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Naturalism And Religion   By: (1869-1937)

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Naturalism And Religion


Dr. Rudolf Otto

Professor of Theology in the University of Göttingen

Translated by

J. Arthur Thomson

Professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen


Margaret R. Thomson

Edited with an Introduction by

The Rev. W. D. Morrison, LL.D.

Williams & Norgate Ltd.

38 Great Ormond Street, London, W.C.1



Preface. Chapter I. The Religious Interpretation Of The World. What is Distinctive in the Religious Outlook. Chapter II. Naturalism. What is Distinctive in the Naturalistic Outlook. The True Naturalism. Goethe's Attitude to Naturalism. The two Kinds of Naturalism. Aim and Method of Naturalism. Chapter III. Fundamental Principles. How the Religious and the Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict. Mystery : Dependence : Purpose. The Mystery of Existence Remains Unexplained. Evolution and New Beginnings. The Dependence of the Order of Nature. The "Contingency" of the World. The Real World. The Antimony of Our Conception of Time. The Antimony of the Conditioned and the Unconditioned. The Antimony of Our Conception of Space. The Recognition of Purpose. Teleological and Scientific Interpretations are Alike Necessary. Chapter IV. Darwinism In General. The Development of Darwinism. Darwinism and Teleology. The Characteristic Features of Darwinism. Various Forms of Darwinism. The Theory of Descent. Haeckel's Evolutionist Position. Weismann's Evolutionist Position. Virchow's Position. Other Instances of Dissatisfaction with the Theory of Descent. Chapter V. Religion And The Theory Of Descent. The Problema Continui. Chapter VI. Darwinism In The Strict Sense. Differences of Opinion As To the Factors In Evolution. Weismannism. Natural Selection. Chapter VII. Critics Of Darwinism. Lamarckism and Neo Lamarckism. Theory of Definite Variation. De Vries's Mutation theory. Eimer's Orthogenesis. The Spontaneous Activity of the Organism. Contrast Between Darwinian and Post Darwinian Views. Chapter VIII. The Mechanical Theory Of Life. The Conservation of Matter and Energy. The Organic and the Inorganic. Irritability. Spontaneous Generation. The Mechanics of Development. Heredity. Chapter IX. Criticism Of Mechanical Theories. The Law of the Conservation of Energy. Criticisms of the Mechanistic Theory of Life. Virchow's "Caution". Preyer's Position. The Position Of Bunge and Other Physiologists. The Views of Botanists Illustrated. Constructive Criticism. The Constructive Work of Driesch. The Views of Albrecht and Schneider. How all this affects the Religious Outlook. Chapter X. Autonomy Of Spirit. Naturalistic Attacks on the Autonomy of the Spiritual. The Fundamental Answer. Individual Development. Underivability. Pre eminence of Consciousness. Creative Power of Consciousness. Activity of Consciousness. The Ego. Self Consciousness. The Unity of Consciousness. Consciousness of the Ego. Chapter XI. Freedom Of Spirit. Feeling, Individuality, Genius, and Mysticism. Feeling. Individuality. Genius. Mysticism. Mind and Spirit. The Human and the Animal Soul. Personality. Parallelism. No Parallelism. The Supremacy of Mind. "The Unconscious". Is there Ageing of the Mind? Immortality. Chapter XII. The World And God. Footnotes


It is a remarkable and in some respects a disquieting fact that whilst rival ecclesiastical parties are engaged in a furious and embittered debate as to the precise shade of religious instruction to be given in public elementary schools, the thinking classes in modern Europe are becoming more and more stirred by the really vital question whether there is room in the educated mind for a religious conception of the world at all... Continue reading book >>

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