Lectures on the Origin and Growth of the Conception of God

2nd ed.  (Oxford: Williams and Norgate, 1897)

[The Hibbert Lectures, 1891].  Pp. 4 and 47.


[4] These elements, common to all organized religions, may be classed as follows:


“1. The belief in the existence of superhuman beings who intervene in a mysterious manner in the destinies of man and the course of nature.

“2. Attempts to draw near to these beings or to escape them, to forecast the object of their intervention and the form it will take, or to modify their action by conciliation  or compulsion.

“3. Recourse to the mediation of certain individuals supposed to have special qualification for success in such attempts.c

“4. The placing of certain customs under the sanction of the superhuman powers.


[47] By religion, then, I mean the conception man forms of his relations with the superhuman and mysterious powers on which he believes himself to depend [47].

[For more comments by d'Alviella, go to Crawley.]

[Submitted by James A. Santucci]