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BRARY

CALIFORNI




OUTLINES



OF



THE HISTORY OF RELIGION.



KEGAIST PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & CO. L T ?



Recent Volumes in the
English and Foreign Philosophical Library.



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LONDON : PATERNOSTER HOUSE, CHARING CROSS ROAD.



OUTLINES



OF



THE HISTORY OF RELIGION



TO THE



SPREAD OF THE UNIVERSAL
RELIGIONS.



BY C. P. TIELE,

CU. THEOL., PROFESSOR OF THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS IN THE
UNIVERSITY OF LEIDF.N



&tanslatt& from tfjc utrfj

BY

J. ESTLIN CARPENTER, M.A.



SIXTH EDITION.




LONDON:
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & CO. L TI >

PATERNOSTER HOUSE, CHARING CROSS ROAD.
1896.



The riyhts of translation and of reproduction fire reserved.



TO

P. H. W.

WITHOUT WHOSE AID

&fu's ^Translation

COULD NOT HAVE BEEN
ACCOMPLISHED.




PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR



TO



THE ENGLISH EDITION.



WHAT I give in this little book are outlines, pencil-
sketches, I might say, nothing more. In the present
state of our knowledge about the ancient religions, this
only can be reasonably expected from the students of this
branch of science, this only can be attempted with some
hope of success. The time for writing an elaborate His-
tory of Keligion, even of Eeligions, has not yet come. Not
a few special investigations must be instituted, not a few
difficult questions elucidated, before anything like this can
be done. But it is useful, even necessary, from time to
time to sum up the amount of certain knowledge, gathered
by the researches of several years, and to sketch, be it here
and there with an uncertain hand, the draught of what
may at some time become a living picture. This is what
I propose to do. The interest of what is called by the
unhappy name of Science of Eeligions, let us say of Hiero-



logy, is increasing every day. Now, I think there is great
danger that so young a science may lose itself in abstract
speculations, based on a few facts and a great many dubi-
ous or erroneous statements, or not based on any facts at
all For the philosopher who wishes to avoid this danger,
for the theologian who desires to compare Mosaism and
Christianity with the other religions of the world, for the
specialist who devotes all his labours and all his time to
one single department of this vast science, for him who
studies the history of civilisation none of whom have
leisure to go to the sources themselves, even for him who
intends to do so, but to whom the way is as yet unknown,
a general survey of the whole subject is needed, to serve
as a kind of guide or travelling-book on their journey
through the immense fairyland of human faith and hope.
My book is an attempt to supply what they want. In a
sh'ort paragraph-style I have written down my conclusions,
derived partly from the sources themselves, partly (for no
man can be at home everywhere) from the study of what
seemed to me the best authorities : and I have added some
explanatory remarks and bibliographical notices on the
literature of the subject very short where such notices
could easily be found elsewhere, more extensive and as
complete as possible where nothing of the kind, so far as I
knew, yet existed.

I am the more anxious to state this character of my
work as one of my critics (my friend and colleague Dr. H.
Oort, in his interesting notice of my work in the Dutch
Review de Tydspiegel) seems to have wholly forgotten it



PREFACE. ix

He sets up an ideal of a History of Eeligion, and then
tries my simple and modest outlines by that elevated
standard. Of course they are not able to fulfil such
great expectations, and they were not intended to
do so.

I know that even this slight sketch is incomplete, and
it is so on purpose. I have limited myself to the ancient
religions, those which embrace a tribe, a people, or a race,
or have grown into separate sects, and I have left out the
history of the universal religions, Buddhism, Christianity,
and Islam. Only the origin of these religions is men-
tioned, as they form a part of the history of the religions
out of which they sprang, and which culminate in them.
A thorough study of this more modern religious history
would have occupied me for several years, and would have
deferred the publication of my little book for a long time.
So I have narrated the History of Religion " till the spread
of the universal religions," of Buddhism in Eastern, Islam
in Western Asia, and of Christianity in the Eoman Empire.
As Buddhism only reigned supreme in Hindostan and
Dekhan now and then for a while, and was finally driven
out from both parts of the Indian peninsula, with the sole
exception of Ceylon, I could not break off the history of
Brahmanism at the foundation of the great rival church,
but had to relate what became of it in the centuries after
that event. I confess that this part of my sketch leaves
much to be desired, the sources being still very defective,
and the conclusions of Lassen, whom I have followed in
the main, being still very uncertain. Perhaps I may find



x PREFACE.

occasion some time to give a better and more trustworthy
account of this period.

Not only the universal religions, but even some ancient
religions are passed over altogether. I have not said a
word on the old Keltic and the national Japanese reli-
gions. This, too, is an intentional omission. What is
commonly regarded as the history of those two religions
seems to me so very dubious and vague that I preferred
to leave them out entirely rather than to be led astray
myself, or to propagate mere conjectures, which might
prove errors after all.

But though mere outlines, my history is one of reli-
gion, not of religions. The difference between the two
methods is explained in the Introduction. It is the same
history, but considered from a different point of view.
The first lies hidden in the last, but its object is to show
how that one great psychological phenomenon which we
call religion has developed and manifested itself in such
various shapes among the different races and peoples of
the world. By it we see that all religions, even those of
highly civilised nations, have grown up from the same
simple germs, and by it, again, we learn the causes why
these germs have in some cases attained such a rich and
admirable development, and in others scarcely grew at all.
Still I did not think it safe to found my history on an a
priori philosophical basis. Dr. Oort is of opinion that I
ought to have started from a philosophical definition of re-
ligion. In this I do not agree with him. Such a definition,
quite different from that which I ffive in my first para-



PREFACE. xi

graph, ought not to be the point of issue, but must be one
of the results of a history of religion. It forms one of the
principal elements of a philosophy of religion ; in a history
it would be out of place.

Lastly, I may add a few words on this English edition.
It is thoroughly revised and corrected. Some of these
corrections I owe to my friend and colleague Dr. H. Kern,
who knows all, or nearly all, about ancient India, and who
has made such a profound study of German mythology
(see his kind notice of my work in the Dutch Eeview
de Gids). My own continued study of the religions of
Western Asia and Northern Africa has led to other correc-
tions and additions.

C. P. TIELE.

LKIDEN, September 1877.




CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION .



1. Object of the History of Religion

2. Fundamental Hypothesis of Development

3. Order of the abstract Development of the Religious

Idea

4. Genealogical connection and Historic Relations of

Religions. .....

5. Divisions of this History .

6. Religion a universal Phenomenon .



CHAPTER I.

RELIGION UNDER THE CONTROL OF ANIMISM .

I. Animism, in its Influence on Religion in General

7. Religion of Savages the Remains of Earlier Religion

8. Animism ......

9. Characteristics of Religions controlled by Animism

10. Place of Morality and Doctrine of Immortality

II. Peculiar Developments of Animistic Religion among

different Races .....

11. Causes of Different Forms of Development



7

8

9
10
ii

12



xiv CONTENTS.

7AGS

12. Influence of National Character . . .16

1 3. And of Locality and Occupation . . .17

14. Effects of the Mingling of Nations . . .17

15. Original Keligions of America . . .18

1 6. The Peruvians and Mexicans . . 20

17. The Finns ...... 23



CHAPTER II.

RELIGION AMONG THE CHINESE . . . -25

1 8. Religion of the Old Chinese Empire '. . 27

19. Doctrine of Continued Existence after Death . 28

20. Absence of a Priestly Caste . . .29

21. Reforms of Kong-fu-tse . . . ,30

22. His Religious Doctrine . . . 31

23. Religious Literature . . . 32

24. Meng~tse ...... 33

25. The Tao-sse . . . 35

26. Lao-tse ...... 36

27. Later Writings of the Tao-sae . 37

28. The Chinese and Egyptian Religione 33



CHAPTER III.

RELIGION AMONG THE HAMITES AND SEMITBS . . 39

I. Religion among the Egyptians . . . .39

29. Sources of our Knowledge . 44

30. Ancient Animistic Usages . . . .45
31-. Polytheistic and Monotheistic Tendencies . . 46

32. Triumph of Light over Darkness . . .47

33. Doctrine of Creation ... 49

34. Religion under the First Six Dynasties . . 50



CONTENTS. xv

BAM

35. Under the Middle Empire . . . .52

36. Conception of Amun-Ra . . . .54

37. Modifications under Influence of Greece . . 55

38. African, Aryan, and Mesopotamian Elements . 57

II. Religion among the Semites . . , .60

a. The Two Streams of Development . . 60

39. Southern and Northern Semites . . .61

40. Primitive Arabian Religion . . .63

41. Contact of Northern Semites with the Akkadians 65

42. Religion of the Akkadians . . . .67

fe. Religion among the Babylonians and Assyrians . 69

43. Relation of Babylonians and Assyrians . .71

44. Their Religion ..... 73

45. Akkadian Origin of Astrology and Magic . . 75

46. Different Developments of Religion . . 76

47. The Mesopotamian Semites reach a higher Stage . 78

48. The Sabeans . . . . .79

c. Religion among the West Semites . . .79

49. Its Mesopotamian Origin . . . .81

50. Sources of Cosmogony and Myths . . .83

51. Special Character of Phenician Religion . . 84

52. The Religion of Israel . . . .84

53. Growth of Yahvism . . . .86

54. Adoption of Native Elements . . 87

55. The Prophets ..... 88
56- National Character of their Monotheism . . 88

57. Influence of Persia, Greece, and Rome . . 90

d. Islam ..... .91

58. Religion in Arabia before Mohammed . . 92

59. His early Career . . . . .94



xvi CONTENTS.

PAQR

60. His Conquests and Death . . - -95

61. The Five Pillars of Isla^m the Unity of God . 97

62. Gloomy Conceptions of the World . 99

63. The Divine Mission of Mohammed . 100

64. Theocratic Character of Isla"mism . 101

65. Its Position among other Religions . . 102



CHAPTER IV.

RELIGION AMONG THE INDO-GERMANS, EXCLUDING THE GREEKS

AND ROMANS . . . . . .105

I. The Ancient Indo-German Religion and the Aryan Re-

ligion proper . . . . . .105

66. Religion of the Ancient Indo-Germans . .106

67. Formation of Separate Nations . . 108
68. The Aryan Religion . .109

II. Religion among the Hindus . . .no
a. The Vedic Religion . . - tn

69. The Religion of the Rig veda . . .112

70. Indra and Agni . . . . .113

71. Different Forms of the Sun-God , . 114

72. Rise of the Br&hmans . . . 1 1 5

73. Ethical Character of the Vedic Religion . - 116

6. Pre-Budhhistic Brahmanism . . . 117

74. Stages in the History of Br&hmanism , . 117

75. The Four Castes .... 119

76. Increasing Influence of the Braiimang . .120

77. Religious Literature . . . .122

78. Need of a Supreme God . . . .124

79. Sacrifices . . . . .126



CONTENTS. xvii

PAGE

80. Moral Ideal of the Bra"hman8 . . .127

81. Their Social Ideal . . . . .129

c. The Conflict of Brahmanism with Buddhism . .130

82. Origin of Buddhism . . . .131

83. Historical Foundation of the Legend of the Buddha 134

84. Relation of Buddhism to Br&hmanism . 1 35

85. Spread of Buddhism . . . .137

86. Its Decline ... 139

87. The Jainas ... .140

d. The Changes in Brdhmanism under the Influence of its

Conflict with Buddhism . . . .142

88. Necessity of Modifications in Br&hmanism . 143

89. Rise of Vishnu Worship . . 143

90. Doctrine of the Avatftras . .145

91. Krishna Worship . . . . .147

92. Vishnu as Rudra and Siva . . . 149

93. Ganesa, Hari-harau, and the Trimurti . .152

94. The Puranas and the Two Great Epics . . 153

95. Doctrine of the Authority of the Veda . .154

96. The Six Philosophical Systems . .155

97. The Vaishnava and Saiva Sects . .157

98. The S&kta Sects . . . . .158

II. Religion among the Eranian Nations Jtfazdeim. . 160

99. The Religion of Zarathustra . . .163

100. The Zend-Avesta and the Bundehesh . . 165

101. Doctrine of Ahura Mazd&o . . .166

1 02. The Amesha Spenta .... 168

103. Mithra and Anahita . .170

104. The Yazatas . . . . 171

105. The Fravashis . . . . .172



xviii CONTENTS.

PAGE

1 06. Dualism of Parsism . . .173

107. Its Influence on Worship and Life . . 175

108. Its Eschatology . . 176

109. Foreign Elements in later Zarathustrianism . 177

IV. Religion among the Wends or Letto-Slavs . 179

no. Position among the Indo- Germanic Religions . 179

in. Doctrine of the Soul . . . .181

1 12. Doctrine of Spirits among the Old Russians . 182

113. Deities worshipped by Letts and Slavs . .184

114. Relation between Man and the Higher Powers . 186

Y. Religion among the Germans . . .188

115. Superiority over that of the Wends . .188

116. Its Cycle of Gods ..... 190

117. Odhinn, Thdrr, and Loki .... 192

1 18. Ethical Character of Germanic Religion . .194

119. The Drama of the World . . . 195

120. Doctrine of the Soul, and Coitus . . ,198



CHAPTER V.

RELIGION AMONG THE INDO-GERMANS UNDER THE INFLUENCE

OF THE SEMITES AND HAMITES . . . .201

I. Religion among the Greeks . . ,201

121. The Religion of the Pelasgi . . . 202

122. Causes of Development of Greek Religion . 205

123. National and Foreign Elements . . . 207

124. Poetic Treatment of Nature-Myths , . 210

125. Civilisation of Asia Minor and Crete . . 212
126^ The Homeric Theology . . . .213

127. Approach to Monotheism . . . .214

128. Growing Connection of Morality and Religion . 215



CONTENTS.



PAGE



129. Influence of Delphi . . .216

130. Position of the Delphic Priests . . . 219

131. Decline of their Power . . . .221

132. Cultus of Dionysos and Athena . . . 222

133. Effect of Poetry and Sculpture . . . 224

134. Sokrates and the Decline of Hellenic Religion . 225

II. Religion among the Romans

135. Personification of Abstract Ideas .

136. Continued Development of this Character

137. Transition from Polydsemonism to Polyth

138. Fusion of Different Elements

139. Importance of the Cultus .

140. Jupiter Optimus Maximus

141. Introduction of Foreign Deities ,

142. Decline of the State Religion

143. The Deification of the Emperors .

144. Rise of Christianity





INTRODUCTION.



Literature. Of the older works on the general history
of religion, the following may still be named : MEINERS,
Allgemeine kritische Geschichte der Religionen, 2 vols.,
Hanover, 1806-7 (neither general nor critical): BENJ.
CONSTANT, De la Religion consider^ dans sa source, ses
formes et ses developpements, 5 vols., Paris, 1824-31. The
doctrines of ancient religion are treated by F. CREUZER,
Symbolik und Mythologie der alien Folker, 4 vols., with
Atlas, Leipzig and Darmstadt, 1819-21, and F. C. BAUR,
Symbolik und Mythologie, od. die Naturrel. des Alterthums,
2 vols., 3 parts, Stuttgart, 1824-25. (Both works are
now antiquated. Their speculations are for the most
part founded on very imperfect or incorrect data.) L.
NOACK, Mythol. und Offenbarung. Die Religion in ihrem
Wesen, ihrer geschichtl. Entwickel., &c., 2 vols., Darm-
stadt, 1845, more systematic than historic. A. VON
COLLN, Lehrb. der vorchristl. Religionsgeschichte, Lemgo
& Detmold, 1853, still useful in some parts. J. H.
SCHOLTEN, Geschiedenis der Godsd. en Wijsbegeerte, Leiden,
1863. 0. PFLEIDERER, Die Religion, ihr Wesen und Hire
Geschichte, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1869. Comp. also F. MAX
MULLER, Chips from a German Workshop, vols. i. and ii,
London, 1867.

1. The history of religion is not content with describing
special religions (liierogmphy), or with relating their vicis-

A



2 HISTORY OF RELIGION.

situdes and metamorphoses (the history of religions) ; its
aim is to show how religion, considered generally as the
relation between man and the superhuman powers in
which he believes, has developed in the course of ages
among different nations and races, and, through these, in
humanity at large.

The definition of religion as the relation between man
and the superhuman powers in which he believes is by
no means philosophical, and leaves unanswered the ques-
tion of the essence of religion. The powers are designedly
not described as supersensual, as visible deities would
thus be excluded. They are superhuman, not always in
reality, but in the estimation of their worshippers.

2. The hypothesis of development, from which the his-
tory of religion sets out, does not determine whether all
religions were derived from one single prehistoric religion,
or whether different families of religions sprang from as
many separate forms, related in ideas, but independent
in origin a process which is not improbable. But its
fundamental principle is that all changes and transforma-
tions in religions, whether they appear from a subjective
point of view to indicate decay or progress, are the results
of natural growth, and find in it their best explanation.
The history of religion unfolds the method in which this
development is determined by the character of nations
and races, as well as by the influence of the circumstances
surrounding them, and of special individuals, and it
exhibits the established laws by which this development
is controlled. Thus conceived, it is really history, and
not a morphologic arrangement of religions, based on an
arbitrary standard.



INTRODUCTION. 3

Compare J. I. DOEDES, De Toepassing van de Out-
iuikkelingstheorie niet aantebevelen voor de Geschiedenis der
Godsdiensten, Utrecht, 1874. On the opposite side, 0. P.
TIELE, " De Ontwikkelingsgeschiedenis van den Gods-
dienst en de hypotheze waarvan zij uitgaat," Gids, 1874,
No. 6. In reply, J. I. DOEDES, " Over de Ontwikkelings-
hypotheze in verband met de Geschiedenis der Godsdien-
sten;" Stemmenvoor Waarheiden Vrede, 1874. Further, 0.
PFLEIDERER, "ZurFrage nach Anfang und Entwickelung
der Eeligion," Jahrbiicher fur Protest. Theologie, 1875,
Heft i. In reply, C. P. TIELE, " Over den Aanvang en
de Ontwikkeling van den Godsdienst. Een verweer-
schrift," Theol. Tijdschrift, 1875, P- I 7j S 9S.> On the
laws which control the development of religion, see
C. P. TIELE, " Over de Wetten der Ontwikkeling van
den Godsdienst," Theol. Tijdschrift, 1874, p. 225, sqq.

3. It is on various grounds probable that the earliest
religion, which has left but faint traces behind it, was
followed by a period in which Animism generally pre-
vailed. This stage, which is still represented by the so-
called Nature-religions, or rather by the polydsernonistic
magic tribal religions, early developed among civilised
nations into polytheistic national religions resting upon
a traditional doctrine. Not until a later period did poly-
theism give place here and there to nomistic religions,
or religious communities founded on a law or holy
scripture, and subduing polytheism more or less com-
pletely beneath pantheism or monotheism. These last,
again, contain the roots of the universal or world-
religions, which start from principles and maxims. Were
we to confine ourselves to a sketch of the abstract
development of the religious idea in humanity, we should
have to follow this order.



4 HISTORY OF RELIGION.

The polytheistic religions include most of the Indo
Germanic and Semitic religions, the Egyptian, and some
others. The nomistic religions comprise Confucianism,
Taoism, the Mosaism of the eighth century B.C., and
the Judaism which sprang from it, Brahmanism, and
Mazdeism. The universal religions are Buddhism,
Christianity, and Mohammedanism. The pre-Islamic
religion of the Arabs was certainly not a nomistic
religion, but without Judaism, to say nothing of Chris-
tianity, Islam would never have been founded.

4. But in actually describing the general history of
religion, we are compelled to take into account, also, the
genealogical connection and historical relation of religions,
which gave rise to different streams of development, in-
dependent of each other, whose courses in many instances
afterwards met and joined. It is inexpedient, for the sake
of a systematic arrangement, to divide these historic groups.

By genealogical connection we mean the filiation of
religions, one of which has obviously proceeded from
the other, or both together from a third, whether
this be known to us historically or must be referred
to prehistoric times. Thus the Yedic and old Erftnian
religions sprang from the Aryan, Confucianism and
Taoism from the ancient Chinese religion, Buddhism
from Brahmanism, &c. In the course of history,
moreover, religions which are not allied by descent
come into contact with each other, and if their mutual
influence leads to the adoption by one of them of
customs, ideas, and deities belonging to the other, they
are said to be historically related. This is the case, for
example, with the north Semitic religions in reference to
the Akkadian, with the Greek in reference to the north
Semitic, and with the Roman in reference to the Greek.



INTRODUCTION. 5

5. For these reasons we divide our history in the fol-
lowing manner :

(i.) From the polydsemonistic magic tribal religions
of the present day we shall endeavour to become ac-
quainted with Animism, this being the form of religion
which must have preceded the religions known to us by
history, and served as their foundation. The example of
the more civilised American nations (Mexicans and Peru-
vians) and of the Finns will show us what an advanced
development may be attained under favourable circum-
stances by an animistic religion, even where it is left to
itself. This forms the transition to the proper history of
religion, which will be treated in the ensuing order :

(2.) Eeligion among the Chinese :

(3.) Among the Egyptians, the Semites proper, and the
northern Semites or Mesopotamians, in connection with
whom the Akkadian religion, which dominates all the
north Semitic religions, will be discussed :

(4.) Among the Indo-Germans who came little, or not
at all, into contact with the Semites, the Aryans, Hindus,
Eranians, Letto-Slavs, and Germans :

(5.) Among the Indo-Germans in whose religion the
national elements were supplemented and blended with
others of north Semitic or Hamitic origin, viz., the
Greeks and Eomans.

The history of the internal development of the univer-
sal religions and their mutual comparison lie beyond our
plan ; they require separate study, and are too vast to be
included here. The third division, however, will trace
the development of Islam out of the Semitic religion ;
the fourth, that of Buddhism from Brahmanism ; and the



6 HISTORY OF RELIGION.

fifth will indicate how European Christianity arose out of
the fusion of Semitic and Indo-Germanic religions.


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