Religion in Essence and Manifestation - Vol. 1

Religion in Essence and Manifestation - Vol. 1

Religion in Essence and Manifestation - Vol. 1

Religion in Essence and Manifestation - Vol. 1

Excerpt

When I published, in 1925, a short Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion, I felt it necessary to indicate that this was actually only an Outline of a larger book, the construction of which lay still in the future. And now that the more substantial work has appeared I must admit that I have made little, if indeed any, advance. For in many respects, to say the least, the present Volume is of the nature of a sketch or summary; so extensive is the domain of the Phenomenology of Religion that even a detailed presentation, such as the generous consideration of the Publisher has enabled me to undertake, must often give the impression that the utmost depths of its content, and the farthest limits of its manifestations, could be adequately dealt with only in a Monograph.

In the meantime I trust that I have now given to all, whose studies include some familiarity with the History of Religion, a useful Introduction to the comprehension of the historical material; and some knowledge of this material is presupposed. As regards Phenomenology itself, Chantepie's volume should be consulted, and especially also the two compilations by Bertholet and Lehmann-Haas. In the Text of the present book, whenever it has been possible, reference has almost invariably been made to these Works in order to illuminate specific instances.

I have assigned great value throughout to the presentation of the manifestations of Religion from the most varied viewpoints possible; and for this purpose I have appealed to writers of extremely diversified opinions--and nationalities also! Whenever it seemed to me that some phenomenon had been described by anyone in a typical form I made no attempt to improve this, but utilized his own terms literally; and I hope that this method has given the book, to some extent, the character of a cooperative effort towards the accurate apprehension of the phenomena.

I need scarcely add that I am profoundly indebted to many others. But a special expression of my gratitude must be accorded to my friend and colleague, Rudolf Bultmann. He has not merely, in the most self-sacrificing and conscientious way, taken part in dealing with the Proofs, but has shown a deep interest in the Contents that has often disconcerted me by its generosity, while it has invariably and materially . . .

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