Academia

The Beginnings Of Religion

A couple of interesting thoughts about human spirituality and the beginnings of religion, from The Beginnings Of Religion by E.O. James.

“Starting with Hegel’s wholly a priori contention that an ‘age’ of pure magic preceded an ‘age’ of religion, Fraser surmised that when the acuter minds detected the fatal flaw in the attempt of the magician to bend nature to his will by the sheer force of spells and enchantments, recourse was made to the propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man believed to direct and control directly natural processes and human affairs. Thus, the priest became the lineal descendant of the medicine-man as the persuasive methods of sacrifice and prayer replaced the dictational incantations of the magic art.”

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“In primitive states of culture… The whole universe belongs to one great system of interrelated and inherent life other than and beyond the sensuous, and this is the unconscious expression of the religious emotion itself.”

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