Religion in Human Affairs

Religion in Human Affairs

Religion in Human Affairs

Religion in Human Affairs

Excerpt

Man's interest in religon is perennial. He has never learned to take either the presence or absence of gods for granted.Since the prophets of Jahveh first poured their wrath upon the priests of Baal, philosophers, theologians, anthropologists and, in recent years, psychologists have puzzled over the phenomena of human worship. An attempt here has been made to bring together the best modern scientific thought in regard to the origin, social function and destiny of religion. The goal of the book is a searching yet objective pursuit of facts and their implications with full awareness that, "Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine that lights the pathway but one step ahead across a void of mystery and dread."

A broader treatment of the subject is' attempted than is usually found in the innumerable books that specialize in a discussion of primitive religion, comparative religion, Christian origins or contemporary religious problems. This synthetic approach leads to a sadly, superficial treatment of many topics and the vastness of the field makes necessary the reliance upon secondary sources in many instances. The general reader may be: interested, however, in a bird's-eye view and the teacher may supplement the text according to the needs of his students.

Religion is approached as a culture pattern and more stress is laid on the sociological viewpoint than in the' historical and descriptive studies of comparative religion or the theoretical discussions of the psychology of religion. The primary emphasis is placed upon social processes and . . .

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