The Religion of the Primitives

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Macmillan, 1922 - Africa, Sub-Saharan - 334 pages
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Page 292 - Owe no man anything, but to love one another : for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet ; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Page 73 - A totem is a class of material objects which a savage regards with superstitious respect, believing that there exists between him and every member of the class an intimate and altogether special relation...
Page 42 - These three distinct stages of progress from the inorganic world of matter and motion up to man, point clearly to an unseen universe — to a world of spirit, to which the world of matter is altogether subordinate.
Page 290 - fortuitous concourse of atoms" is certainly not wholly inappropriate for the growth of a crystal. But modern scientific men are in agreement with him in condemning it as utterly absurd, in respect to the coming into existence, or the growth, or the continuation of the molecular combinations presented in the bodies of living things. Here scientific thought is compelled to accept the idea of a Creative Power.
Page 217 - Belief in a certain series of myths was neither obligatory as a part of true religion, nor was it supposed that, by believing, a man acquired religious merit and conciliated the favour of the gods. What was obligatory or meritorious was the exact performance of certain sacred acts prescribed by religious tradition.
Page 290 - No, no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces.
Page 292 - Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shall not covet ; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour ; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Page 54 - If any relics of such imagination survive in civilised mythology, they will very closely resemble the productions of a once universal " temporary insanity ". Let it be granted, then, that " to the lower tribes of man, sun and stars, trees and rivers, winds and clouds, become personal, animate creatures, leading lives conformed to human or animal analogies, and performing their special functions in the universe with the aid of limbs like beasts, or of artificial instruments like men...
Page 321 - But more surprising than the continuity in the growth of language, is the continuity in the growth of religion. Of religion, too, as of language, it may be said that in it everything new is old and everything old is new, and that there has been no entirely new religion since the beginning of the world.
Page 42 - Because man's physical structure has been developed from an animal form by natural selection, it does not necessarily follow that his mental nature, even though developed pari passu with it, has been developed by the same causes only.

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