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The Religious Sentiment Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and Philosophy of Religion   By: (1837-1899)

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Transcriber's Note

A number of typographical errors have been maintained in this version of this book. They have been marked with a [TN ], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the end of the text.

Words originally printed in Greek are surrounded with ~. Oe ligatures have been expanded.

The following code was used for a character not available in the character set used for this book.

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BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD: A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America. Second edition, revised. Large 12mo, $2.50.

THE RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT: Its Source and Aim. A Contribution to the Science and Philosophy of Religion. Large 12mo, $2.50.

THE

RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT

ITS SOURCE AND AIM

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.

BY

DANIEL G. BRINTON, A.M., M.D.

Member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Philological Society, etc.; author of "The Myths of the New World," etc.

[Colophon]

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1876.

COPYRIGHT, BY HENRY HOLT 1876.

JOHN F. TROW & SON, PRINTERS, 205 213 EAST 12TH ST., NEW YORK.

PREFACE

Mythology, since it began to receive a scientific handling at all, has been treated as a subordinate branch of history or of ethnology. The "science of religion," as we know it in the works of Burnouf, Müller, and others, is a comparison of systems of worship in their historic development. The deeper inquiry as to what in the mind of man gave birth to religion in any of its forms, what spirit breathed and is ever breathing life into these dry bones, this, the final and highest question of all, has had but passing or prejudiced attention. To its investigation this book is devoted.

The analysis of the religious sentiment I offer is an inductive one, whose outlines were furnished by a preliminary study of the religions of the native race of America, a field selected as most favorable by reason of the simplicity of many of its cults, and the absence of theories respecting them. This study was embodied in "The Myths of the New World; a Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America" (second edition, N. Y. 1876).

The results thus obtained I have in the present work expanded by including in the survey the historic religions of the Old World, and submitted the whole for solution to the Laws of Mind, regarded as physiological elements of growth, and to the Laws of Thought, these, as formal only, being held as nowise a development of those. This latter position, which is not conceded by the reigning school of psychology, I have taken pains to explain and defend as far as consistent with the plan of this treatise; but I am well aware that to say all that can be said in proof of it, would take much more space than here allowed.

The main questions I have had before me in writing this volume have an interest beyond those which mere science propounds. What led men to imagine gods at all? What still prompts enlightened nations to worship? Is prayer of any avail, or of none? Is faith the last ground of adoration, or is reason? Is religion a transient phase of development, or is it the chief end of man? What is its warrant of continuance? If it overlive this day of crumbling theologies, whence will come its reprieve?

To such inquiries as these, answers satisfactory to thinking men of this time can, I believe, be given only by an inductive study of religions, supported by a sound psychology, and conducted in a spirit which acknowledges as possibly rightful, the reverence which every system claims. Those I propose, inadequate though they may be, can at any rate pretend to be the result of honest labor.

PHILADELPHIA, January, 1876 .

CONTENTS.

PAGE. CHAPTER I.

THE BEARING OF THE LAWS OF MIND ON RELIGION 3

CHAPTER II.

THE EMOTIONAL ELEMENTS OF THE RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT 47

CHAPTER III... Continue reading book >>




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