A Comparative View of Religions

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The conception of religion presupposes, a, God as object; b, man as subject; c, the mutual relation existing between them. According to the various stages of development which men have reached, religious belief manifests itself either in the form of a passive feeling of dependence, where the subject, not yet conscious of his independence, feels himself wholly overmastered by the deity, or the object of worship, as by a power outside of and opposed to himself; or, when the feeling of independence has awakened, in a one-sided elevation of the human, whereby man in worshiping a deity deifies himself. In the highest stage of religious development, the most entire feeling of dependence is united in religion with the strongest consciousness of personal independence. The first of these forms is exhibited in the fetich and nature-worship of the ancient nations; the second in Buddhism, and in the deification of the human, which reaches its full height among the Greeks.
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March 12, 2016
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