Example in this ebook I. Sociality the basis of religionaIts definition. I. We shall meet, in the course of this work, many different definitions that have at one time or another been given to religion. Some were assigned from the point of view of physics, others from that of metaphysics, others from that of morals, almost none from that of sociology. And yet, upon closer scrutiny, the notion of a social bond between man and the powers superior to him, but resembling him, is precisely the point in which all religious conceptions are at one. Man becomes truly religious, in our judgment, only when above the human society in which he lives he superimposes in his scheme of the world another society, more powerful and more cultured, a universal and, so to speak, a cosmic society. The sphere of sociality, which is one of the characteristics of humanity, must be enlarged till it reaches to the stars. Sociality is the firm foundation of the religious sentiment, and a religious being might be defined as a being disposed to be sociable, not only with all living creatures with whom experience makes him acquainted, but also with the creatures of thought with whom he peoples the world. That religion consists essentially in the establishment of a bondaat first mythical, and subsequently mystic, in the first instance between man and the forces of the universe, then between man and the universe itself, and ultimately between man and the elements of the universeais distinctly the outcome of every study of religion; but what we wish especially here to consider is the precise way in which this bond has been conceived. Well (it may appear more clearly at the close of this inquiry), the religious bond has been conceived ex analogia societatis humanAb: the relations, amicable and inimical, of men to each other were employed first for the explanation of physical phenomena and natural forces, then for the metaphysical explanation of the world, of its creation, conservation, and government; in short, sociological laws were universalized, and the state of war or peace which existed among men, families, tribes, and nations was conceived as existing also among the volitions which were fancied to exist beneath or beyond the forces of nature. A mythic or mystic sociology, conceived as containing the secret of all things, lies at the basis of all religions. Religion is not simply the expression of an anthropomorphismaanimals and fantastic beings of various sorts have played no inconsiderable rAale in different cults; it is an imaginative extension, a universalization of all the good or evil relations which exist among conscious beings, of war and peace, friendship and enmity, obedience and rebellion, protection and authority, submission, fear, respect, devotion, love: religion is a universal sociomorphism. Social relations with animals, with the dead, intellectual and social relations with good and evil genii, with the forces of nature, are nothing more nor less than various forms of this universal sociology in which religion has sought to find the reason of thingsaof physical phenomena such as thunder, storm, sickness, death, as well as of metaphysical relationsathe origin and destiny of things, and of moral relationsavirtue, vice, law, and sanction. To be continue in this ebookExample in this ebook I. Sociality the basis of religionaIts definition. I. We shall meet, in the course of this work, many different definitions that have at one time or another been given to religion.
|Title||:||The Non-religion of the Future: A Sociological Study|
|Publisher||:||HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY - 2015-01-09|