History of Religions - Vol. 1

History of Religions - Vol. 1

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History of Religions - Vol. 1

History of Religions - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The plan of this work embraces only the religions of civilised peoples. What are miscalled "primitive" religions are a subject for themselves, demanding another method, and much too extensive to be incidentally despatched in the prolegomena to a History of Religions. Nor is an investigation of them necessary to our purpose; the phenomena which occur in the higher religions as survivals are just as intelligible in Babylonia or in Greece as in Africa or Australia.

The present volume comprises the religions of China, Japan, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria, India, Persia (Zoroastrianism), Greece, and Rome (including the religions of the Empire). A second volume will be devoted to Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism--three religions so intimately related in origin and history as to constitute a natural group.

In the presentation of the several religions, the endeavour is made, as far as the sources permit, to show their relation to race and physical environment and to national life and civilisation, to trace their history, and to discover the causes of progress and decline and the influences that have affected them from without. Prominence is given to religious conceptions, as they are implicit in myth and ritual or are thought out by poets, philosophers, and prophets; and particularly to the higher developments in theology, ethics, and religious philosophy, especially where, as in India and in Greece, these developments are of great intrinsic interest . . .

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