Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Book Review: Lectures on the Origin of Religion

'Lectures on the Origin of Religion' by Max Muller is a collection of essays. It begins with a lecture on 'Problem of the origin of religion' where the general nature of religion, its meaning, functions, etc., is analyzed. The origin and growth of religions are analyzed with special reference to religions of India. In subsequent 'lectures', the author marvels at the abstract thoughts and original concepts hiding in the religions even of savage tribes. He respectfully observes, "all the ancient religions floats in the air, each one takes as much or as little as one likes". Apprehension of the infinite, Fetishism, a primitive form of religion, The worship of tangible, and intangible objects, The infinite in its earliest conception, Monotheism in primitive religions, are some of the interesting aspects discussed here. Which is followed by a discussion on the tendency towards atheism, with the impact that could make on the concepts of theism, which is analyzed especially in view of philosophical influence of Vedic religions of India. How, the careful observance of one's prayers and sacrifices carried the promise, not only of a long and prosperous life on earth, but also of the highest happiness in heaven.
This book takes pain to remind us of the abstract nature of early religions. Now, when I see many of the, so called modern people indulging in mindless violence in the name of religion, I am sure, nobody would have ever read this. I am also sure, this book validates the thoughts I expressed through my hub https://hubpages.com/politics/evolutionofreligion.