematists, who have influenced the religious thought of humanity, must be included among “founders”. In the history of the spirit, it is true, Kierkegaard’s simile of the man who builds a vast palace, and then sits down outside it, is repeatedly justified; the palace being the “system”, the man the systematizer. And when we observe how the spirit’s citadel again and again becomes its coffin, we can well understand Jaspers’ preference for the great anti-systematizers Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. But this should not prevent us appreciating the originating influence...

      • CHAPTER 105 THE EXAMPLE
        (pp. 664-665)

        1. IN our previous discussions of following after God¹ the example of the divine man came within our field of vision; and I shall now consider the way in which a foundation appears historically as an example. The personality of every founder, of course, is to a certain extent an example to his own followers. His experience in itself is the standard; but this very characteristic may become the preponderating factor in the foundation. Thus Islamitesufisdistinguish the “saint” from the “prophet”. The prophet warns, proclaiming the law in decisive terms: he is the “messenger”,rasul;² and the only...

      • CHAPTER 106 THE MEDIATOR
        (pp. 666-668)

        1. SINCE all “holy men” are mediators, their “representation” ensuring the relationship between Power and man, founders also are mediators. But in the truest sense he is a mediator whose whole being is mediation, and who surrenders his own life as the “means” for Power. In such cases foundation is not only an experience leading to some kind of instruction, doctrine or exemplary activity; it is identical with the founder himself: foundation and founder are one. This is most clearly perceived when we compare, for example, the salvation by the Buddha Amitabha with that by Christ. For the entrance into...

  13. EPILEGOMENA
    • CHAPTER 107 PHENOMENON AND PHENOMENOLOGY
      (pp. 671-678)

      1. PHENOMENOLOGY seeks thephenomenon, as such; the phenomenon, again, iswhatappears”. This principle has a threefold implication: (1) Something exists. (2) This something “appears”, (3) Precisely because it “appears” it is a “phenomenon”. But “appearance” refers equally to what appears and to the person to whom it appears; the phenomenon, therefore, is neither pure object, northeobject, that is’to say, the actual reality, whose essential being is merely concealed by the “appearing” of the appearances; with this a specific metaphysics deals. The term “phenomenon”, still further, does not imply something purely subjective, not a “life” of the...

    • CHAPTER 108 RELIGION
      (pp. 679-682)

      1. WE can try to understand religion from a flat plain, from ourselves as the centre; and we can also understand how the essence of religion is to be grasped only from above, beginning with God. In other words: we can—in the manner already indicated—observe religion as intelligible experience; or we can concede to it the status of incomprehensible revelation. For in its “reconstruction”, experience is a phenomenon. Revelation is not; but man’s reply to revelation, his assertion about what has been revealed, is also a phenomenon from which, indirectly, conclusions concerning the revelation itself can be derived...

    • CHAPTER 109 THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF RELIGION
      (pp. 683-689)

      1. PHENOMENOLOGY is the systematic discussion of what appears. Religion, however, is an ultimate experience that evades ourobservation, a revelation which in its very essence is, and remains, concealed. But how shall I deal with what is thus ever elusive and hidden? How can I pursue phenomenology when there is no phenomenon? How can I refer to “phenomenology of religion” at all?

      Here there clearly exists an antinomy that is certainly essential to all religions, but also to all understanding; it is indeed precisely because it holds good forboth, for religion and understanding alike, that our own science becomes...

    • CHAPTER 110 THE HISTORY OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH
      (pp. 690-696)

      1. THE history of the phenomenology of religion is brief. The history of religion is a young field of research, and its phenomenology is still in its mere childhood, having been systematically pursued only from the date of Chantepie’s researches. But in the first place, no satisfactory history can ever be produced unless phenomenology is appealed to, whatever it may be called: secondly, at the most varied stages in the course of the history of religion there have arisen methodological approaches to a phenomenological mode of consideration; and these two circumstances enable us to trace the development of phenomenology to...

  14. APPENDIX
    (pp. 697-714)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 715-727)