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Ten Great Religions An Essay in Comparative Theology   By: (1810-1888)

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Ten Great Religions

An Essay in Comparative Theology


James Freeman Clarke

Prophets who have been since the world began. Luke i. 70.

Gentiles ... who show the work (or influence) of the (that) law which is written in their hearts. Romans ii. 15.

God ... hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth ... that they should seek the Lord, if haply they may feel after him and find him. Acts, xviii. 24 27.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by James Freeman Clarke, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copyright, 1899, By Eliot C. Clarke.

To William Heney Channing, My Friend and Fellow Student During Many Years, This Work Is Affectionately Inscribed.


The first six chapters of the present volume are composed from six articles prepared for the Atlantic Monthly, and published in that magazine in 1868. They attracted quite as much attention as the writer anticipated, and this has induced him to enlarge them, and add other chapters. His aim is to enable the reader to become acquainted with the doctrines and customs of the principal religions of the world, without having to consult numerous volumes. He has not come to the task without some preparation, for it is more than twenty five years since he first made of this study a speciality. In this volume it is attempted to give the latest results of modern investigations, so far as any definite and trustworthy facts have been attained. But the writer is well aware of the difficulty of being always accurate in a task which involves such interminable study and such an amount of details. He can only say, in the words of a Hebrew writer: "If I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired; but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto."


Chapter I.

Introduction. Ethnic and Catholic Religions.

§ 1. Object of the present Work § 2. Comparative Theology; its Nature, Value, and present Position § 3. Ethnic Religions. Injustice often done to them by Christian Apologists § 4. How Ethnic Religions were regarded by Christ and his Apostles § 5. Comparative Theology will furnish a new Class of Evidences in Support of Christianity § 6. It will show that, while most of the Religions of the World are Ethnic, or the Religions of Races, Christianity is Catholic, or adapted to become the Religion of all Races § 7. It will show that Ethnic Religions are partial, Christianity universal § 8. It will show that Ethnic Religions are arrested, but that Christianity is steadily progressive

Chapter II.

Confucius and the Chinese, or the Prose of Asia.

§ 1. Peculiarities of Chinese Civilization § 2. Chinese Government based on Education. Civil Service Examinations § 3. Life and Character of Confucius § 4. Philosophy and subsequent Development of Confucianism § 5. Lao tse and Tao ism § 6. Religious Character of the "Kings." § 7. Confucius and Christianity. Character of the Chinese § 8. The Tae ping Insurrection Note. The Nestorian Inscription in China

Chapter III.


§ 1. Our Knowledge of Brahmanism. Sir William Jones § 2. Difficulty of this Study. The Complexity of the System. The Hindoos have no History. Their Ultra Spiritualism § 3. Helps from Comparative Philology. The Aryans in Central Asia § 4. The Aryans in India. The Native Races. The Vedic Age. Theology of the Vedas § 5. Second Period. Laws of Manu. The Brahmanic Age § 6. The Three Hindoo Systems of Philosophy, The Sankhya, Vedanta, and Nyasa § 7. Origin of the Hindoo Triad § 8. The Epics, the Puranas, and Modern Hindoo Worship § 9. Relation of Brahmanism to Christianity

Chapter IV... Continue reading book >>

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