The Making Of Religion Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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Such as revivals, institutions, churches, rituals, bibles, code of behavior, are the trappings of religion. Mere ritual and emotion cannot maintain themselves untouched by intellectuality. Also the unreal idea of maintaining the ritual for the sake of emotion is far too unreal to enter into their conscious thoughts. (Pg 12) A myth satisfies the demands of growing rationality. The myth explains the purpose of the ritual and of the emotion. This belief is the vivid effects charged with emotional excitements but absent of rationalism. What lies beyond the routine of life is in general void of definition, and when it is vivid, it is disconnected. Therefore the myth not only explains but also reinforces the hidden purpose of the ritual, which is emotion. A myth will involve special

attention to some persons or to some things, real or imaginary. Accordingly, the belief in the myth will involve the belief that something has to be gotten out of him or it, or that something is to be averted to the evil to be feared from him or it. Then prayer, praise, and ritual interest of the hero deity emerge. If the hero is a person, we call the ritual religion. If the hero is a thing we call it magic. The important difference between magic and religion is that the magic is unprogressive and religion sometimes is progressive. (Pg 13-16) Ritual encourages emotion beyond the simple response to practical necessities, so religion in this stage begets thoughts divorced the pressure of circumstance. Imagination is used for development. This is the stage of uncoordinated beliefs.

Since there is a minimum of coordination, there is room for all. But religion is still a social phenomenon. In the higher stages of religion there are many gods within a tribe, with the loosest coordination of cults and myths. Though religion can be a source of progress, especially when it s dominant feature are of uncriticized belief. This is the stage of satisfactory ritual and of satisfied beliefs. If it works, then it should be awarded the prize for truth. (Pg 16-20) The age of martyrs dawns with the coming of rationalism. The Bible is by far the most complete account of the coming of rationalism into religion, based on the earliest documents available. In the documents written by man something was added and something was lost; but fortunately the Gospels survive. Rational

religion is beliefs and rituals that have been reorganized with the aim of making it the central element in a coherent ordering of life an ordering which is coherent both in respect to the explanation of thought, and in the direction of conduct towards a unified purpose commanding ethical approval. The curious position of religion is that it stands between abstract metaphysics and the particular principles applying to the experience of life. Religion bases itself primarily upon a small selection from the common experiences of the race. Religious interests are directed to oneself whose truths are of limited validity. Religious concepts are derived from special experiences, to be applied by faith to all experience. (Pg 21-25) Rational religion emerged as a gradual transformation of

the pre-existing religious forms. The old forms could no longer contain the new ideas, and the modern religions of civilization are traceable to definite crisis in this process of development. But the development was not then ended; it had only acquired more suitable forms of self-expression. The emergence of rational religion progressed in the races in which it arose. It had to wait for the development in human consciousness of the relevant ideas and ethical intuition. A social system in which the result was first obtained. Society and language grew together. (Pg 26-28) A rational generality was introduced into the religious ideas. The myth was reorganized with the account of verifiable historical circumstances, which exemplified the general ideas with adequate perfection.

Therefore rational criticism was admitted in principle. The principles of individual criticism of tribal customs were based upon direct ethical intuition. In this way the religions moved toward more individualistic forms. The individual became the religious unit in the place of the community. The tribal dance lost its importance compared to the individual prayer. And the individual prayer merged into justification through individual insight. During this epoch of struggles as in most religious struggles the judgements passed by the innovators on to the less-developed religious forms were very severe. (Pg 29-31) History until the present day, is a unhappy record of the horrors which can attend religion: human sacrifice, cannibalism, sensual orgies, hatred as between races, bigotry,