The topic is based on chapter 7 in the book Nine theories of Religion by Daniel L Pals This is what my instructor says: Students are to write a 6-8 page summary paper on one of the chapters in Nine Theories of Religion by Daniel L. Pals. A brief introduction of the religious scholar from the chapter should begin the paper. The student will then share the most important aspects of the scholar’s work. The most successful paper will engage the arguments in the chapter with response statements from the student. In other words, say where you agree and where you disagree with the author and recount why you either agree or disagree. The style of paper is APA format times new romans 12 font, numbered pages top right hand corner. Please reference the book and chapter 7 in the paper. I have attached the book here and only chapter seven is to be used for the paper
NINE THEORIES OF RELIGION
Qt THIRD EDITION
Daniel L. Pals University of Miami
New York Oxford OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Library of Congress Cataloging—in—Publication Data Pals, Daniel L.
[Eight theories of religion] Nine theories of religion / Daniel L. Pals, University of Miami.—Third Edition.
pages cm Rev. ed. of: Eight theories of religion. 2006. Includes index. ISBN 978-0—19-985909-2 l. Religion—Study and teaching—History. I. Title. BL41.P36 2014 200.7—dc23
Printing number:9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper
To the memory of my father, Herbert H. Pals (1916—2004).
Filiis caritatem maiorem posset nullus pater habere.
Animism and Magic 15 E. B. TYLOR AND J. G. FRAZER
Religion and Personality 49 SIGMUND FREUD
Society as Sacred 8] EMILE DURKHEIM
Religion as Alienation 113 KARL MARX
A Source of Social Action 143 MAX WEBER
The Verdict of Religious Experience 185 WILLIAM JAMES
The Reality of the Sacred 227 MIRCEA ELIADE
Society's "Construct of the Heart" 263 E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD
Religion as Cultural System 293 CLIFFORD GEERTZ
It is gratifying, certainly, to find that interest in this book—sustained by the choices of fellow scholars and teachers, as well as the (good, one would hope) reading experiences of their students—has persisted over an interval of almost two decades. The self-referential side of me wants to compliment them on their good taste in authors, but the truth clearly points elsewhere—to the wisdom in their choice of subjects. For in my View, and I presume theirs as well, there is no better way to be tutored into a field of inquiry than to engage its most impressive analyses and arguments as offered by its classic figures: the theorists whose ideas and interpretations have set the original terms of debate, defined the primary borders of the subject, and offered the paradigms that all who follow them must in one way or another engage, endorse, amend, or challenge. Seven Theories of Religion took shape initially as a venture of that kind; it sought to introduce the classic theorists of religion and their inter- pretations in accessible summary form and nonspecialized language, accom- panied by some measure of analysis and critique. When the book went to a second edition, initiated by Oxford’s Senior Editor Robert Miller, it was agreed that the great German sociologist Max Weber ought to be brought into the mix, so a chapter on Weber was added. The incorporation of that addition, along with a concluding chapter looking forward to more contemporary developments, led to the publication of the second edition, as Eight Theories ofReligion, in 2006.
Eight years have passed since then, and in the last several of those years Robert Miller orchestrated a new set of outside reviews to see whether another edition should appear, and if so, what changes should be made. As always, opinions differed, but the reviewers’ thoughtful commentaries led me to conclude—and Robert to concur—that among the classic early theo— rists of religion, the voice of the American William James ought also to be heard. Recognized in his day as the patriarch of both scientific psychology and philosophical pragmatism in American universities, James established
himself at the turn of the twentieth century as one of the nation’s foremost intellectuals. In both psychology and philosophy he broke new ground, while at the same time the paths of his inquiries turned him inevitably toward what was his one lifelong interest: the claims and values of religion. In consequence, James’s enviable legacy as a psychologist and philosopher has come to be rivaled—some would even say, surpassed—by his achievement in the study and theory of religion, where his pragmatic perspective culminated in the book that well deserves its reputation as a theoretical and empirical Classic: The Varieties ofReligious Experience, a capstone effort work that emerged from the celebrated Gifford Lectures he delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1901—02.
NEW TO THIS EDITION
The addition of a Chapter on William James is the one major change in this third edition of the book, which now becomes Nine Theories of Religion. As will become clear, the views James developed as a psychologist of religion offer a counterpoint to those of Sigmund Freud; further, they envision psy- chology as ranging well beyond the province of psychoanalysis. Consequently, consideration of James serves also to bring some balance into the book’s por- trayal of the psychology of religion, which was somewhat skewed in the text of the previous editions, where Freud stands alone as representative of the discipline. In meeting James we meet the psychology of religion pursued along lines very different from Freud’s. But in another sense we also meet a welcome similarity. For in James, as in Freud, we encounter another of those agile, ambitious, and inventive minds that made the decades before and after the turn of the twentieth century so intellectually vibrant and fiercely contentious. That in itself should make the new pages given to him worthy of attention.
Beyond the new chapter, there are only minor changes and additions. Small edits, elisions, or amplifications have been made throughout the book to (1) include relevant comparisons and references to James in the existing chap- ters, most often in the sections centered on analysis and critique; (2) achieve greater economy of expression, and thereby slightly reduce chapter length throughout; and (3) secure greater precision and clarity of exposition where needed. Because certain useful studies and several major new biographies— notably of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber—have appeared since Eight Theories was published, I have also made some updates to the “Suggestions for Further Reading” noted at the end of each chapter.
Thanks need again to be extended to Oxford University Press, and especially Robert Miller, for the editorial patience shown, especially as administrative duties at the University of Miami kept putting me off the hours I could have been spending with James, and thus delaying the new chapter “yet another year” until now. I want also personally to thank Oxford Associate Editor Kristin Maffei and Editorial Assistant Kaitlin Coats for their diligence and hard work—invariably underappreciated—in bringing this new edition into final form. The same must be said to Ms. Bev Kraus and her colleague Ms. Wendy Walker, whose careful attention to detail, and keen eye for my slips and errors, did so much to make light the tedious labors of copyediting associated with this new edition. In Miami my longtime colleague—and authority on religious conversion—David Kling has again provided both a close critical reading and his characteristically wise conceptual assessment, of the new chapter. Of course no one has been more patient, or, when impa- tience was needed, put me more regularly and rightly in my place, than the two lodestars of my life: my wife Phyllis and daughter Katharine. For them, as before and ever, no measure of thanks is measure enough.
On a February day in the winter of 1870, a personable middle-aged German scholar rose to the stage of London’s prestigious Royal Institution to deliver a public lecture. At the time, German professors were famous for their deep learn- ing, and this one was no exception, though as it happened he had also become very English. His name was Friedrich Max Mijller. He had first come to Britain as a young man destined for Oxford, where his plan was to study the ancient texts of India’s Vedas, its books of sacred knowledge. He soon settled in, took a proper English wife, and managed to acquire a position at the University. Miiller was admired for his knowledge of Sanskrit, the language of early India, but he also acquired a mastery of English, which he employed with admirable skill in popular Writings on language and mythology that appealed widely to Victorian readers. On this occasion, however, he proposed a different subject: he wished to promote “the science of religion.”
Those words in that sequence doubtless struck some in Muller’s audience as puzzling in the extreme. After all, he was speaking at the end of a decade marked by furious debate over Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and its startling theory of evolution by natural selection. Thoughtful Victorians had heard so much of science pitted against religion that a science of religion could only fall on the ears as a quite curious combination. How could the age-old certainties of faith ever mix with a program of study devoted to experiment, revision, and change? How could these two apparently mortal enemies meet without one destroying the other? These were understandable concerns, but Miiller was of a different mind: he was quite certain that the two enterprises could meet and that a truly scientific study of religion had much to offer to both sides in that controversy. His lecture, the first in a series later published as an Introduction to the Science of Religion (1873), was designed to prove just that point. He reminded his listeners that the words of the poet Goethe on language could also be applied to religion: “He who knows one, knows none.”l If that is so, then perhaps it was time indeed for a new and objective look at this very old subject. Instead of following the theologians, who wanted only to prove their own religion true and others false, the time had come to take a less partisan approach, seeking out those elements, patterns, and principles that could be
2 Nine Theories of Religion
found uniformly in the religions of all times and places. Much could be gained by proceeding as a good scientist, by gathering various facts—customs, rituals, and beliefs—of religions throughout the world and then offering theories that compare and account for them, just as a biologist or chemist might explain the workings of nature.
Certainly not everyone, even among scholars, agreed that something of value could be gained from the study of many religions. Back in Germany, Adolf von Harnack, the foremost Church historian of the age, insisted that Christianity alone is what matters; other faiths do not. “Whoever does not know this religion knows none,” he wrote in pointed rejection of Muller’s view, “and whoever knows it and its history, knows all.”2 He added, with more than a trace of disdain, that it was pointless to go to the Indians or the Chinese, still less the Africans or Papuans: Christian civilization alone was destined to endure, so there was little need to bother. Harnack was unusually blunt, but his view itself was not unusual. There was a fairly wide consensus among theolo- gians and historians across Europe that Christian ideals and values, which formed the spiritual center of the West, expréSsed the highest in human moral and cultural achievement. To imagine that something significant could be learned from others was to think inferiors can tutor their betters. None of this could discourage Muller, however: he was confident that serious study would show how certain shared spiritual intuitions link the sages of Asia and other distant lands to the saints and martyrs of the Church.
Muller’s program may have been unwelcome to some and new to others, but elements of what he proposed in his lecture were in fact very old. Questions as to what religion is and why different people practice it as they do doubtless reach back as far as the human race itself. The earliest theories would have been framed when the first traveler ventured outside the local clan or village and discovered that neighbors had other gods with different names. When on his travels the ancient historian Herodotus (484—425 BCE) tried to explain that the gods Amon and Horus, whom he met in Egypt, were the equivalents of Zeus and Apollo in his native Greece, he was actually offering at least the beginning of a general theory of religion. So was the writer Euhemerus (330—260 BCE) when he claimed that the gods were simply outstanding personages from history who began to be worshipped after their death. According to Cicero of Rome, the Stoic Chrysippus (280—206 BCE) was a thoroughly systematic student of the customs and beliefs of as many tribes and races as his travels led
him to encounter. Some Stoic philosophers accounted for the gods as person- ifications of the sky, the sea, or other natural forces. After viewing the facts of religion, they and others sought, often quite creatively, to explain how it had
come to be what it was.3
Judaism and Christianity
These philosophers lived in the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. where many divinities were worshipped and the idea of comparing or connecting one god with another was a natural habit of mind. Both Judaism and Christianity, however, took a very different view of things. To Isaiah and other prophets of Israel, there was no such thing as a variety of gods and ritu- als, each with a different and perhaps equal claim on our interest or devotion; there was only the one true God, the Lord of the covenant, who had appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and had revealed the divine law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. As this God alone was real and all others were mere figments of the human imagination, there was little about religion that needed either compar— ison or explanation. The people of Israel were to trust in Yahweh, who had chosen only them and had spoken to them directly; other nations worshipped idols, their eyes being darkened by ignorance, wickedness, or both. Christianity, which arose out of later Judaism, took over this perspective of Isaiah almost without change. For the apostles and theologians of the early Church, God had put himself on Clear display in the human person of Jesus the Christ. Those who believed in him had found the truth; those who did not were victims of the great deceiver Satan—their souls destined to pay a bitter eternal price in Hell. As Christianity spread across the ancient world and later to the peoples of EurOpe, this View came to dominate Western civilization. There were occa- sional exceptions, of course, but the prevailing attitude was expressed most clearly in the great struggle against Islam during the age of the Crusades. Christians, the children of light, were commanded to struggle against the chil- dren of darkness. The beauty and truth of God’s revelation explained the faith of Christendom; the machinations of the Devil and his hosts explained the perversions of its enemies.4 '
For the better part of a thousand years after the Roman empire had become Christian, this militant perspective on religions outside the creed of the Church did not significantly change. But around the year 1500, as the epoch of world explorations and the age of the Protestant Reformation arrived, the beginnings of a new outlook began to take shape. The voyages of explorers, traders, mis- sionaries, and adventurers to the New World and to the Orient brought
4 Nine Theories ofReligion
Christians into direct encounters with alien peoples who were neither Jews nor Muslims, both of whose religions were readily dismissed (the first as a mere preface to Christianity, the second as a perversion of it). Missionaries, traveling with those who explored and conquered, were at the leading edge of the en- gagement. Their aim was to bring “heathen nations” to Christ, and so they certainly did. Many were converted, but the process also brought surprises. When the scholarly Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552—1610) took residence at the court of the emperor in China, the missionary very nearly became the convert. The Chinese, Ricci discovered, had a real civilization, with art, ethics, and litera- ture. Their ways were rational, and they followed the impressive moral wisdom of their own Moses, the ancient teacher Confucius. Another Jesuit, Roberto di Nobili (1577—1656), had a similar experience in India. The spiritual wisdom of the Hindu sages captured his imagination; he studied the sacred books so inten— sively that he became known as “the white Brahmin.” Still other missionaries, at work in the New World, discovered something like belief in a Supreme Being among America’s “Indians.” As these reports filtered back to Europe, it occurred to some in thoughtful circles that the condemnation of such peoples as disciples of the Devil just might be premature. China’s Confucians may not have known Christ, but somehow, without a Bible to guide them, they had produced a civilization of mild manners and high morals. Had the apostles visited, they too might have admired it.
At the very same moment that these contacts were being made, the Christian civilization that the Prince of Peace presumably had established found itself plunged into bloody and violent turmoil. Led by Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin in Switzerland and France, the new Protestant movements of Northern Europe challenged the power of the Church and rejected its interpre- tations of biblical truth. While the explorers traveled, their homelands often came ablaze with the fires of persecution and war. Communities were split apart by ferocious quarrels over theology, first between Catholics and Protestants and later among the scores and more of different religious sects that began to appear in once-unified Christendom. Amid the religious storms and political struggles that gripped the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it is no surprise that concerned believers on all sides grew less certain that they alone held God’s final truth in their hands. The deadly, destructive wars of religion, which per- sisted for more than a hundred years in some lands, led people to believe that the truth about religion cannot possibly be found in sects that were prepared to torture and execute opponents, confident their work was God’s will. Surely, some said, the truth of religion must be found beyond the quarrels of the churches, beyond the tortures of the stake and the rack. Surely, the faiths of Europe could find a pure and common form, a simpler and more universal framework of belief and values that could be shared across the borders of confessions.5
The Enlightenment and Natural Religion
It was this quest for a shared, simpler religion, set against the bloody back- ground of the previous era, that inSpired thinkers of the eighteenth century, the Age of Enlightenment. They embarked on a mission that led them to the idea of a true and ancient “natural religion” shared by the entire human race. Natural religion formed the basic creed of Deism, as it commonly came to be called. It enlisted the most articulate voices and celebrated names of the age: philosophers such as John Toland and Matthew Tindal in Britain, the American colonial statesmen Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, and brilliant men of letters such as Denis Diderot and the great Voltaire in France, as well as the dramatist Gotthold Lessing and philosopher Immanuel Kant in Germany. Nearly all in this circle, who saw themselves as voices of reason, endorsed the idea of a universal, natural religion. They affirmed belief in a Creator God who made the world and then left it to its own natural laws, instituted a parallel set of moral laws to guide the conduct of humanity, and offered the promise of an afterlife of rewards for good and punishments for evil. To the Deists this elegantly simple creed was the faith of the very first human beings, the common philosophy of all races. The best hope of humanity was to recover this original creed and to live by it in a universal brotherhood of all peeples—Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Confucians, and all others—under their one Creator God.
In addition to its commendable work in promoting tolerance, the Deist notion of an original natural religion of humanity opened the door to a new way of explaining the many forms of religion in all their conflict and confu— sion. Whatever the different beliefs of the various Christian sects, the rituals of native Americans, the ancestral rites of the Chinese, or the teachings of the Hindu sages, all could ultimately be traced back to the natural religion of the first human beings and then followed forward as that ancient wisdom was grad— ually transformed and dispersed into its modern versions and variations. China especially offered proof of this point. As trading ships from the Orient began to return regularly in the 17003, fascination attended all forms of chinoiserie. Fabrics, spices, porcelains, teas, and furnishings gave evidence of China’s civil- ity and elegance, its prosperity, deference, and piety, all plainly acquired without any help from the Bible. These graces, and the ethics of Confucius especially, displayed the virtues of natural religion.
There was, of course, another side to the Deist agenda. To praise natural religion was also to blame revealed religion, which by the Deists’ estimate was little
6 Nine Theories of Religion
more than the twisted handiwork of priests and theologians. By and large, the Christian Church was seen by Deists as filled with retailers of ignorance and superstition, revelations and ceremonies, miracles, confessions, sacraments, saints, and sacred texts in a language few could understand. Natural religion, on the other hand, was emphatically not a set of truths revealed directly by God to the Church and withheld from the rest of humanity. True religion‘iwas natural and primeval—the one universal faith of humanity long before it had been corrupted by churches, dogmas, and clerics. Moreover, because it was natural rather than supernatural, religion could also be explained rationally, just as the laws of motion and gravitation had been shown by Newton the physicist to be implanted in the world as it came from the Creator’s hand.6
Deists prized rationality but showed little appreciation for the deep emotions that give life to religion or for the enchantments of its rich history and its wealth of diverse cultural forms. That posture deeply alienated those who saw traditional devotion as the very heart of religion. Faithful Catholics, fervent Protestants (called Pietists), and revivalists such as John Wesley protested the Deist program by celebrating a religion of the heart rather than a dry, rationalistic religion of the head. Their appreciation of the emotions was shared by religious Romantic writers, scholars, and poets who joined to it a deep appreciation of just what Deists despised—the glory of churches and temples, the surpassing beauty of rituals and ceremonies, the power of sacraments and prayers: the entire rich and colorful history of religious faith, especially (but not only) the Christian faith. The historical forms and institutions of religion, they contended, are not enemies of the religious spirit; they are its guardians and they bear its torch. The accents of this Romantic reaction are perhaps best illustrated in the great French historical novelist Vicornte de Chateaubriand, whose book The Genius of Christianity (1802) Savors the beauty and history of old Catholicism.
It is fair to say that both of these historical streams—the cold current of Enlightenment Deism and the warm waters of religious Romanticism— converged in the mind of Max Muller and others. As a thinker, Muller was a virtual Deist. He relied on the philosopher Immanuel Kant, Germany’s voice of Enlightenment, who centered religion on the two cardinal doctrines of Deism: a belief in God above and “the moral law within.” As a personality, however, Mijller was a Romantic. His young life overlapped the later years of Chateau- briand, and though he was a German Protestant rather than a French Catholic, he was just as deeply affected by the same mystical spirit and attuned to the presence of the divine wherever it could be discerned, either in the beauty of nature or in the spiritual strivings of humanity. Wherever in nature or history clues to the divine might appear, he was prepared to find them.
This blend of contrasting perspectives—Deist and Romantic—furnished Muller and others like him with both a motive and rationale for the study of all
religions. They believed that it was possible to find the root impulse of religion everywhere, and they made use of methods that were mainly historical. By
sustained and diligent inquiry, they would reach far back in time to discover the earliest religious ideas and practices of the human race; that accomplished, it was a natural next step to trace their development onward and upward to the present day. Muller and his associates believed not just that they could do such a thing, but that in their time it could be done better than the Deists ever imag- ined, largely because of great advances made in the study of archaeology, his- tory, language, and mythology, complemented by the newfound disciplines of ethnology and anthropology.7 In addition to his knowledge of the Vedas and mythology, Muller was himself one of Europe’s foremost names in the field of comparative philology, or linguistics; the Hindu Vedas that he edited were then thought to be the oldest religious documents of the human race. Archaeologists in first decades of the nineteenth century had made significant discoveries about early stages of human civilization; historians had pioneered new critical methods for studying ancient texts; students of folklore were gathering infor- mation on the customs and tales of Europe’s peasants; and the first anthropolo- gists could draw on reports from those who had observed societies of apparently primitive people still surviving in the modern world. In addition, there was now the very successful model of the natural sciences to imitate. Instead of just guessing about the origins and development of religion or naively assuming with some Deists that to know the writings of Confucius was to know all of Chinese religion, inquirers could now systematically assemble facts—rituals, beliefs, customs—from a wide sample of the world’s religions. With these in hand and properly classified, they could infer the general principles—the scientific “laws of development”—that would explain how such belief systems arose and what purposes they served.
By the middle decades of the 18003, then, a small circle mainly of French, German, and British scholars felt that both the methods and materials were on hand to leave speculation behind and offer instead systematic theories about religion’s origins that could claim the authority of science. Not only in Muller’s lectures but in other writings of the time as well, we can notice an optimism, an energy, and confidence about the tasks ahead. The aim was not just to guess about origins, but to frame theories based on evidence. Like their counterparts in the physical sciences, students of religion would work from a solid foundation of facts and frame generalizations that could be tested, revised, and improved. To all appearances, this scientific method had the further advantage that it could be applied independently of one’s personal religious commitments. Miiller was a deeply devout, almost sentimental Christian who believed that the truth of his faith had nothing to fear from science and would in fact shine more brightly if it were explained in the context of other religions. As we shall soon see, E. B. Tylor,
8 Nine Theories ofReligion
Muller’s contemporary and critic, took a different view, convinced that his scientific inquiry gave support to his personal stance of agnostic skepticism. Both, however, believed that a theory of religion could be developed from a common ground of objective facts that would provide both evidentiary support and a final test of truth. Both also believed that they could reach theories …
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