Publisher Description

Our minimum definition of religion as "the belief in Spiritual Beings," it is safe to say that religious belief constitutes one of the largest facts in human history. No other single subject has occupied so large a share of man's conscious life, no other subject has absorbed so much of his energy. In very early stages of culture religious belief is universal in the fullest sense of the word. It shapes all primitive institutions; it dominates life from the cradle to the grave, and creates a shadow-land beyond the grave from which the dead continue to influence the actions of the living. At a later stage of culture we see a distinction being drawn between the natural and the supernatural, the secular and the spiritual, and the beginning of an antagonism that is still with us. Of all antagonisms conceived by the brain of man this is the deepest and the most irreconcilable. Each feels that the growth of the other threatens its own supremacy, with the result that advance from either side has been contested with the greatest obstinacy and determination. And although it is true that at present the supernatural is very largely "suspect," it is still powerful. Nor is its influence confined to the lower strata of European society. It has very many representatives among the higher culture, disguised it may be under various pseudo-philosophic forms. Altogether we may say that the supernatural has never been without its "cloud of witnesses." At all times there have been individuals.

Religion & Spirituality
1 January
Public Domain

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