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Max Weber - Prophet


(C.1) Definition

What is a prophet, from the viewpoint of sociology? [25] We shall understand "prophet" a purely individual bearer of charisma, who by one's mission proclaims religious teaching or divine commandment. No radical distinction will be drawn between a "renewer of religion" who reveals a new meaning in an older revelation, actual or fictitious, and a "founder of religion" who brings completely new revelations. The two types are interconnected to one another. In any case, the formation of a new religious community need not be the result of the announcement by prophets, since it may be produced by the activities of non-prophetic reformers. Nor shall we be concerned in this context with the question whether the followers of a prophet are more attracted to his person, as in the cases of Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muhammad, or to his teaching, as in the cases of Buddha and the prophets of Israel.

(C.1.a) Priest And Prophet

For our purposes here, the "personal" call is the decisive element distinguishing the prophet from the priest. First of all, the prophet declares new revelations by charisma, whereas the priest serves to a sacred tradition. It is no accident that almost no prophet has come from the priesthood. As a rule, the Indian teachers of salvation were not Brahmins, nor were the Israelite prophets priests. Zoroaster's case is exceptional in that there exists a possibility that he might have descended from the priestly nobility. The priest, in clear contrast, dispenses salvational goods by his office. Even in cases in which personal charisma may be attached to a priest, he remains as a member of the priestly enterprise of salvation, which legitimizes his office.

(C.1.b) Magician And Prophet

On the other hand the prophet, like the magician, exerts his power entirely by his personal gifts. Unlike the magician, however, the prophet declares meaningful revelations, and his commission is teaching or commandment, not magic. Outwardly, the distinction is fluid. The magician is frequently an announcer of divination, and sometimes in this alone. At this stage, revelation functions continuously as oracle or dream interpretation. Without prior consultation with the magician, no innovations in social relationships could be adopted in primitive times. To this day, in certain parts of Australia, it is the dream revelations of magicians that are set before the councils of clan heads for adoption, and it is a mark of "secularization" that this practice is receding.

On the other hand, it is only under very unusual circumstances that a prophet succeeds in establishing his authority without charismatic demonstration, which in practice meant magic. At least the bearers of "new" teaching practically always needed such validation. It must not be forgotten for an instant that the entire basis of Jesus' own legitimation, [26] as well as his claim that he and only he knew the Father [27] and that the way to God was through faith in him alone, [28] was the magical charisma he felt within himself. It was doubtless this consciousness of power, more than anything else, that led him to the road of the prophet. During the apostolic period of early Christianity and thereafter the wandering prophet was a constant phenomenon. There was always required of such prophets a proof of their possession of particular gifts of the spirit, of special magical or ecstatic abilities.

Prophets very often practiced "vocational" divination as well as magical healing and counseling. This was true, for example, of the seer, the "mass-oriented prophet" (nabi), so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, especially in the prophetic books and Chronicles. But what distinguishes the prophet, in the sociological sense of the term, from the magician is economic, that is, prophecy is free of charge. Thus, Amos indignantly rejected to be called "nabi." [29] Free of charge also distinguishes the prophet from the priest. The typical prophet propagates "ideas" for their own sake and not for fees, at least not in any obvious or regulated form. The free-of-charge character of prophetic propaganda have taken various forms. Thus developed the carefully cultivated postulate that the apostle, prophet, or teacher of ancient Christianity must not make living by his religious proclamations. Also, limitations were set upon the length of the time he could enjoy the hospitality of the believers. The Christian prophet had to make living by the labor of his own hands or, as among the Buddhists, only from voluntary alms which he had not specifically begged. These mandates were repeatedly emphasized in the Pauline letters, and in another form in the Buddhist monastic rules. The dictum "whosoever will not work, shall not eat" [30] is directed to missionaries; however, the free of charge is, of course, one of the chief reasons for the success of prophetic propaganda itself.

(C.1.c) Prophetic Age

The period of the older Israelite prophecy at about the time of Elijah was an epoch of strong prophetic propaganda throughout the Near East and Greece. Perhaps prophecy in all its types arose, especially in the Near East, in connection with the rise of the great world empires in Asia, and the intensification of international commerce after a long interruption. At that time Greece was exposed to the spread of the Thracian cult of Dionysos, as well as to the most diverse types of prophecies. In addition to the semi-prophetic social reformers, certain purely religious movements now broke into the simple magical and cultic lore of the Homeric priests. Emotional cults, emotional prophecy based on "speaking with tongues," and highly valued intoxicating ecstasy broke the unfolding of theological rationalism (Hesiod), the beginnings of cosmological and philosophic speculation, of mystic teachings and salvation religions. The growth of these emotional cults paralleled both overseas colonization and, above all, the formation of city-states and its transformation which resulted from the development of a citizen army. It is not necessary to detail here these developments of the eighth and seventh centuries some of which reached into the sixth and even the fifth century. [31] They were contemporary with Jewish, Persian, and Hindu prophetic movements, and probably also with the achievements of Chinese ethics in the pre-Confucian period, although we have only scant knowledge of the latter. These Greek "prophets" differed widely among themselves in regard to the economic criterion of free-of-charge, and in regard to the possession of a "teaching." The Greeks also made a distinction between taking-charge and free-of-charge teaching of ideas, as we see from the example of Socrates. In Greece, furthermore, there existed a clear differentiation between the actual communal religion, namely Orphism with its doctrine of salvation, and every other type of prophecy and technique of salvation, especially those of the mysteries. Our primary task is to differentiate the various types of prophets from the specific bringers of salvation, religious or otherwise.

(C.1.d) Lawgiver and Prophet

Even in historical times the transition from the "prophet" to the "lawgiver" is fluid, if one understands the latter to mean a person who in a concrete case has been assigned the task of codifying a law systematically or of reconstituting it, as was the case notably with the Greek lawgiver (aisymnetes), for example, Solon, Charondas, etc. In no case did such a lawgiver or his labor fail to receive divine approval, if only subsequently.

A lawgiver is quite different from the Italian arbitrator (podesta), who is summoned from outside the society, not for the purpose of creating a new social order, but to provide a detached, impartial arbitrator, especially when families of the same social rank feud with one another. On the other hand, lawgivers were generally, though not always, called to their office when social tensions between different social classes were in evidence. This was apt to occur with special frequency in the one situation which commonly provided the earliest cause to a "social policy": the economic differentiation of the warrior class as a result of growing monetary wealth of one part and the debt enslavement of another; an additional factor was the dissatisfaction arising from the unrealized political aspirations of rising commercial people which, having acquired wealth through economic activity, was now challenging the old warrior nobility. It was the task of the lawgiver to resolve the conflicts between status groups and to create a new sacred law of eternal authenticity, gaining the belief in its divinities.

(C.1.d.1) Moses

It is very likely that Moses was a historical figure. If it was the case, he would be classified functionally as a lawgiver. For the prescriptions of the oldest sacred legislation of the Hebrews presuppose a money economy and hence sharp conflicts of interests, whether impending or already existing, within the confederacy. It was Moses' task to find a compromise solution of these conflicts (for example, the debt release in the Sabbatical Year) [32] and to organize the Israelite confederacy with an integral national god. His work stands midway between the ancient Greek lawgiver and Muhammad. The reception of the Mosaic law stimulated a period of expansion of the newly unified people in much the same way that the compromise among status groups stimulated expansion in so many other cases, particularly in Athens and Rome. The scriptural dictum that "after Moses there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto him" [33] means that the Jews never had another lawgiver.

(C.1.e) Prophet and Social Policy

Not all prophets were the lawgiver in this sense, but in general what normally passes for prophecy does not belong to this category. To be sure, even the later prophets of Israel were concerned with "social policy." They threw their "woe be unto you" against those who oppressed and enslaved the poor, those who joined field to field, and those who deflected justice by bribes. These were the typical actions leading to class stratification everywhere in the ancient world, and were everywhere intensified by the development of the city-state. Jerusalem too had been organized into a city-state by the time of these later prophets. A distinctive concern with social problem is characteristic of Israelite prophets. This concern is all the more notable because such a trait is lacking in Hindu prophecy of the same period, although the conditions in India at the time of the Buddha have been described as relatively similar to those in Greece during the sixth century.

The difference toward social policy between the Israel and the India prophets resulted from their different religious grounds, which will be discussed later. But it must not be forgotten that in the motivation of the Israelite prophets these social policy were only means to an end. Their primary concern was with foreign politics, chiefly because it constituted the theater of their god's activity. The Israelite prophets saw social and other types of injustice, which violated the spirit of the Mosaic law, only as a motive of god's wrath, not as the cause of a program of social reform. It is noteworthy that the sole theoretician of social reform, Ezekiel, was a priestly theorist who can scarcely be categorized as a prophet at all. Finally, Jesus was not at all interested in social reform as such.

Zoroaster shared with his cattle-raising people a hatred of the spoiling nomads, but his message was primary religious. His central concern was the struggle against the orgiastic cult for his own divine mission, [34] which of course had incidental economic consequences. A similar primary focus upon religion appeared very clearly in the case of Muhammad, whose program of social reform, which Umar carried through consistently, was oriented almost entirely to the unification of the faithful for the fighting against the infidels and of maintaining the largest possible number of warriors.

(C.1.f) Tyrant and Prophet

It is characteristic of the prophets that they do not receive their mission from any human agency, but usurped it by themselves. To be sure, usurpation also characterized by the tyrants in the Greek city-states. These Greek tyrants were a lawgiver in their general functioning, and they frequently pursued their own religious policies, namely, supporting the emotional cult of Dionysos, which was popular with the masses rather than with the nobility. But the prophets usurped their power of divine revelation primary for religious purpose. For the prophets, typical religious propaganda directed to the struggle against orgiastic cult, the entirely opposite direction of the typical religious policy of the Greek tyrants. The religion of Muhammad, which is fundamentally political in its orientation, and his position in Medina, which was in between that of an Italian arbitrator and that of Calvin at Geneva, grew primarily out of his purely prophetic mission. A merchant, he was first a leader of pietistic citizenry conventicles in Mecca, until he realized more and more clearly that the external basis for his missionizing would be provided by the organization of the booty interests of the warrior clans.

(C.1.g) Ethic Teacher and Prophet

On the other hand, there are various transitional phases linking the prophet to the ethic teacher, especially the social ethic teacher. Such a teacher, full of new or renewed ancient wisdom, gathers disciples about him, counsels private persons, and advises princes in public affairs and possibly tries to make them establish a new ethical order. The tie between the religious or philosophical teacher and his disciple is uncommonly strong and regulated in an authoritarian manner, particularly in the sacred laws of Asia. This tie is categorized as one of the firmest relationships of human piety. Generally, the piety relationship is regulated by magic as heroism. The novice is assigned to a particularly experienced master or is permitted to choose a master, whom only he is attached to in his personal piety and depended on for his training, as the young "fox" can choose the senior member in German fraternities. All the Greek poetry of homosexuality derives from such a relationship of piety, and similar phenomena are to be found among Buddhists and Confucianists, indeed in all monastic education.

(C.1.g.1) Guru

The most complete expression of this disciple-master relationship is to be found in the position of the "guru" in Hindu sacred law. Every young person, even of the noble family, has to devote himself unconditionally for many years to the instruction and direction of life provided by such a guru. The guru has absolute power over his disciples, and the obedience of the disciple to his guru is comparable to that of the Occidental servant to his master, and preceded over that to parents. The position of the court Brahmin (purohita) was officially regulated so as to raise his position far above that of the most powerful father confessor in the Occident. Yet the guru is, after all, only a teacher of transmitted knowledge, not revealed one, and his authority is based on this commission to the knowledge, not on his own charisma.

(C.1.h) Philosopher

The philosophical ethicist and the social reformer are not prophets in our sense of the word, no matter how closely they may seem to resemble prophets. Actually, the oldest Greek sages, who like Empedocles and Pythagoras are wreathed in legend, stand closest to the prophets. Some of them even formed the community of a distinctive doctrine of salvation and conduct of life, and they laid some claim to the status of savior. Such teachers of intellectual salvation have parallels in India, but the Greek teachers fell far short of the Hindu teachers in consistently focusing both life and teaching on salvation.

Even less can the founders and heads of the actual "schools of philosophy" be regarded as prophets in our sense, no matter how closely they may approach this category in some respects. From Confucius, in whose temple even the emperor makes his obeisance, graded transitions lead to Plato. But both of them were simply a teacher of a school of philosophy, who differed chiefly in that Confucius was centrally concerned with influencing princes in the direction of particular social reforms, and Plato only occasionally.

What primarily differentiates such figures from the prophets is their lack of that vital emotional preaching which is distinctive of prophecy, regardless of whether this is disseminated by the spoken word, the pamphlet, or any other literary type of revelation, for example, the chapters (suras) of the Koran by Muhammad. The activity of the prophet is closer to that of the demagogue or of the journalist than the "enterprise" of the teacher. On the other hand, the activity of Socrates, who also felt himself opposed to the professional teaching enterprise of the Sophists, must be distinguished conceptually from the activities of a prophet by the absence of a directly revealed religious mission. Socrates' "genius" (daimonion) reacted only to concrete situations, and then only to discourage and admonish. For Socrates, this was the limit of his ethical and strongly utilitarian rationalism, which corresponded to the position of magical divination for Confucius. For this reason, Socrates' genius cannot be compared at all to the "conscience" of a genuine religious ethic; much less can it be regarded as the instrument of prophecy.

Such a distance from the prophet holds true of all philosophers and their schools as they were known in China, India, ancient Greece, and in the medieval period among Jews, Arabs, and Christians alike. All such philosophical schools were rather similar from a sociological point of view. For their mode of life, they may be nearer to the mystical ritual prophecy of salvation, as in the case of the Pythagorean, or to the exemplary prophecy of salvation (in the sense soon to be explained), as in the case of the Cynics, who protested against the sacramental grace of the mysteries as well as against worldly civilization, and who in this regard show certain affinities to Hindu and Oriental ascetic sects. But the prophet, in our special sense, is never to be found where the proclamation of a religious truth of salvation through personal revelation is lacking. In our view, this qualification must be regarded as the decisive hallmark of prophecy.

(C.1.i) Reformer

Finally, the Hindu reformers of religion such as Shankara and Ramanuja and their Occidental counterparts like Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Wesley are to be distinguished from the category of prophets by the fact that they do not claim to be offering a substantively new revelation or to be speaking in the name of a special divine representative. New revelation by the name of god is what characterized the founder of the Mormon church, who resembled, even in matters of detail, Muhammad; above all, it characterized the Jewish prophets. The prophetic personality is also manifest in Montanus and Novatian, and in such figures as Mani and Marcion whose message had a more rational teaching than did that of George Fox, an emotional prophet.

(C.1.j) Mystery Cultist

When we have separated out from the category of prophet all the aforementioned types, which sometimes abut very closely, various others still remain. The first is that of the mystery cultist who performs sacraments, namely, magical actions that bring the goods of salvation. Throughout the entire world there have been saviors of this type. The mystery cultist is distinguished from the usual magician, though only a matter of degree, by the formation of a special community. Very frequently dynasties of mystery cultists developed on the basis of a sacramental charisma which was validated as hereditary. These dynasties maintained their prestige for centuries, investing their disciples with great authority and thus developing a kind of hierarchical position. This was especially true in India, where the title of guru was also used for such distributors of salvation and their authority. It was likewise the case in China, where the hierarch of the Taoists and the heads of certain secret sects played just such hereditary roles. Finally, one type of exemplary prophet to be discussed presently was also generally transformed into a mystery cultist in the second generation.

The mystery cultists were also very widely spread throughout the Near East, and they entered Greece in the prophetic age which we discussed already. [35] Yet the far more ancient noble families who were the hereditary chief of the Eleusinian mysteries also represented at least another marginal manifestation of the simple hereditary priestly families. The mystery cultists, who distribute magical salvation, lack ethical teaching or at least teaching play only a very subordinate role in their enterprise. Instead, they possess the doctrine of hereditarily transmitted magical art. Moreover, they normally make a living from their greatly demanded cult. Consequently we must exclude him too from the conception of prophet, even though he sometimes revealed new ways of salvation.

(C.2) Natures Of Prophecy

(C.2.a) Ethical and Exemplary Prophecy

Thus, there remain only two kinds of prophets in our sense, one represented most clearly by the Buddha, the other with especial clarity by Zoroaster and Muhammad. The prophet may be primarily, as in the last cases, an instrument for the proclamation of a god and his will, be this a concrete command or an abstract norm. As a commission from god, he demands obedience as an ethical duty. This type we shall term the "ethical prophet." On the other hand, the prophet may be an exemplary person who, by his personal example, demonstrates to others the way to religious salvation, as in the case of the Buddha. The preaching of an exemplary prophet says nothing about a divine mission or an ethical duty of obedience, but rather directs itself to the self-interest of those who need salvation, recommending them to follow the same path as he himself walked. We call this second type the "exemplary prophet."

The exemplary type is particularly characteristic of prophecy in India, although there have been a few manifestations of it in China (for example, Lao Tzu) and the Near East. On the other hand, the ethical type is confined to the Near East, regardless of racial differences there. For neither the Vedas nor the classical books of the Chinese--the oldest portions of which in both cases consist of songs of praise and thanksgiving by sacred singers, and of magical rites and ceremonies--makes it appear at all probable that prophecy of the ethical type, such as developed in the Near East or Iran, could ever have arisen in India or China.

(C.2.b) God and Prophets

The decisive reason for this is the absence of a personal, transcendental, and ethical god. In India this concept was found only in a sacramental and magical form, and then only in the later and popular faiths. But in the religions of those social strata within which the decisive prophetic type of Mahavira and Buddha were developed, the ethical concept of god appeared only intermittently and was constantly subjected to reinterpretations in the direction of pantheism. In China the notion of ethical god was altogether lacking because the ethics of the stratum exercised the greatest influence in the society. To what degree this may presumably be associated with the intellectual distinctiveness of such strata, which was of course determined by various social factors, will be discussed later.

As far as inner religious factors are concerned, it was decisive for both India and China that the conception of a rationally regulated world had its point of origin in the ceremonial order of sacrifices, on the unalterable sequence of which everything depended: especially the indispensable regularity of meteorological processes; in animistic thinking, what was involved here was the normal activity or inactivity of the spirits and demons. According to both classical and heterodox Chinese views, these processes were held to be insured by the regulation of ethically proper conduct that followed the correct path of virtue, the Tao; without this everything would fail, even according to Vedic teaching. Thus, in India and China, Rita and Tao respectively represented similar super-divine, impersonal forces.

On the other hand, the personal, transcendental and ethical god is a Near-Eastern concept. It corresponds so closely to that of an all-powerful secular king with his rational bureaucratic regime that a causal connection can scarcely be denied.

(C.2.b.1) God as Rainmaker

Throughout the world the magician is in the first instance a rainmaker, for the harvest depends on timely and sufficient rain, though not in excessive quantity. Until the present time the pontifical Chinese emperor has remained a rainmaker, for in northern China, at least, the uncertainty of the weather renders dubious the operation of irrigation procedures, no matter how extensive they are. Of greater significance was the construction of defense walls, and internal canals, which became the real source of the imperial bureaucracy. The emperor sought to avert meteorological disturbances through sacrifices, public atonement, and various virtuous practices, for example, the termination of abuses in the administration, or a raid on unpunished malefactors. For it was always assumed that the reason for the excitation of the spirits and the disturbances of the cosmic order had to be sought either in the personal derelictions of the monarch or in some manifestation of social disorder. Again, rain was one of the rewards promised by Yahweh to his devotees, who were at that time primarily peasants, as is clearly apparent in the older portions of the tradition. God promised neither too scanty rain nor yet excessive precipitation or flood.

(C.2.b.2) Gods of Near East

But throughout Mesopotamia and Arabia it was not rain that was the creator of the harvest, but artificial irrigation alone. In Mesopotamia, irrigation was the sole source of the absolute rulership of the monarch, who derived his income by compelling his conquered subjects to build canals and cities adjoining them, just as the regulation of the Nile was the source of the Egyptian monarch's strength. In the desert and semiarid regions of the Near East this control of irrigation waters was probably one source of the conception of a god who had "created" the earth and person out of "nothing" and not conceived them, as was believed elsewhere. An irrigation economy of this kind actually did produce a harvest out of nothing, from the desert sands. The monarch even created order by law and rational codification, a development the world experienced the first time in Mesopotamia. It seems quite reasonable, therefore, that as a result of such experiences the ordering of the world should be conceived as the law of a freely acting, transcendental and personal god.

The factor accounting for the development in the Near East of a world order that reflected the operation of a personal god was the relative absence of those distinctive strata who were the bearers of the Hindu and Chinese ethics, and who created the "godless" religious ethics found in those countries. To be sure, in Egypt, Pharaoh himself was originally a god, and Pharaoh Akhenaton attempted to establish an astral monotheism against the invincible power of the priesthood, which had by then systematized popular animism. In Mesopotamia the development of monotheism and demagogic prophecy was opposed by the ancient pantheon, which was politically organized and had been systematized by the priests; such a development was, furthermore, limited by the firm order of the state. The kingdom of the Pharaohs and of Mesopotamia made an even more powerful impression upon the Israelites than the great Persian monarch upon the Greek kingdom (basileus). [36] The Israelites had gained their freedom from the "house of bondage" of the earthly Pharaoh only because a divine king had come to their assistance. Indeed, their subsequent establishment of a worldly monarchy was expressly declared to be a defection from Yahweh, the real ruler of the people. Hebrew prophecy was completely oriented to a relationship with the great political powers of the time, the Great Kings, who as the rods of God's wrath first destroy Israel and then, as a consequence of divine intervention, permit Israelites to return from the Exile to their own land. In the case of Zoroaster too it seems that the range of his vision was oriented to the views of the civilized lands of the West.

Thus, the distinctive character of the earliest prophecy, in both its dualistic and monotheistic types, seems to have been determined decisively --aside from the operation of certain other concrete historical influences-- by the pressure of relatively contiguous great centers of highly controlled social organization upon less developed neighboring peoples. The latter tended to see in their own continuous peril from the pitiless bellicosity of terrible nations the anger and grace of a heavenly king.

(C.2.c) Prophetic Revelation

Regardless of whether a prophet is predominantly ethical or exemplary in character, prophetic revelation always signifies for both the prophet himself and for his followers --this is also a common element to both types-- a unified view of the life attained by a consciously integrated meaningful attitude toward life. To the prophet, both human life and the world, both social and cosmic events, have a certain systematic and unified "meaning," to which the human behavior must be oriented, if it is to bring salvation, and after which the relation of behavior must be integrated. Now the contents of this "meaning" may have varied, and it may weld together various subjects that are logically quite heterogeneous. The whole conception is dominated, not by logical consistency, but by practical values. Yet it always signifies, regardless of any variations in scope and in measure of success, an effort to systematize all the aspects of life; that is, to systematize practical behavior into an conduct of life, regardless of the conditions it may assume in any individual case. Moreover, this meaning always contains the important religious conception of the world as a "cosmos," which postulates that the world is somehow a "meaningful," ordered totality, the particular manifestations of which are to be measured and evaluated according to this postulate.

The conflict between empirical reality and this conception of the world as a meaningful totality, which is based on the religious postulate, produces the strongest tensions in the inner conduct of life as well as in his external relationship to the world. To be sure, this problem is by no means dealt with by prophecy alone. Both priestly wisdom and secular philosophy, the intellectualist as well as the popular varieties, are somehow concerned with it. The ultimate question of all metaphysics has always been something like this: if the world as a whole and life in particular were to have a "meaning," what might it be, and how would the world have to look in order to correspond to it The religious question of prophets and priests is the womb from which non-religious philosophy emanated, where it developed at all. Subsequently, such secular philosophy was a very important component of religious development. Hence, we must now examine more closely the mutual relationships of priests, prophets, and non-priests.


(D.1) Origins Of Religious Community

(D.1.a) Prophetic Community

If his prophecy is successful, the prophet succeeds in winning enduring helpers. These may be apostle (the Gathas of Zoroaster), [37] disciples (the Old Testament and Hindu), comrades (Hindu and Islamic) or followers (Isaiah and the New Testament). In all cases they are personal devotees of the prophet, in contrast to priests and soothsayers who are organized into guilds or office hierarchies. We shall discuss further this relationship in our analysis of the types of rulership. [38] Moreover, in addition to these enduring helpers, who are active co-workers with the prophet in his mission and who generally also possess some special charismatic qualifications, there is a circle of devotees who support the prophet with lodging, money, and services and who expect to attain their salvation through his mission. These may engage in occasional social action or be obliged to continuous social relationship in a community.

A "community" in the specifically religious sense (for this term is also employed to the neighborhood that has been engaged for economic or for fiscal or other political purposes) does not arise solely in connection with prophecy in the particular sense used here. Nor does it arise in connection with every type of prophecy. Primarily, however, a religious community arises as a result of routinization of a prophetic movement, namely, as a result of the process whereby either the prophet himself or his disciples secure the permanence of its preaching and the dispensation of grace. Hence they insure also the economic existence of the enterprise and its staff, and thereby monopolize its privilege of grace and charge for its preservation.

(D.1.b) Cultic Community

A community is also formed by mystery cultists and priests of non-prophetic religions. For the mystery cultist, indeed, the presence of a community is an usual phenomenon. The magician, in contrast, engages its vocation independently or as a member of a guild, and serves a particular neighborhood or political band, not a specific religious community. The cultic community, for example the Eleusinian mysteries, generally remains an open relationship with changing membership. Whoever is a direct need of salvation would enter into a social relationship, generally temporary, with the mystery cultist and its assistants. It is always an inter-local community as the Eleusinian mysteries was.

(D.1.c) Exemplary Community and Lay Devotee

The situation is quite different in the case of exemplary prophets who demonstrate the way of salvation by their personal example. Only those who unconditionally follow the example, for instance, the mendicant monks of Mahavira and the Buddha, belong to a narrower "exemplary community." Within this narrower community the disciples, who may still be personally tied with the prophet, exert particular authority. Outside of the exemplary community, however, there are pious devotees (for example, the Upasakas of India) who do not go the whole way of salvation for themselves, but seek to gain a relative optimum of salvation by relating their devotion to the exemplary savior. These devotees either lack altogether any continuing communal relationship, as was originally the case with the Buddhist Upasakas, or they are formed to some social relationship with fixed rules and obligations. This regularly happens when priests, religious counselors, or mystery cultists like the Buddhist priest (bonze) who was separated out from the exemplary community and entrusted with cultic obligations (which did not exist in the earliest stages of Buddhism). But the social relationship of Buddhist devotees remained a voluntary occasional society, which is also the rule of devotees for the majority of mystery cultists and exemplary prophets as well as the temple priesthoods of particular deities in the pantheon.

(D.1.d) Occasional Lay Society

The economic existence of mystery cultists, exemplary prophets and temple priesthoods is sustained by endowments, sacrificial offerings and other gifts provided by persons in religious needs. At this stage there is still no trace of an enduring community of laypersons and our present conceptions of membership in a religious congregation are not applicable. A devotee of a god is an individual in the same sense as an Italian devotee of a particular saint. [39] Apart from those who continuously participate in the cult of a god and possibly a narrow circle having an enduring interest in it, all that we have at this stage are only occasional lay "followers," or if one wants to use a modern political expression, "unorganized supporters."

(D.1.e) Lay Community

Naturally, this condition does not satisfy the interests of cult's providers, if only because of purely economic considerations. Consequently, they endeavor to create regular devotees and also an enduring social relationship of laypersons with fixed rights and duties. Such a transformation from an occasional social relationship to an enduring community is the usual process by which the teaching of the prophets enters into everyday life, as the function of an enduring institution. The disciples or followers of the prophets thereupon become mystery cultists, teachers, priests or pastors (or a combination of them all), serving to exclusively religious purposes, namely, to the lay community.

But the same result can be reached from other starting points. We have seen that the priests emerged from the functionary of magicians to priesthood proper. The priests were originated either from ritualist families, or domestic and court ritualist of landlords and princes. Or, they were emerged from occasional performers of sacrificial cult within a status organization where individuals or bands applied to these priests for assistance as the need arose, but for the rest they could engage in any occupation except dishonorable one to their status. Or, finally, the priests may attache to particular bands, vocational or otherwise, and especially to a political band. But in all these cases there is no genuine "community" which is separate from all other bands.

Such a community may arise when a clan of sacrificing priests succeeds in organizing the particular followers of their god into an exclusive community. Or, more usual way, a religious community arises as a consequence of the destruction of a political band, wherever the religious adherents of the band's god and its priests continue a social relationship. The first type is found in India and the Near East, where it is connected, in numerous intermediate gradations, with the transition of mystery cultists and exemplary prophecy or of religious reform movements into an enduring organization of communities. Many small Hindu denominations developed as a result of such processes.

By contrast, the second type, from the priests serving a political band into a religious community was associated primarily with the rise of the great world empires of the Near East, especially Persia. Political bands were annihilated and the population disarmed; their priesthoods, however, were guaranteed their positions for certain political purposes. The religious community was utilized as a valuable instrument for the domestication the conquered, just as the compulsory community of the neighborhood was used for the securing of financial interests. Thus, by decrees of the Persian kings from Cyrus to Artaxerxes, Judaism evolved into a religious community under royal protection, with a theocratic center in Jerusalem. A Persian victory against Greek city-states would have brought similar chances and opportunities to the Delphic Apollo and to the priestly families servicing other gods, and possibly also to the Orphic prophets. In Egypt, after the decline of political independence, the national priesthood developed a sort of "church" organization, apparently the first of its kind, with synods. On the other hand, religious communities in India arose in the more limited sense as exemplary communities. There, because of the multiplicity of temporary political formation, first the status unity of the Brahmins and of ascetic regulation penetrated. As a consequence, salvational ethic emerged and spread over all political boundaries. In Iran, the Zoroastrian priests succeeded during the course of the centuries in propagandizing a closed religious organization which under the Sassanids became a political "confessional community," [40] derived from the relationships between political power and religious community. [41] At this point it suffices to note that communal religion is a phenomenon of diverse manifestations and great fluidity. We want to use the term lay community only when the laypersons have been oriented to enduring social relationship and actively participate.

(D.1.f) Parish and Sect

A mere administrative unit which limits the jurisdiction of priests is a "parish" but not yet a community. But even the concept of a parish, as a grouping different from the secular, political, or economic community, is missing in the religions of China and ancient India. Again, the Greek and other ancient phratries and similar cultic communities were not parishes, but political or other types of community whose actions stood under the guardianship of some god. As for the parish of ancient Buddhism, moreover, this was only a district in which temporarily resident mendicant monks were required to participate in the semimonthly gathering.

In medieval Christianity in the Occident, in post-Reformation Lutheranism and Anglicanism, and in both Christianity and Islam in the Near East, the parish was essentially a passive church tax unit and the jurisdictional district of a priest. In these religions the laypersons generally lacked completely the character of a community. To be sure, small traces of communal rights have been retained in certain Oriental churches and have also been found in Occidental Catholicism and Lutheranism.

On the other hand, ancient Buddhist monasticism, like the warriors of ancient Islam, and like Judaism and ancient Christianity, had religious communities with varying degrees of social relationships. Furthermore, a certain actual influence of the laity may be combined with the absence of a regular communal organization. An example of this would be Islam, where the laity wields considerable power, particularly in the Shiite, even though this is not legally secure; the Shah, the secualr ruler of the Iran monachy, usually would not appoint priests without being certain of the consent of the local laity.

On the other hand, it is the distinctive characteristic of every "sect," in the technical sense of the term, a subject we shall consider later, [42] that it is based on a restricted social relationship of individual local associations. From this principle, which is represented in Protestantism by the Baptists and Independents, and later by the Congregationalists, a gradual transition leads to the typical organization of the Reformed Church. Even where the latter has become a universal organization, it nevertheless makes membership conditional upon a contractual entry into some particular association. We shall return later to some of the problems which arise from these diversities.

(D.2) Development Of Religious Community

At the moment, we are particularly interested in just one consequence of the generally so very important development of genuine communal religiosity. That is the relationship between priesthood and laity within the community becomes of crucial significance for the practical effect of the religiosity. As the organization assumes the specific character of a community, the very powerful position of the priest is increasingly confronted with the needs of the laity, in the interest of maintaining and enlarging the membership of the community. Actually, every type of priesthood is to some extent in a similar position. In order to maintain its own power, the priesthood must frequently meet the needs of the laity in a very considerable degree. The three forces of the laity with which the priesthood must confront are (a) prophecy, (b) the traditionalism of the laity, and (c) lay intellectualism. In contrast to these forces, another decisive force here derives from the necessities and tendencies of the priestly enterprise as such. We first discuss the force of priest in relation to that of prophecy.

(D.2.a) Prophet vs. Priest

As a rule, the ethical and exemplary prophet is a layperson, and its power position depends on the lay followers. Every prophecy by its very nature devalues the magical elements of the priestly enterprise, but in very different degrees. The Buddha and his contemporaries, as well as the prophets of Israel,not only rejected to belong to the magician and soothsayers (who are also called "prophets" in the Israelite sources), but also scorned all magic as useless. Only a distinctively religious and meaningful relationship to the eternal can bring salvation. Among the Buddhists it was regarded as a mortal sin to boast vainly of magical capacities; yet the existence of the latter among the unfaithful was never denied by the prophets of either India or Israel, nor denied by the Christian apostles or the ancient Christian tradition. All prophets, as a result of their rejection of magic, were naturally skeptical of the priestly enterprise, though in varying degrees and attitudes. The god of the Israelite prophets requires not burnt offerings, but obedience to his commandments. The Buddhist salvation can not be reached by merely Vedic knowledge and ritual. The ancient soma offering was represented in the oldest Gathas as an abomination to Ahura-mazda. [43]

Thus, tensions between the prophets, their lay followers and the representatives of the priestly tradition existed everywhere. To what degree the prophet would succeed in fulfilling his mission, or would become a martyr, depended on the power-situation, which in some instances, for example, in Israel, was determined by the international situation. Apart from his own family, Zoroaster depended on the clans of the nobles and princes for support in his struggle against the nameless counter-prophet; this was also the case in India and with Muhammad. On the other hand, the Israelite prophets depended on the support of the urban and rural middle status. All of them, however, made use of the prestige of their prophetic charisma, as opposed to the technicians of the routine cults, and had gained authority among the laity. The authority of a new revelation opposed that of tradition; and depending on the success of the propaganda by each side, the priesthood might compromise with the new prophecy, transform its teaching, or eliminate it, unless it were eliminated.

(D.2.b) Scripture

In any case, the priesthood had the task of codifying either the victorious new teaching or the old teaching which had maintained itself despite of the attack of the prophets. The priesthood had to make the limit of what must and must not be regarded as sacred and had to impress its views on the belief of the laity, if it was to secure its own rulership. Yet the priesthood was not always in the immediate danger of the direct attack of anti-priestly prophets, as for example in India, where the priesthood developed very early. The interest of the priesthood in securing its own position against possible attack, and the necessity of insuring the traditional practice against the scepticism of the laity might produce similar results. Wherever this development took place it produced two phenomena, namely, canonical writings and dogmas, both of which might be of very different scope, particularly the latter. Canonical scriptures contain the revelations and traditions themselves, whereas dogmas are priestly interpretations of their meaning.

(D.2.b.1) Oral Tradition

The collection of the prophetic religious revelations or, in the other case, of the traditionally transmitted sacred lore, may take place in the form of oral tradition. Throughout many centuries the sacred knowledge of the Brahmins was transmitted orally, and setting it down in writing was actually prohibited. This of course left an enduring mark on the literary form of this knowledge and also accounts for the considerable discrepancies in the texts of individual schools (shakhas), the reason being that this knowledge was meant to be possessed only by qualified persons, namely the born-again. To transmit such knowledge to anyone who had not experienced the rebirth and was excluded from his caste (shudra) was a outrageous sin. This character of secret knowledge was after all the magical doctrine of cult, originally, to protect the professional interest of the guild.

But there are also aspects of this magical knowledge which everywhere become the object for the systematic instruction of the members of the society-at-large. The root of the oldest and most universally diffused magical system of education is the animistic notion that just as the magician himself requires rebirth and the possession of a new soul for his art, so heroism rests on a charisma which must be aroused, tested, and proved into the hero by magical manipulations. In this way, therefore, the warrior is reborn into heroism. Charismatic education in this sense, with its novitiates, trials of courage, tortures, gradations of holiness and honor, initiation of youths, and preparation for battle, is an almost universal institution of all warrior societies.

When the guild of magicians finally develops into the priesthood, this extremely important function of educating the laity does not cease, and the priesthood always concerns itself with maintaining this function. More and more, secret lore recedes and the priestly teaching becomes a scripturally established tradition which the priesthood interprets by means of dogmas. Such a scriptural religion subsequently becomes the basis of a system of education, not only for the professional members of the priesthood, but also for the laity, indeed especially for the laity.

(D.2.b.2) Canonization

Most, though not all, canonical sacred collections became officially established against secular or religiously offensive augmentations as a consequence of a struggle between various competing groups and prophecies for the control of the community. Wherever such a struggle did not occur or wherever it did not threaten the content of the tradition, the formal canonization of the scriptures took place very slowly. The canon of the Jewish scriptures was not fixed until the year 90 AD, shortly after the destruction of the theocratic state, when it was fixed by the Council of Jamnia perhaps as a dam against apocalyptic prophecies, and even then the canon was established only in principle. The Vedic canon was obviously established in opposition to intellectual heterodoxy. The Christian canon was formalized because of the threat to the piety of the petty-citizen masses from the intellectual salvation doctrine of the Gnosticism. In contrast, the doctrine of the intellectual salvation of ancient Buddhism was canonized in the Pali as a result of the danger posed by the missionizing mass salvation religion of the Mahayana. The classical writings of Confucianism, like the priestly book of Ezra, were imposed by political power. For this reason, the former never became sacred, and only at a late stage did the latter take on the authentic sacredness, which is always the result of priestly activity. Only the Koran underwent immediate editing, by command of the Caliph, and became sacred at once, because the semiliterate Muhammad held that the existence of a holy book automatically carries with it the mark of prestige for a religion. This view of prestige was related to widely diffused notions concerning the taboo quality and the magical significance of scriptural documents. Long before the establishment of the biblical canon, it was held that to touch the Pentateuch and the authentic prophetic writings "rendered the hands unclean."

The details of this process and the scope of the writings that were taken into the canonical sacred scriptures do not concern us here. It was due to the magical status of sacred bards that there were admitted into the Vedas not only the heroic epics but also sarcastic poems about the intoxicated Indra, as well as other poetry of every conceivable content. Similarly, a love poem and various personal details involved with the prophetic utterances were received into the Old Testament canon. Finally, the New Testament included a purely personal letter of Paul; and the Koran found room in a number of chapters (suras) for records of all-too-human family vexations in the life of its prophet.

The closing of the canon was generally accounted for by the theory that only a certain epoch in the past history of the religion had been blessed with prophetic charisma. According to the theory of the rabbis this was the period from Moses to Alexander, while from the Roman Catholic point of view the period was the Apostolic Age. On the whole, these theories correctly express consciousness of the contrasted direction between prophetic and priestly systematization. Prophets systematized the relationship of human to the world from the viewpoint of ultimate and integrated value position. On the other hand, priests systematized the content of prophecy or of the sacred traditions from the viewpoint of rational casuistry and worldly adaptation according to the mode of thinking and custom of their own stratum and of the laity whom they controlled.

(D.2.b.3) Priestly Education

The development of a scriptural religion, either as completely sacred canon or as an authoritative text of a sacred norm like the Egyptian Book of the Dead, has practical importance for the development of priestly education from the most ancient charismatic stage to the period of literary schooling. As literacy becomes more important for the conduct of purely secular affairs, which therefore assume the character of bureaucratic administration and proceed according to regulations and documents, the education of even secular officials and intellectuals passes into the hands of literate priests, who may also directly occupy offices the functions of which involve the use of writing, as in the chancelleries of the Middle Ages. To what degree one or the other of these processes takes place depends also, apart from the degree to which the administration has become bureaucratized, on the degree to which other strata, principally the warrior nobles, have developed their own system of education and have taken it into their own hands. Later on we must discuss the separation of educational systems from priestly functionary which may result from this process. [44] We must also consider the total suppression or non-development of a purely priestly system of education, which may result from the weakness of the priests or from the absence of either prophecy or scriptural religion.

(D.2.c) Development of Dogma

(D.2.c.1) Religious Community

The establishment of a religious community provides the strongest stimulus, though not the only one, for the development of the priestly doctrine, and it creates the specific importance of dogmas. Once a religious community has become established it needs a specific doctrine distinguishing itself from other competing doctrines and to maintain its superiority in propaganda, all of which tends to place the emphasis upon differential doctrine. To be sure, this process of differentiation may be considerably strengthened by non-religious motivations. For example, Charlemagne insisted, for the Frankish church, on the doctrine of "And from the Son" (filioque), which caused the schism between the Eastern and Western Christian churches. This, and his rejection of the canon favorable to the icons, had political grounds, being directed against the supremacy of the Byzantine church. Adherence to completely incomprehensible dogmas, like the adoption of the Monophysite doctrine by great masses of people in the Orient and in Egypt, was the expression of an anti-imperial and anti-Hellenic separatist nationalism. Similarly, the monophysitic Coptic church later preferred the Arabs to the East Romans as overlords. Such trends occurred frequently.

(D.2.c.2) Priest's Interests

But the greatest reason in pushing distinctive and differential doctrines to the foreground was the struggles of priests against indifference of the laity, which they seriously hate, and against the danger that the membership would stagnate. Another factor was emphasis on the importance of membership in a particular denomination and the priests' desire to make difficult the transference of membership to another denomination. The historical precedent was provided by the tattoo markings of fellow members of a totemistic or warrior bands. Closest to totemic tattoo, at least externally, was the differential body painting of the Hindu sects. The Jewish retention of circumcision and of the Sabbath taboo was also intended, as is repeatedly indicated in the Old Testament, [45] to effect separation from other nations, and it indeed produced such an effect to an extraordinary degree.

A sharp differentiation of Christianity from Judaism was produced by the Christian choice of the day of the sun god as a day of rest, although this choice might possibly be accounted for by the Christian reception of the salvational mythos of mystic cults of Near Eastern solar religion. Muhammad's choice of Friday for weekly religious services was probably motivated primarily by his desire to segregate his followers from the Jews, after his missionary effort among them had failed. But his absolute prohibition of wine had too many analogies with comparable ancient and contemporary phenomena, for example, among the Rechabites and Nazirites, to have been determined necessarily by his desire to erect a dam against Christian priests, who are under the obligation to take wine at the Holy Communion (Eucharist).

(D.2.c.3) Conditions in World Religions

In India differential dogmas corresponding to exemplary prophecy had generally a more practical ethical character, while those having an affinity to mystic cult were more ritualistic. The notorious ten points which produced the great schism of Buddhism at the Council of Vesali involved mere questions of monastic regulations, including many public details which were emphasized only for the purpose of establishing the separation of the Mahayana circles.

Asiatic religions, on the other hand, knew practically nothing of dogma as a means of differentiation. To be sure, the Buddha stated his fourfold truth concerning the great illusions as the basis for the practical salvation teaching of the noble eightfold path. But those teaching was the goal of salvation by work, and not the dogma in the Occidental sense. This was also the case with the majority of ancient Hindu prophecies.

In the Christian community one of the very first binding dogmas, characteristically, was God's creation of the world out of nothing, and consequently the establishment of a transcendental god against the gnostic speculation of the intellectuals. In India, on the other hand, cosmological and other metaphysical speculations remained the concern of philosophical schools, which were always permitted a very wide range of latitude in regard to orthodoxy, though not without some limitations. In China the Confucian ethic completely rejected all relations to metaphysical dogma only for the reason that magic and belief in spirits had to remain untouched in the interest of maintaining the cult of ancestors, which was the foundation of patrimonial-bureaucratic obedience (as expressly stated in the tradition).

Even within ethical prophets and their communal religion, there was a wide diversity in the scope of proliferation of genuine dogmas. Ancient Islam contented itself with confessions of loyalty to god and to the prophet, together with a few practical and ritual commandments, as the basis of membership. But dogmatic distinctions, both practical and theoretical, became more comprehensive as priests, teachers, and even the community itself became bearers of the religion. This holds for the later Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians. But genuinely dogmatic controversy could arise in ancient Israel or Islam only in exceptional cases, since both these religions were characterized by a simplicity of doctrine. In both religions the main area of dispute is only the doctrine of grace, though there were subsidiary disputes about ethical practice and about ritual and legal questions. This is even truer of Zoroastrianism.

(D.2.c.4) Christian Dogma

Only among the Christians did there develop a comprehensive, binding and systematically rationalized dogmatics of a theoretical type concerning cosmological matters, the salvational mythos (Christology), and priestly authority of the sacraments. This Christian dogmatics developed first in the Hellenistic portion of the Roman empire, but in the Middle Ages the major elaborations occurred in the Occident. In general, theological development was far stronger in the Western than in the Eastern churches, but in both regions the maximum development of theology occurred wherever a powerful organization of priests possessed the greatest measure of independence from political authorities.

This Christian preoccupation with the formulation of dogmas was in Antiquity particularly influenced by the distinctively intellectual character of Greek education; by the special metaphysical postulates and tensions produced by the cult of Christ; by the necessity of taking issue with the educated stratum which at first remained outside the Christian community; and by the ancient Christian church's hostility to pure intellectualism (which stands in such contrast to the position taken by the Asiatic religions). Socially, Christianity was a communal religion comprising primarily laypersons from the petty-citizen, who looked with considerable suspicion upon pure intellectualism, a tendency which the bishops had to take into consideration. In the Eastern Church, non-Hellenic petty-citizenry circles increasingly supplied Christian monks; they rejected Hellenic culture in the East and brought to an end the rational construction of dogma there.

In addition, the form of organization of the religious communities was an important determinant. In ancient Buddhism, the complete and purposeful absence of all hierarchical organization would have deterred any acceptance of rational dogmatics such as developed in Christianity, even of the doctrine of salvation, which would have needed such dogma. Christianity found it necessary to postulate some power able to make decisions concerning the orthodoxy of doctrine, in order to protect the unity of the community against the intellectual activity of priests and against the competing lay rationalism which had been aroused by priestly education. The result of a long process of development, the details of which cannot be discussed here, was that the Roman church produced the infallible doctrinal office of its bishop, in the hope that God would not permit the church of the world capital to fall into error. Only in this case do we find a consistent doctrinal solution, which assumes the authority of the doctrinal office whenever a decision has to be rendered concerning teaching.

(D.2.c.5) Dogma in Other Religions

On the other hand, Islam and the Eastern church, for various reasons to be explained below, retained as their basis for determining the validity of dogmatic truths on the "consensus" of the office bearers of the churchly doctoral organization, who were primarily theologians or priests. Islam arrived at this position by holding fast to the assurance of its prophet that God would never permit the community of the faithful to fall into error. The Eastern church followed in this regard the model of the earliest practice of the Christian church. The net effect of this was to restrict the development of dogma in these religious traditions. By contrast, the Dalai Lama has political powers and control over the church, but he has no doctrinal authority because of the magical-ritualist character of Lamaism. Among the Hindus the power of excommunication entrusted to the gurus was largely employed for political reasons and only rarely for the punishment of dogmatic deviations.

(D.2.d) Preaching and Pastoral Care

The work of the priests in systematizing the sacred doctrine was constantly developed by the new components of their professional practice, so different from the practice of magicians. In the ethical type of communal religion something altogether new component emerged, namely preaching, and something very different in kind from magical help-in-need, namely rational care of soul.

Preaching, which in the true sense of the word is collective instruction concerning religious and ethical matters, is normally specific to prophecy and prophetic religion. Indeed, wherever it arises apart from these, it is an imitation of them. But as a rule, preaching declines in importance whenever a revelation religion has been transformed into a priestly enterprise by routinization, and the importance of preaching stands in inverse proportion to the magical components of a religion. Buddhism originally consisted entirely of preaching, so far as the laity was concerned. In Christianity the importance of preaching has been proportional to the elimination of the magical and sacramental components of the religion. Consequently, preaching achieves the greatest significance in Protestantism, in which the concept of the priest has been replaced altogether by that of the preacher.

Pastoral care is the rationalized and systematized form of the care of soul, the religious consultation of the individual. It is a product of prophetically revealed religion; and it has its origin in the oracle and consultation of magician, who cared the soul of the individual. The magician is consulted for the question of an individual: by which means the aggressive spirit, demon, or god may be pacified when sickness or other distress of the individual's life is believed as the result of magical transgression? This is also the source of the "confessional," which originally had no connection with "ethical" development of the conduct of life. The connection between confession and ethical conduct of life was first brought by ethical religion, particularly by prophecy. Pastoral care may later assume diverse forms. As long as it is a charismatic dispensation of grace, it stands in a close inner relationship to magical manipulations. But care of soul may also involve personal instruction regarding concrete religious obligations whenever certain doubts have arisen. Finally, pastoral care may in some sense stand midway between charismatic dispensation of grace and instruction, entailing the dispensation of personal religious consolation in times of inner or external need.

Preaching and pastoral care differ widely in the extent of their practical influence on the conduct of life. Preaching unfolds its power most strongly in periods of prophetic excitation. In the routinization of daily enterprise it declines sharply to an almost complete lack of influence upon the conduct of life, for the very reason that the charisma of speech is an individual gift.

Care of soul in all its forms is the priests' real instrument of power, particularly over the everyday life, and it influences the conduct of life most powerfully when religion has achieved an ethical character. In fact, the power of ethical religion over the masses parallels the development of the care of soul. Wherever an ethical religion is not developed, the professional diviners and magician will be consulted for the care of soul in all the situations of life by both private individuals and the official political bands, for example, the religion of China. Caregiver of soul who have influenced on the everyday life of the laity and the policy of the power-holders in an enduring and often decisive manner are the rabbis of Judaism, the father confessors of Catholicism, the pastors in Protestantism, the directors of souls in Counter-Reformation Catholicism, the Brahminic purohita at the court, the gurus in Hinduism, and the mufti and Dervish sheik in Islam.

(D.2.e) Priestly Rationalization of Ethic

As for the conduct of the individual's private life, the greatest influence of the care of soul was exerted when the priesthood combined ethical casuistry with a rationalized system of churchly penances. This was accomplished in a remarkably skillful way by the Occidental church, which was schooled in the casuistry of Roman law. It is primarily these practical necessity of preaching and the care of soul which motivated the priesthood in systematizing the casuistry of ethical commandments and religious truths, and indeed first compelled them to take care of the numerous problems which had not been settled in the prophetic revelation itself. Consequently, preaching and the care of soul brought forth the substantive routinization of prophetic demands into specific prescriptions of a casuistic, and hence more rational character, in contrast to the prophetic ethics. But at the same time this development resulted in the loss of the unified relationship which the prophet had created into the ethic--the orientation to the specifically "meaningful" relationship to one's god. The prophet concentrates the question of, not the external appearance of a single act, but the meaningful significance of the act to the total attitude toward the god. On the other hand, priestly practice is concerned with both positive prescription and a casuistry for the laity. For this reason the inner ethic of priestly religion unavoidably undergoes a recession.

It is evident that the positive, substantive injunctions of the prophetic ethic and the casuistic transformation thereof by the priests ultimately derived their material from problems of the customs, conventions and everyday needs which the laity brought to their pastoral office for answer. Hence, the more a priesthood aimed to regulate the conduct of life of the laity in accordance with the will of the god, and especially to secure its status and income by so doing, the more it had to compromise with the traditional views of the laity in formulation of doctrine and behavior. This was particularly the case when no great prophetic preaching had developed and overthrown the masses' attachment in magically motivated traditionalism.

(D.2.f) Magicalization of Priestly Religion

As the masses increasingly became the object of the priests' influence and maintenance of their power, the priestly systematization involved more and more with the traditional, and hence magical, forms of religious notions and practices. Thus, as the Egyptian priesthood pressed towards greater power, the animistic cult of animals was increasingly pushed into the center of religious interest even though the systematic rational training of the priests had grown in earlier times. And so too in India, there was an increased systematization of the cult after the displacement by the Brahmins (hotar) of the sacred charismatic singer from first place in the sacrificial ceremonial. The Atharva Veda is much younger than the Rig Veda as a literary product, and the Brahmanas are much younger still. Yet the systematized religious material in the Atharva Veda is of much older provenience than the rituals of the noble Vedic cults and the other components of the older Vedas; indeed, the Atharva Veda is a purely magical ritual to a far greater degree than the older Vedas. The process of popularization and magicalization of priestly systematized religion went even further in the Brahmanas. The older Vedic cults are indeed cults of the propertied strata, [46] whereas the magical ritual had been the possession of the masses since ancient times.

(D.2.g) Popularization of Prophetic Religion

A similar process appears to have taken place in prophetic religion. In comparison with the privileged intellectual contemplation of ancient Buddhism, which had achieved the highest consistency, the Mahayana Buddhism was essentially a popularization that increasingly tended to approach pure magic or sacramental ritualism. A similar fate overtook the teachings of Zoroaster, Lao Tzu, and the Hindu religious reformers, and to some extent the teachings of Muhammad as well, when the respective faiths of these founders became religions of laypersons. Thus, the Avesta sanctioned the cult of toxic orgy (haoma) perhaps merely omitting a few of the bacchantic elements, although it had been expressly and strongly denounced by Zoroaster with special pathos. Hinduism constantly with a growing tendency slid over into magic, or in any case into a semi-magical sacramental doctrine of salvation. The propaganda of Islam in Africa rested primarily on a massive foundation of magic, by means of which it has continued to outbid other competing faiths despite the rejection of magic by earliest Islam.

This process, which is usually interpreted as a "decline" or "fossilization" of prophecy, is practically unavoidable. The prophet himself is normally a self-taught lay preacher whose aim is to replace of the traditional ritualistic dispensation of the priestly grace by the systematization of inner ethic. The layperson's belief in the prophet, however, is generally based on the demonstration that he possesses a certain charisma. This usually means that he is a magician, in fact much greater and more powerful than other magicians, and indeed that he possesses unsurpassed power over demons and even over death itself. It usually means that he has the power to raise the dead, and possibly that he himself may rise from the grave. In short, he is able to do things which other magicians are unable to accomplish. It does not matter that the prophet attempts to deny such imputed powers, for after his death this development proceeds without and beyond him. If he is to continue to live on in some manner among large numbers of the laity, he must himself become the object of a cult, which means he must become the incarnation of a god. If this does not happen, the needs of the laity has to at least transform the prophet's teaching into the accommodated form for their everyday life by a process of selection.

Thus, these two types of influences, namely, the power of prophetic charisma and the lasting habits of the masses, affect the work of the priests in their systematization, though their directions tend to oppose one another at many points. But even apart from the fact that prophets practically always come out of lay circles or find their support in them, the laity is not composed of exclusively traditionalistic powers. Lay rationalism is another social force of which the priesthood must take account. Different social strata may be the bearers of this lay rationalism.


(E.1) Peasant

The lot of peasants is so strongly tied to nature, so dependent on organic processes and natural events, and economically so little oriented to rational systematization that in general the peasantry will become a carrier of religion only when it is threatened by enslavement or propertyless, either by domestic forces (financial or manorial) or by external political forces.

(E.1.a) Ancient Israel

Ancient Israelite religious history already manifested both major threats to the peasant class: first, threat of enslavement by foreign powers, and second, conflicts between peasants and landed manors (who in Antiquity resided in the cities). The oldest documents, particularly the Song of Deborah, [47] reveal the typical elements of the struggle of a peasant confederacy, comparable to that of the Aetolians, Samnites, and Swiss. [48] Another point of similarity with the Swiss situation is that Palestine possessed the geographical character of a land bridge, being situated on a great "trade route" which spanned the provinces from Egypt to the Mesopotamia. This facilitated early a money economy and culture contacts. The Israelite confederacy directed its efforts against both the Philistines and the Canaanite land manors who dwelt in the cities. These latter were knights who fought with iron chariots, "warriors trained from their very youth," as Goliath was described, who sought to enslave and render tributary the peasantry of the mountain slopes where milk and honey flowed.

It was a most significant constellation of historical factors that this struggle, as well as the unification of social strata and the expansion of the Mosaic period, was constantly renewed under the leadership of the Yahweh religion's saviors ("messiahs," from mashiah, "the anointed one," as Gideon and others, the so-called "Judges," were termed). Because of this distinctive leadership, religious pragmatism that far transformed the usual agrarian cults entered very early into the religious piety of the Palestinian peasantry. But not until the city of Jerusalem had been conquered did the cult of Yahweh, with its Mosaic social law, become a genuinely ethical religion. Indeed, as the social denunciation of the prophets demonstrate, even here this took place partly under the influence of agrarian social reform movements directed against the urban landed manors and wealthy notables, and by reference to the social moralism of the Mosaic law regarding the equalization of social status.

(E.1.b) Passivity of Peasant

But prophetic religion has by no means been the product of specifically agrarian influences. A typical plebeian fate was one of the dynamic factors in the moralism of the first and only theologian of official Greek literature, Hesiod. But he was certainly not a typical "peasant." The more agrarian character a cultural development is condition, for example, Rome, India, or Egypt, the more likely the agrarian element of the population will fall into a pattern of traditionalism, and the less the religion of the masses will reach ethical rationalization. Thus, in the later development of Judaism and Christianity, the peasants did not appeared as the carriers of rational ethical movements. While this statement is completely true of Judaism, in Christianity the participation of the peasantry in rational ethical movements took place only in exceptional cases and then in a communist, revolutionary form. The puritanical sect of the Donatists in Roman Africa, the Roman province of greatest land accumulation, appears to have been very popular among the peasantry, but this was the sole example of peasant concern for a rational ethical movement in Antiquity. The Taborites, insofar as they were derived from peasant groups, the peasant carriers of "divine right" in the German Peasants' War (1524-5), the English radical communist small-holders, and above all the Russian peasant sectarians--all these have origins in agrarian communism by the pre-existing, more or less developed communal ownership of land. All these groups felt themselves threatened of propertyless, and they turned against the official church in the first instance because it was the recipient of tax and served as the spiritual defender of the financial and landed manors. Peasant as the carrier of religious ethic is possible only on the basis of an already existing ethical religion which contained specific promises that might suggest and justify a revolutionary natural law. More will be said about this in another context. [49] Hence, in Asia, the combination of religious prophecy with revolutionary currents took a different direction altogether, for example, as in China, and did not assume the form of a genuine peasant movement. Only rarely does the peasantry serve as the carrier of any other sort of religion than magic.

(E.1.c) Zoroastrianism

Yet the prophecy of Zoroaster apparently appealed to the (relative) rationalism of ordered peasantry work and rasing domestic animals. He struggled against the orgiastic religion of the false prophets, which entailed the torture of animals. This, like the cult of intoxication which Moses combated, was presumably associated with the bacchantic tearing of live animals. In the religion of the Parsees, only the cultivated soil was regarded as pure from the magical point of view, and therefore only agriculture was absolutely pleasing to god. Thus, even after the original prophecy of Zoroaster had undergone considerable transformation as a result of its accommodation to the needs of everyday life, Zoroastrianism retained a distinctive agrarian character, and consequently a anti-urban tendency in its doctrine of social ethics. But to the degree that Zoroaster himself set certain economic interests in its movement, these were probably in the beginning the interests of princes and lords in the peasants' ability to pay taxes, rather than the interests of peasants.

As a general rule, the peasantry remained primarily involved with weather magic and animistic magic or ritualism; insofar as it developed any ethical religion, the focus was on a purely formalistic ethic in relation to both god and priests as formulated, "I give, that you give me" (do ut des). That the peasant has become the distinctive prototype of the pious person who is pleasing to god is a thoroughly modern phenomenon, with the exception of Zoroastrianism and a few scattered examples of opposition to urban culture and its consequences on the part of patriarchal and feudalistic strata, or conversely, of intellectuals grieved with the world.

None of official religions of Eastern Asia had any notion of the religious significance of the peasant. Indeed, in the religions of India, and most consistently in the salvation religion of Buddhism, the peasant is religiously suspect or actually condemned because of the absolute prohibition against taking the life of any living beings (ahimsa).

(E.1.d) Judaism

The Israelite religion of pre-prophetic times was still very much a religion of peasants. On the other hand, in exilic and post-exilic times the glorification of agriculture as pleasing to God was largely the product of literary and patriarchal circles in opposition to urban development. The actual religiosity had rather a different kind, even at that time; and later on in the period of the Pharisees it was completely different in this regard. To the communal piety of the Kabalaism the "rural people" was virtually identical with the "godless," being politically and religiously a Jew of the second class. For it was virtually impossible for a peasant to live a pious life according to the Jewish ritual law, just as in Buddhism and Hinduism. The practical consequences of post-exilic, and finally of the Talmudic rabbinic theology, made it extremely difficult for a Jew to practice agriculture. Even now, the Zionist colonization of Palestine has met with an absolute impediment in the form of the sabbatical year, a product of the theologians of later Judaism. To overcome this difficulty, the eastern European rabbis, in contrast to the more doctrinaire leaders of German Jewish orthodoxy, have had to construe a special dispensation based on the notion that such colonizing is especially pleasing to God.

(E.1.e) Christianity

In early Christianity, it will be recalled, the rural people were simply regarded as the heathen (paganus). Even the official teaching of the medieval churches, as formulated by Thomas Aquinas, treated the peasant essentially as a Christian of lower rank, at any rate accorded him very little esteem. The religious glorification of the peasants and the belief in the special worth of their piety is the result of a very modern development. It was characteristic of Lutheranism in particular --in strongly marked contrast to Calvinism, and also to most of the Protestant sects-- as well as of modern Russian religiosity manifesting Slavophile influences. These were churchly communities which, by their type of organization, were very closely tied to the authoritarian interests of princes and nobles upon whom they were dependent. In modern Lutheranism (for this was not the position of Luther himself) the dominant interest is the struggle against intellectualist rationalism and against political liberalism. In the Slavophile religious ideology, the primary concern was the struggle against modern capitalism and socialism. Finally, the glorification of agriculture by the Populists (narodniki), the Russian sectarian, tried to link the anti-rationalist protest of intellectuals with the revolt of a propertyless class of farmers against a bureaucratic church serving the interests of the ruling classes, thereby surrounding both intellectual and agrarian protest with a religious mood. Thus what was involved in all cases was very largely a reaction against the development of modern rationalism, of which the cities were regarded as the carriers.

In striking contrast to all this is the fact that in the past it was the city which was regarded as the site of piety. As late as the seventeenth century, Baxter saw in the relationships of the weavers of the city of Kidderminster to the metropolis of London (made possible by the development of domestic industry) a definite enhancement of the weavers' piety. Actually, early Christianity was an urban religion, and its importance in any particular city was in direct proportion to the size of the urban community. [50] In the Middle Ages too piety to the church, as well as sectarian religious movement, characteristically developed in the cities. It is highly unlikely that an organized communal religion, such as early Christianity became, could have developed as it did apart from the community of a "city" (notably in the sense found in the Occident). For early Christianity presupposed as already extant certain conceptions, namely, the destruction of all taboo barriers between kin groups, the concept of office, and the concept of the community as an "institution" serving specific purposes. To be sure, Christianity, on its part, strengthened these conceptions and greatly facilitated the renewed reception of them by the growing European cities during the Middle Ages. But actually these notions fully developed nowhere else in the world but within the Mediterranean culture, particularly in Hellenistic and definitely in Roman urban law. What is more, the specific qualities of Christianity as an ethical religion of salvation and as personal piety found their real nurture in the urban environment; and it is there that they created new movements time and again, in contrast to the ritualistic, magical or formalistic re-interpretation favored by the dominant feudal powers.

(E.2) Warrior Aristocrats

(E.2.a) Warrior's Conduct of Life

As a rule, the warrior nobles, and indeed feudal powers, have not become the carriers of a rational religious ethic. Warrior's conduct of life has very little affinity with the notion of providence, or with the systematic ethical demands of a transcendental god. Concepts like "sin," "salvation," and religious "humility" have not only seemed remote from all ruling strata, particularly the warrior nobles, but have indeed appeared reprehensible to their sense of dignity. To accept a religion that carries out such conceptions and to revere the prophet or priest would appear humiliated and dishonorable to any martial hero or noble person, for example, the Roman nobility of the age of Tacitus (AD 56-120), or the Confucian Mandarins. It is an everyday event for the warrior to face death and the irrationalities of human destiny. Indeed, the chances and adventures of this world fill his life to such an extent that he does not seek a religion (and accepts only reluctantly) anything beyond protection against evil magic or ceremonial rites acceptable to his sense of status dignity, such as priestly prayers for victory or for a blissful death leading directly into the hero's heaven.

As has already been mentioned in another connection, [51] the educated Greek always remained a warrior, at least in ideal. The simple animistic belief in the soul which left vague the existence after death and the entire question of the hereafter (though remaining certain that the most miserable status here on earth was better than the world of hell or Hades), remained the normal faith of the Greeks until the time (1st century BC) of the complete destruction of their political autonomy. The only developments beyond this were the mystery religions, which provided means for ritualistic improvement of the human condition in this world and in the next; the only radical departure was the Orphic communal religion, with its teaching of the transmigration of souls.

(E.2.b) Prophecy and Warrior

Periods of strong prophetic or reformist religious enthusiasm have frequently pulled the nobility in particular into the path of prophetic ethical religion, because this type of religion breaks through all classes and status, and because the nobility has generally been the first carrier of lay education. But the routinization of prophetic religion had the effect of separating the nobility from the circle of religious enthusiasm. This is already evident at the time of the religious wars in France in the conflicts of the Huguenot synods with a leader like Conde over ethical questions. Ultimately, the Scottish nobility, like the British and the French, completely dropped out from the Calvinist religion in which it, or at least some of its groups, had originally played a considerable role.

As a rule, prophetic religion is compatible with the status sense of the chivalry of the nobility when it directs its promises to the battle for faith. This conception presupposes the exclusiveness of a universal god and the moral corruption of unbelievers who are his adversaries and whose ungodly existence arouses his righteous indignation. Hence, such a notion is absent in the Occident of ancient times, as well as in all Asiatic religion until Zoroaster. Yet, even in Zoroastrianism a direct connection between religious promises and war against religious infidelity is still lacking. It was Islam that first created this conjunction of ideas.

The precursor and probable model for this was the promise of the Hebrew god to his people, as understood and reinterpreted by Muhammad after he had changed from a pietistic leader of a conventicle in Mecca to the political leader (podesta) of Medina (Yathrib), and after he had finally been rejected as a prophet by the Jews. The ancient wars of the Israelite confederacy, waged under the leadership of various saviors conducting under the name of Yahweh, were regarded by the tradition as "holy" wars. This concept of a holy war, namely, a war in the name of a god, for the special purpose of avenging a sacrilege, which entailed putting the enemy under the ban and destroying him and all his belongings completely, is known in Antiquity, particularly among the Greeks. But what was distinctive of the Hebraic concept is that the people of Yahweh, as his special community, exemplified their god's prestige against their foes. Consequently, when Yahweh became a universal god, Hebrew prophets and the Psalmists created a new religious interpretation. The possession of the Promised Land, previously foretold, was transformed by the farther reaching promise of the elevation of Israel, as the people of Yahweh, above other nations. [52] In the future all nations would be compelled to serve Yahweh and to lie at the feet of Israel.

(E.2.c) Holy War

On this model Muhammad constructed the commandment of the holy war involving the subjugation of the unbelievers to political authority and economic rulership of the faithful. If the infidels were members of "religions with a sacred book," their extermination was not conducted; indeed, their survival was considered desirable because of the financial contribution they could make. The first Crusader war of faith was waged under the Augustinian formula "to force unbelievers to join" (coge intrare), [53] by the terms of which unbelievers or heretics had only the choice between conversion and extermination. It will be recalled that Pope Urban (1088-99) did not hesitate to emphasize to the Crusaders the necessity for territorial expansion in order to acquire new benefices for their descendants. To an even greater degree than the Crusades, religious war for the Muslims was essentially an enterprise directed towards the acquisition of large holdings of real estate, because it was primarily oriented to securing feudal revenue. As late as the period of Turkish feudal law participation in the religious war remained an important qualification for the distribution of warrior's (sipahi) benefits. Apart from the anticipated ruling status that results from victory in a religious war, in Islam the religious promises --particularly the promise of an Islamic paradise for those killed in such a war-- associated with the propaganda for war just as Valhalla, or the paradise promised to the Hindu warrior (kshatriya), or to the warrior hero who has become sated with life once he has seen his grandson, or indeed any other hero heaven are not equivalent to salvation (it should not be confused with the promises of genuine salvation religion). Those elements of an ethical religion of salvation which original Islam have had largely receded into the background as long as Islam remained essentially a martial religion.

So, too, the religion of the medieval Christian orders of celibate knights, particularly the Templars, which were first called into being during the Crusades against Islam and which corresponded to the Islamic warrior orders, had in general only a formal relation to salvation religion. This was also true of the faith of the Hindu Sikhs, which was at first strongly pacifist. But a combination of Islamic ideas and persecution drove the Sikhs to the ideal of uncompromising warrior of faith. Another instance of the formalistic relationship of the warrior of faith to salvation religion is that of the Japanese warrior monks of Buddhism, who for a temporary period maintained a position of political importance. Indeed, even the formal orthodoxy of all these warriors of faith was often of dubious character.

(E.2.d) Mithraism

Although a knighthood practically always had a thoroughly negative attitude toward salvation and communal religion, the relationship is somewhat different in "standing" professional armies, namely, those having an essentially bureaucratic organization and "officers." The Chinese army plainly had a specialized god as did any other occupation, a hero who had undergone canonization by the state. Then, too, the passionate participation of the Byzantine army in behalf of the iconoclasts was not a result of conscious puritanical principles, but that of the attitude adopted by the recruiting districts, which were already under Islamic influence. But in the Roman army of the period of the Principate, from the time of the second century, the communal religion of Mithra, which was a competitor of Christianity and held forth certain promises concerning the world to come, played a considerable role, together with certain other preferred cults, which do not interest us at this point.

Mithraism was especially important (though not exclusively so) among the centurions, that is the lower officers, who had a claim upon governmental pensions. The genuinely ethical requirements of the Mithra mysteries were, however, very modest and of a general character. Mithraism was essentially a ritualistic religion of purity; in sharp contrast to Christianity, it was entirely masculine, excluding women completely. In general, it was a religion of salvation, and, as already noted, one of the most masculine, with a hierarchical gradation of sacred ceremonies and religious ranks. Again in contrast to Christianity, it did not prohibit participation in other cults and mysteries, which was frequent occurrences. Mithraism, therefore, came under the protection of the emperors from the time of Commodus (AD 177-92), who first went through the initiation ceremonies (just as the kings of Prussia were members of fraternal orders), until its last enthusiastic protagonist, Julian (AD 361-363). Apart from this-worldly promises which, to be sure, were in this case as in all other religions linked with promises of the world beyond, the chief attraction of this cult for army officers was undoubtedly the essentially magical and sacramental character of its dispensation of grace and the possibility of hierarchical advancement in the mystery ceremonies.

(E.3) Bureaucrats

It is likely that similar elements made Mithraism very popular among civilian officials. Certainly, among state officials there have been found other basic tendencies towards salvation religion. One example of this may be seen in the pietistic German officials, a reflection of the fact that in Germany "citizenry" ascetic piety, exemplifying characteristically its conduct of life, found its representation only among the officials, in the absence of a stratum of entrepreneurs. Another instance of the tendency of some officials to favor the salvation religion appeared occasionally among certain pious Prussian generals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But as a rule, this is not a dominant attitude of bureaucracy toward religion, which is always the carrier of a comprehensive sober rationalism and, at the same time, of the ideal of a disciplined "order" and security as absolute standards of value. A bureaucracy is usually characterized by the through contempt of all irrational religion, combined, however, with the recognition of its usefulness as a means of the domestication of the governed. In Antiquity this attitude was held by the Roman officials, while today it is shared by both the civilian and military bureaucracy. [54]

(E.3.a) Confucianism

The distinctive attitude of bureaucracy to religion has been classically formulated in Confucianism. Its hallmark is an absolute lack of any "need for salvation" or for any ethical anchorage to other world. Confucian ethic is substantively an opportunistic and utilitarian (though aesthetically refined) doctrine of status conventions suited for bureaucrats. Bureaucratic conventionalism eliminates all those emotional and irrational characters of personal religion which go beyond the traditional belief in spirits, the ancestral cult, and filial piety because these magical beliefs were the basis for bureaucrat's rulership over the masses. Still another component of bureaucratic ethic is a certain distance from the spirits, the magical manipulation of which is scorned by the enlightened official. [55] Yet both types of bureaucratic officials will, with contemptuous indifference, permit such superstitious activity to flourish as the religion of the masses. Insofar as this popular religion comes to expression in recognized state rites, the official continues to respect them, outwardly at least, as a conventional obligation appropriate to his status. The unbroken retention of magic, especially of the ancestral cult, as the guarantee of social obedience, enabled the Chinese bureaucracy to completely suppress all independent churchly development and all communal religion. As for the European bureaucracy, although it generally shares such subjective contempt for any serious concern with religion, it finds itself compelled to pay more official respect to the religiosity of the churches in the interest of mass domestication.

(E.4) Citizen

When certain fairly uniform tendencies are normally apparent, in spite of all differences, in the religious attitude of the nobility and bureaucracy, the strata of social privilege, the genuine "citizen" strata demonstrate striking contrasts. Moreover, this is something quite apart from the rather sharp differences of status which citizen strata manifest within themselves. Thus, in some instances, "merchants" may be members of the most highly privileged stratum, as in the case of the ancient urban patriciate, while in others they may be pariahs, like poor wandering crafts-persons. Again, they may be possessed of considerable social privilege, though occupying a lower social status than the nobility or officialdom; or they may be without privilege, or indeed disprivileged, yet actually exerting great social power. Examples of the latter would be the Roman soldiers (ordo equester), the Hellenic aliens and slaves (metoikoi), the medieval cloth merchants and other merchant groups, the financiers and great merchant princes of Babylonia, the Chinese and Hindu traders, and finally the capitalists of the early modern period.

(E.4.a) Wealthy Citizen

Apart from these differences of social position, the attitude of the commercial patriciate toward religion shows characteristic contrasts in all periods of history. In the nature of the case, the strongly this-worldly orientation of their life would make it appear unlikely that they have much interest for prophetic or ethical religion. The activity of the great merchants of ancient and medieval times represented a distinctive kind of specifically "occasional and adventurous acquisition of money," for example, by providing capital for traveling traders who required it. Originally being land lords, these merchants became, in historical times, an urban nobility which had grown rich from such occasional trade. Others started as tradesmen who having acquired landed property were seeking to climb into the families of the nobility. To the category of the commercial patriciate there were added, as the financing of public administration developed, the political capitalists whose primary business was to meet the financial needs of the state as providers and by supplying governmental credit, together with the financiers of colonial capitalism, an enterprise that has existed in all periods of history. None of these strata has ever been the primary carrier of an ethical or salvation religion. At any rate, the more privileged the position of the commercial status, the less it has evinced any inclination to develop an other-worldly religion.

The religion of the noble plutocrat in the Phoenician trading cities was entirely this-worldly in orientation and, so far as is known, entirely non-prophetic. Yet the intensity of their religious interests and their fear of the gods, who were described as possessing very disastrous traits, were very impressive. On the other hand, the warrior maritime nobility of ancient Greece, which was partly piratical and partly commercial, has left behind in the Odyssey a religious document corresponded with its own interests, and displayed a striking lack of respect for the gods. The god of wealth in Chinese Taoism, who is universally respected by merchants shows no ethical traits; he is of a purely magical character. So, too, the cult of the Greek god of wealth, Pluto --indeed primarily of agrarian character-- formed a part of the Eleusinian mysteries, which set up no ethical demands apart from ritual purity and freedom from blood guilt. Augustus, in a characteristic political move, sought to turn the stratum of freemen with their strong capital resources, into special carriers (seviri Augustales) of the cult of Caesar. [56] But this stratum showed no distinctive religious tendencies otherwise.

In India, that section of the commercial stratum which followed the Hindu religion, particularly all the banking people which derived from the ancient state capitalist financiers and large-scale traders, belonged for the most part to the sect of the Vallabhacarya. These were adherents of the Vishnu priesthood of Govardhana, as reformed by Vallabha. They followed a form of erotically colored worship of Krishna and Rudra in which the cultic meal in honor of their savior was transformed into a kind of elegant feast. In medieval Europe, the great commercial guilds of the Guelph cities, like the Arte di Calimala in Florence, were of course papist in their politics, but very often they virtually ignored the churchly prohibition against usury by mechanical devices which frequently created an effect of mockery. In Protestant Holland, the great and distinguished lords of trade, being Arminians in religion, were characteristically oriented to power politics and became the chief foes of Calvinist ethical rigor. Everywhere, skepticism or indifference to religion are and have been the widely diffused attitudes of large-scale traders and financiers.

But as against these easily understandable phenomena, the acquisition of new capital or, more correctly, capital continuously and rationally employed in a productive enterprise for the acquisition of profit, especially in industry (which is the characteristically modern employment of capital), has in the past been combined frequently and in a striking manner with a rational, ethical social religion among the citizen strata. In the business life of India there was even a (geographical) differentiation between the Parsees and the Jain sect. The former, adherents of the religion of Zoroaster, retained their ethical rigorism, particularly its unconditional injunction regarding truthfulness, even after modernization had caused a reinterpretation of the ritualistic commandments of purity as hygienic prescriptions. The economic morality of the Parsees originally recognized only agriculture as acceptable to God, and abominated all urban acquisitive pursuits. On the other hand, the sect of the Jains, the most ascetic of the religions of India, along with the aforementioned Vallabhacharis represented a salvation doctrine that was constituted as communal religion, despite the anti-rational character of the cults. It is difficult to prove that very frequently the Islamic merchants adhered to the Dervish religion, but it is likely. As for Judaism, the ethical rational religion of the Jewish community was already in Antiquity largely a religion of traders or financiers.

(E.4.b) Middle-Class

To a lesser but still notable degree, the medieval Christianity, particularly of the sectarian type or of the heretical circles was, if not a religion appropriate to traders, nonetheless a religion of the "citizen," and that in direct proportion to its ethical rationalism. The closest connection between ethical religion and rational economic development, particularly capitalism, was effected by all the forms of ascetic Protestantism and sectarianism in both Western and Eastern Europe, namely, Zwinglians, Calvinists, Baptists, Mennonites, Quakers, Methodists, and Pietists (both of the Reformed and, to a lesser degree, Lutheran varieties); as well as by Russian schismatic, heretical, and rational pietistic sects, especially the Shtundists and Skoptsy, though in very different forms. Indeed, generally speaking, the more a religion becomes ethical, rational, or communal, the more the carriers get away from the strata of political or adventurous pre-modern capitalism. Since the time of Hammurabi political capitalism has existed wherever there has been tax farming, the profitable provisions of the state's political needs, war, piracy, large-scale usury, and colonization. The affinity toward an ethical, rational, social religion is more apt to be found in those strata of modern rational enterprise, namely, middle-class in the sense to be discussed later.

Obviously, the mere existence of "capitalism" of some sort is not sufficient, by any means, to produce a unified ethic, not to speak of an ethical communal religion. Indeed, it does not automatically produce any uniform consequences. For the time being, no analysis will be made of the kind of causal relationship between a rational religious ethic and a particular type of commercial rationalism, where such a connection exists at all. At this point, we desire only to establish the existence of an affinity between economic rationalism and certain types of rigoristic ethical religion, to be discussed later. This affinity comes to light only occasionally outside the Occident, which is the distinctive seat of economic rationalism. In the West, this phenomenon is very clear and its manifestations are the more impressive as we approach the classical bearers of economic rationalism.

(E.4.c) Petty-Citizen

When we move away from the strata characterized by a high status of social and economic privilege, we encounter an apparent increase in the diversity of religious attitudes.

Within the petty-citizen, and particularly among the crafts-persons, the greatest contrasts have existed side by side. These have included caste taboos and magical or mystery cultic religions of both the sacramental and orgiastic types in India, animism in China, Dervish religion in Islam, and the pneumatic-enthusiastic communal religion of early Christianity, practiced particularly in the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Still other modes of religious expression among these groups are demon worship (deisidaimoia) as well as Dionysos orgy in ancient Greece, Pharisaic rigorism of the law in ancient urban Judaism, an essentially idolatrous Christianity as well as all sorts of sectarian faiths in the Middle Ages, and various types of Protestantism in early modern times. These diverse phenomena obviously present the greatest possible contrasts to one another.

(E.4.d) Christianity

From the beginning, Christianity was characteristically a religion of crafts-persons. Its savior was a small-town crafts-person, and his missionaries were traveling crafts-person, the greatest of them a traveling tent-maker. [57] Paul was so alien to peasant work that in his letters he actually employs in a reverse sense a parable relating to the process of grafting. [58] The earliest communities of original Christianity were, as we have already seen, [59] strongly urban throughout ancient times, and their adherents were recruited primarily from crafts-persons, both slave and free. Moreover, in the Middle Ages the petty-citizen remained the most pious, if not always the most orthodox, stratum of society. But in Christianity, widely different currents found simultaneously within the petty-citizen. Thus, there were the ancient pneumatic prophecies which cast out demons, the unconditionally orthodox (institutional church) religiosity of the Middle Ages, and mendicant monasticism. In addition, there were certain types of medieval sectarian religiosity such as that of the Humiliati, who were long suspected of heterodoxy, there were Baptist movements of all kinds, and there was the piety of the various Reformed churches, including the Lutheran.

This is indeed a highly unique diversification, which at least proves that a uniform determinism of religion by economic conditions never existed among the petty-citizen. Yet there is apparent, in contrast to the peasantry, a definite tendency towards communal religion, towards religion of salvation, and finally towards rational ethical religion. But this contrast is far from implying any uniform determinism. The absence of uniform determinism appears very clearly in the fact that the rural flat-lands of Netherlands provided the first localities for the popular dissemination of the Baptist communal religion in its fullest form, while it was the city of Muenster which became a primary site for the expression of its social revolutionary form.

(E.4.e) Occident and Oriental City

In the Occident particularly, communal religion has been intimately connected with the middle-class citizen of both the upper and lower levels. This was a natural consequence of the relative recession in the importance of kinship groupings, particularly of the clan, within the Occidental city. The city dweller finds a substitute for kinship groupings in both occupational bands, which in the Occident as everywhere had a cultic significance although no longer associated with taboos, and in freely created religious communities. But these religious relationships were not determined exclusively by the distinctive economic conditions of city life.

On the contrary, the causal relationship between religion and city might go the other way, as is readily apparent. Thus, in China the great importance of the ancestral cult and clan taboo resulted in keeping the individual city dweller in a close relationship with his clan and native village. In India the religious caste taboo rendered difficult the rise, or limited the importance of any communal religion of salvation in urban settlements, as well as in the country. We have seen that in both India and China these factors hindered the formation of a "community" of the city much more than that of the village

(E.4.f) Rationality of Citizen's Life

Yet it is still true that the petty-citizen, by its distinctive conduct of economic life, inclines in the direction of a rational ethical religion, wherever conditions are present for the emergence of a such religion. When one compares the life of a petty-citizen, particularly the crafts-person or the small trader, with the life of the peasant, it is clear that the former has far less conditioned by the nature. Consequently, dependence on magic for influencing the irrational forces of nature cannot play the same role for the city dweller as for the peasant. At the same time, it is clear that the economic foundation of the citizen's life has a far more rational character, namely, calculability and end-rational operation of the processes. Furthermore, the crafts-person and in certain circumstances even the merchant lead economic existences which influence them to entertain the view that honesty is the best policy, that faithful work and the performance of duty will find their "reward" and are "deserving" of their just compensation. For these reasons, small traders and crafts-persons are disposed to accept a rational world view incorporating an ethic of compensation. We shall see presently that this is the normal mode of thinking among all non-privileged strata. The peasants, on the other hand, are much more remote from this "ethical" notion of compensation and do not acquire it until the magic in which they are engaged has been eliminated by other forces. By contrast, the crafts-person is very frequently active in effecting the elimination of this very process of magic. It follows that the belief in ethical compensation is even more alien to warriors and to political capitalists who have economic interests in war and in power politics. These groups are the least compatible to the ethical and rational elements in any religion.

(E.4.g) Development of Citizenry Rationalism

To be sure, the crafts-person was deeply involved in magical manipulation in the early stages of occupational differentiation. Every specialized "art" that is uncommon and not widely disseminated is regarded as a magical charisma, either personal or, more generally, hereditary, the acquisition and maintenance of which is guaranteed by magical means. Other elements of this early belief are that the bearers of this charisma are set off by taboos, occasionally of a totemic nature, from the community of ordinary people (peasants), and frequently that they are to be excluded from the ownership of land. One final element of this early belief in the magical charisma of every specialized art must be mentioned here. Wherever crafts had remained in the hands of ancient groups possessing raw materials, who had first offered their arts as "intruders" in the community and later offered their craftsmanship as individual strangers settled within the community, the belief in the magical nature of special arts condemned such groups to pariah status and stereotyped with magic their manipulations and their technology.

But wherever this magical condition has once been broken through (this happens most readily in newly settled cities), the effect of the transformation may be that the crafts-person will learn to think about his labor and the small trader will learn to think about his enterprise much more rationally than any peasant thinks. The craftsman in particular will have time and opportunity for reflection during his work in many instances, especially in occupations which are primarily of the indoor variety in our climate, for example, in the textile trades, which therefore are strongly infused with sectarian religiosity. This is true to some extent even for the workers in modern factories with mechanized weaving, but very much more true for the weaver of the past.

Wherever the attachment to purely magical or ritualistic notions has been broken by prophets or reformers, there has hence been a tendency for crafts-persons and petty-citizen toward a (often primitively) rationalistic ethical and religious view of life. Furthermore, their very occupational specialization makes them the bearers of an integrated "conduct of life" of a distinctive kind. Yet there is certainly no uniform determination of religion by these general conditions in the life of crafts-persons and petty-citizens. Thus the small businessmen of China, though thoroughly "calculating," are not the carriers of a rational religion, nor, so far as we know, are the Chinese crafts-persons. At best, they follow the Buddhist teaching of karma, in addition to magical notions. What is primary in their case is the absence of an ethically rationalized religion, and indeed this appears to have influenced the limited rationalism of their technology. This strikes us again and again. The mere existence of crafts-persons and petty-citizens has never sufficed to generate an ethical religiosity, even of the most general type. We have seen an example of this in India, [60] where the caste taboo and the belief in transmigration of soul influenced and stereotyped the ethics of the crafts-person strata. Only communal religion, especially one of the rational and ethical type, could conceivably win followers easily, particularly among the petty-citizens, and then, given certain circumstances, exert a lasting influence on the conduct of life of these groups. This is what actually happened.

(E.5) Slave And Propertyless

Finally, the strata of the economically most disprivileged, such as slaves and free day-laborers, have hitherto never been the bearers of a distinctive type of religion. In the ancient Christian communities the slaves belonged to the petty-citizen. The Hellenistic slaves and the servants of Narcissus mentioned in the Letter to the Romans [61] were either relatively well-placed and independent domestic officials or service personnel belonging to very wealthy persons. But in the majority of instances they were independent crafts-persons who paid tribute to their master and hoped to save enough from their earnings to effect their liberation, which was the case throughout Antiquity and in Russia in the nineteenth century. In other cases they were well-treated slaves of the state.

The religion of Mithra also included numerous adherents from slaves, according to the inscriptions. The Delphic Apollo (and presumably many another god) apparently functioned as a savings bank for slaves, attractive because of its sacred inviolability, and the slaves bought "freedom" from their masters by the use of these savings. This might be Paul's image of the redemption of Christians through the blood of their savior that they might be freed from enslavement of the law and sin. [62] If this is true, [63] it shows how much the missionary of early Christianity aspired for the unfree petty-citizen who followed an economically rational conduct of life. On the other hand, the lowest stratum of the slave in the ancient plantation was not the bearer of any communal religion, or for that matter a fertile site for any sort of religious mission.

Handicraft journey-persons have at all times tended to share the characteristic religiosity of the petty-citizen, since they are normally distinguished from them only by the fact that they must wait a certain time before they can set up their own shop. However, they showed even more of an affinity toward various forms of unofficial sectarian religiosity, which found particularly fertile soil among the lower occupational strata of the city, in view of their difficult conditions of everyday life, the fluctuations in the price of their daily bread, their job insecurity, and their dependence on brotherly help. Furthermore, the small crafts-persons and craft recruits were generally represented in the numerous secret or half-tolerated communities of "poor people" which took the forms of communal religion of revolutionary, pacifistic-communistic and ethical-rational character, chiefly for the technical reason that wandering handicraft recruits are the available missionaries of every mass communal religion. This process is illustrated in the rapid expansion of Christianity across the huge area from the Orient to Rome in just a few decades.

Insofar as the modern employed worker have a distinctive religiosity it is characterized by indifference to or rejection of religion, as are the modern well-propertied people. For the modem employed worker, the sense of dependence on one's own life is characterized by a consciousness of dependence on purely social relationships, market conditions, and power relationships guaranteed by law. Any thought of dependence upon the course of natural or meteorological processes, or upon anything that might be regarded as subject to the influence of magic or providence, has been completely eliminated. [64] Therefore, the rationalism of the employed worker, like that of the well-propertied people with the full possession of economic power, of which indeed the employed worker's rationalism is a complementary phenomenon, cannot in the nature of the case easily possess a religious character and certainly cannot easily form a religion. Hence, in the sphere of employed worker's rationalism, religion is generally replaced by other ideological substitutes.

The lowest and the most economically unstable strata of the employed worker, for whom rational conceptions are the least conceivable, and also the propertyless people or impoverished petty-citizen who are in constant danger of sinking into the propertyless, are nevertheless readily susceptible to being influenced by religious missionary enterprise. But this religious propaganda has in such cases a distinctively magical form or, where real magic has been eliminated, it has certain characteristics which are substitutes for the magical-orgiastic dispensation of grace. Examples of these are the salvational ecstasy of the Methodist type such as the Salvation Army. Undoubtedly, it is far easier for emotional rather than rational elements of a religious ethic to flourish in such circumstances. In any case, ethical religion scarcely ever arises primarily in this group.

Only in a limited sense is there a distinctive "class" religiosity of disprivileged social strata. In the case that the commandments of a religion demand "social and political" reform as god's will, we shall have to dealt with this problem when we discuss ethics and "natural law." [65] But insofar as our concern is with the character of the religion as such, it is immediately evident that a need for "salvation" in the widest sense of the term has as one of its centers of the disprivileged strata, but not the exclusive or primary one, as we shall see later. [66] Turning to the "satisfied" and privileged strata, the need for salvation is remote and alien to warriors, bureaucrats, and the plutocracy.

(E.6) Mass Religiosity: Magic And Savior

A religion of salvation may very well have its origin within socially privileged groups. The charisma of the prophet is normally associated with a certain minimum of intellectual cultivation, although it is not confined to any particular status-group. Specifically, intellectual prophets readily demonstrate both of these regularities. But as a rule, salvation religion changes its character as soon as it has reached lay circles who are not particularly or professionally concerned with intellectualism, and more changes its character after it has reached into the lowest social strata to whom intellectualism is both economically and socially inaccessible. One characteristic element of this transformation, a product of the inevitable accommodation to the needs of the masses, may be formulated generally as the emergence of a personal, divine or human-divine savior as the bearer of salvation, with the additional consequence that the religious relationship to this personality becomes the precondition of salvation.

We have already seen that one form of the accommodation of religion to the needs of the masses is the transformation of cultic religion into pure magic. A second typical form of accommodation is the shift into savior religion, which is naturally related to the purely magical transformation with the most numerous transitional stages. The lower the social strata, the more radical are the forms assumed by the need for a savior, once this need has emerged. Hinduism provides an example of this in the Kartahajas, a Vishnuite sect that took seriously the breakup of the caste taboo which in theory it shares with many salvation sects. Members of this sect arranged for a limited table-community of their members on private as well as on cultic occasions, but for that reason they were essentially a sect of common people. They carried the idolatrous veneration of their hereditary guru to such a point that the cult became extremely exclusive. Similar phenomena can be found elsewhere among religions which recruited followers from the lower social strata or at least were influenced by them. The transfer of salvation teachings to the masses practically always results in the emergence of a personal savior, or at least in an increase of emphasis upon the concept of a savior. One instance of this is the substitution for the Buddha ideal, namely, the exemplary intellectualist salvation into enlightenment (Nirvana), by the ideal of a Bodhisattva, namely, a savior who has descended upon earth and has sacrificed his own entrance into Nirvana for the sake of saving his fellow humans. Another example is the rise in Hindu folk religion, particularly in Vishnuism, of salvation grace mediated by an incarnate god, and the victory of this doctrine of salvation and its magical sacramental grace over both the privileged, atheistic salvation of the Buddhists and the ritualism associated with Vedic education. There are other manifestations of this process, somewhat different in form, in various religions.

The religious need of the middle and petty citizen expresses itself less in the form of heroic myths than in the emotional legend, which has a tendency toward inwardness and edification. This corresponds to the greater emphasis upon pacified domestic and family life of the middle classes, in contrast to the ruling strata. This middle-class transformation of religion in the direction of domesticity is illustrated by the emergence of the piety (Bhakti) to a godlike savior in all Hindu cults, both in the creation of the Bodhisattva figure as well as in the cults of Krishna; and by the popularity of the edifying myths of the child Dionysos, Osiris, the Christ child, and their numerous parallels. The emergence of the citizen strata as a power-holder which helped shape religion under the influence of mendicant monks resulted in the replacing the imperialistic art like Nicola Pisano's (1225-78) "Annunciation" by his son Govenni's (1250-1314) "Holy family," just as the Krishna child is the darling of popular art in India.

The salvational myth of god who has assumed human form or its savior who has been deified is, as well as magic, a characteristic concept of popular religion, and hence one that has arisen quite spontaneously in very different places. On the other hand, the notion of an impersonal and ethical cosmic order that transcends the deity and the ideal of an exemplary salvation are intellectualistic conceptions which are definitely alien to the masses and possible only for a laity that has been educated along ethically rational lines. The same holds true for the development of a concept of an absolutely transcendental god. With the exception of Judaism and Protestantism, all religions and religious ethics have had to reintroduce cults of saints, heroes or functional gods in order to accommodate themselves to the needs of the masses. Thus Confucianism permitted such cults, in the form of the Taoist pantheon, to continue their existence by its side. Similarly, as popularized Buddhism spread to many lands, it allowed the various gods of these lands to live on as recipients of the Buddhist cult, subordinated to the Buddha. Finally, Islam and Catholicism were compelled to accept local, functional, and occupational gods as saints, the veneration of which constituted the real religiosity of the masses in everyday life.

(E.7) Women And Religion

The religion of the disprivileged strata, in contrast to the aristocratic cults of the martial nobles, is characterized by a tendency to allot equality to women. There is a great diversity in the scope of the religious participation permitted to women, but the greater or lesser, active or passive participation (or exclusion) of women from the religious cults is everywhere an indication of the group's relative pacification (or militarization) present or past. The presence of priestesses, the prestige of female soothsayers or witches, and the most extreme devotion to individual women to whom supernatural powers and charisma may be attributed, however, does not by any means imply that women have equal privileges in the cult. Conversely, equalization of the sexes in principle, namely, in relationship to god, as it is found in Christianity and Judaism and, less consistently, in Islam and official Buddhism, may coexist with men's complete monopolization of the priesthood and of the right to active participation in community affairs; only men are admitted to special professional training or assumed to possess the necessary qualifications. This is the actual situation in everyday religion.

The great receptivity of women to all religious prophecy except that which is exclusively military or political in orientation comes to very clear expression in the completely unbiased relationships with women maintained by practically all prophets, the Buddha as well as Christ and Pythagoras. But only in very rare cases does this practice continue beyond the first stage of a religious community, when the pneumatic manifestations of charisma are valued as hallmarks of specifically religious exaltation. Thereafter, as routinization and regimentation of community relationships set in, a reaction takes place against pneumatic manifestations among women, which come to be regarded as irregular and sick. In Christianity this appears already with Paul.

It is certainly true that every political and military prophecy --such as Islam-- is directed exclusively to men. Indeed, the cult of a warlike spirit is frequently put into the service of controlling and lawfully plundering the households of women by the male inhabitants of the warrior house, who are organized into a sort of club. This happens among the Duk-duk in the Polynesian and elsewhere in many similar periodic feast with a heroic mask (numen). Wherever an ascetic training of warriors involving the "rebirth" of the hero is or has been dominant, woman is regarded as lacking a higher heroic soul and is consequently designated a secondary religious status. This obtains in most aristocratic or distinctively militaristic cultic communities.

Women are completely excluded from the official Chinese cults as well as from those of the Romans and Brahmins; nor is the religion of the Buddhist intellectuals feministic. Indeed, even Christian synods as late as the period of the Merovingians expressed doubts regarding the equality of the souls of women. On the other hand, in the Orient the characteristic cults of Hinduism and one segment of the Buddhist and Taoist sects in China, and in the Occident notably Pauline Christianity but also later the pneumatic and pacifist sects of Eastern and Western Europe, derived a great deal of their missionizing power by attracting and equaling women. In Greece, too, the cult of Dionysos at its first appearance gave to the women who participated in its orgies an unusual degree of emancipation from conventions. This freedom subsequently became more and more stylized and regulated, both artistically and ceremonially; its scope was thereby limited, particularly to the processions and other festive activities of the various cults. Ultimately, therefore, this freedom lost all practical importance.

What gave Christianity its extraordinary advantage, as it conducted its missionary enterprises among the petty-citizen strata, over its most important competitor, the religion of Mithra, was that this extremely masculine cult excluded women. The result during a period of universal peace was that the adherents of Mithra had to seek out for their women a substitute in other mysteries, for example, those of Cybele. This had the effect of destroying, even within single families, the unity and universality of the religious community, thereby providing a striking contrast to Christianity. A similar result was to be noted in all the genuinely intellectualist cults of the Gnostic, Manichean, and comparable types, though this need not necessarily have been the case in doctrine.

It is by no means true that all religions of "brotherly love" and "love for one's enemy" achieved its teaching through the influence of women or through the feminist character of the religion; this has certainly not been true for the Indian non-killing (ahimsa) religiosity. The influence of women only tended to intensify emotional or hysterical religiosity. Such was the case in India. But it is certainly important that salvation religions tended to edify the non-military and even anti-military virtues, which must have been quite close to the interests of disprivileged classes and of women.

(E.8) Social Strata And Sense Of Dignity

The specific importance of salvation religion for politically and economically disprivileged social strata, in contrast to privileged strata, may be viewed from an even more general perspective. In our discussion of status and classes we shall have a good deal to say about the sense of honor or dignity of the most highly privileged (non-priestly) strata, particularly the nobility. [67] Their sense of dignity rests on the consciousness of their "beings" that their qualitatively distinctive conduct of life is an expression of their "perfection." Indeed, it is in the very nature of the case that this should be the basis of their sense of status. On the other hand, the sense of dignity of the disprivileged strata rests on proclaimed "promise" for the future which is connected with their assigned "function," "mission," or "vocation." In stead of what they cannot pretend to their "beings," the disprivileged place their sense of dignity either in what they are "called" to the future life of this world or the world beyond, or in what they providentially have seen their "meaning" and fulfilled their "achievement." Their hunger for worthiness that has not fallen to their lot creates this sense of dignity from the rationalistic idea of "providence," the significance of divine order and values different from that of this world.

(E.8.a) Legitimacy of Fortunate

This psychological condition, when turned outward toward the other social strata, produces certain characteristic contrasts in what religion must "provide" for the various social strata. Since every need for salvation is an expression of some "distress," social or economic oppression is an natural source of the need of salvation, though by no means the exclusive source. On the other hand, socially and economically privileged strata will scarcely feel the need of salvation from such a distress. Rather they assign to a religio, first of all, the function of "legitimizing" their own status and conduct of life in the world. This universal phenomenon is rooted in certain general psychological situations. The person of fortunate is not content with the fact of one's fortunate compared to the persons of unfortunate, but desires to have the right of the fortune, the "consciousness" that the one has "deserved" the good fortune, in contrast to the unfortunate one who must equally have "deserved" the misfortune. Our everyday experience shows that there exists just such a need for psychic satisfaction about the legitimacy of one's fortune, whether this involves political success, superior economic situation, bodily health, winning in the competition of love, or anything else. What the privileged require of religion, if anything at all, is this "legitimation."

To be sure, not every privileged strata has desired this legitimation in the same degree. For example, martial heroes regard the gods as beings of envy. Solon shared with ancient Jewish wisdom the same belief in the danger of the high status of heroes. The hero maintained his super-power status not as a god but often against the gods. Such an attitude is evinced in the Homeric and some of the Hindu epics, in contrast to the bureaucratic chronicles of China and the priestly chronicles of Israel, which express a far stronger concern for the legitimacy of fortunate as the god's reward for some virtuous action pleasing to the god.

On the other hand, one finds almost universal belief that misfortune is brought by the wrath or envy of either demons or gods. Practically every folk religion, including the ancient Hebrew, and particularly the modern Chinese, regards physical infirmity as a sign of magical, ritual or ethical transgression on the part of the unfortunate, or (as in Judaism) of his ancestors. Accordingly, in these traditions a person of infirmity is prohibited from participating at the communal sacrifices of the political community because the person is loaded with the wrath of the god and must not enter in the circle of fortunate and god's pleasing ones. In practically every ethical religion of privileged strata and their priests, the privileged or disprivileged social position of the individual is regarded as somehow religiously acquired. What varies is only the form by which good fortune is legitimized.

(E.8.b) Compensation of Disprivileged

In contrast, the reverse rule is the situation of the disprivileged. Their particular need is for salvation from suffering. They do not always experience this need for salvation in a religious form, as shown by the example of the modern employed people. Furthermore, their need for religious salvation, where it exists, may take diverse forms. In particular, it always, though in various degree of imprint, involves a need of just "compensation," that is, "reward" for one's good deeds and "punishment" for other's injustice. Thus, besides magic and its connection, this fairly "calculable" expectation of just compensation is the most widely diffused form of mass religion all over the world. Even prophetic religions, which rejected the mechanical forms of this belief, tended as they underwent popularization and routinization to slip back into these expectations of compensation. The type and scope of these hopes for compensation and salvation varied greatly depending on the religious promises, especially when these hopes were projected from the earthly existence of the individual into a future life.

(E.9) Pariah Status

(E.9.a) Jews and Hindu Castes

Judaism, in both its exilic and post-exilic times, illustrates a particularly important of the content of religious promises. Since the Exile, as a matter of fact, and formally since the destruction of the Temple (AD 50), the Jews became a "pariah people" in the particular sense presently to be defined. In our term, "pariah people" means hereditary closed social group without political autonomy. Jewish pariah people is characterized by following interrelated external traits: on the one hand, a table- and marriage- community with (originally magical) taboo and ritual sanctions excluding outsiders and, on the other, far distinctively particularized economic activity through political and social disprivilege. The Jewish "pariah people," however, is not identical with the "pariah caste" in India in the sense that, for example, the term "Kadi-justice" is not identical with Kadi's actual legal decision.

To be sure, the pariah caste of India, the disprivileged and occupationally specialized Hindu strata, is most resemble to the Jewish pariah people, since Hindu pariah status is also excluded to outsiders through tabooistic sanctions, connected to hereditary religious obligations of their conduct of life, and bound to salvation hopes. These Hindu castes and Jews show the same characteristic effects of a pariah religion: the more depressed the position in which the members of the pariah status found themselves, the more closely did the religion cause them to cling to one another and to their pariah position and the more powerful became the salvation hopes which were connected with the fulfillment of the divinely commanded religious duties. As we have already mentioned, [68] the lowest Hindu castes in particular clung to their caste duties as the condition for their rebirth into a better life.

The tie between Yahweh and his people became the more indissoluble as painful humiliation and persecution pressed down upon the Jews. In obvious contrast to the oriental Christians, who under the Umayyads streamed into the privileged religion of Islam in such numbers that the political authorities had to make conversion difficult for them in the interests of the privileged stratum, all the frequent mass conversions of the Jews by force, which might have obtained for them the privileges of the ruling stratum, remained ineffectual. For both the Jews and the Hindu castes, the only means for the attainment of salvation was to fulfill the special religious commandments imposed upon the pariah status, from which none might withdraw oneself without bringing the curse of evil magic or endangering the chances of rebirth for oneself or one's descendants.

The difference between Judaism and Hindu caste religion is distinguished only by the type of salvation hopes underlined. From the fulfillment of the religious obligations, the Hindu expected an improvement in one's personal chances of rebirth, namely, the reincarnation of one's soul into a higher caste. On the other hand, the Jew expected the participation of his descendants in a messianic kingdom which would redeem the entire pariah community from its disprivileged position and in fact raise it to a position of ruler in the world. Surely Yahweh promised that all the nations of the world would borrow from the Jews but that Jews would borrow from them. [69] This had meant more than that the Jews would become all-time moneylenders in the world. Yahweh instead intended to place them in the typical situation of citizens of a powerful city-state in Antiquity, who held as debtors and debt-slaves the inhabitants of nearby subject villages and towns. The Jew wrought in behalf of his actual descendants, who, on the animistic interpretation, would constitute his earthly immortality. The Hindu also pursued for a human life of the future, to whom one was bound by a relationship only if the animistic doctrines of transmigration were presupposed, namely, the future incarnation of one's soul. The Hindu's conception left unchanged for all time the caste stratification in this world and the position of each caste within it; indeed, the Hindu sought to fit the future state of one's own individual soul into this very order of ranks. In striking contrast, the Jews anticipated their salvation through a revolution of the existing social stratification for the sake of god's pariah people, who had been chosen and called not to a pariah position but to one of prestige.

(E.9.b) Jewish Resentment

Thus the element of resentment gained importance in the Jewish ethical salvation religion,[70] which had been completely lacking in all magical and caste religions. Resentment is a concomitant of particular religious ethic of the disprivileged. It is connected first of all with the "compensation religiosity," since once a religious conception of compensation has arisen, "suffering" may be taken account of the religious merit, in view of the great hopes of future compensation.

Such notion of resentment may be worked by ascetic doctrines on the one hand, or by characteristic neurotic predispositions on the other. However, the religion of suffering acquires the specific character of resentment only under special circumstances. Resentment is not found among the Hindus and Buddhists, for whom personal suffering is individually merited. But the situation is quite different among the Jews. The religion of the Psalms is full of the request of vengeance, [71] and the same motif occurs in the priestly rewritings of ancient Israelite traditions. The majority of the Psalms are quite obviously replete with the moralistic legitimation and satisfaction of an open and hardly concealed quest for vengeance on the part of a pariah people. [72] In the Psalms the quest for vengeance may take the form of remonstrating God because misfortune has overtaken the righteous individual, notwithstanding his obedience to God's commandments, whereas the godless conduct of the heathen, despite their mockery of God's power, commandments and authority, has brought them fortune and left them proud. The same quest for vengeance may express itself as a form of humble confession of one's own sinfulness, accompanied by a prayer to God to desist from his anger at long last and to turn his grace once again toward the people who ultimately are uniquely his own. In both forms, resentment is bound to the hope that the wrath of God will finally have been appeased and will turn itself to punishing the godless foes as well as making of them at some future day the footstool of Israel, just as the priestly historiography had assigned to the Canaanite enemies a similar fate. Resentment was also connected with the hope that this exalted condition would endure so long as Israel did not arouse God's anger by disobedience, thereby meriting subjugation at the hands of the heathen. It may be true, as modern commentators would have it, that some of these Psalms express the personal indignation of pious Pharisees over their persecution at the hands of Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BC). Nevertheless, a distinctive selection and preservation is evident; and in any case, other Psalms are quite obviously reactions to the distinctive pariah status of the Jews as a people.

In no other religion in the world do we find a universal deity possessing the unparalleled desire for vengeance manifested by Yahweh. Indeed, an almost unfailing index of the historical value of the data provided by the priestly rewriting of history is that the event in question, as for example the battle of Megiddo, does not fulfill this theodicy of compensation and vengeance. [73] Thus, the Jewish religion became notably a religion of retribution. God's commandments were observed for the sake of the hope of compensation. Moreover, this was originally a collective hope that the people as a whole would live to see that day of restoration, and that only in this way would the individual be able to regain one's own honor.

There developed concomitantly, intermingled with the aforementioned collective theodicy, an individual theodicy of personal destiny which had previously been taken for granted. The problems of individual destiny are explored in the Book of Job, which was produced by quite different circles, namely, the upper strata, and which culminates in a renunciation of any solution of the problem and a submission to the absolute sovereignty of God over his creatures. This submission was the precursor of the teaching of predestination in Puritanism. The notion of predestination was bound to arise when the pathos of divinely destined eternal punishment in hell was added to the complex of ideas just discussed, involving compensation and the absolute sovereignty of God. But the belief in predestination did not arise among the Hebrews of that time. Among them, the conclusion of the Book of Job remained almost completely misunderstood in the sense intended by its author, mainly, as is well known, because of the unshakable strength of the teaching of collective compensation in the Jewish religion.

In the mind of the pious Jew the moralism of the law was inevitably combined with the aforementioned hope for revenge, which suffused practically all the exilic and post-exilic sacred scriptures. Moreover, through two and a half thousand years this hope for revenge appeared in virtually every divine service of the Jewish people--a people indissolubly chained to religiously sanctified segregation from the other peoples of the world and this-worldly promises of God. From such a compensatory hope the Jews were bound to derive new strength, consciously or unconsciously. Yet as the Messiah delayed his arrival, this hope receded in the religious thinking of the intellectuals in favor of the value of an inner awareness of God or a mildly emotional trust in God's goodness as such, combined with a readiness for peace with all the world. This happened especially in periods during which the social condition of a community lost complete political power. On the other hand, in epochs characterized by persecutions, like the period of the Crusades, the hope for retribution flamed up anew, either with a penetrating but vain cry to God for revenge, or with a prayer that the soul of the Jew might "become as dust" before the enemy who had cursed him. In the latter case there was no recourse to evil words or deeds, but only a silent waiting for the fulfillment of God's commandments and the cultivation of the heart so that it would remain open to God.

To interpret resentment as the decisive element in Judaism would be unacceptable deviation, in view of the many significant historical changes which Judaism has undergone. Nevertheless, we must not underestimate the influence of resentment upon even the basic characteristics of the Jewish religion. When one compares Judaism with other salvation religions, one finds that in Judaism alone resentment has a specific trait and played a unique role not found among the disprivileged status of any other religion.

(E.9.c) Theodicy of Disprivilege

A theodicy of disprivilege, in some form, is a component of every salvation religion which draws its adherents primarily from the disprivileged strata, and the developing priestly ethic accommodated to this theodicy wherever it was a component of communal religion based on such groups. The absence of resentment, and also of virtually any kind of social revolutionary ethics among the pious Hindu and the Asiatic Buddhist can be explained by reference to their theodicy of rebirth, according to which the caste order itself is eternal and absolutely just. The virtues or sins of a former life determine birth into a particular caste, and one's behavior in the present life determines one's chances of improvement in the next rebirth. Those living under this theodicy experienced no trace of the conflict experienced by the Jews between the social claims based on God's promises and the actual conditions of dishonor under which they lived.

(E.9.c.1) Jewish Theodicy

This conflict precluded any possibility of finding ease in this life for the Jews, who lived in continuous tension with their actual social position and in perpetually fruitless expectation and hope. The Jews' theodicy of disprivilege was despised by the pitiless mockery of the godless heathen, but for the Jews the theodicy had the consequence of transforming religious criticism of the godless heathen into ever-watchful concern over their own fidelity to the law. This preoccupation was frequently tinged with bitterness and threatened by secret self-criticism.

The Jew was naturally prone, as a result of his lifelong schooling, to casuistic watch upon the religious obligations of the fellow Jews, on whose punctilious observance of religious law the whole people ultimately depended for Yahweh's favor. There appeared that peculiar mixture of elements characteristic of post-exilic times which combined despair at finding any meaning in this world of vanity with submission to the chastisement of God, anxiety lest one sin against God through pride, and finally a fear-ridden punctiliousness in ritual and morals. All these tensions forced upon the Jew a desperate struggle, no longer for the respect from others, but for self-respect and a sense of dignity. The struggle for a sense of personal worth must have become precarious again and again, threatening to wreck the whole meaning of the individual's conduct of life, since ultimately the fulfillment of God's promise was the only criterion of one's value before God at any given time.

Success in his occupation actually became one tangible proof of God's personal favor for the Jew living in the ghetto. But the conception of "proof" in a god's pleasing "calling," in the sense of inner-worldly asceticism, is not applicable to the Jew. For the Jews, God's blessing was far less anchored in a systematic, ascetic, and rational methodology of life than for the Puritans, whom this was the only possible source of the certainty of salvation. In Judaism, just as the sexual ethic remained naturalistic and anti-ascetic, so also did the economic ethic remain strongly traditionalistic in its principle. It was characterized by a naive enjoyment of wealth, which is of course alien to any systematic asceticism. In addition, Jewish justification by work is fundamentally ritualistic character infused with the distinctive religiosity of mood. We must note that the traditionalistic norm of the Jewish economic ethics self-evidently applied only to one's fellow people, not to outsiders, which was the case in every ancient ethics. All in all, then, the belief in Yahweh's promises actually produced within the realm of Judaism itself a strong component of resentment.

(E.9.c.2) Jesus's Teaching

It would be completely false to portray the need for salvation, theodicy, or communal religion as something that developed only among disprivileged social strata or even only as a product of resentment, hence merely as the outcome of a "slave revolt in morality." This would not even be true of ancient Christianity, although it directed its promises most sympathetically to the "poor" in spirit and in materials. On the contrary, what immediate consequence has to follow from Jesus's prophecy can be easily observed in the devaluation and breaking of the ritual laws (which had been purposefully composed to segregate the Jews from the outer world) and the consequent dissolution of the religious bondage of the faithful to the caste-like position of a pariah people. To be sure, the early Christian prophecy contained very definite elements of "retribution" doctrine, in the sense of the future equalization of human fates (most clearly expressed in the legend of Lazarus) [74] and of vengeance as God's business. [75] Moreover, here too the Nation of God is interpreted as an earthly kingdom, in the first instance apparently a realm set apart particularly or primarily for the Jews, for they from ancient times had believed in the true God. Yet, in Christianity, precisely the characteristic and penetrating resentment of Jewish pariah religiosity was rooted out by the consequence of the new religious promises.

To be sure, Jesus' own warnings, according to the tradition, of the dangers of wealth for the attainment of salvation were not motivated by asceticism or resentment. For the tradition has preserved many evidences of Jesus' intercourse, not only with publicans (who in the Palestine of that period were mostly small usurers), but also with other wealthy nobles. [76] His waring of wealth was rather based on his teaching of the indifference to worldly matters due to the immediacy of advent expectations. Certainly, the rich young person was unable to leave his wealth and the "world" unconditionally to become perfect, namely, a disciple. But for God all things are possible, even the salvation of the wealthy, despite the difficulties in the way. [77] There were no "propertyless's instincts" in the teaching of Jesus, the prophet of universal love who brought to the poor in spirit and in material the good news of the immediate coming of the Kingdom of God and of freedom from the power of demons.

(E.9.c.3) Buddhist Doctrine

Similarly, any proletarian denunciation of wealth would have been equally alien to the Buddha, for whom the unconditional withdrawal from the world was absolute presupposition for salvation. Buddhism constitutes the most radical antithesis to every type of resentment religiosity. [78] Buddhism clearly arose as the salvation teaching of an intellectual stratum, originally recruited almost entirely from the privileged castes, especially the warrior caste, which proudly and aristocratically rejected the illusions of life, both here and hereafter. Buddhism may be compared in social provenience to the salvation teachings of the Greeks, particularly the Neo-Platonic, Manichean, and Gnostic doctrine of salvation, even though they are radically different in content. The Buddhist monk (bhikshu) does not desire the world at all, not even a rebirth into paradise nor to teach the person who does not desire salvation (Nirvana).

Precisely this example of Buddhism demonstrates that the need for salvation and ethical religion has yet another source besides the social condition of the disprivileged and the rationalism of the citizen, who were conditioned by their practical situation of life. This additional factor is intellectualism as such, more particularly the philosophical needs of the human mind as it is driven to reflect on ethical and religious questions, driven not by material need but by an inner need to understand the world as a meaningful cosmos and to take up a position toward it.


(F.1) Privileged Intellectualism

(F.1.a) Priest

The course of religions has been influenced in a most diverse way by intellectualism and its various relationships to the priesthood and political powers. These relationships were in turn influenced by the provenience of the stratum which was the carrier of specific intellectualism. At first the priesthood itself was a carrier of specific intellectualism, particularly wherever sacred scriptures existed, which would make it necessary for the priesthood to become a literary guild engaged in interpreting the scriptures and teaching their content, meaning, and proper application. But no such development took place in the ancient city-states, and notably not among the Phoenicians, Greeks, or Romans; nor was this phenomenon present in the ethics of China. In these instances the development of all metaphysical and ethical thought fell into the hands of non-priests, as did the development of theology, which developed to only a very limited extent, for example, in Hesiod.

By contrast, the development of intellectualism by the priesthood, was true to the highest degree in India, in Egypt, in Babylonia, in Zoroastrianism, in Islam, and in ancient and medieval Christianity. So far as theology is concerned, the development of intellectualism by the priesthood has also taken place in modern Christianity. In the religions of Egypt, in Zoroastrianism, in some phases of ancient Christianity, and in Brahmanism during the age of the Vedas (1500-1000 BC, namely, before the rise of lay asceticism and the philosophy of the Upanishads) the priesthood succeeded in largely monopolizing the development of religious metaphysics and ethics. Such a priestly monopoly was also present in Judaism and Islam. But in Judaism it was strongly reduced by the strong impact of lay prophecy, and in Islam the very impressive power of the priesthood was limited by the challenge of Sufi speculation.

In all the branches of Buddhism and Islam, as well as in ancient and medieval Christianity, it was the monks or groups oriented to monasticism who, besides the priests or in their stead, concerned themselves with and wrote in all the areas of theological and ethical thought, as well as in metaphysics and considerable segments of science. In addition, they also occupied themselves with the production of arts and literature. The cultic importance of the singer played a role in bringing epic, lyrical and ironic poetry into the Vedas in India and the erotic poetry of Israel into the Bible; the psychological affinity of mystic and pneumatic emotion to poetic inspiration shaped the role of the mystic in the poetry of both the Orient and Occident.

But here we are concerned not with literary production but with the formation of religiosity itself by the particular character of the intellectual strata who exerted a decisive influence upon it. The intellectual influence upon religion of the priesthood, even where it was the chief carrier of literature, was of quite varied scope, depending on which non-priestly strata opposed the priesthood and on the power position of the priesthood itself. The specifically priestly influence reached its strongest degree in late Zoroastrianism and in the religions of Egypt and Babylonia. Although Judaism of the Deuteronomic and exilic periods (600-400 BC) was prophetic in essence, the priesthood exerted a marked formative influence upon the developing religion. In later Judaism, however, it was not the priest but the rabbi who exercised the decisive influence. Christianity was decisively influenced by the priesthood and by monasticism at the end of Antiquity (400-500 AD) and in the High Middle Ages (1000-1200 AD), and then again in the period of the Counter-Reformation (1600-1700 AD). Pastoral influences were dominant in Lutheranism and early Calvinism. Hinduism was formed and influenced to an extraordinary degree by the Brahmins, at least in its institutional and social components. This applies particularly to the caste order that arose wherever the Brahmins arrived, the social hierarchy of which was ultimately determined by the rank the Brahmins assigned to each particular caste. Buddhism in all its varieties, but particularly Lamaism, has been thoroughly influenced by monasticism, which has to a lesser degree influenced large groups in oriental Christianity.

(F.1.b) Privileged Lay Intellectuals

Here we are particularly concerned with the relationship to the priesthood of the non-priestly lay intellectuals other than the monks, and in addition, with the relation of the intellectual strata to the religiosity and their position within the religious community. We point out here a fact of fundamental importance that all the great religious teachings of Asia are creations of intellectuals. The salvation teachings of Buddhism and Jainism, as well as all related doctrines, were carried by a lay intellectual who received the training in the Vedas. This training, though not always of a strictly scholarly nature, was appropriate to the education of Hindu aristocrats, particularly members of the Kshatriya nobility, who stood in opposition to the Brahmins. In China the carriers of Confucianism, beginning with the founder himself and including Lao Tzu, who is officially regarded as the initiator of Taoism, were either officials who had received a classical literary education or philosophers with corresponding training.

The religions of China and India display counterparts of practically all the theoretical variants of Greek philosophy, though frequently in modified form. Confucianism, as the official ethic of China, was entirely carried by the officials and their candidates by a group of aspirants to official positions who had received a classical literary education, while Taoism became a popular enterprise of practical magic. The great reforms of Hinduism were accomplished by aristocratic intellectuals who had received a Brahminic education, although subsequently the organization of communities frequently fell into the hands of members of lower castes. Thus, the process of reform in India took another direction from that of the Reformation in Northern Europe, which was also led by educated humans who had received professional clerical training, as well as from that of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, which at first found its chief support from Jesuits trained in logical argument, like Salmeron and Lainez. The course of the reform movement in India differed also from the reconstruction of Islamic doctrine by Al-Ghazali (AD 1058-1111), which combined mysticism and orthodoxy, with leadership remaining partly in the hands of the official hierarchy and partly in the hands of a newly developed office nobility with theological training. So too, Manichaeism and Gnosticism, the salvation religions of the Near East, are both specifically religions of intellectuals. This is true of their founders, their chief carriers, and the character of their salvation teachings as well.

In all these cases, in spite of various differences among the religions in question, the intellectual strata were relatively high in the social status and possessed philosophical training that corresponded to that of the Greek schools of philosophy or to the most learned types of monastic or secular humanistic training of the late medieval period. These groups were the bearers of the ethic or the salvation doctrine in each case. Thus intellectual strata might, within a given religious situation, constitute an academic enterprise comparable to that of the Platonic academy and the related schools of philosophy in Greece. In that case the intellectual strata, like those in Greece, would take no official position regarding existing religious practice. They often ignored or philosophically reinterpreted the existing religious practice rather than directly withdrawing themselves from it. On their part, the official representatives of the cult, like the state officials charged with cultic obligation in China or the Brahmins in India, tended to treat the doctrine of the intellectuals as either orthodox or heterodox, the latter in the cases of the materialistic doctrine of China and the dualist Sankhya philosophy of India. We cannot enter into any additional details here regarding these movements, which have a primarily academic orientation and are only indirectly related to practical religiosity. Our chief interest is rather in those other movements, previously mentioned, which are particularly concerned with the creation of a religious ethic. Our best examples in classical Antiquity are the Pythagoreans and Neo-Platonists. These movements of intellectuals have uniformly arisen among socially privileged strata or have been led or decisively influenced by people from these strata.

(F.2) Intellectual Salvation

(F.2.a) Social Conditions

The rise of a salvation religion by socially privileged strata normally has the best chance when demilitarization has set in for these strata and when they have lost either the possibility of political activity or the interest in it. Consequently, a salvation religion usually emerges when the privileged manorial or citizenry strata have lost their political power to a bureaucratic-militaristic unitary state, or when they have withdrawn from politics, for whatever reason. A salvation religion also emerges when the privileged strata, as a consequence of intellectual education, regard the ultimate meaning of their philosophical and psychological existence far more important than their practical activity in the external affairs of this world. This does not mean that the salvation religions arise only at such times. On the contrary, the inner conceptions of salvation may sometimes arise without the stimulus of such circumstantial conditions, as a result of free reflection in periods of dynamic political or social change. But in that case such modes of thinking tend to be a kind of underground existence, normally becoming dominant only when the intellectuals have undergone depoliticization.

(F.2.b) Asia

Confucianism, the ethic of a powerful officialdom, rejected all teachings of salvation. On the other hand, Jainism and Buddhism, which provide radical antitheses to Confucianist accommodation to the world, were objective expressions of the utterly anti-political, pacifistic, and world-rejecting attitude of the intellectuals. We do not know, however, whether the sometimes considerable following of these two religions in India was increased where the depoliticization of the intellectual had undergone. The lack of any sort of political pathos for unification among tiny states headed by minor Hindu princes before the time of Alexander, was contrasted with the impressive unity of Brahmanism (which was gradually forging to the front everywhere in India). This condition was in itself enough to induce the intellectual educated circles of the nobility to seek fulfillment of their interests outside of politics. Therefore the scripturally praised world-renunciation of the Brahmin forest dwellers (vanaprastha), who surrender his portion in old age, and the popular veneration of them resulted in the development of non-Brahminic ascetics (shramanas). [79] In any case, the shramanas, as the possessors of ascetic charisma, soon outstripped the official priesthood in popular veneration. This monastic form of political indifference had been prevalent among the nobles of India since very early times, long before apolitical philosophical doctrines of salvation arose in the 6th century BC.

(F.2.c) Near East and West

The Near Eastern salvation religions, whether of a mystic cult or prophetic type, as well as the Oriental and Hellenistic salvation doctrines, whether of a more religious type or a more philosophical type of which lay intellectuals were the carriers, were, insofar as they included the socially privileged strata at all, virtually without exception the consequence of the educated strata's enforced or voluntary withdrawal from political influence and activity. In Babylonia the turn to salvation religion, intersected by components whose provenience was outside Babylonia, appeared first in Mandaeanism in the 3rd century AD. The religion of intellectuals in the Near East took this turn first through participation in the cult of Mithra and the cults of other saviors, and then through participation in the cults of Gnosticism and Manichaeism, after all political interest had been broken in the educated strata. In Greece there had always been salvation religion among the intellectual strata, even before the Pythagorean sect arose, but it did not dominate among politically decisive strata. The spread of philosophical salvation doctrine and the propaganda of salvation cults among the privileged lay strata during late Hellenic and Roman times parallels these strata's final turning aside from political activity. Indeed, the somewhat esteemed "religious" interests of our German intellectuals of the present time (1915) are intimately connected with political frustrations that resulted in their political disinterest.

(F.2.d) Intellectual Characters

Quests for salvation among privileged strata are generally characterized by a disposition toward an "illumination" mysticism, to be discussed later, [80] which is associated with a distinctively intellectual qualification for salvation. This brings about a strong devaluation of the natural, sensual, and physical elements, as constituting, according to their psychological experience, temptations to deviate from this distinctive road to salvation. The articulated and precarious refinement of sexuality, along with the simultaneous suppression of normal sexuality in favor of substitute release, were determined by the conduct of life of those who might be termed "nothing-but-intellectuals"; and these refinements and suppressions of sexuality occasionally played a role for psychological processes. [81] These phenomena are strongly reminiscent of certain phenomena, especially in the Gnostic mysteries, which clearly appear to have been sublimated masturbatory substitutions for the orgies of the peasantry. These purely psychological preconditions of the religiosity are intersected by the rationalistic quest of intellectualism to conceive the world as a meaningful cosmos. Some typical outcomes are the Hindu doctrine of karma (of which more will be said presently) and its Buddhist variant; the Book of Job among the Hebrews, which presumably originated in aristocratic intellectual circles; and the comparable elements in Egyptian literature, in Gnostic speculation, and in Manichean dualism.

Once a salvation doctrine and an ethic of intellectualist origin has transformed to an official religion of the masses, esotericism or aristocratic status ethic arises to adjust the needs of the intellectually trained circles. Meanwhile, however, the salvation religion has become a doctrine of a popular magical savior to meet the needs of the non-intellectual masses. Thus in China, alongside the Confucianist status ethic of the bureaucrats, who were completely uninterested in salvation, Taoist magic and Buddhist sacramental and ritual grace survived in a fossilized form for the folk religiosity, which were despised by those who had received a classical education. Similarly, the Buddhist salvation ethic of the monastic aristocracy lived on alongside the magic and idolatry of the laity, the continued existence of tabooistic magic, and the new development of a savior religion within Hinduism. In Gnosticism and its related cults the intellectualist religion took the form of mystic cult, with a hierarchy of sanctifications from which the unilluminated "pious" (pistis) were excluded.

The salvation sought by the intellectual is always from inner distress, and hence it is more remote from life, more principle and more systematic than salvation from external distress, which is characteristic of non-privileged strata. The intellectual seeks in various ways, the casuistry of which extends into infinity, to endow one's conduct of life with a "meaning," and thus to find "unity" with one's self, with human beings, and with the cosmos. It is the intellectual who conceives of the "world" as a problem of "meaning." As intellectualism suppresses beliefs in magic, the processes of the world increasingly becomes free from magic, and loses their magical "meaning-contents," and henceforth magic may "exist" or "happen," but no long "signify" anything. As a consequence, there is a growing demand that the world and the "conduct of life," as a whole, should be ordered significantly and "meaningfully."

The tension between this postulate of meaningfulness and the empirical realities of the world and its orders, and one's conduct of life in the empirical world, determined for the intellectual's characteristic withdrawal from the world. This may be an escape into absolute loneliness, or in its more modern form, for example, in the case of Rousseau, to a nature unspoiled by human orders. Again, it may be a world-fleeing romanticism like the flight to the "people," untouched by social conventions, characteristic of the Russian Populism (narodnichestvo). It may be more contemplative, or more active ascetic; it may primarily seek individual salvation or collective revolutionary transformation of the world in the direction of a more ethical order. All these tendencies of apolitical intellectualism may appear as religious doctrine of salvation, and on occasion they have actually appeared. The distinctive world-fleeing character of intellectualist religion also has one of its roots here.

(F.3) Non-privileged Intellectualism

(F.3.a) Pariah And Petty-citizen Intellectualism

Yet the philosophical intellectualism of those strata that are usually well provided for socially and economically (particularly apolitical nobles or reinters, officials, and incumbents of benefices whether of churches, monasteries, seminaries, or the like) is by no means the only kind of intellectualism, and frequently it is not the most important kind of intellectualism for the development of religion. For there is also non-privileged intellectualism that is everywhere connected with aristocratic intellectualism by transitional forms and differs from it only in the character of its meaning-contents. Members of the non-privileged include people at the edge of the minimum standard of living; small officials and incumbents of prebends, who generally are equipped with what is regarded as an inferior education; scribes, who were not members of privileged strata in periods when writing was a special occupation; elementary school teachers of all sorts; wandering poets; narrators; reciters; and practitioners of similar free vocations. Above all, we must include in this category the self-educated intellectuals of the disprivileged ("negatively privileged") strata, of whom the classic examples are the Russian peasant intellectuals in Eastern Europe, and the socialist-anarchist intellectuals in the West. To this general category there might also be added groups of a far different background, such as the Dutch peasantry as late as the first half of the nineteenth century, who had an impressive knowledge of the Bible, the petty-citizen Puritans of 17th century England, and the religious journey-persons of all times and peoples. Above all, there must be included the classical example of the Jewish piety, including the Pharisees, the Hassidim, and the mass of the pious Jews who daily studied the law.

It may be noted that pariah intellectualism, appearing among all disprivileged strata of small income, the Russian peasantry, and the more or less "itinerant" people, derives its intensity from the fact that the groups which are at the lower end of, or altogether outside of, the social hierarchy stand to a certain extent on the point of Archimedes in relation to social conventions, both in respect to the external order and in respect to common sense. Since these strata are not bound by the social conventions, they are capable of a creative attitude toward the "meaning" of the cosmos; and since they are not hindered by any material considerations, they are capable of intense ethical and religious pathos. Insofar as they belonged to the middle classes, like the religiously self-educated petty-citizen, their religious quests tended to take either ethical rigorism or mystery cult. The intellectualism of the itinerants stands midway between pariah and petty-citizen intellectualism, and is significant because the itinerant is particularly qualified for missionary.

In Eastern Asia and India, so far as is known, pariah and petty-citizen intellectualism were absent. Since the emancipation from magic, the presupposition of both intellectualisms was lacked, and the communal sentiment of a citizen society, the presupposition of the latter, was also absent. Indeed, even those forms of religion that emerged out of the lower castes take their religious meaning from the Brahmins. In China as well, there is no independent, unofficial intellectualism apart from the Confucian education. Confucianism is the ethic of the "nobility" namely, the "gentleman." [82] Confucianism is quite explicitly a status ethic, or more correctly, a system of rules of etiquette appropriate to a literary educated privileged stratum. The situation was not different in the ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, so far as is known. There the intellectualism of the scribes, insofar as it lead to ethical and religious reflection, belonged entirely to the type of intellectualism which is sometimes apolitical but always aristocratic and anti-plebeian.

(F.3.b) Ancient Judaism

In ancient Israel, the author of the Book of Job presupposed that noble clans are among the carriers of religious intellectualism. [83] The Book of Proverbs and related works show traces in their very form of having been characterized by the internationalization of the educated and apolitical higher strata resulting from their mutual contact with each other after Alexander's arrival in the East. [84] Some of the dicta in Proverbs are directly attributed to a non-Jewish king, [85] and in general the name of "Solomon" stamped the scriptural books does not reflect their marks of an international culture. Ben Sira's stress upon the wisdom of the fathers in opposition to Hellenization already demonstrates that there was a trend in this direction. [86] Moreover, the "scribe" or "scriptural scholar" of that time who was learned in the law was, according to the Book of Ben Sira, [87] a widely traveled and cultivated gentleman. [88] There is throughout this book a clearly expressed anti-plebeian line, [89] quite comparable to that found among the Greeks: How can the peasant, the smith, or the potter have wisdom, which only leisure for reflection and dedication to study can produce? [90]

Ezra was named the "scribe," yet he was the influential priest [91] who, however, was overshadowed by the prophets, and without whom the imposition of the Book of Deuteronomy would never have taken place. On the other hand, the dominant position of the scribes, that means, those who know Hebrew and can interpret the divine commands, and whose position is almost equivalent to the Islamic caregiver (mufti), arises much later than that of Ezra, the official creator of the theocracy, who had received his powers from the Persian emperor. The social position of the scribes nevertheless underwent changes. At the time of the Maccabean dynasty, Jewish piety --in essence a rather sober wisdom of life, as illustrated by the teaching of the charity of strangers-- was regarded as identical with "education" (musar); the education was the way of virtue, which was regarded as teachable in the same sense as among the Greeks. Yet the pious intellectuals of even that period, like the majority of the Psalmists, felt themselves to be in sharp opposition to the wealthy and proud, among whom fidelity to the law was uncommon, even though these intellectuals were of the same social class as the wealthy and proud.

On the other hand, the schools of scriptural scholars of the Herodian period (55 BC - AD 93), whose frustration and inner tension grew in the face of the obvious religious compromise to a foreign power, created the first emergence of non-privileged intellectual strata who studied the law. They served as pastoral counselors, preachers and teachers in the synagogues, and their representatives also sat in the Sanhedrin. They influenced decisively the popular piety of those who were rigidly faithful to the law, the Pharisees (perushim), in the Jewish community. In the Talmudic period, this kind of enterprise developed into the rabbinate, a synagogue leader. Through this stratum there now ensued, in contrast to what had gone before, a tremendous expansion of petty-citizen and pariah intellectualism, such as we do not find among any other people. Philo already regarded "general public schools" for the diffusion of literacy and of systematic education in casuistic thinking as the hallmark of the Jews. It was the influence of this stratum that first displaced, among citizen Jews, the activity of the prophets by the devotion to the cult of the law and to the study of the sacred scriptures of the law.

This Jewish stratum of popular intellectuals, entirely remote from any connection with mysticism, unquestionably occupied a lower social status than the strata of philosophers and mystery cultists in Hellenistic societies of the Near East. But intellectualism was undoubtedly already diffused throughout the various social strata of the Hellenistic Orient in pre-Christian times, and in fact produced in the various mysteries and cults of salvation, by allegory and speculation, dogmas similar to those generated by the Orphics, who generally seem to have belonged to the middle classes. These mysteries and salvational speculations were certainly well known to a scriptural scholar of the Diaspora like Paul, who rejected them vigorously; it will be recalled that the cult of Mithra was widely diffused in Cilicia during the time of Pompey (60 BC) as a religion of pirates, although the epigraphic evidence for its existence specifically at Tarsus stems from the Christian era. It is quite likely that salvation hopes of different kinds and origins existed side by side in Judaism for a long period, especially in the provinces. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for Judaism to produce even in the period of the prophets, in addition to the idea of a future monarch of the Jewish people restored to power, the idea that another king of the poor folk would enter Jerusalem upon a donkey; [92] and indeed it would have been difficult for the Jews to evolve their idea of the "son of man," an obvious linguistic product of Semitic grammar. [93]

All in all, lay intellectualism, whether of the noble or the pariah kind, is involved in every complex doctrine of salvation which develops abstractions and opens up cosmic perspectives, going far beyond mythologies oriented to the mere processes of nature or to the simple prediction of the appearance at some future time of a good king who is already waiting somewhere in concealment.

(F.4) Intellectualism And Christianity

(F.4.a) Paul's Petty-citizen Intellectualism

This scriptural scholarship of Judaism, which is an instance of petty-citizen intellectualism, entered into early Christianity. Paul, apparently an crafts-person like many of the late Jewish scriptural scholars (in sharp contrast to the intellectuals of the period of Ben Sira, who produced anti-plebeian wisdom teachings), is an outstanding representative of this petty-citizen intellectualism in early Christianity, though of course other traits are also to be found in Paul. His "mystic knowledge" (gnosis), though very remote from that of the contemplative intellectuals of the Hellenistic Orient, could later provide many points of support for the Marcionite movement. An element of intellectualism in a sense of self-confidence that only those chosen by god understand Jesus's parables [94] was also strongly marked in Paul, who boasted that his true knowledge was "to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness." [95] Paul's teaching of the dualism of "flesh" and "spirit" has some relationship to the attitudes toward sensuality typical of intellectualist salvation doctrines, but it is rooted in other conceptions as well. A somewhat superficial acquaintance with Hellenistic philosophy can be presumed in his thought. Above all, Paul's conversion was not merely a vision, in the sense of hallucinatory perception. Rather, his conversion was also practical recognition of the inner relationship between the personal fate of the resurrected Jesus and the general conception and its cultic practices of the Oriental savior doctrine (with which Paul was well acquainted), in which the promises of Jewish prophecy now was fulfilled for him.

Paul's letters represent the highest type of logical argument found among petty-citizen intellectuals. Paul presupposed an exceptional degree of direct "logical imagination" on the part of the readers he is addressing in such compositions as the Letters to the Romans. It is most likely that what was taken over at the time was not Paul's teaching of justification, but rather his conception of the relationship between spirit and the community and his manner in which he accommodated to the problems of everyday life. The fierce anger directed against him by the Jews of the Diaspora, for whom his method of logical argument must have appeared as a misuse of education, justly shows how thoroughly such a method corresponded to the typical attitude of the petty-citizen intellectual. This intellectualism was continued by the charismatic "teachers" (didaskaloi) in Pauline Christian communities as late as the time of the Didache. [96]

(F.4.b) Dogmatic Intellectualism

But this intellectualism disappeared with the slow growth of the bishops' and presbyters' monopoly of the spiritual leadership of the community. In replacement of such charismatic teachers came first the intellectualist apologists, then the church fathers and dogmatists, who had received a Hellenistic education and were almost all priest, and then the emperors, who had a lay interest in theology. This replacement was finally completed by the monks of the East who were recruited from the lowest non-Greek social strata after the victory in the iconoclastic struggle. Thenceforth it became impossible to eliminate the type of formalistic argument common to all these circles and associated with a semi-intellectualistic, semi-primitive, and magical ideal of self-deification of the Eastern church.

(F.4.c) Anti-intellectualism of Christianity

However, the decisive stance for the history of early Christianity was its anti-intellectualism. From the very beginning of Christianity, anti-intellectualism was decisive for its genuine salvation teaching, its typical carrier, and its religious conduct of life. In spite of the many similarities of its salvational myth to the general Near Eastern type of such myths, from which it borrowed elements with obvious modification, Christianity took a position against intellectualism with the greatest possible awareness and consistency. Although Paul utilized the scholarly method of the scribes for his arguments, early Christianity stood against the ritualistic and legalistic intellectualism of Judaism, against the intellectualistic doctrine of salvation of the Gnostic aristocrats, and most strongly against ancient philosophy. Anti-intellectualism was decisive for the rejection of the Gnostic exclusion of the pious (pistis) from salvation, and also for its position that the exemplary Christians were those endowed with spirit (pneuma) and "humbleness," rather than with "intellect." Christianity also uniquely rejected the way to salvation through academic education in the Law, through the cosmic or psychological wisdom of life and suffering, through knowledge of the conditions of life within the world, through knowledge of the mysterious significance of sacramental rites, or through knowledge of the future destiny of the soul in the other world. A considerable portion of the inner history of the early church, including the formulation of dogma, represented the struggle of Christianity against intellectualism in all its forms. Thus, anti-intellectualism is a distinctively unique character of Christianity.

(F.4.c.1) Carriers of Religion

If one wishes to characterize briefly, in a formula so to speak, the types representative of the strata that were the primary carriers or propagators of the so-called world religions, they would be the following: in Confucianism, the world-organizing bureaucrat; in Hinduism, the world-ordering magician; in Buddhism, the world-wandering monk; in Islam, the world-conquering warrior; in Judaism, the wandering trader; and in Christianity, the itinerant crafts-person. To be sure, all these types must not be taken as advocates of their own occupational or material "class interests," but rather as the ideological carriers of the kind of ethical or salvation teaching which readily conformed to their social position.

As for Islam, its distinctive religiosity could have experienced an infusion of intellectualism, apart from the official schools of law and theology and the temporary blooming of scientific interests, only after its penetration by Sufism, but the orientation of this intellectualism was not of rational character. Indeed, tendencies toward rationalism were completely lacking in the popular Dervish piety. In Islam only a few heterodox sects, which possessed considerable influence at certain times, displayed a distinctly intellectualistic character. Otherwise Islam, like medieval Christianity, produced scholasticism in its universities.

(F.4.d) Intellectualism in Medieval Christianity

It is impossible to discourse here on the relationships of intellectualism to religion in medieval Christianity. In any case this religion, at least as far as its sociologically significant effects are concerned, was not specifically oriented to intellectual elements. The strong influence of monastic rationalism upon the substantive content of the culture may be clarified only by a comparison of Occidental monasticism with that of the Near East and Asia, of which a brief sketch will be given later. [97] The peculiar nature of Occidental monasticism determined the distinctive cultural influence of the church in the West. During the medieval period, Occidental Christianity did not have a lay intellectualism of any appreciable extent, whether of a petty-citizen or of a pariah character, although some lay intellectualism was occasionally found among the sects. On the other hand, the role of the privileged educated strata was not a minor one for the development of the church . The educated strata of Carolingian, Ottoman, and Salic imperialism worked towards an imperial and theocratic cultural organization, just as did the Josephite monks in 16th century Russia. Above all, the Gregorian reform movement and the struggle for power on the part of the papacy were carried forward by the ideology of an privileged intellectual stratum that entered into a united front with the rising citizen against the feudal powers. With the increasing spread of university education and with the struggle of the papacy to monopolize, for the sake of fiscal administration or simple patronage, the enormous number of benefices which provided the economic support for this educated stratum, the ever-growing interest of these "beneficiaries" turned against the papacy in what was at first an essentially economic and nationalistic interest in monopoly. Then, following the Schism, these intellectuals turned against the papacy ideologically, becoming "carriers" of the Reformation and later of Humanism.

(F.4.e) Humanist Intellectualism

The sociology of the Humanists, particularly the transformation of a feudal and clerical education into a courtly culture based on the largesse of patrons, is interesting, but this is not the proper place to discuss it. The ambivalent attitude of the Humanists toward the Reformation was primarily conditioned by privileged ideological motives. Insofar as Humanists placed themselves in the service of the churches of either the Reformation or the Counter-Reformation, they played an important, though not decisive, role in organizing church schools and in developing doctrine. But insofar as they became the carriers of particular religiosity (actually a whole series of particular types of faith), they remained without enduring influence. In keeping with their entire conduct of life, these Humanist groups of the classically educated were altogether anti-plebeian and anti-ascetic orientation. They remained alien to the turmoil and particularly to the demagogy of priests and preachers; on the whole they remained Erastian or pacifist in character, for which reason alone they increasingly lost their cultural influence.

In addition to sophisticated scepticism and rationalistic enlightenment, the Humanists displayed a religiosity of soft mood, particularly in the Anglican soil; an earnest and frequently ascetic moralism, as in the circle of Port Royal (Jansenism); and an individualistic mysticism, as in Germany during the first period and in Italy. But wherever the struggles for the power and economic interests were waged, if not by outright violence, at least with the means of demagogy, these Humanist groups ceased their growth at all. It is obvious that at least those struggling churches desired to win the participation of the ruling strata and particularly of the university trained theological polemicists as well as preachers educated in classics. Within Lutheranism, as a result of its alliance with the power of the nobility, both education and religious activity were rapidly monopolized by professional theologians.

(F.4.f) Puritan Intellectualism

Hudibras, Samuel Butler's (1663-78) poem, still mocked the Puritans for their ostensible philosophical intellectualism, but what gave the Puritans, and above all the Baptist sects, their insuperable power of resistance was not the intellectualism of the privileged but the intellectualism of the plebeian and occasionally even pariah people, for Baptist Protestantism was in its first period a movement carried by wandering crafts-persons or missionaries. There was no distinctive intellectual stratum characterized by their specific conduct of life among these Protestant sects, but after the close of a brief period of missionary activity by their wandering preachers, it was the middle class that became suffused with their intellectualism. The unparalleled diffusion of knowledge about the Bible and interest in extremely abstruse and scholastic dogmatic controversies which was characteristic of the Puritans of 17th century, even among peasants, created a mass intellectualism never found since, and comparable only to that found in late Judaism and to the religious mass intellectualism of the Pauline missionary communities. In contrast to the situations in Holland, parts of Scotland, and the American colonies, this mass religious intellectualism soon dwindled in England after the Puritans gained and established their power through the religious wars.

(F.5) Modern Intellectualism

(F.5.a) Anglo-Saxon and Latin Intellectualism

However, in this period, this mass intellectualism stamped its character on the intellectualism of the privileged in the Anglo-Saxon gentlemen, and marked it a traditional deference against enlightenment religiosity, of varying degrees of mildness, which never reach the point of anti-clericalism (a phenomenon that we will not pursue at this point). Since this Anglo-Saxon gentleman's intellectualism was conditioned by the traditionalist attitudes and the moralistic interests of the politically powerful middle class, and also by a religious plebeian intellectualism. This development in Anglo-Saxon counties demonstrated the sharpest contrast to the Latin counties' development from the intellectualism of the aristocratic and court-centered education into that of radical antipathy or indifference to the church.

(F.5.b) German Intellectualism

These Anglo-Saxon and Latin developments, which ultimately had an anti-metaphysical impact, contrast with the German intellectualism of "nonpolitical" educated strata, which is neither apolitical nor anti-political. This contrast resulted from concrete historical events and was conditioned by few (and mostly negative) sociological determinants. It was metaphysically oriented, but had very little to do with specifically religious orientation, least of all any quest for "salvation." On the other hand, the plebeian and pariah intellectualism of Germany, like that of the Latin countries, increasingly took a radically anti-religious turn, which became particularly marked after the rise of the economically advent faith of socialism. This development was in marked contrast to that in the Anglo-Saxon areas, where the most serious forms of religion since Puritan times have had a sectarian rather than an institutional-authoritarian character.

(F.5.c) Socialism

Only these anti-religious sects had a stratum of declassed intellectuals who were able to sustain a quasi-religious belief in the socialist eschatology at least for a while. This particular "academic" element receded in proportion to that the representatives of socialist movement took economic interests for their primary policy. It receded further because of the inevitable disillusionment with an almost superstitious belief in "science" as the possible creator or at least prophecy of social revolution, violent or peaceful, in the sense of salvation from class rule. So, too, it comes about that the only remaining variant of socialism in western Europe equivalent to a religious faith, namely syndicalism, can easily turn into a romantic game played by circles without direct economic interests.

(F.5.d) Russian Intellectualism

The last great movement of intellectuals which, though not sustained by a uniform faith, was enough to approximate a quasi-religious intellectualism was the Russian revolutionary intellectuals, in which patrician, academic and aristocratic intellectuals stood next to plebeian ones. Plebeian intellectualism was represented by the minor officialdom, which was highly sophisticated in its sociological thinking and broad cultural interests; it was composed especially of the so-called "third element" officials (zemstvo). Moreover, this kind of intellectualism was advanced by journalists, elementary school teachers, revolutionary apostles and a peasant intellectuals that arose out of the Russian social conditions. In the 1870s, this movement culminated in an appeal to a theory of natural rights, oriented primarily toward agricultural communism, the so-called narodnichestvo (populism). In the 1890s, this movement clashed sharply with Marxist dogmatics, but in part also aligned itself with it. Moreover, attempts were made to relate it, usually in an obscure manner, first to Slavophile romantic, then mystical, religiosity or, at least, religious emotionalism. Under the influence of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, an ascetic and acosmistic conduct of personal life was created among some relatively large groups of these Russian intellectuals. We shall leave untouched here the question as to what extent this movement, so strongly infused with the influence of Jewish proletarian intellectuals who were ready for any sacrifice, can continue after the catastrophe of the Russian revolution (in 1906).

(F.5.e) Enlightenment Intellectualism

In Western Europe, ever since 17th century, the strata of Enlightenment religions produced, in both Anglo-Saxon and, more recently, French culture areas, unitarian and deistic communities and communities of a syncretistic, atheistic, or free-church variety. Buddhistic conceptions, or what passed for such, also played some part in this development. In Germany, Enlightenment religious views found a hearing among the same groups that were interested in Freemasonry, namely those who have little direct economic interests, especially university professors but also declassed ideologists and educated strata who partly or wholly belonged to the propertyless people. On the other hand, both the Hindu Enlightenment (Brahmo-Samaj) and the Persian Enlightenment were products of contact with European culture.

The practical importance of such movements for the sphere of culture was greater in the past than now. Many elements conspire to render unlikely any serious possibility of a new communal religion borne by intellectuals. This constellation of factors includes the interest of the privileged strata in maintaining the existing religion as an instrument for controlling the masses, their need for social distance, their abhorrence of mass intellectualism as tending to destroy the prestige of the privileged strata, and their rejection of any possibility that a new creed could be accepted literary by large segments of the population [98] and could replace the traditional creeds. Finally, and above all, there is the scornful indifference of the privileged strata to religious problems and to the church. Performance of some boring formalities does not cost much of sacrifice, inasmuch as everyone knows they are just that--formalities best performed by the official guardians of orthodoxy and status conventions, and acted on in the interest of a successful career because the state requires them performed.

The need of literary, academic, or cafe-society intellectuals to include "religious" feelings in the inventory of their sources of impressions and sensations, and among their topics for discussion, has never yet given rise to a new religion. Nor can a religious renascence be generated by the need of authors to compose books on such interesting topics or by the far more effective need of clever publishers to sell such books. No matter how much the appearance of a widespread religious interest may be simulated, no new religion has ever resulted from such needs of intellectuals or from their chatter. The pendulum of fashion will presently remove this subject of conversation and journalism.


(G.1) Theodicy

(G.1.a) Transcendental Creator

Only Judaism and Islam are strictly "monotheistic" in principle, and even in the latter there are some deviations from monotheism in the later cult of saints. Christian trinity appears to have a monotheistic effect when contrasted with the tri-theistic forms of Hinduism, late Buddhism, and Taoism. Yet in practice, the Roman Catholic cult of sacraments and saints actually comes very close to polytheism. It is by no means the case that every ethical god is necessarily endowed with absolute unchangeability, almighty, and omniscience--that is to say, with an absolutely transcendental character. This transcendental character of god was the product of the thinking and ethical enthusiasm of passionate prophets. Only the God of the Jewish prophets attained this concept in an absolute and consistent quality, and he became also the God of the Christians and Muslims. Not every ethical conception of god resulted in this conclusion, nor did it lead to ethical monotheism as such. Hence, not every approximation to monotheism is based on the development of the ethical concept of god. It is certainly true that not every religious ethic has developed the concept of transcendental personal god who alone created the universe out of nothing and directed it.

Yet every distinctive ethical prophet has normally directed to such rationalization of the concept of god since the legitimacy of the prophet was based on the god who gave him the authority over the world. Of course the type and the significance of this authority may be quite different, depending in part on existing metaphysical conceptions and in part on the expression of the concrete ethical interests of the prophets. But the more the conception of sole transcendental god of the universe has been developed, the more there arises the problem of how the extraordinary power of such a god can be reconciled with the imperfection of the world that he has created and rules over.

(G.1.b) Problem Of Theodicy

Thus the problem of theodicy emerged in ancient Egyptian literature as well as in Job and in Aeschylus, but in very different forms. All Hindu religion was influenced by the problem of theodicy in the distinctive way by its fundamental presuppositions: how a meaningful cosmos of impersonal and super-divine order can reconcile with the problem of the world's imperfections. In one form or another, this problem belongs everywhere among the factors determining religious development and the quest for salvation. [99]

Now the problem of theodicy may be solved in various ways. These solutions stand in the closest relationship both to the concept of god and to the ideas of sin and salvation. Here we formulate the solutions of theodicy into the possible rational "pure types."

(G.1.c) Advent Solution

One solution is messianic advent: the realization of justice through the future judgement of this world. In this way the advent process becomes a political and social transformation of this world. This solution holds that sooner or later there would arise a powerful savior or god who would place his followers in the ruling positions of the world. The suffering of the present generation, it was believed, is the consequence of the sins of the ancestors, for which god holds the descendants responsible, just as someone carrying out blood revenge may hold an entire clan responsible, and as Pope Gregory VII excommunicated descendants down to the seventh generation. Also, it is held that only the descendants of the pious could behold the messianic kingdom, as a reward of their ancestors' piety. If it may be necessary to renounce one's own experience of salvation, there is nothing strange in this conception. Care of one's children is everywhere a definite fact of organic social life, pointing beyond the personal interest of an individual and in the direction of "another world," at least a world beyond one's own death. The life of this world remains for them the exemplary and strict fulfillment of the positive divine commandments, in order to obtain the optimum opportunity for welfare of life by god's favor, and in order to obtain for one's descendants a share in the realm of salvation. "Sin" is a breach of fidelity toward god and an impious rejection of god's promises. Moreover, the desire to participate personally in the messianic kingdom generates a tremendous religious excitation when the coming of the kingdom of God here on earth appears soon. Prophets repeatedly proclaimed the coming of the kingdom, but when such advent of the messianic kingdom appeared to be ever delayed, it was inevitable that consolation should be sought in genuine "other-worldly" hopes.

(G.1.d) Concept of Other World

The germ of the conception of a world beyond the present one is already present in the development of magic into a belief in souls. But a belief in the soul of the dead is by no means followed by a conception of a special realm of the dead. Rather, a very widespread notion is that the souls of the dead may be embodied into animals and plants, depending on the souls' different manners of life and death, and influenced by their clan and status. This is the source of the transmigration of the soul. Where there developed a belief in a realm of the dead --at first in some geographically remote place, and later above or beneath the earth-- it by no means follows that the souls live there eternally. For the souls may be destroyed by violence, may perish as the result of the cessation of sacrifices, or may simply die, which is apparently the ancient Chinese belief.

Corresponding with the "law of marginal utility," a certain concern for one's destiny after death would generally arise when the minimum standard of this-worldly life have been satisfied. Thus this concern is at first limited to the circles of the noble and the well-to-do. Only these groups and occasionally only the chieftains and priests, but never the poor and only seldom women, can concern for themselves life in the next world, yet they do not spare great expenditures to do so. It is primarily the example of these groups that serves as a strong stimulus for preoccupation with other-worldly expectations.

At this point there is as yet no idea of "retribution" in the world to come. When a doctrine of retributions arises, the principal cause of such punishment is at first attributed to ritual faults. This is seen most extensively in the sacred law of the Hindus: whosoever violates a caste taboo may be certain of punishment in hell. Only after the concept of god has been ethicalized does the god employ moral considerations in deciding the fate of human beings in the world to come. The differentiation of a paradise and a hell does not arise simultaneously with this development, but is a relatively late product of development.

As other-worldly expectations become increasingly important, the problem of the fundamental relationship of god to the world and the problem of the world's imperfections press into the foreground of thought. This happens where life here on earth comes to be regarded as a merely temporal form of existence when compared to that beyond, where the world comes to be viewed as something created by god out of nothing and therefore subject to abolishment, where god himself is conceived as subject to transcendental goals and values, and where a person's behavior in this world becomes oriented to one's destiny in other world. At times, the hope for the life in the world beyond becomes a direct inversion --in accordance with the formula, "the last shall be first"-- [100] of the primordial view in which the life of the next world was a matter of only the noble and the wealthy.

But this hope has seldom been worked out consistently, even in the religious conceptions of pariah peoples. It did play a great role, however, in the ancient Jewish ethic. The notion that suffering, particularly voluntary suffering, would be pleased to god and improve one's chances in the world to come is found sprinkled through and developed in many types of expectation regarding continued existence after death. These may arise from very diverse religious motivations, and may perhaps derive to some extent from the ordeals of heroic asceticism and the practice of magical mortification. As a rule, and especially in religions under the influence of the ruling strata, the converse view obtained, namely, that this-worldly differentiations of status could continue into the next world as well, for the reason that they had been divinely ordained. This belief was still apparent up to the phrase current in Christian nations, "His high Majesty, the King."

However, the distinctively ethical view was that there would be concrete "retribution" of justice and injustice by the judgement of the dead, generally conceived in the advent process as the day of universal judgment. In this way, sin assumed the character of a "crime" to be brought into a rational casuistry, a crime for which judgement must somehow be given in this world or in the next so that one might ultimately stand justified before the judge of the dead. Accordingly, it would have made sense to grade rewards and punishments into relative degrees of merit and transgression, which was still the case in Dante, with the result that they could not really be eternal. But because of the pale and uncertain character of a person's chances in the next world, by comparison with the realities of this world, the remission of eternal punishments was practically always regarded as impossible by prophets and priests. Eternal punishment, moreover, seemed to be the only appropriate fulfillments of the demand for vengeance against unbelieving, apostate, and godless sinners, especially those who had gone unpunished on earth. Heaven, hell, and the judgment of the dead achieved practically universal importance, even in religions for which such concepts were completely alien, such as ancient Buddhism. On the other hand, the concept of "intermediate realms" in the teachings of Zoroaster or of "purgatory realms" in the Roman Catholic, which encompass punishments only for limited durations, weakened the consistency of conceptions of eternal "punishment."

(G.1.e) Solution by Predestination

There always remained the difficulty of reconciling the "punishment" of human acts with the conception of an ethical and at the same time almighty creator of the world, who is ultimately responsible for these human actions himself. Thus, as people continued to reflect about the insoluble problem of the imperfections of the world in the light of god's almighty, one result was inevitable: the irreconcilability of a tremendous ethical judgment of transcendental god with the human beings continuously struggled in the toils of new sin. And this conception inevitably led to the ultimate conclusion, almost reached in the Book of Job, that the almighty creator God must be conceived as beyond all the ethical claims of his creatures, and His counsels must be beyond human comprehension. Another conclusion of this view was that God's absolute power over his creatures is unlimited, and therefore that the criteria of human justice are utterly inapplicable to his deed. With this conclusion, the problem of theodicy simply disappeared altogether.

In Islam, Allah was believed by his most passionate adherents to possess just such a limitless power over humans. In Christianity, the "absolute god" (deus absconditus) was conceived, especially by the virtuosi of Christian piety. God has absolute sovereignty and complete free will; His decision is all-wise, all-right and beyond human comprehension. As for human life, the determination of earthly life and the predestination of other-worldly life have been established from the eternity. The damned might well complain about their sinfulness imposed by predestination, if animals could complain that they had not been created human beings, a notion expressly stated in Calvinism. In such a context, ethical behavior could never bring about the improvement of one's own chances in either this or other world. Yet it might have another significance, the practical psychological consequences of which would in certain circumstances be of even greater impact: a symptom of one's own state of religious grace as established by god's decree. For the absolute sovereignty of an almighty god compels a practical religious interest to try to see, at least for one's own case, god's design in individual cases. Above all, to know one's destiny in other world is an elementary need for an individual. Hence, paralleled with the tendency to regard god as the unlimited sovereign over his creatures, there is an inclination to see and interpret god's "providence" and one's personal position in the course of the world process.

(G.1.f) Providence

"Belief in providence" is the consistent rationalization of magical divination, to which it is related, and which for that very reason it seeks to devaluate as completely as possible, as a matter of principle. No other view of the religious relationship could possibly be as radically opposed to all magic, both in theory and in practice, as this belief in providence which was dominant in the great theistic religions of Asia Minor and the Occident. No other so strongly conceived the god in active "deed" as his essence nature manifested in god's personal, providential rule over the world. Moreover, no view of the religious relationship holds such firm views regarding god's free-gift of grace and the human creature's need of it, the tremendous distance between god and all his creatures, and consequently the reprehensibility of any "deification" of the flesh as a sacrilege against the sovereign god. For the very reason that this belief provides no rational solution of the problem of theodicy, it brings the greatest tensions between the world and god, between the actually existent and the god's demand.

(G.1.g) Solution by Dualism

Besides predestination, there are only two other religious standpoints that give systematically consistent solution of the problem of the world's imperfections. The one is dualism, the late development of Zoroastrianism, which influenced more or less consistently in many religions in Asia Minor, above all in Babylonian religion (containing some Jewish and Christian influences), and in Mandaeanism and Gnosticism, down to the great dualism of Manichaeism. At the turn of the third century, Manichaeism seemed to stand on the threshold of a battle for world domination, even in the Mediterranean area. According to the Manichean, god is not almighty, nor did he create the world out of nothing. Injustice, unrighteousness, and sin --in short, all the factors that have brought about the problem of theodicy-- result from the darkening of the luminous purity of the great and good gods through contact with the opposite autonomous powers of darkness, which are identified with impure matter. The dominance of these forces, which gives dominion over the world to some satanic power, has arisen through some primordial wickedness of humans or of angels, or, as in the view of Gnosticism, through the weakness of some inferior creator of the world, for example, Jehovah or the Demiurge. The final victory of the god of light in the ongoing struggle is generally regarded as certain, and this, however, means a break of strict dualism. The long-suffering of world history is the inevitable process of a continuous purification of the light from the contamination of darkness. This conception of the final battle naturally produces a very powerful pathos for advent.

Dualism generally results in the emergence of an aristocratic sense of prestige on the part of the pure and elect. The conception of evil, which, as the postulate of a definitely almighty god, always tends to take a purely ethical direction, may here assume a strongly spiritual character. This is because person is not regarded as a mere creature facing an absolutely almighty power, but as a participant in the realm of light. Moreover, the identification of light with what is clearest in person, namely the spiritual, and conversely, the identification of darkness with the material and corporeal which carry in themselves all the severe temptations, is practically unavoidable. This view, then, connects easily with the notion of "impurity" found in tabooistic ethics. Evil appears as contamination of impurity, and sin --in a manner quite like that of magical misdeeds-- appears as a reprehensible and headlong fall to earth from the realm of purity and clarity into that of darkness and confusion, leading to a state of contamination and deserved ignominy. All ethical religions unavoidably limited the almightiness of god by the form of dualistic thought.

(G.1.h) Solution by Karma

The most complete formal solution of the problem of theodicy is the special achievement of the Indian teaching of "karma," the so-called belief in the transmigration of souls. This world is viewed as a completely connected and self-contained cosmos of ethical retribution. Guilt and merit within this world are unfailingly compensated by destiny in the successive lives of the soul, which may be reincarnated innumerable times in animal, human, or even divine beings. Ethical merits in this life can make possible rebirth into life in heaven, but that life can last only until one's credit balance of merits has been completely used up. The confined earthly life is the consequence of good or evil deeds in the previous life of a particular soul. What may appear from the viewpoint of retribution as unjust suffering in the present life of a person should be regarded as atonement for sin in a previous existence. Each individual makes one's own destiny exclusively, and in the strictest sense of the word. The belief in the transmigration of souls has certain links with widely diffused animistic notions regarding the passage of the spirits of the dead into natural objects. It rationalizes these beliefs, and indeed the entire cosmos, by means of purely ethical principles. The naturalistic "causality" of our habits of thought is thus replaced by a universal mechanism of retribution, for which no act that is ethically relevant can ever be lost. The consequence is the complete inability, and indeed unthinkableness, of an almighty god's interference with this mechanism, for the eternal world process provides for ethical charges through automatic working. The mechanism of retribution is, therefore, a consistent conclusion from the super-divine character of the eternal "order" of the world, in contrast to personal, super-worldly god of predestination who rules over the world.

Original Buddhism reached the last consequence of this mechanism in its greatest consistency of thought, that is, the complete elimination of the belief in "soul." What alone is relevant for the mechanisms of karma is the sum of individual good or evil actions, not the "soul" as such, which comes from the illusion of the "ego." But on their part, all actions are products of the eternally helpless struggle of all created life, which by the very fact of its limited existence is destined for annihilation; they all arise from the "thirst for life," which brings forth the quest for other world as well as all attachment to the desires in this world. This thirst for life is the ineradicable basis of individuation and creates life and rebirth as long as it exists. Strictly speaking, there is no "sin," but only obstructions against one's own clear interest in escaping from this endless "wheel," or at least in not exposing oneself to a rebirth under even more painful circumstances. The meaning of ethical behavior may then lie, when modestly conceived, either in improving one's chances in the next incarnation or --if the senseless struggle for mere existence is ever to be ended-- in the elimination of rebirth as such.

In the doctrine of karma there is no separation of the world that is found in the ethical dualistic religions of providence. The dualism of a holy, almighty, and majestic god and the ethical inadequacy of all his creatures is altogether lacking. Nor is there, as in spiritualistic dualism: the separation of all creation into light and darkness or into pure and clear spirit on the one side with dark and defiled matter on the other. Here, rather, is an philosophical dualism: the contrast between the world's transitory events and the serene and eternal being of the order of cosmos--immobile divinity, resting in dreamless sleep. Only Buddhism has deduced from the teaching of the transmigration of souls its ultimate consequences. This is the most radical solution of the problem of theodicy, and for that very reason it provides as little satisfaction for ethical demand to god as does the belief in predestination.

(G.2) Salvation And Rebirth

Only a few religions of salvation have produced a single pure solution of the problem of the relation of god to the world and to human from among the various possible pure types we have just sketched. Wherever such a pure type was produced it lasted for only a little while. Most religions of salvation have combined various solutions, as a result of mutual interaction with each other, and above all under the pressure of the diverse ethical and intellectual needs of their adherents. Consequently, the differences among various religious solutions of the problem of god's relation to the world and to human must be measured by their degree of approximation to one or another of these pure types.

Now the various ethical colorations of the teachings of god and sin stand in the most intimate relationship to the striving for "salvation," the content of which will be different depending upon "from where" and "to where" one wants to be saved. Not every rational religious ethic is necessarily an ethic of salvation. Thus, Confucianism is a "religious" ethic, but it knows nothing at all of a want for salvation. On the other hand, Buddhism is exclusively a teaching of salvation, but it knows no god. Many other religions know salvation only as a special occasion in narrow conventicles, frequently as a secret cult. Indeed, such a salvation may be achieved only by occasional religious activities which are regarded as distinctively sacred. The promise of such a salvation to their participants then meets with the most extensive utilitarian expectations, which we are accustomed to call "salvation."

(G.2.a) Promise of Wealth

The pantomimic musical mystery festivals of the great earthly deities, which controlled both the harvest and the realm of the dead, promised to the participant in the Eleusinian mysteries who was ritually pure, first wealth and then improvement in his lot in the next world. But this was promised without any idea of compensation, purely as a consequence of ritualistic devotion. In the catalog of goods in the Shih ching, the highest rewards promised to the Chinese subjects for their correct performances of the official cult and their fulfillment of personal religious obligations are wealth and long life, while there is a complete absence of hope to other world and any compensation there. Again, it is wealth that Zoroaster, by the grace of his god, principally expects for himself and his faithful, apart from rather extensive promises of other world. As rewards for the correct conduct of its laity, Buddhism promises wealth and a long and honorable life, in complete consonance with the teachings of all inner-worldly ethics of the Hindu religions. Finally, wealth is the blessing bestowed by God upon the pious Jew. But wealth, when acquired in a systematic and legal fashion, is also one of the indices of the "proof" of the state of grace among Protestant ascetic groups, for example, Calvinists, Baptists, Mennonites, Quakers, Reformed Pietists, and Methodists. To be sure, in these cases we are dealing with a conception that decisively rejects wealth (and other this-worldly goods) as a religious goal. But in practice the transition to this standpoint is fluid.

(G.2.b) Political Salvation

It is difficult to completely separate conceptions of religious salvation from such political salvation from oppression and suffering as those held forth by the religions of the pariah peoples, particularly the Jews, and also by the teachings of Zoroaster and Muhammad. For the faithful, these promises might include world rulership and social prestige, which the true believer in ancient Islam carried in his knapsack as the reward for holy war against all infidels; or the promises might include a distinctive religious prestige, such as that which the Israelites were taught by their tradition that God had promised them as their inheritance. Particularly for the Israelites, therefore, God was in the first instance a redeemer, because he had saved them from the Egyptian house of bondage and would later redeem them from the ghetto.

(G.2.c) Salvation from Evil

In addition to such economic and political salvation, there is the very important factor of salvation from anger of bad demons and evil magic of any sort, which is held to be responsible for the majority of all the evils in life. That Christ broke the power of the demons by the force of his spirit and redeemed his adherents from their power was, in the early period of Christianity, one of the most important and influential of its promises. Moreover, the Nation of God proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth, which had already come or was held to be close at hand, [101] was a realm of holiness upon this earth, purged of all hate, anxiety, and want; only later did heaven and hell appear in the teaching. Of course, an eschatology oriented to this world would show a distinct tendency to become a hope for other world, once the Second Coming (parousia) was delayed. Henceforth, emphasis had to be shifted to the afterlife: those alive at present would not be able to see salvation during their lifetime, but would see it after death, when the dead would awaken.

(G.2.d) Other-worldly Salvation

The distinctive content of "other-worldly" salvation may essentially mean freedom from the physical, psychological, and social sufferings of terrestrial existence. On the other hand, it may be more concerned with a liberation from the senseless treadmill and transitoriness of life as such. Finally, it may be perceived as primarily the inevitable imperfection of the individual, whether this be regarded more as chronic contamination, acute inclination to sin, or more spiritually, as entanglement in the murky confusion of earthly ignorance.

(G.2.e) Salvation and Conduct of Life

Our concern is essentially with the quest for salvation, whatever its kind, insofar as it produced certain consequences for practical behavior of life. The quest for salvation acquires a positive and this-worldly orientation most strongly through the creation of religiously determined "conduct of life," which is integrated into a central meaning or a positive goal. In other words, a quest for salvation in any religion has the strongest chance of exerting practical influences when there has arisen, out of religious motivations, a systematization of practical actions formed from an orientation to certain unified values. The goal and meaning of such a conduct of life may remain altogether oriented to other world, or it may directed to this world, at least in part. In the various religions, this has taken place in the highest degrees of diversity and typically various qualities, and even within each religion there are corresponding differences among its various adherents. Furthermore, the religious systematization of the conduct of life has, in the nature of the case, certain limits insofar as it seeks to exert influence upon economic behavior. Finally, religious motivations, especially the hope of salvation, need not necessarily exert any influence at all upon the conduct of life, particularly economic conduct. Yet they may do so to a very considerable extent.

(G.2.f) Sanctification and Rebirth

The hope of salvation has the most far-reaching consequences for the conduct of life when salvation casts its shadow in this life already, or takes place completely in this world as a inner process; hence, when salvation is validated as "sanctification" or leads to it or is a precondition of it. Sanctification may then occur as either a gradual process of purification or a sudden transformation of the heart (metanoia), a rebirth.

The notion of rebirth as such is very ancient, and its most classical development is actually to be found in the magical belief in spirit. The possession of magical charisma almost always presupposes rebirth. The distinctive education of the magician himself, his specific conduct of life, and his distinctive training of the warrior hero are all oriented to rebirth and the insurance of the possession of magical power. This process is mediated by "removal" of old spirit in the form of ecstasy, and by the acquisition of a new soul, generally followed by a change of name. A rudiment of these notions is still extant in the monastic consecration ceremony. Rebirth is at first relevant only to the professional magician, as a magical precondition for insuring the charisma of the magician or warrior. But in the most consistent types of salvation religion rebirth becomes a quality of heart indispensable for religious salvation, an attitude which the individual must acquire and proof in one's conduct of life.

The influence of a religion on the conduct of life, and especially on the conditions of rebirth, varies in accordance with the particular path and its psychic quality of the salvation, which is desired and striven for. Salvation may be accomplished by one's self-effort without any assistance on the part of supernatural powers, for example, in ancient Buddhism.


(G.3) Salvation By Ritual

One path leads to salvation may be through the purely ritual activities and ceremonies of cults, both within religious worship and in everyday life. Pure ritualism as such is not very different from magic in its effect on the conduct of life. Indeed, ritualism may even lag behind magic, inasmuch as magical religion occasionally produced a definite and rather thorough methodology of rebirth, which ritualism did not always succeed in doing.

(G.3.a) Ritual Mood

A religion of salvation may systematize the purely formal and specific activities of ritual into a distinctive religious "mood," in which the rites to be performed are symbols of the divine. Then this religious mood is indeed one's possession of salvation. If the mood is missing, only the bare and formal magical ritualism remains. This has happened as a matter of course again and again in the routinization of all religiosity of mood.

The consequences of a ritualistic religion of mood may be quite diversified. The restless ritualistic regimentation of life among pious Hindus, which by European standards placed extensive daily demands upon the pious, would have rendered virtually impossible the coexistence of a life of exemplary piety in the world with any intensive economic activity, if these demands had been followed exactly. Such most external type of devotional piety is exactly opposite to Puritanism in one respect: such a program of ritualism could be executed completely only by a human of means, who is free from the need of economic activity. But this circumstance limiting the number of those whose conduct of life can be influenced by ritualism is to some extent avoidable, whereas another inherent limiting circumstance is even more basic to the nature of ritualism.

Ritual salvation, especially when it limits the layperson to an observer role, or confines the participation to simple or essentially passive manipulations, especially in situations in which the ritual religiosity is sublimated as much as possible into a pious mood, that is, the mood-condition of the pious moment that appears to bring the salvation. Consequently, the possession of an inner state is striven after, and this subjective state of possession has often only a negligible effect on the action of life because it is temporal in nature and distinctively "irresponsible" once the ceremony, for example, the observance of a mass or a mystical play, is over. The meager effect such experiences upon everyday ethic may be compared to the insignificant influence, in this respect, of a beautiful and spectacular play upon the theater public no matter how much it has been moved by it. All mystical salvation has such an inconstant character as it purports to produce its effect by means of an occasional pious mood. Ritual salvation lacks inner motivation of a required proof, which might guarantee a rebirth.

(G.3.b) Ritual Mysticism

On the other hand, when the occasional piety induced by ritual is escalated into a continuing piety and the effort is made to incorporate this piety into everyday living, this ritualistic piety most readily takes on a mystical character. This development to mysticism is facilitated by the participant's goal of religious mood as the possession of a subjective state. But the disposition to mysticism is an individual charisma. Hence, it is no accident that the great mystical prophecies of salvation, like the Hindu and others in the Orient, have tended to fall into pure ritualism as they have become routinized. What is of primary concern to us is that by ritualism the inner habit which is ultimately striven for leads directly away from rational action. Virtually all mystery cults have this effect.

(G.3.c) Sacrament

Their typical meaning is the dispensation of "sacramental grace": salvation from guilt is achieved by the sacredness of the manipulation as such. Like every magic, this process has a tendency to become diverted from everyday life, thereby failing to exert any influence upon it.

But a sacrament might have a very different effect if its dispensation were linked to the presupposition that the sacrament could bring salvation only to those who have become ethically purified in the sight of god, and might indeed bring ruin to all others. Even up to the threshold of the present time, large groups of people have felt a terrifying fear of the Lord's Supper (the sacrament of the Eucharist) because of the teaching that "whoever eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to oneself." [102] Such factors could exert a strong influence upon everyday behavior wherever, as in ascetic Protestantism, the provision of "absolution" is lacked and where further participation in the sacramental communion occurred frequently, providing a very important mark of piety.

(G.3.d) Confessional

In all Christian denominations, participation in sacrament is connected with a prescription of confessional as the precondition to partaking of the Lord's Supper. But the confessional becomes decisive only where religious constitution is prescribed and the sacrament may be taken for the need of the participants. Only ritual purity was required for this purpose by the majority of non-Christian ancient mystery cults, though under certain circumstances the devotee was disqualified by grave blood guilt or other specific sins. Thus, most of these mysteries know no confession. But wherever the requirement of ritual purity became rationalized in the direction of spiritual purity from sin, the particular forms of control and, where it existed, of the confessional became important for the type and degree of their possible influence upon daily life.

(G.3.e) Puritan Rites

From the pragmatic point of view, ritual as such was in every case only an instrument for influencing the all-important extra-ritual behavior. So much is this the case that wherever the sacrament was most completely stripped of its magical character, and where further no control by means of the confessional existed, for example, in Puritanism, the sacrament nevertheless exerted an ethical effect precisely because of the absence of magical and confessional means.

(G.3.f) Jewish Ritualism

A ritualistic religion may exert an ethical effect in another and indirect way, by requiring that participants be specially schooled. This happened where, as in ancient Judaism, the fulfillment of ritual commandments required of the laity some active ritual behavior or some ritual avoidance, and where the formalistic side of the ritual had become so systematized into a comprehensive body of law that adequate understanding of it required special schooling. Philo emphasized already in ancient times that the Jews, in contrast to all other peoples, were trained from their earliest youth (along the lines of our public school system) and received a continuous intellectual training in systematic casuistry. Indeed, the literary character of Jewish law is responsible for the fact that even in modern times many Jews, for example, those in Eastern Europe, have been the only people in their society to engage systematic popular education. Even in Antiquity, pious Jews had been led to regard persons unschooled in the law as the godless. Such casuistic schooling of the intellect naturally exerts an effect on everyday life, especially when it involves not only ritual and cultic obligations, as those of Hindu law, but also a systematic regulation of the everyday ethic as well.

(G.4) Salvation By Good Works

Salvation by one's effort, then widely different from cultic performances, may be achieved by social performance. Salvation by social achievements may have very different characters. For example, gods of war invite into their paradise only those who have fallen in battle, or primary them. In the Brahmin ethic the king was explicitly sought death in battle once he had beheld his grandson. On the other hand, the social achievements may be works of "love for one's neighbors."

(G.4.a) Account for Every Action

But in either case systematization may develop, and as we have already seen, it is generally the power of prophecy to accomplish this systematization. The systematization of an ethic of "good works" may take either of two very different characters.

In the first type of systematization, every action, whether virtuous or wicked action, can be evaluated singly and credited to the individual's account positively or negatively for the requirement of salvation. Each individual as the carrier of one's own action possesses ethical standards only tenuously; s/he may turn out to be a weaker or a stronger creature in the face of temptation, according to the internal or external situation. Yet it is held that one's religious destiny depends upon one's actual achievements, in their relationship to one another. This first type of systematization is consistently followed in Zoroastrianism, particularly in the oldest Gathas by the founder himself, which depict the judge of all the dead balancing the guilt and merit of individual actions in a very precise bookkeeping and determining the religious destiny of the individual person according to the outcome of this accounting. This notion appears among the Hindus in an even more heightened form, as a consequence of the doctrine of karma. It is held that within the ethical mechanism of the world not a single good or evil action can ever be lost. Each action, being ineradicable, must necessarily produce, by an almost automatic process, inevitable consequences in this life or in some future rebirth. This principle of life-accounting also remained the basic standpoint of popular Judaism regarding the individual's relationship to God. Finally, Roman Catholicism and the oriental Christian churches held views very close to this, at least in practice. The intention (intentio), according to the ethical evaluation of behavior in Catholicism, is not really a quality of unified personality, in which action is an expression. Rather, it is the concrete intent (somewhat in the sense of the good faith (bona fides), bad faith (mala fides), intentional damage (culpa), and unintentional damage (dolus) of the Roman law) of a particular action. This view, when consistently maintained, avoids the yearning for "rebirth" in the strict sense of an ethic of heart. A result is that the conduct of life remains an immethodical and miscellaneous succession of discrete actions.

(G.4.b) Total Personality

The second type of systematization of an ethic of good works treats individual actions as symptoms and expressions of an underlying ethical total personality. It is instructive to recall the attitude of the more rigorous Spartans toward a comrade who had fallen in battle in order to atone for an earlier manifestation of cowardice, a kind of "redeeming duel" as practiced by German fraternities. They did not regard him as having rehabilitated his ethical status, since he had acted bravely for a specific reason and not "out of the totality of his personality," as we would term it. In the religious sphere too, formal sanctification by the good works shown in external actions is supplanted by the value of the total habituation of personality, which in the Spartan example would be an habituated attitude of heroism. A similar principle applies to social achievements of all sorts. If they demonstrate "love for one's neighbors," then ethical systematization of this kind requires that the actor possess the charisma of "goodness." In any cases, an individual action is a mere "symptom" of the total character and that no significance be attached to it when it is a result of "accident." Thus, this ethic of heart, in its most highly systematized character, may make increased demands at the standard of the total personality and yet be more tolerant in regard to single transgressions. But this is not always the case, and the ethic of heart is generally the most distinctive type of ethical rigorism. Thereby the total habituation of positive religious qualifications may be regarded as a divine gift, the presence of which will manifest itself in a general orientation to whatever is demanded by religion, namely a methodically unified conduct of life. Or, on the contrary, the total habituation may be, in principle, acquired by "training" in goodness. Of course this training itself will consist of a rationalized, methodical direction of the total conduct of life, and not an accumulation of single, unrelated actions.

In both types of systematization, practical result is very similar. Yet, in the methodical habituation of total personality, the social and ethical quality of actions falls into secondary importance, while the religious effort upon oneself becomes of primary importance. Consequently, religiously qualified and socially oriented good works become mere instruments of self-perfection: a "methodology of sanctification."

(G.5) Salvation By Self-perfection

(G.5.a) Animistic Methodology

The "methodology" of sanctification, at first, knows no ethical religiosity. On the contrary, it frequently played significant roles in the awakening of charismatic rebirth which promised the acquisition of magical powers. This animistic use of the methodology entailed belief in the incarnation of a new soul within one's own body, the possession of one's soul by a powerful demon, or the removal of one's soul to a realm of spirits. In all cases the possibility of attaining superhuman actions and powers was involved. "Other-worldly" goals were of course completely lacking in all this. What is more, this capacity for ecstasy might be used for the most diverse purposes. Thus, only by acquiring a new soul through rebirth can the warrior achieve superhuman deeds of heroism. The original sense of "rebirth" as producing either a hero or a magician remains present in all initiation ceremonies, for example, the reception of youth into the religious brotherhood of the phratry and their ornaments with the equipment of war, or the decoration of youth with the insignia of manhood in China and India (where the members of the higher castes are termed the "twice-born"). All these ceremonies were originally associated with activities which produced or symbolized ecstasy, and the purpose of the associated training is the testing or awakening of the capacity for ecstasy.

(G.5.b) Induction of Ecstasy

Ecstasy as an means of "sanctification" or "self-deification," our exclusive interest here, may have the primary character of an acute mental departure or possession, or else the character of a chronically heightened specifically religious habit either toward greater intensity of life or toward alienation from life. This escalated, intensified religious habit can be of either a more contemplative or a more active type. Of course, the induction of acute ecstasy is not the planned methodology of sanctification but primary the means of breaking down organic function. This induction of acute inhibited states by alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs which have intoxicating effects; by music and dance; by sexuality; or by a combination of all three is called orgy. Ecstasy was also induced by the provocation of hysterical or epileptic seizures among those with predispositions toward such sudden reactions, which in turn induce orgiastic states in others. However, these acute ecstasies are transitory in their nature and leave but few positive traces on everyday habit. Moreover, they have no meaningful content in revealed prophetic religions.

On the other hand, it would appear that a much more enduring possession of the charismatic condition is ensured by those milder forms of euphoria which may be experienced as either a dreamlike mystical "illumination" or a more active and ethical conversion. Furthermore, they give a meaningful relationship to the "world," and they correspond in quality to the value of an "eternal" order or an ethical god such as are proclaimed by prophets. We have already seen that magician already know a systematic methodology of "awakening" of charismatic qualities, besides mere acute orgy, because professional magicians and warriors need enduring states of charisma as well as acute ecstasies.

Not only orgiastic intoxication is not needed at all by the prophets of ethical salvation, but rather it directly prevents from the systematic ethical conduct of life they require. For this reason, the primary target of Zoroaster's indignant ethical rationalism was orgiastic ecstasy, particularly the intoxicating cult of the soma sacrifice, which he deemed the wildness and cruelty of humans. For the same reason, Moses directly attacked against the orgy of the dance, just as many founders or prophets of ethical religion attacked "whoredom," namely, orgiastic temple prostitution.

(G.5.c) Development of Methodology

As the process of rationalization went forward, the goal of religious methodology of sanctification increasingly transformed from the acute state induced by orgy into a milder but more enduring and consciously possessed habit. This transformation was strongly influenced by the concept of the divine. Naturally the highest goal of the methodology of sanctification, at first, remained everywhere the same which was served in an acute form of orgy, namely the incarnation of a supernatural being, and therefore self-deification. Then, this incarnation had to become a continuous habituation, so far as possible. Thus, the methodology of sanctification was directed to attaining this possession of the divinity within oneself.

(G.5.c.1) Transcendental God

But wherever the concept of transcendental god, all-powerful in contrast to his creatures emerges, the goal of the methodology of sanctification can no longer be self-deification in this sense but be the acquisition of those religious qualities the god demands to humans. Hence the goal of sanctification becomes oriented to the world beyond and to ethics. The aim is not to "possess" god, for this cannot be done, but either to become an instrument of the god or to be spiritually suffused by the god. Spiritual suffusion is obviously closer to self-deification than is instrumentality. This difference had important consequences for the methodology of sanctification itself, as we shall discuss later. [103] But in the beginning of this development there were important points of agreement between the methods directed at instrumentality and those directed at spiritual suffusion. In both cases the person had to eliminate from one's everyday life whatever was not divine, which were primary the ordinary habits of the human body and the everyday world, as those were given by nature, so that s/he might become more near to god.

(G.5.c.2) States of Sanctification

At this early development of salvational methodology of sanctification, it was still directly linked with the magical notion, in which only the methods are rationalized and accommodated to its new concept concerning the nature of the superhuman and the meaning of religious sanctification. Experience taught that by the hysteric "deadening" of the bodies of those with special religious qualifications it was possible to render such bodies insensible or cataleptic and to produce in them by suggestion sundry actions that normal neurological functioning could never produce. It had also been learned from experience that all sorts of visionary and spiritual experience might easily appear during such states. In different persons, these phenomena might consist in speaking with strange tongues, manifesting hypnotic and other suggestive powers, experiencing impulses toward mystical illumination and ethical conversion, or experiencing profound anguish over one's sins and joyous emotion deriving from suffusion by the spirit of the god. These states might even follow each other in rapid succession. It was a further lesson of experience that all these extraordinary capacities and manifestations would disappear following a surrender to the "natural" functions and needs of the body, or a surrender to the declined interests of everyday life. Thus, such consequences of the relationship of mental states to the natural states of the body and to the everyday social and economic life drew everywhere the development of the yarning for salvation.

(G.5.c.3) Indian Methodology

The specific means of sanctification, in their most highly developed forms,are practically all of Indian sources. In India they were undoubtedly developed in connection with the methodology of the magical coercion of spirits; these means were increasingly used for the methodology of self-deification, and indeed they never lost this character. Self-deification was the prevalent goal of sanctification, from the beginnings of the soma cult of orgy in ancient Vedic times up to the sublimed means of intellectualist ecstasy and the elaboration of erotic orgies (whether in acute or sublimed form, and whether actually enacted or imaginatively), which to this day dominate the most popular form of Hindu religion, the cult of Krishna. Through Sufism, this sublimated type of intellectualist ecstasy and a milder form of orgiastic Dervish were introduced into Islam. To this day Indians are still their typical carriers even as far afield as Bosnia. [104]

(G.5.c.4) Catholicism and Confucianism

The two greatest powers of religious rationalism in history, the Roman church in the Occident and Confucianism in China, consistently suppressed this orgiastic ecstasy in their domains. Christianity also sublimated ecstasy into semi-erotic mysticism such as that of Bernard, fervent worship of Virgin Mary, Quietism of the Counter-Reformation, and the emotional piety of Zinzendorf. The specifically extraordinary nature of the experiences of all orgiastic cults, and particularly of all erotic ones, accounts for no influence on everyday life, or at least on the direction of rationalization or systematization. This is seen clearly in the fact that the Hindu and (in general) Dervish religiosities created no methodology of the conduct of everyday life.

(G.5.c.5) Certainty of Salvation

The development toward systematization and rationalization of attaining religious state of salvation, however, is primarily directed justly to eliminated these contradiction between everyday and extraordinary religious habituations. Out of the unlimited variety of subjective religious states which may be produced by the methodology of sanctification, some of them may finally as of central importance, not only because they represent psycho-physical states of extraordinary quality, but because they also appear to provide a secure and continuous possession of the distinctive religious goods. This is the certainty of salvation (certitudo salutis). This certainty may be characterized by a more mystical or by a more actively ethical coloration, about which more will be said presently. But in either case, it constitutes the conscious possession of a lasting, integrated foundation of the conduct of life. To heighten the conscious awareness of this religious possession, orgiastic ecstasy and irrational, merely irritating emotional means of deadening sensation are replaced, principally by planned reductions of bodily functioning, such as can be achieved by continuous malnutrition, sexual abstinence, regulation of respiration, and the like. In addition, the training of thinking and other psychic processes are directed to a systematic concentration of the mind upon whatever is alone essential in religion. Examples of such psychological training are found in the Hindu techniques of Yoga, the continuous repetition of sacred syllables (for example, Om), meditation focused on circles and other geometrical figures, and various exercises designed to effect a planned evacuation of the consciousness.

(G.5.c.6) Rationalization of Methodology

But in the interest of the lasting and uniform continuity in the possession of the religious good, the rationalization of the methodology of sanctification finally developed even beyond the methods just mentioned to an apparent reversal, a planned limitation of the exercises to those means which insure continuity of the religious habit. This meant the abandonment of all techniques that are irrational from the viewpoint of hygiene. For just as every sort of intoxication, whether it be the orgiastic ecstasy of heroes, erotic orgies or the ecstasy of dancing frenzies, inevitably culminates in physical collapse, so hysterical suffusion with pneumatic emotionalism leads to psychic collapse, which in the religious sphere is interpreted as a state of serious abandonment by god.

In Greece the cultivation of disciplined martial heroism finally attenuated the warrior ecstasy into the constant uniformity (sophrosyne), tolerating only the purely musical, rhythmically engendered forms of ecstasy, and carefully evaluating the "ethos" of music for "political" correctness. In the same way, but in a more thorough manner, Confucian rationalism permitted only the pentatonic scale in music. Similarly, the monastic methodology of sanctification developed increasingly in the direction of rationalization, up to the salvation methodology of ancient Buddhism in India and the Jesuit monastic order in the Occident, which exerted the greatest historical influence. Thus, all these methodologies of sanctification developed a combined physical and psychic hygiene and an equally methodical regulation of the content and scope of all thought and action, thus producing in the individual the most completely conscious, willful, and anti-instinctual control over one's own physical and psychological processes, and insuring the systematic regulation of life in subordination to the religious end. It is without saying that the goals, the specific contents, and the actual results of the methodology were very variable.

(G.5.d) Religious Virtuosi

That human beings differ widely in their religious qualifications was found to be true in every religion upon a systematic methodology of sanctification, regardless of the specific goal of salvation and the particular manner in which it was implemented. As it had been recognized that not everyone possesses the charisma which leads a person to rebirth as a magician, so it was also recognized that not everyone possesses the charisma that makes possible the continuous maintenance in everyday life of the distinctive religious habit which assures the lasting certainty of grace. Therefore, rebirth seemed to be accessible only to an aristocracy of those possessing religious qualifications. Just as magicians had been recognized as possessing distinctive magical qualities, so also the religious virtuosi who work methodically at their salvation now gain a distinctive religious "status" within the community of the faithful, and within this circle they attained what is specific to every status, a social honor.

In India all the sacred laws concerned themselves with the ascetic in this sense, since most of the Hindu religions of salvation were monastic. The earliest Christian sources represent these religious virtuosi as comprising a particular category, distinguished from their comrades in the community, and they later constituted the monastic orders. In Protestantism they formed the ascetic sects or pietistic conventicles. In Judaism they were the Pharisees, an aristocracy with respect to salvation which stood in contrast to the godless Jews (am haarez). In Islam they were the Dervishes, and among the Dervishes the particular virtuosi were the authentic Sufis. In the Russian Skoptsy sect they constituted the esoteric community of the castrated. We shall later return to the important sociological consequences of these categories. [105]

In its inward ethical interpretation, the methodology of sanctification always means practically overcoming particular desires and emotions of raw human nature which had not hitherto been controlled religiously. Whether such human nature is cowardice, brutality, selfishness, sensuality, against which an individual fought nobly remains the question of a specific individual. These desires and emotions drive the individual away from one's charismatic habituation. This matter belongs among the most important substantive characteristics of any particular religion. But the methodology of sanctification always remains, in this sense of overcoming human nature, an ethic of virtuosi. Like magical charisma, it always requires demonstration of the virtuosity. As we have already discussed, [106] religious virtuosi possess authentic certainty of their sanctification only as long as their own virtuoso religious attitude continues to renew its demonstration in spite of all temptations. This holds true whether the religious virtuosity is a follower of a world-conquering order like that of the Muslims at the time of Umar or whether he is a world-rejecting ascetic like most monks of either the Christian or the less consistent Jainist type. It is equally true of the Buddhist monk, a virtuoso of world-fleeing contemplation, the ancient Christian, who was a virtuoso of passive martyrdom, and the ascetic Protestant, a virtuoso of the inner-worldly vocation. Finally, this holds true of the formal legalism of the Pharisaic Jew and of the acosmistic goodness of such persons as Francis of Assisi. The demonstration of the certainty of sanctification varied in its specific character, depending on the type of religious salvation involved, but it always --both in the case of the Buddhist monk (arhat) and the case of the early Christian-- required the upholding of religious and ethical standards, and hence the avoidance of at least the most corrupt sins.

In early Christianity, a person of positive religious qualification, namely one who had been baptized, was bound never again to fall into a mortal sin. "Mortal sin" designates the type of sin which destroys religious qualification. Therefore, it is unpardonable, or at least capable of remission only at the hands of someone specially qualified, by his possession of charisma, to endow the sinner anew with religious charisma (the loss of which the sin documented). When this virtuoso doctrine became untenable in practice within the ancient Christian communities of the masses, the Montanist clung firmly and consistently to one virtuoso requirement, that the sin of cowardice remain unpardonable, quite as the Islamic religion of heroic warriors unfailingly punished apostasy with death. Accordingly, the Montanists segregated themselves from the mass church of the ordinary Christians when the persecutions under Decius (249-251) and Diocletian (284-305) made even this virtuoso requirement impractical, in view of the interest of the priests in maintaining the largest possible membership in the community.


As we have already stated at a number of points, the positive character of the certainty of salvation and also of the associated practical conduct is completely different in accordance with the character of the salvational goods, the possession of which assures sanctification. There are in principle two directions of the methodology of sanctification: asceticism and mysticism.

(H.1) Asceticism

(H.1.a) Definition

Salvation may be the distinctive gift of active ethical action performed in the awareness that god directs this action, namely, that the actor is an instrument of god. We shall designate this type of notion toward salvation, which is characterized by a methodology of religious salvation, as "ascetic." This designation is for our purposes here, and we do not in any way deny that this term may be and has been used in another and wider sense. The contrast between our usage and the wider usage will become clearer later on in this work.

(H.1.b) World-rejection

Religious virtuosity, in addition to overcoming the natural instinct under a systematic conduct of life, always leads to a radical ethical and religious criticism of the social relationship of life in order to overcome it, since the conventional virtues of the society are inevitably unheroic and utilitarian. Not only does the mere "natural" moral within the world not guarantee salvation, but it actually endangers salvation through preventing from what is alone indispensable for it. The "world" in the religious sense, namely, the domain of social relationships, is therefore a realm of temptations. The world is full of temptations, not only because it is the site of sensual pleasures which are ethically irrational and completely diverting from things divine, but even more because it fosters in the self-satisfaction and self-righteousness in the fulfillment of common obligations of religiously average persons, at the expense of the sole concentration on active achievements of salvation.

Concentration upon salvation may entail a formal withdrawal from the "world": from social and psychological ties with the family, from the possession of worldly goods, and from political, economic, artistic, and erotic activities --in short, from all creaturely interests. Any participation in these affairs may appear as an acceptance of the world and thereby as an alienation from divine. This is "world-rejecting asceticism."

(H.1.c) Inner-worldly Asceticism

On the other hand, concentration upon salvation may require the maintenance of specific quality of religious attitude as the elected instrument of God within the world but against to the order of the world. This is "inner-worldly asceticism." In this case the world is presented to the religious virtuoso as the assigned duty. The ascetic's task is to transform the world in accordance with her/his ascetic ideals, in which case the ascetic will become a rational reformer or revolutionary of the "natural right." Examples of this were seen in the "Parliament of the Saints" under Cromwell, in the Quaker State of Pennsylvania, and in the conventicle communism of radical Pietism.

As a result of the differences in religious qualification, such ascetics always become an aristocratic, exclusive organization within or, specifically, outside the world of the average people who surround these ascetics; in principle, an ascetic's aristocracy is not different from a "class". Such an ascetic enterprise might be able to conquer the world, but it still could not raise the religious endowment of the average person to its own level of virtuosity. Any rational religious enterprise that ignored this self-evidence had to experience its consequence.

From the point of view of asceticism, the world as a whole remains to an "eternal damnation" (massa perditionis). The only remaining alternative is a renunciation of the illusion that the world can meet to the religious requirement. Consequently, if a demonstration of religious qualification is still to be made within the orders of the world, then the world, for the very reason that it inevitably remains a natural vessel of sin, becomes a challenge for the demonstration of the ascetic qualification and for the strongest possible battle against the world's sins. The world abides in the worthless state of all things of the flesh. Therefore, any sensuous attachment to the world's goods may imperil concentration upon and possession of the good of salvation, and may be a symptom of unholiness of heart and failure of rebirth. Nevertheless, the world as a creation of god, whose power comes to expression in it despite its creatureliness, provides the only medium through which one's unique religious charisma must prove itself by means of rational ethical action, so that one may become and remain certain of one's own state of grace.

Hence, as the object of this active demonstration, the order of the world in which the ascetic is situated becomes for her/him a "vocation" which s/he must "fulfill" rationally. As a consequence, and although the enjoyment of wealth is forbidden to the ascetic, it becomes his vocation to engage in economic activity which meets rational and ethical requirements and which conforms to strict legality. If the activity brings success and profit, it is regarded as the manifestation of god's reward upon the labor of the faithful and of god's blessing with his economic conduct of life.

Any excess of emotional feeling is prohibited as being a deification of the creaturely, which denies the unique value of the divine gift of grace. On the other hand, "vocation" is the rational and sober laboring for the cause of the rational purposive society of the world, which is set by the God's creation. In similar way, any eroticism that tends to deify the human creature is condemned. On the other hand, it is a divinely prescribed vocation of human "to soberly produce children" (as the Puritans expressed it) within marriage. Then, too, there is a prohibition against the exercise of force by an individual against other human beings for reasons of passion or revenge, and above all for purely personal motives. However, it is the divine will that the rationally ordered state shall suppress and punish sinners and rebels. Finally, all personal secular enjoyment of power is forbidden as a deification of the creaturely. However the rulership of a rational legal order within society is god's will.

Inner-worldly ascetic is a rationalist, not only in the sense that he rationally systematizes his own conduct of life, but also in his rejection of everything that is ethically irrational, whether esthetic, or personal emotional reactions within the world and its orders. The distinctive goal always remains the "conscious," methodical mastering of one's own conduct of life. This type of "inner-worldly asceticism" included, above all, ascetic Protestantism, which held the fulfillment of the duty and task assigned by the god within the world as the sole means of demonstration of religious qualification, though its several branches demonstrated this tenet with varying degrees of consistency.

(H.2) Mysticism

(H.2.a) Mystical Illumination

But the distinctive goods of salvation may not be an active quality of action, that is, an awareness of having fulfilled the divine will; it may instead be a subjective state of a distinctive kind, the most notable form of which is "mystical illumination." This too is achievable only to a few who have particular religious qualifications, and only through a specific kind of systematic activity, namely, "contemplation." To achieve the goal of mystic illumination, contemplation always requires the being free from all everyday interests. According to the experience of the Quakers, God can speak within one's soul only when the creaturely element in person is altogether silent. All contemplative mysticism from Lao Tzu and the Buddha up to Tauler (1300-1361) is in accord with this experience, if not with these very words.

(H.2.b) Flight from the World

The consequence of mystic experience may be the absolute withdrawal from the world. Such a contemplative flight from the world, characteristic of ancient Buddhism and to some degree characteristic of all Asiatic and Near Eastern forms of salvation, seems to resemble the ascetic worldview; but it is necessary to make a very clear distinction between the two.

In the sense employed here, "world-rejecting asceticism" is primarily oriented to activity within the world. Only activity within the world helps the ascetic to attain a quality of god's grace for which s/he strives. The ascetic attains renewed assurances of one's state of grace from the consciousness that the power to act flows out of the possession of the central religious salvation, and that through the actions one serves god. The ascetic is conscious of oneself as a warrior of god, regardless of who the enemy is and what the means of doing battle are. For the ascetic, the withdrawal from the world is not a psychological escape, but as a repeated victory over ever new temptations which s/he has to combat actively, time and again. The world-rejecting ascetic sustains at least the negative inner relationship with the "world," against which s/he is designated to struggle. It is therefore more appropriate in his case to speak of a "rejection of the world" than of a "flight from the world." Flight is much more characteristic of the contemplative mystic.

(H.2.c) Mystical Union

In contrast to asceticism, contemplation is primarily the quest for "rest" in god and in him alone. It entails inaction of everything that in any way reminds of the "world," and of course the absolute minimization of all outer and inner activity; and in its most consistent form it entails the cessation of thought. By these paths the mystic achieves a subjective state which may be regarded as the possession of the divine, or mystical union (unio mystica). This is a distinctive habituation of emotion, which appears to be mediated by "knowledge." To be sure, the mystical union may be grounded more upon the extraordinary content of this knowledge or more upon the emotional coloration of the possession of this knowledge; objectively, the latter is decisive.

Then, the more the mystical knowledge becomes such an emotional character, the more it becomes incommunicable; even though mystical union emerges as knowledge, it gives the mystic directly such emotional character. For mystical knowledge is not new knowledge of any facts or doctrines, but rather the perception of an overall meaning in the world. This usage of "knowledge" is intended wherever the term occurs in the numerous formulations of mystics; it denotes a practical knowledge. The center-point of such knowledge is basically a "possession," from which there may be derived a new practical orientation to the world, and under certain circumstances even new and communicable "recognition." However, recognition constitutes knowledge of values and non-values within the world. We are not interested here in the contents of these knowledge, but only in this negative effect upon action which is a nature of all contemplation, in contrast to asceticism in our sense of the term.

(H.2.d) Concentration upon Truth

Pending a more thorough discussion, we may strongly emphasize here that the distinction between world-rejecting asceticism and world-fleeing contemplation is of course fluid. For world-fleeing contemplation is originally associated with a considerable degree of systematically rationalized conduct of life. Only this, indeed, leads to concentration upon the goal of salvation. Yet, rationalized conduct of life is only an means for the goal of contemplation and is of an essentially negative type, consisting in the avoidance of interruptions caused by nature and the social surroundings. Contemplation does not necessarily become a passive surrender to dreams or a simple self-hypnosis, though it may approach these states in practice. On the contrary, the distinctive path to contemplation is a very energetic concentration upon certain "truth." The decisive aspect of this process is not the content of the truth, which frequently seems very simple to non-mystics, but rather the type of emphasis placed upon the truth. The mystical truth views the total aspect of the world from its central position and grasps the unified meaning of the world. In Buddhism, no one becomes one of the illuminated by explicitly affirming the obviously highly trivial formulations of the central Buddhist dogma, or even by achieving a penetrating understanding of the central dogma. The concentration of thought, together with the various other means for salvation, is only a way, not the goal. The goal is illumination, which consists exclusively in a unique quality of emotion or, more objectively, in the emotional unity of knowledge with the practical state of mind which provides the mystic with decisive assurance of one's religious state of grace.

(H.2.e) Container vs. Instrument

For the ascetic too, the emotional and conscious perception of the divinity is of central importance, only in this case the divine emotion is of a "motor" type, so to speak. This "emotion" arises when the ascetic lives in the consciousness that s/he, as an instrument of god, has succeeded in rationalized ethical action integrally oriented to god. But the contemplative mystic neither seeks to be nor can be the god's "instrument," but seeks only to become the god's "container." For the mystic, the ascetic's ethical struggle, whether of a positive or a negative type, appears to be a perpetual externalization of the divine in the direction of some minor function. For this reason, ancient Buddhism recommended inaction as the precondition for the maintenance of the state of grace, and in any case Buddhism avoided every type of rational, purposive action as a goal, for it was the most dangerous form of secularization. On the other hand, the contemplation of the mystic appears to the ascetic as indolent, religiously sterile, and ascetically reprehensible self-indulgence, namely, a floundering in self-created emotions prompted by the deification of the creaturely.

From the standpoint of a contemplative mystic, the ascetic appears, by her/his extraordinary self-infliction and struggles, and especially by her/his ascetically rationalized conduct within the world, to be forever involved in all the burdens of created things, confronting insoluble tensions between violence and goodness, between matter-of-factness and love. The ascetic is therefore regarded as permanently alienated from unity with god, and as forced into contradictions and compromises that are far from salvation. But from the converse standpoint of the ascetic, the contemplative mystic does not think of god, the realization of god's nation and glory, or the active fulfillment of god's will, but rather thinks exclusively about one's own self. Therefore the mystic lives in everlasting inconsistency, since by reason of the very fact that s/he must provide for the means of life as long as s/he lives. This is particularly true when the contemplative mystic lives within the world and its orders. In this sense, the world-fleeing mystic is more dependent upon the world than is the ascetic. The ascetic can maintain oneself as a secluded, ensuring the certainty of his state of grace through the labors s/he expends in an effort to maintain one's seclusion. Not so the contemplative mystic. If s/he is to live consistently with mystical standpoint, s/he must maintain one's life only by means of what nature gives or people voluntarily donate to her/him. This requires that the mystic live on berries in the woods, which are not always available, or on alms. This was actually the case among the most consistent Hindu monk (shramanas) and it accounts also for the very strict rule in all Buddhist monk's (bhikshu) regulations against receiving anything that has not been given freely.

In any case, the contemplative mystic lives on whatever gifts the world may present to her/him, and s/he would be unable to stay alive if the world were not constantly engaged in that very labor which the mystic regards as sinful and leading to alienation from god. For the Buddhist monk, agriculture is the most reprehensible of all occupations, because it causes violent injury to various forms of life in the soil. Yet the alms he collects consist principally of agricultural products. In circumstances like these, salvational aristocracy of the mystic inevitable reaches striking conclusion for the unilluminated and those insufficient to complete illumination, to their inevitable destiny: that is, the veneration and alms-giving to the monks, who alone belong to the religious community of salvation. This was originally the central and sole virtue among the Buddhist laypersons. In general, however, every human being "acts" in some way, and even the mystic inevitably acts. What the mystic can do is only to minimize activity because it can never give one's certainty of the state of grace, and what is more, because it may divert her/him from union with the divine. The ascetic, on the other hand, demonstrate the state of grace precisely in her/his action in the world.

(H.2.f) Brokenness vs. Vocation

The contrast between asceticism and mysticism is clearest when the full implications of world-rejection and world-flight are not drawn. When the ascetic wishes to act within the world, that is, to practice "inner-worldly asceticism," s/he must become content with a sort of happy closure of the concern regarding any question about the "meaning" of the world, for s/he must not worry about such questions. Hence, it is no accident that inner-worldly asceticism reached its most consistent development in the Calvinist god of absolute unserachableness of His motives by any human standard. Thus, the inner-worldly ascetic is the "person of vocation" who neither inquires about nor finds it necessary to inquire about the meaning of his actual practice of a vocation within the total world, which is not one's responsibility but god's. For the ascetic it suffices that through one's rational actions in this world s/he is personally fulfilling the will of god, which is unsearchable in its ultimate significance.

On the other hand, the contemplative mystic is concerned with "perceiving" the essential meaning of the world, but the one cannot comprehend it in a rational form, for the very reason that the one has already conceived of the essential meaning of the world as a unity beyond all empirical reality. Mystical contemplation has not always resulted in a flight from the world in the sense of an avoidance of every contact with the social surroundings. On the contrary, the mystic may also require of oneself the demonstration of one's state of grace against every pressure of the worldly order. In that case, even the mystic's position within the orders of the world becomes a "vocation," but altogether different direction from any vocation by inner-worldly asceticism.

Neither asceticism nor contemplation affirms the world as such. The ascetic rejects the world's empirical character of creatureliness and ethical irrationality, and rejects its ethical temptations to worldly lust, to self-satisfaction, and to reliance upon natural pleasures and gifts. But at the same time he affirms individual rational action within the orders of the world as his task and means for demonstration of one's state of grace. On the other hand, the contemplative mystic living within the world regards action, particularly action performed within the world orders, as in its very nature a temptation against which he must maintain his state of grace.

The contemplative mystic minimizes one's action by resigning from the orders of the world as it is, and lives in them incognito, so to speak, as those "that are quiet in the land" [107] have always done, since god has prescribed once and for all that the person must live in the world. The activity of the contemplative mystic within the world is characterized by a humble "brokenness." The mystic is constantly striving to escape from activity in the world back to the quietness and inwardness of the god. Conversely, the ascetic, whenever the one acts in consistent with the type, is certain to become god's instrument. For this reason the obligation of creaturely "humility" is always of dubious character. The success of the ascetic's action is a success of one's god, who has resulted in the success of the action, or at the very least the success is a special sign of divine blessing upon the ascetic and her/his activity. But for the genuine mystic, success of one's activity within the world has no significance to one's salvation. For the mystic, the maintenance of true humility within the world is the sole warranty for the conclusion that her/his soul has not fallen prey to the snares of the world. As a rule, the more the genuine mystic remains within the world, the more "broken" one's attitude toward it becomes, in contrast to the proud aristocratic attitude of the contemplative mystic who lives outside the secular world.

(H.2.g) Anomie vs. Reformation

For the ascetic, the certainty of salvation always demonstrates itself in rational action, integrated as to meaning, end, and means, and governed by principles and rules. Conversely, for the mystic who actually possesses a subjective state of salvation, this certainty of salvation may result in anomic salvation. Mystic's salvation manifests itself not in any sort of action but in a subjective state and its emotional quality. The mystic feels oneself no longer bound by any rule of conduct; regardless of one's behavior, one is certain of salvation. With this consequence of mystical contemplation with the feeling that "all things are lawful to me" [108] Paul had to struggle; and in numerous other contexts the abandonment of rules for conduct has been an occasional result of the mystical quest for salvation.

For the ascetic, moreover, the divine imperative may require of human creatures an unconditional subjection to the norms of religious virtue, and indeed a revolutionary reformation of the world for this purpose. In that event, the ascetic emerges from the cloistered cell of monastery to take his place into the world as a prophet against the world. But the ascetic always demands of the world an ethically rational order and discipline, corresponding to his own methodical self-discipline. Now a mystic may arrive at a similar position in relation to the world. His sense of divine inwardness, the chronic and quiet euphoria of his solitary contemplative possession of substantively divine salvation may become transformed into an acute feeling of sacred possession by or possession of the god who is speaking in and through him. He will then wish to bring eternal salvation to humans as soon as they have prepared, as the mystic himself has done, a place for god upon earth, namely, in their souls. But in this case the result will be the emergence of the mystic as a magician who causes his power to be felt among gods and demons; and this may have the practical consequences of the mystic's becoming a mystery cultist, something which has actually happened very often.

If the mystic does not follow this path towards becoming a mystery cultist, for a variety of reasons which we hope to discuss later, he may bear witness to his god by teaching alone. In that case his revolutionary preaching to the world will be adventially irrational, scorning every thought of a rational "order" in the world. For the mystic, the absoluteness of own's own acosmistic sentiment of love is the completely adequate and only acceptable foundation of mystically renewed community of humans, because such love alone comes from a divine source. The transformation of a mysticism outside the world into one characterized by advential and revolutionary orientation took place frequently, most impressively in the revolutionary mysticism of the sixteenth-century Baptists. The contrary transformation has also occurred, as in the conversion of John Lilburne to Quakerism.

As long as an inner-worldly religion of salvation is determined by contemplative features, the usual result is, at least, the relative indifference to the world and yet the humble acceptance of the given social structure. A mystic completes his day's labor, then seeks contemplative union with his god in the evening, and goes forth to his usual labor the next morning, as Tauler sentimentally stated in the right inner constitution of his abided labor. Or like Lao Tzu, a mystic finds the unity with the way (Tao) by one's humility and self-depreciation before other humans. The mystic component in Lutheranism, for which the highest sanctification in this world is the ultimate mystical union, was conditioned by (along with other factors) the indifference of the Lutheran church towards the external organization of the preaching of the gospel, and also for that church's anti-ascetic and traditionalistic character.

(H.2.h) Mystic Love

In any case, the typical mystic is never a person of strong social activity, nor is at all to accomplish any rational transformation of the worldly order on the outer result of a righteous methodical conduct of life. Wherever genuine mysticism gives rise to social action, such action is characterized by the acosmism of the mystical sentiment of love. In this sense, mysticism may exert a psychological effect on the formation of community in opposition to its "logical" conclusion.

The core idea of the mystic oriental Christian church was a firm conviction that Christian brotherly love, when sufficiently strong and pure, must necessarily lead to unity in all things, even in dogmatic beliefs. In other words, the Christians who sufficiently love one another, in the Johannine sense of mystical love, will also think alike and, because of the very irrationality of their communal sentiment, act in a solidarity which is pleasing to God. Because of this concept, the Eastern church could dismiss an infallibly rational authority in matters of doctrine. The same view is basic to the Slavophile conception of the community, both within and beyond the church. To some extent, this notion was also common in early Christianity. The same conception is at the basis of Muhammad's belief that formal doctrinal authorities can be dispensed with. Finally, this conception along with other factors accounts for the minimization of organization in the monastic communities of early Buddhism.

Conversely, to the extent that an inner-worldly religion of salvation is characterized by distinctively ascetic features, it always demands a practical rationalism, in the sense of the maximization of rational action in a methodical systematization of conduct of life, and the objectification of the rational society of the world orders, whether monastic communities or theocracies.

(H.3) Oriental Vs. Occidental Salvation

The decisive historical difference between the predominantly oriental and Asiatic types of salvation religion and those found primarily in the Occident is that the former usually inclined to contemplation and the latter in asceticism. The great importance of this distinction, for our purely empirical observation of religions, is in no way diminished by the fact that the distinction is a fluid one, recurrent combinations of mystical and ascetic characteristics demonstrating that these heterogeneous element may combine, as in the monastic religiosity of the Occident. For our concern is with the consequences for action.

In India, even so ascetic a planned methodology of salvation as that of the Jain monks culminated in a purely contemplative and mystical ultimate goal; and in Eastern Asia, Buddhism became the characteristic religion of salvation. In the Occident, on the other hand, apart from a few representatives of a distinctive quietism found only in modern times, even religions of an explicitly mystical type regularly became transformed into an active pursuit of virtue, which was naturally ascetic in the main. Stated more precisely, there occurred along the way an inner selection of motivations which placed the primary preference upon some type of active conduct, generally a type pointing toward asceticism, and which, in practice, implemented this habituation. Neither the mystical contemplativeness of St. Bernard and his followers, nor Franciscan spirituality, nor the contemplative trends among the Baptists and the Jesuits, nor even the emotional suffusions of Zinzendorf were able to prevent either the community or the individual mystic from attributing superior importance to action and to the demonstration of grace through action, though this was conceptualized very differently in each case, ranging from pure asceticism to attenuated contemplation. It will be recalled that Meister Eckhart finally placed Martha above Mary, notwithstanding the teaching of Jesus. [109]

But to some extent this emphasis upon action was characteristic of Christianity from the very outset. Even in the earliest period, when all sorts of irrational charismatic gifts of the spirit were regarded as the decisive hallmark of sanctity, Christian apologetics had already given a distinctive answer to the question of how one might distinguish the divine origin of the pneumatic achievements of Christ and the Christians from comparable phenomena that were of Satanic or demonic origin: this answer was that the manifest effect of Christianity upon the morality of its adherents proves its divine origin. No Hindu could make this kind of statement.

There are a number of reasons for this basic different between the salvation religions, Orient and Occident, but at this point it is only necessary to stress the following aspects of the distinction.

(H.3.a) Concept of Divine

1. The concept of a transcendental, absolutely omnipotent god, implying the utterly subordinate and creaturely character of the world created by him out of nothing, arose in Asia Minor and was imposed upon the Occident. One result of this for the Occident was that any methodology of salvation to any self-deification and to any genuinely mystical possession of god was permanently closed, at least in the strict sense of the term, because this appeared to be a blasphemous deification of a mere created being. The ultimate pantheistic consequences of the mystical position was blocked as well, being always regarded as heterodox. On the contrary, salvation was always regarded as having the character of an ethical "justification" before god, which ultimately could be fulfilled and proved only by some sort of active action within the world. The "demonstration" of the actual divine quality of the mystical possession of salvation (according to mystic's own formulation) even arrived at through the path of action alone. Action in turn always caused mysticism into paradoxes, tensions, and the loss of the mystic's union with god. This was exempted in Hindu mysticism. For the Occidental mystic, the world is a "work" which has been "created" and is not simply given for all eternity, not even in its orders, as in the view of the Asiatic mystic. Consequently, in the Occident mystical salvation could not be found simply in the consciousness of an absolute union with a supreme and wise "order" itself as the only true "being." Nor, on the other hand, could a work of divine providence ever be regarded in the Occident as a possible object of absolute escape, as it was a characteristic of the Orient.

(H.3.b) Knowledge vs. Action

2. This contrast between oriental and Occidental religions is closely related to the character of Asiatic salvation religions as pure religions of intellectuals who never abandoned the "meaningfulness" of the empirical world. For the Hindu, there was actually a way leading directly from "insight" into the ultimate consequences of the chain of causality (karma), to illumination, and thence to a unity of "knowledge" and action. This way remained forever closed to every religion that faced the absolute paradox of the creation of a permanently imperfect world by a perfect god. Indeed, in this latter type of religion, the intellectual mastery of the world leads away from god, not toward him. From the practical point of view, those instances of Occidental mysticism which have a purely philosophical foundation stand closest to the Asiatic type.

(H.3.c) Roman Law

3. From practical point of this contrast, the observation must be placed on the fact that the Roman Occident alone developed and maintained a rational law, for various reasons yet to be explained. In the Occident the relationship of human to god became, in a distinctive kind, a sort of legally definable relationship of the lord and the servant. Indeed, the question of salvation can be settled by a sort of legal process, a method which was later distinctively developed by Anselm of Canterbury. Such a legalistic methodology of sanctification could never be produced by the Oriental religions which presupposed an impersonal divine power or, instead of a god standing above the world, a god standing within a world which is self-regulated by the causal chains of karma. Nor could the legalistic direction be taken by religions concepts of Tao, belief in the celestial ancestor gods of the Chinese emperor, or, above all, belief in the Asiatic popular gods. In all these cases the highest form of piety took a pantheistic form, and one which turned practical motivations toward contemplation.

(H.3.d) Roman Rulership

4. Another aspect of the rational character of the Occidental methodology of salvation was in origin partly Roman, partly Jewish. The Greeks, despite all the antipathy of the urban patriciate toward the Dionysian cult of intoxication, set a positive value upon ecstasy, both the acute form of orgiastic intoxication and the milder form of euphoria induced primarily by rhythm and music, as the uniquely divine being. Indeed, among the Greeks the ruling stratum especially lived with this mild form of ecstasy from their very childhood. Since the time when the discipline of the hoplites had become dominant, Greece had lacked a stratum possessing the prestige of the office nobility in Rome. Social relationships in Greece were, in all respects, few and less feudal. In Rome the nobles, who constituted a rational nobility of office of increasing range, and who possessed whole cities and provinces as client holdings of single families, completely rejected ecstasy, like the dance, as utterly improper and unworthy of a noble's sense of dignity. This is obvious even in the terminology employed by the Romans to render the Greek word ecstasy (ekstasis) into Latin "superstition" (superstitio). Cultic dances were performed only among the most ancient colleges of priests, and in the specific sense of a round of dances, only among the college of priesthood (fratres arvales), and then only behind closed doors, after the departure of the community. Most Romans regarded dancing and music as unseemly, and so Rome remained absolutely uncreative in these arts. The Romans experienced the same distaste towards the naked exercises in the gymnasium, which the Spartans had created as an arena for planned exercise. The Senate condemned the Dionysian cult of intoxication. Rome's world-conquering military-official nobility rejected every type of ecstasy and all personal methodology of salvation, which corresponds closely to the equally strong antipathy of the Confucian bureaucracy towards all methodologies of salvation. This was one of the sources of a strictly pragmatic rationalism with a thoroughly practical political orientation.

(H.3.e) Roman Church

As Christian communities developed in the Occident, they were strongly characterized by these primarily Roman religiosity. The Christian community of Rome in particular adopted this character against ecstasy quite consciously and consistently. In no instance did this community accept on its own initiative any irrational element, from charismatic prophecy to the greatest innovations in church music, into the religion or the culture. The Roman Christian community was infinitely poorer than the Hellenistic Orient and the community of Corinth, not only in theological thinkers but also, as the sources seem to suggest, in every sort of manifestation of the "spirit" (pneuma). Whether despite this lack of theology and spirit or because of it, the soberly practical rationalism of Christianity, the most important heritage of Rome to the Christian church, after all set the tone of a dogmatic and ethical systematization of the faith, as is well known.

The development of the methodology of sanctification in the Occident corresponded to this line. The ascetic requirements of the old Benedictine regulations and the reforms of Cluny are, when measured by Hindu or oriental standards, extremely modest and obviously adapted to novices recruited from the higher social circles. Yet, it is precisely in the Occident that labor emerges as the distinctive mark of Christian monasticism, and as a means of both hygiene and asceticism. This emphasis came to the strongest expression in the starkly simple, methodical regulations of the Cistercians. Even the mendicant monks, in contrast to their monastic counterparts in India, were forced into the service of the hierarchy and compelled to serve rational "purposes" shortly after their appearance in the Occident. These rational purposes included preaching, the supervision of heretics, and systematic charity, which in the Occident was developed into a regular "enterprise." Finally, the Jesuit order expelled all the unhygienic elements of the older asceticism, becoming the most completely rational discipline for the purposes of the church. This development is obviously connected with the next point we are to consider.

5. The Occidental church is a unified rational organization with a monarchical head and a centralized control of piety. That is, it is headed not only by a personal transcendental god, but also by a terrestrial ruler of enormous power, who actively regulates the subject's conduct of life. Such a figure is lacking in the religions of Eastern Asia, partly for historical reasons, partly because of the nature of the religions in question. Even Lamaism, which has a strong organization, does not have the rigidity of a bureaucracy, as we shall see later. The Asiatic hierarchs in Taoism and the other hereditary patriarchs of Chinese and Hindu sects were always partly mystery cultists, partly the objects of idolatrous veneration, and partly --as in the cases of the Dalai Lama and Tashi Lama-- the chiefs of a completely monastic religion of magical character. Only in the Occident, where the monks became the disciplined army of a rational bureaucracy of office, and outer-worldly asceticism become increasingly systematized into a methodology of active, rational conduct of life.

(H.3.f) Ascetic Protestantism

Moreover, only in the Occident was the additional step taken --by ascetic Protestantism-- of transferring rational asceticism into the life of the world. The inner-worldly order of Dervishes in Islam cultivated a methodology of salvation, but this, for all its variations, was oriented ultimately to the mystical quest for salvation of the Sufis. The Dervishes methodology of salvation, deriving from Indian and Persian sources, had orgiastic, spiritualistic, or contemplative characteristics in different instances, but in no case did it constitute "asceticism" in the special sense of that term which we have employed. Indians have played a leading role in Dervish orgies as far afield as Bosnia. [110] The asceticism of the Dervishes is not, like that of ascetic Protestants, a religious "ethic of vocation," for the religious actions of the Dervishes have very little relationship to their secular occupations, and in their scheme secular vocations have at best a purely external relationship to the methodology of salvation. Even so, the methodology of salvation might exert indirect effects on one's occupational life. The simple, pious Dervish is, other things being equal, more reliable than a non-religious person, in the same way that the pious Parsee is prosperous as a businessman because of his strict adherence to the rigid commandment to be honest.

But an unbroken unity integrating in systematic fashion an ethic of vocation in the world with assurance of religious salvation was the unique creation of ascetic Protestantism alone. Furthermore, only in the Protestant ethic of vocation does the world, despite all its creaturely imperfections, possess unique and religious significance as the object through which one fulfills his duties by rational action according to the will of an absolutely transcendental god. The rational, sober, and purposive character of activity and its result, which were yet not attached to the world, were a sign that god's blessing rests upon such action. In contrast, these distinctive consequences of Occidental inner-worldly asceticism were not found in any other religions of the world. This inner worldly asceticism demanded not celibacy as a monk, but the avoidance of all erotic pleasure; not poverty, but the elimination of all idle and exploitative enjoyment of unearned wealth and income, an the avoidance of all feudalistic, sensuous ostentation of wealth; not the ascetic death-in-life of the cloister, but an awakened, rationally controlled conduct of life, and the avoidance of all attachment to the beauty of the world, to art, or to one's own moods and emotions. The clear and single-minded goal of this asceticism was the disciplining and methodical conduct of life. Its typical representative was the "person of a vocation," and its unique result was the rational objectification of social relationships.


(I.1) Salvation By Grace

When the idea of salvation is further developed, one's own work is regarded as completely inadequate for the purpose of salvation. At this development, salvation is accessible only as a consequence of the achievement of some greatly endowed hero, or even the achievement of a god who has become incarnate for this very purpose and whose grace will work by itself. Grace might be distributed to as a direct effect of magical activities, or out of the excess of grace which had accumulated as a result of the human or divine savior's achievements.

(I.1.a) Savior

The idea of salvation by other's achievement arose from the development of salvational myths, above all myths of the struggling or suffering god, who in his various possible manifestations had become incarnate and descended upon earth or even traveled into the realm of the dead. Instead of a god of nature, particularly a sun god who struggles with other powers of nature, especially with darkness and cold, and having won a victory over them precedes in the spring, there now arises a savior on the basis of the salvation myths. There are various types of the savior; Christ liberates humans from the power of the demons; the Gnostic seven archons save humans from enslavement to the astrological determinism of fate; and the Gnosticism's savior, at the command of the concealed and gracious god, rescues the corrupted world which was created by an inferior creator god (Demiurge). The savior Jesus saves humans from the hard-hearted hypocrisy of the world and its justification by self-works. Or again, the salvation may be from the oppressive consciousness of sin, arising from man's awareness of the impossibility of filling certain requirements of the law, as was the case with Paul and, somewhat differently, with Augustine and Luther. Finally, the salvation may be from the abysmal corruption of the individual's own sinful nature, as in Augustine. In all these cases the savior led human upward toward a secure haven in the grace and love of a good god.

(I.1.b) Doctrines of Savior

To accomplish these purposes the savior must fight with dragons or evil demons, depending on the character of the salvation in question. In some cases he is not able to engage in such battle right away --he is often a child completely pure of sin-- and so he must grow up in concealment or must be slaughtered by his enemies and journey to the realm of the dead in order to rise again and return victorious. From this particular belief may develop the view that the death of the savior is a tributary atonement for the devil's power gained over the souls of humans as a result of men's sins. This is the view of earliest Christianity. Or, on the contrary, the death of the savior may be viewed as a means of smoothing the wrath of god, before whom the savior appears as an intercessor for humans, as in the cases of Christ, Muhammad, and other prophets and saviors. Again, the savior may, like the ancient bearer of salvation in magical religions, bring person forbidden knowledge of fire, technical arts, writing, or possibly the lore requisite for subjugating demons in this world or on the way toward heaven, as in Gnosticism. Finally, the decisive achievement of the savior may be contained, not in his concrete struggles and sufferings, but in the ultimate metaphysical root of the entire process. This ultimate metaphysical basis would of course be the incarnation of a god as the only device for bridging the gap between god and his creatures. This metaphysical conception constituted the culmination of Greek speculation about salvation, in Athanasius. The incarnation of god presented humans with the opportunity to participate significantly in god, or as Irenaeus had already phrased it, "enabled humans to become gods." The post-Athanasian philosophical formula for this was that god, by becoming incarnate, had assumed the essence (in the Platonic sense) of humanity. This formula points up the metaphysical significance of the concept of the Son who is "of the same substance" as the Father.

According to another view, the god might not be content with one single act of incarnation, but as a result of the permanence of the world, which is practically presupposed in Asiatic thought, he might become incarnate at various intervals or even continuously. Belief in continuous incarnation is the principal force of the Mahayana Buddhist idea of the Bodhisattva, though this idea is related to occasional utterances of the Buddha himself, in which he apparently expressed a belief in the limited duration of his teaching on earth. Furthermore, the Bodhisattva was occasionally represented as a higher ideal than the Buddha, because the Bodhisattva forgoes his own entrance into salvation (Nirvana), which has only exemplary significance, to prolong his universal function in the service of humankind. Here again, the savior "sacrifices" himself.

(I.1.c) Incarnation

But just as Jesus was superior in his own time to the saviors of other competing salvational cults, by the fact that he had been an actual person whose resurrection had been observed by his apostles, so the continuously corporeal and living incarnation of god in the Dalai Lama is the logical conclusion of every incarnation doctrine of salvation. But even when the divine distributor of grace lives on as an incarnation, and especially when he does not linger continuously on earth, certain more tangible means are required for the mass of the adherents, who wish to participate personally in the grace made available by their god. It is these means of grace, exhibiting a wide variety, which exert a decisive influence on the character of the religion.

Of an essentially magical nature is the view that one may incorporate divine power into himself by the physical ingestion of some divine substance, some sacred totemic animal in which a mighty spirit is incarnated, or some host that has been magically transformed into the body of a god. Equally magical is the notion that through participation in certain mysteries one may directly share the nature of the god and therefore be protected against evil powers. This is the case of "sacramental grace."

(I.1.d) Sacramental Grace

Now the means of acquiring these divine grace may take either a magical or a ritualistic form, and in either case they entail, not only belief in the savior or the incarnate living god, but also the existence of human priests or mystery cultists. Moreover, the character of priestly means between the savior and humans depends in considerable extent on whether or not these graces are personal possession, and whether or not the proof of possession of charismatic grace is required. If the proof is required, a religious dispenser who no longer possess such a state of grace, as for example a priest living in mortal sin, cannot legitimately mediate this grace of sacrament. Such a strict consistency in the principle of charismatic dispensation of grace was maintained by the Montanists, Donatists, and in general all those religious communities of Antiquity that based the organization of their church on the principle of prophetic-charismatic leadership. From this standpoint, not every bishop who occupies an institutional office and confess the belief externally, but only those bishop who witnesses internally the prophecy or other gift of the spirit could effectively dispense divine grace. This was at least the case when the dispenser of grace had fallen into mortal sin.

(I.1.e) Institutional Grace

When we leave this requirement, we are dealing with an altogether different notion of the dispensation of grace. Now salvation is brought by the grace which is dispensed on a continuous basis by an institutional community that has either divine or prophetic credentials for its establishment. This type of the dispensation is called "institutional grace." The institution may dispense its grace directly through purely magical sacraments or through its treasuries of the accumulated achievements by officials or virtuosos.

Wherever institutional grace operates consistently, three basic principles are involved. The first is that salvation cannot be received without belonging a particular institution vested with the control of grace. The second principle is that it is not the personal charismatic qualification of the priest but the ordination of succeeded office which determines the effectiveness of the dispensation of divine grace. Third, the personal religious qualification of the priest is altogether a matter of indifference to the institution which has the power to distribute religious grace. That is, salvation is universal; it is accessible to other than the religious virtuosi.

(I.1.f) Catholic Institution

Indeed the religious virtuoso may easily and inevitably fall into spiritual danger to chances of salvation and the genuineness of his religious qualification if he seeks one's special way to God, instead of ultimately trusting the institution of grace. In this dogma, what god requires is the obedience to the institution and its dispensation of grace; it must be the principle in order to distribute salvation for all human beings. The level of personal ethical requirement must therefore be made compatible with average human qualifications, and this in practice means that it will be set quite low. Whoever can achieve more in the ethical standard, namely, the religious virtuoso, may thereby, in addition to insuring his own salvation, accumulate good works for the credit of the institution, which will then dispense them to those in want of good works.

This view is the specific standpoint of the Catholic church and determines its character as an institution of grace, which developed throughout many centuries but has been established since the time of Gregory I (600 AD). In practice, however, the viewpoint of the Catholic church has swung between a more magical and a more ethical and salvational orientation.

(I.1.g) Dispensation and Conduct of Life

The way in which the dispensation of charismatic or of institutional grace influences the actual conduct of life of the adherents depends upon the conditions which are presupposed to the demonstration of the means of grace. Thus there are similarities here to ritualism, to which sacramental and institutional grace accordingly show close affinity. Ethical religiosity is affected in the same direction in yet another respect, which may be of considerable significance: Every type of actual dispensation of grace by a person, regardless of whether its authority is legitimized by personal charismatic gifts or by the office of an institution, has the net effect of weakening the ethical demands upon the individual, just as does ritualism. The dispensation of grace always entails an inner release from the requirement for salvation; it consequently eases the burden of guilt and also weakens the inner development of one's ethical systematization of methodical life, other things being equal. The sinner knows that s/he can always receive absolution by participating in some occasional dispensation. It is particularly important that sins remain individual actions, against which other individual dispensations may be set up as compensations or penances. Hence, not the total personality but concrete single actions are valued. Here lacks the development of the integral habituation of ethical personality, which is always newly formed by asceticism, contemplation, or conscious self-control and its constant demonstration. Further, here lacks the necessity to attain the "certainty of salvation" itself by one's effort, and this category, which is so ethically effective, recedes in background.

(I.1.h) Confessional and Conduct of Life

The constant regulation of an individual's conduct of life by the priest's control of grace, whether father confessor or spiritual director, under certain conditions, is very effective. But, for the reasons just discussed, the regulation is in practice very often cancelled by the circumstance that there is always the grace remaining to be distributed anew. The institution of the confessional, especially when associated with penances, is insignificant in its practical effects of the conduct of life since it implemented variously by practitioners. The general but few specified type of the confession of sin which was particularly characteristic of the Russian church, frequently taking the form of a collective admission of iniquity, was certainly no way to effect any enduring influence over the conduct of life. Also, the confessional practice of the early Lutheran church was undoubtedly ineffective. The catalog of sins and penances in the Hindu sacred scriptures makes no distinction between ritual and ethical sins, and enjoins ritual obedience (or other forms of compliance which are in line with the status interests of the Brahmins, as virtually the sole method of atonement. As a consequence, the conduct of everyday life could be influenced by these religions only in the direction of traditionalism. Indeed, the sacramental grace of the Hindu gurus even further weakened any possibility of ethical influence. The Catholic church in the Occident carried through the Christianization of Western Europe with unparalleled force, by an unexampled system of confessionals and penances, which combined the techniques of Roman law with the Teutonic conception of fiscal expiation. But the effectiveness of this system in developing a rational method of life was quite limited, even apart from the inevitable hazards of a loose system of dispensations. Even so, the influence of the confessional upon conduct is apparent "statistically," as one might say, in the impressive resistance to the two-children-per-family system among pious Catholics, though the limitations upon the power of the Catholic church in France are evident even in this respect.

(I.1.i) Judaism and Ascetic Protestantism

On the other hand, Judaism and ascetic Protestantism know nothing about the confessional and the dispensation of grace by a human or magical sacramental grace. This lack of the confessional and the dispensation, however, exerted a tremendous historical force for the development of an ethical and methodical rationalization of life in both Judaism and ascetic Protestantism, despite their differences in other respects. These religions provide no opportunity for releasing the burden of guilt through the confessional and the institutional grace. Only the Methodists maintained at certain of their meetings, the so-called "assemblage of the dozens," a system of confessional which had even comparable effects, and in that case the effects were in an altogether different direction. From such public confessions of sinfulness there developed the semi-orgiastic penitential practices of the Salvation Army.

(I.1.j) Institutional Authority

Institutional grace, by its very nature, ultimately and notably tends to make obedience a cardinal virtue and a decisive precondition of salvation. This of course entails subjection to authority, either of the institution or of the charismatic personality who distributes grace. In India, for example, the guru may on occasion exercise unlimited authority. In such cases the conduct of life is not systematized from within, radiating out from a center which the individual oneself has attained, but rather is nurtured from the center outside the self. The formation of the conduct of life is not pushed in the direction of ethical systematization, but rather in the reverse direction.

Such external authority, however, certainly created an inner ethic, that is, the elastic adjustment to concrete holy commands to changed external circumstances, though in a direction different from an ethic of heart. An example of this elasticity is provided by the Catholic church of the nineteenth century; the prohibition against usury was in practice not enforced, despite of the eternal validity of the official prohibition on the basis of biblical authority and papal decretals. To be sure, this was not practiced openly by outright invalidation, which would have been impossible, but by an confidential directive from the Vatican office to the confessional priests that thenceforth they should refrain from inquiring during confession concerning infractions of the prohibition against usury, and that they should grant absolution for this infraction as long as it could be presupposed that if the Holy See should ever return to the older position the believers would obediently accept such a reversal. There was a period in France when the clergy agitated for a similar treatment of the problem presented by families having only two children. Thus, the ultimate religious value is pure servant-like obedience to the institution, and not concrete, substantive ethical commandments, nor even the qualification of virtuous ethical capacity achieved through one's own methodical ethical actions. Wherever the institutional authority is carried through consistently, the sole principle of the unified conduct of life is a formal humility of obedience, which like mysticism produces a specific character of "brokenness" in the pious. In this respect, the remark that "freedom of the Catholic consists in being free to obey the Pope" appears to entail universal validity for institutional grace. [111]

(I.2) Salvation By Faith

(I.2.a) Faith and Magic

Salvation, however, may be linked with faith. Insofar as this concept is not identical with submitting to practical norms, it always presupposes some attribution to certain metaphysical truth and some development of "dogmas," the acceptance of which becomes the distinctive hallmark of the belonging of the particular faith. We have already seen that dogmas develop in very different degrees within the various religions. However, some degree of doctrine is the differential mark of prophecy and priestly religion from pure magic. Of course even pure magic requires faith in the magical power of the magician, and, for that matter, first of all, the magician's own faith in himself and his ability. This holds true of every religion, including early Christianity. Thus, Jesus taught his disciples that since they doubted their own ability they could not heal the possessed in demon. [112] Whosoever is completely confident in one's own powers to do a miracle, such faith can move mountains. On the other hand, magic also requires the faith of those who demand a magical miracle, to this very day. So Jesus found himself unable to perform miracles in his birthplace and occasionally in other cities, and "wondered at their disbelief." [113] He repeatedly declared that he was able to heal the crippled and those possessed by demons only through their belief in him and his power. [114] On the other hand, this faith was sublimated in an ethical direction. Thus, because the adulterous woman believed in his power to pardon sins, Jesus was able to forgive her iniquities.

(I.2.b) Faith of Islam and Judaism

On the other hand, religious faith developed into an affirmation of intellectual propositions which were products of rationalization, and this is our primarily concern here. Accordingly, Confucianism, which knows nothing of dogma, is not an ethic of salvation. In ancient Islam and ancient Judaism, religion made no real demands of dogma, requiring only, as primeval religion does everywhere, belief in the power (and hence also in the existence) of its own god, now regarded by it as the "only" god, and in the mission of the prophets. But since both these religions were scriptural (in Islam the Koran was believed to have been divinely created), the contents of the scripture must be always validated as divine inspired. Yet, apart from their cosmological, mythological, and historical narratives, the biblical books of the law and the prophets and the Koran contain primarily practical commandments and do not inherently require intellectual understanding of a definite kind.

(I.2.c) Non-prophetic Faith

Only the non-prophetic religions know faith as mere sacred knowledge. In these religions the priests are still, like the magicians, guardians of mythological and cosmological knowledge; and as sacred bards they are also custodians of the heroic sagas. The Vedic and Confucian ethics attributed full moral qualification to the traditional literary educations obtained through schooling which, by and large, was identical with mere mood-like knowledge. The requirement of intellectual "understanding" is easily transformed to the philosophical or gnostic form of salvation. This transformation, however, produces a tremendous gap between the fully qualified intellectuals and the masses. But even at this point there is still no real, official "dogmatics," only philosophical opinions like more or less orthodox Vedanta or heterodox Sankhya in Hinduism.

(I.2.d) Dogmatic Faith

On the contrary, as a consequence of the increasing intrusion of intellectualism and the growing opposition to it, the Christian churches produced an unexampled mass of official and binding rational dogmas, a theological faith. In practice it is impossible to require both understanding and faith in dogma universally. It is difficult for us today to imagine that a religious community composed principally of small citizens could have thoroughly mastered and really understood the complicated contents of the Epistle to the Romans, for example, yet apparently this must have been the case. This type of faith related to the views of salvation become always current among the group of urban proselytes who were accustomed to meditating on the conditions of salvation and who were to some degree familiar with Jewish and Greek casuistry. Similarly, it is well known that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries broad small citizen circles achieved intellectual mastery over the dogmas of the Synods of Dordrecht and Westminster, and over the many complicated compromise formulae of the Reformation churches. Still, under normal conditions it would be impossible for such intellectual penetration to take place in communal religions without producing one of the following results: all those not belonging to the philosophically knowledgeable (gnosis) would be either excluded from salvation or limited to a lesser-rank of salvation for the non-intellectual pious (pistis).[115] These results occurred in Gnosticism and in the intellectual religions of India.

A controversy raged in early Christianity throughout its first centuries, sometimes openly and sometimes latently, as to whether theological knowledge (gnosis) or simple faith (pistis) is the higher religious quality, providing the sole guarantee of religious salvation. In Islam, the Mu'tazilites held that a person who is a "believer" in the average sense, and not schooled in dogma, is not actually a member of the real community of the faithful. A decisive influence was everywhere exerted on the character of religion by the relationships between the theological intellectuals, who were the virtuosi of religious knowledge, and the pious non-intellectuals, especially the virtuosi of religious asceticism and the virtuosi of religious contemplation, who equally regarded "dead knowledge" as of negligible value in the quest for salvation.

(I.2.e) Explicit and Implicit Faith

Even in the Gospels themselves, the parabolic form of Jesus' message is represented as being purposefully esoteric. If this consequence would not bring an intellectualist aristocracy, religious faith must base itself upon something other than a real understanding and affirmation of a theological system of dogma. As a matter of fact, every prophetic religion has based religious faith upon something other than real understanding of theology, either at the very outset or at a later stage when it has become a communal religion and has formed dogmas. Of course the acceptance of dogmas is always relevant to religious faith, except in the views of ascetics and more especially mystical virtuosi But the personal understanding of dogmas, for which the technical term in Christianity is "explicit faith," was required only to those articles of faith as absolutely essential, in contrast to other dogmas, which were permitted greater latitude. In this point, Protestantism made particularly strict demands upon the dogma, because of its teaching of justification by faith. This was especially, though not exclusively, true of ascetic Protestantism, which regarded the Bible as a codification of divine law. This religious requirement was the main motive for the intensive training of the youth of the Protestant sects and for the establishment of universal public schools like those of the Jewish tradition. This same religious requirement was the underlying reason for the familiarity with the Bible on the part of the Dutch and Anglo-Saxon Pietists and Methodists (in contrast to the conditions in the English public schools, for example), which aroused the amazement of travelers as late as the middle of the nineteenth century. Here, the people's conviction about the definitely dogmatic character of the Bible was underlying reason for the far-reaching demand that each know the tenets of one's own faith.

In contrast, the mass of dogma which is required in a church institution is "implicit faith," that is, a general readiness to submit one's own faith to religious authority. The Catholic church has required this to the greatest possible degree, and indeed continues to do so. But an implicit faith is by no means an actual personal affirmation of dogmas; rather, it is a declaration of reliance on and dedication to a prophet or to an institutional authority. In this way, faith loses its intellectual character.

(I.2.f) Faith of Heart

Religion retains only a secondary interest in intellectual matters as long as religion becomes predominantly ethical and rational. This happens because the mere affirmation of intellectual propositions falls to the lowest stage of faith before the highest, the "ethic of the heart," as Augustine among others maintained. Faith must also take on a quality of inwardness. Personal reliance to a particular god is more than "knowledge" and is therefore called as "faith." This is the case in both the Old and New Testaments. The "faith" of Abraham which was "accounted to righteousness" was no intellectual understanding of dogmas, but a trust upon the promises of God. For both Jesus and Paul, faith held the same central significance. Knowledge and familiarity with dogmas receded far into the background.

(I.2.g) Aristocracy of Dogma

In an institutional church, the requirement of the "explicit faith" is, in practice, limited to priests, preachers, and theologians, all of whom have been trained in dogmatics. Such an aristocracy of those trained and learned in dogmatics arises within every religion that has been systematized into a theology. These persons then claim, in different degrees and with varying measures of success, that they are the real carriers of the religion. The view that the priest must demonstrate his capacity of understanding and faith more than the average human mind is still widely diffused today, particularly among the peasantry. This is only one of the forms in which there comes to expression in religion the "status" qualification through education that is found in every type of bureaucracy, be it political, military, churchly, or private.

(I.2.h) Virtuoso of Faith

But even more fundamental is the aforementioned teaching, found also in the New Testament, of faith as the specific charisma of an extraordinary and purely personal reliance upon god's providence, such as the caregiver and the heroes of faith must possess. By this charismatic confidence in god's support, the spiritual representative and leader of the community, as a virtuoso of faith, may act differently from the layperson in practical situations and bring about different results, far surpassing normal human ability. In the context of practical action, faith can provide a substitute for magical powers.

This anti-rational inner attitude characteristic of religions of unlimited trust in god may occasionally produce an universalistic indifference to obvious practical and reasonable expectation. It frequently produces an unconditional reliance on god's providence, attributing to god alone the consequences of one's own actions, which are interpreted as pleasing to god. In Christianity and in Islam, as well as elsewhere, this anti-rational attitude of faith is sharply opposed to "knowledge," particularly to theological knowledge. Anti-rationality may be manifested in a proud virtuosity of faith, or, when it avoids this danger of arrogant self-deification, it may be manifested in an unconditional religious surrender and a spiritual humility that requires, above all else, the death of intellectual pride. This attitude of unconditional trust played a major role in ancient Christianity, particularly in the case of Jesus and Paul and in the struggles against Greek philosophy, and in modern Christianity, particularly in the antipathies to theology on the part of the mystical spiritualist sects of the seventeenth century in Western Europe and of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Eastern Europe.

(I.2.i) Faith and Intellect

At some point in its development, every genuine religion of faith brings about, directly or indirectly, that "sacrifice of the intellect" in the cause of a super-intellectual, distinctive religious quality of absolute trust and utter confidence which is expressed in the formula "I believe not because of absurd but in spite of it" (credo non quod sed quia absurdum est). The salvation religions of a transcendental god stress, here as everywhere, the inadequacy of the individual's intellectual ability before the exalted state of the divinity. Such limitation of the intellect is altogether different from the Buddhist's renunciation of knowledge concerning the world beyond, which is grounded simply because such knowledge cannot accord with contemplation that alone brings salvation. It is also altogether different in essence from the intellectual skeptic's renunciation of understanding the "meaning" of the world, against which salvation religion must combat more vigorously than the Buddhist form of renunciation of knowledge. Skepticism has been common to the intellectual strata of every period. It is evident in the Greek grave inscription and in the highest artistic productions of the Renaissance, such as the works of Shakespeare; it has found expression in the philosophies of Europe, China, and India, as well as in modern intellectualism.

Deliberate faith in the absurd as well as in triumphant joy is found in the sermons of Jesus over that the charisma of faith has been granted by God to children and unlearned rather than to scholars. This faith typifies the tremendous tension between salvation religion and intellectualism. Nevertheless, this type of religion constantly has to use the intellect to its own purposes. As Christianity became increasingly penetrated by Greek forms of thought, even in Antiquity but far more strongly after the foundation of universities in the Middle Ages, it came to foster intellectualism. The medieval universities were actually centers for the cultivation of logical arguments, created to counterbalance the achievements of the Roman jurists in the service of the competing power of Imperialism.

Every religion of faith presupposes the existence of a personal god, as well as his intermediaries and prophets, in whose favor there must be a renunciation of self-righteousness and intellectual knowledge at some point or other. Consequently, religiosity based on this form of faith is characteristically absent in the Asiatic religions.

(I.2.j) Faith and Mysticism

We have already seen that faith may take very different forms, according to its specific use. To be sure, "salvation" religion of faith by the peaceful strata is not the primordial trust of the warriors in the tremendous power of their own god, which characterizes both ancient Islam and the religion of Yahweh. The salvation religion of faith has a striking similarity to contemplative mysticism in spite of all diversities. This similarity derives from the fact that when the substantive content of salvation is envisaged and striven after as "redemption," there is always at least a tendency for salvation to evolve into a primarily "state" of the "mystic union" with the divine. Indeed, the more the "attitudinal" character of faith is systematized, the more easily the faith may result in direct antinomianism, as occurs in every mystics.

(I.2.k) Faith and Ethic

The great difficulty of establishing a definite relationship between ethical demands and a religion of faith, namely, a genuine salvation religion based on trust-relationship, was already demonstrated by the Pauline letters, and even by certain contradictions in the utterances of Jesus, as those utterances are recorded in the tradition. Paul struggled continually with the immediate consequences of his own views, employing a very complicated manner of deduction. The Marcionite's consistent conclusion of a Pauline salvation by faith fully demonstrated the antinomian consequences of salvation by faith. Normally, salvation by faith does not work easily for an active ethical rationalization of the conduct of life within everyday religion, as it is the natural case for the prophet oneself. Under certain circumstances, salvation by faith can have directly anti-rational effects in concrete cases as well as in principle. A minor illustration of this is found in the resistance of many religious Lutherans to entering into insurance contracts, on the ground that such action would manifest an irreligious distrust of God's providence. The wider importance of this problem lies in the fact that every rational and methodical striving for salvation, every reliance on good works, and above all every effort to surpass normal ethical behavior by ascetic achievement, is regarded by religion of faith as a wicked preoccupation with purely human powers.

(I.2.l) Idea of Vocation

Wherever the conception of salvation by faith has been developed consistently, as in ancient Islam, other-worldly asceticism and especially monasticism have been rejected. As a result, salvation by faith may directly place the religious value upon vocational activity within the world, as actually happened in the case of Lutheran Protestantism. Moreover, religion of faith may also strengthen the motivations for a religiously positive evaluation of vocations within the world, particularly when such religion also devalues the priestly grace of penance and sacrament in favor of the exclusive importance of the personal religious relationship to god. Lutheranism took this stand in principle from its very outset, and strengthened the stand subsequently, after the complete elimination of the confessional. The same effect of the belief in faith upon vocational motivations was particularly evident in the various forms of Pietism, which were given an ascetic cast by Spener and Francke, but which had also been exposed to Quaker and other influences of which they themselves were not too well aware. Moreover, the German word for "vocation" (beruf) is derived from the Lutheran translation of the Bible. The positive evaluation of ethical conduct within one's worldly calling, as the only mode of life acceptable to god, was central in Lutheranism from the very beginning.

(I.2.m) Lutheran Faith

But in Lutheranism, good "works" did not enter into consideration as the real basis for the salvation of the soul, as in Catholicism, nor did good works provide the recognizing basis for the rebirth, as in ascetic Protestantism. Instead, certainty of salvation was derived from the habitual feeling of having found refuge in God's goodness and grace. Hence, Lutheranism remained its attitude toward the world as a "sick conformity" toward the world's orders. In this regard, Lutheranism presents a striking contrast to those religions especially those forms of Protestantism, which required for the assurance of one's salvation either a distinctive methodical conduct of life or a demonstration of good works, such as was known as "effective faith" among the Pietists and as action (amal) among the Muslim Kharijite, and an equally striking contrast to the virtuosi religions of ascetic sects.

Lutheranism lacks any motivation toward revolutionary attitudes in social or political relationships and any rational reformist attitudes toward everyday activity. To assure the possession of salvation by faith in the world or against it, Lutheranism, however, does not require one to attempt a transformation of the world in any rationalized ethical direction. The Lutheran Christian has all that is needful for oneself, if only the word of God is proclaimed pure and clear; the formation of the eternal order of the world and even of the church is a matter of indifference (adiaphoron). To be sure, this emotional character of the obedient faith, which is relatively indifferent to the world, but in contrast to asceticism also "open" to it, was the product of a gradual development. It is difficult for such an emotional religion of faith to create anti-traditionalist, rational conduct of life since it lacks any drive toward the rational control and transformation of the world.

(I.2.n) Faith and Carriers

"Faith," in the form known to the warrior religions of ancient Islam and of Yahwism, took the form of follower's simple trust to the god or to the prophet, along the relationships that originally characterize all humanized gods. The faithful is rewarded and the unfaithful punished by the god. This personal relationship to the god takes on other qualities when the carriers of salvation religion form peaceful communities, and more particularly when they come from the citizen strata. Only then can faith as a means of salvation take a emotional character and develop the sentiment of love for the god or the savior. This development is already appeared in exilic and post-exilic Judaism, [116] and even more strongly in early Christianity, especially in the teachings of Jesus and John. [117] God now appears as a gracious master or father of a household. [118] But it is of course a grave error to see in the paternal quality of the god proclaimed by Jesus an intrusion of non-Semitic religion, on the argument that the gods of the (generally Semitic) desert peoples "create" humankind whereas the Greek deities "beget" it. For the Christian god never thought of begetting humans --the phrase "begotten and not created" (gennhyenta mh poihyenta) is precisely the distinctive doctrine of the Trinitarian, deified, Christ which sets him off from humankind; moreover, even though the Christian god surrounds humankind with superhuman love, he is by no means a tender modern "daddy," but rather a primarily benevolent, yet also wrathful and strict, kingly patriarch, such as was also the Jewish god.

(I.2.o) Emotional Faith

In any case, the emotional religions of faith may be deepened further with the consciousness as the child of god, instead of the ascetic view as merely an instrument of god. The unity of one's conduct of life, thereby, is sought more in the emotional mood and inner reliance upon god, rather than in the consciousness of one's ethical demonstration. This tendency may even further weaken the practical, rational character of the religion. Such an emotional emphasis is suggested by the "language of Canaan" which came to expression with the renaissance of Pietism, that weeping tone of typical Lutheran sermons in Germany which has so often driven strong persons out of the church.

A completely anti-rational effect upon the conduct of life is generally exerted by religions of faith when the relationship to the god or the savior takes the character of passionate devotion, and also a latent or manifest trait of eroticism. This is apparent in the many varieties of love of god in Sufism, in the love songs of mysticism of Bernard and his followers, in the cult of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in other comparable forms of devotionals, and finally in the characteristic manifestations of emotionally suffused Pietism within Lutheranism, such as the movement of Zinzendorf. However, its most striking manifestation occurs in the characteristically Hindu religiosity of love (bhakti) in a radical antithesis to the proud and noble intellectualistic religion of Buddhism from the fifth and sixth centuries, becoming the popular form of salvation religion among the masses of India, particularly in the salvational forms of Vishnuism. In this Hindu religiosity of love, devotion to Krishna, who had been apotheosized from the Mahabharata to the status of a savior, and more especially devotion to the Krishna child, is raised to a state of erotically articulated devotion. This process takes place through the four levels of contemplation: servant love, friendship love, filial or parental love, and, at the highest level, a erotic love, after the fashion of the love of the Krishna's mistresses (gopis). The way of attaining salvation by this devotional religiosity of love is particularly hostile to the concerns of everyday life, as its hostility has always presupposed some degree of sacramental intermediation of grace, by priests, gurus, or gosains. In its practical effects, this religion is a sublimated counterpart of the Shakti religion, which is popular among the lowest social strata in India. The religion of Shakti is a worship of the wives of gods, always very close to the orgiastic religion and frequently involving a cult of erotic orgies. Of course such orgiastic religion is utterly remote from a religion of pure faith, such as Christianity, with its continuous and unshakable trust in God's providence. The erotically colored personal relationship to the savior in Hindu is largely the technical product of the devotional practices; whereas, in marked contrast, the Christian faith in providence is a charisma that must be maintained willfully.

(I.3) Salvation By Predestination

Finally, salvation may be a completely free, inexplicable gift of grace from a god absolutely unsearchable as to his decisions, who is necessarily unchanging because of his omniscience, and utterly beyond the influence of any human behavior. This is the grace of predestination. This conception unconditionally presupposes a transcendental creator god, and is therefore lacking in all ancient and Asiatic religions. Predestination is distinguished from the notion of super-godly fate in warrior and heroic religions, since the providence of predestination is the rational order of God's governing world even though it may appear irrational to human beings. On the other hand, the concept of predestination shouts out the benevolence of god, for he becomes a hard, majestic king. It shares with religions of fate for resulting in nobility and rigor in its devotees. Despite, or rather because the god is absolutely almighty and all-predestined, the complete devaluation of all human powers becomes a prerequisite for one's salvation by god's free grace alone.

(I.3.a) Men of Predestination

Dispassionate and sober ethical humans like Pelagius might believe in the adequacy of their own good works. But among the prophets and persons of faith, predestination forceful energized a drive for rational and religious power, as in the case of Calvin and Muhammad, each of whom convinced that the certainty of one's own mission in the world came not from any personal perfection but from his situation in the world and from god's will. In other cases, for example, Augustine and also Muhammad, the faith in predestination may arise as a result of the necessity for controlling tremendous passions and the experience that this can be accomplished only, if at all, through an acting power from without and above one's own self. Luther, too, reached the faith in predestination during the terribly shaken period after his difficult struggle with sin, but it receded in importance for him after he increasingly accommodated to the world.

(I.3.b) Power of Predestination

Predestination provides the individual of faith with the highest possible degree of certainty of salvation, once s/he has convinced that s/he belongs to the aristocracy of the few who are the chosen. But the individual must find certain symptom by which s/he may determine whether s/he possesses this incomparable charisma, inasmuch as it is impossible for her/him to live on in absolute uncertainty of her/his salvation. Since god has granted to reveal at least some positive commandments for the type of conduct pleasing to him, the symptoms must reside, in this instance as in the case of every religiously active charisma, in the decisive demonstration of the capacity to serve as one of god's instruments in fulfilling his commandments in a persevering and methodical attitude, for one possesses predestined grace either eternally or not at all. However, the predestined person falls repeatedly into an transgression as all sinners do because s/he is a mere creature. Yet the conviction of predestination and preserved grace come from the recognition that, in spite of individual transgressions, god's willed actions flow out of one's inner relationship with God. The relationship with god is lifted up through mystical reception of grace; it is the central and enduring quality of personality.

Hence, in contrast with the expected "logical" consequence of fatalism, the faith in predestination produces in its most consistent followers the strongest possible motives for acting in accordance with god's will. Of course this action takes different forms, depending upon the primary content of the religious prophecy. In the case of the Muslim warriors of the first generation of Islam, the faith in predestination often produced a complete indifference to self, in the cause of fulfillment of the religious commandment of a holy war for the conquest of the world. In the case of the Puritans governed by the Christian ethic, the same faith in predestination often produced ethical rigorism, legalism, and the methodically rationalized conduct of life. Discipline in the faith during wars of religion was the source of the unconquerableness of both the Islamic and Cromwellian cavalries. Similarly, inner-worldly asceticism and the disciplined quest for salvation in a god's willed vocation were the sources of the virtuosity of business characteristic of the Puritans. Every consistent teaching of predestined grace inevitably brought a radical and ultimate devaluation of all magical, sacramental, and institutional dispensations of grace, for the cause of god's sovereign will. The devaluation occurred wherever the doctrine of predestination developed in its full purity and maintained its strength. By far the strongest such devaluation of magical and institutional grace occurred in Puritanism.

(I.3.c) Islamic vs. Puritan Predestination

Islamic predestination knew nothing of the "double decree"; it did not dare attribute to Allah the predestination of some people to hell, but only attributed to him the withdrawal of his grace from some people, a belief which "admitted" human's inadequacy for the grace and inevitable transgression. Moreover, as a warrior religion, Islam had some of the characteristics of the Greek "fate" (moira) in that it developed far less the specifically rational elements of a "world order" and the specific determination of the individual's destiny in the world beyond. The ruling conception was that predestination determined, not the destiny of the individual in the world beyond, but rather the extraordinary events of this world, and above all such questions as whether or not the warrior of the faith would fall in battle. The religious destiny of the individual in the next world was held, at least according to the older view, to be adequately secured by the individual's belief in Allah and the prophets, so that no demonstration of salvation in the conduct of life is needed. Any rational system of ascetic control of everyday life was alien to this warrior religion from the outset, so that in Islam the teaching of predestination manifested its power especially during the wars of faith and the wars of the Mahdi. The teaching of predestination tended to lose its importance whenever Islam became more "civilian," because the teaching has no drive to methodical conduct of everyday life, in contrast to the Puritan doctrine of predestination.

In Puritanism, predestination definitely is concerned with the destiny of the individual in the world beyond, and therefore his assurance of salvation was determined primarily by his ethical demonstration within everyday life. For this reason, the belief in predestination become greater importance in Calvinism as this religion became more "civilian" it had been at the outset. The most characteristic difference between the Puritan and the Islam predestination is found in the relationship with secular rulership. The Puritan belief in predestination was regarded by authorities everywhere as dangerous to the state and as hostile to authority, because it made Puritans skeptical of the legitimacy of all secular power. On the other hand, in Islam the family and following of Umar, who were denounced specifically for their "secular" allegation, were supporters of the predestination, since they expected to see their rulership, which had been established by illegitimate means, legitimized by the predestined will of Allah. Clearly, every use of predestination to determine concrete events in history, rather than one's destiny in the world beyond, immediately causes predestination to lose its ethical, rational character. The belief in predestination practically always had an ascetic effect among the simple warriors or the early Islamic faith, which in the realm of ethics exerted largely external and ritual demands, but the ascetic effects of the Islamic belief in predestination were not rational, and for this reason they were repressed in everyday life. The Islamic belief in predestination easily assumed fatalistic characteristics in the beliefs of the masses, namely, kismet, and for this reason predestination did not eliminate magic from the popular religion.

(I.3.d) Chinese Destiny

Finally, the Chinese patrimonial bureaucracy, in correspondence with the character of its Confucian ethic, considered knowledge of "destiny" as the guarantee of noble attitude. On the other hand, the Confucian notion of "destiny" inevitably entailed fatalistic characteristics in the magical religion of the masses, though in the religion of the educated it assumed approximately a middle position between providence and fate (moira). For just as the moira, together with the courage to endure it, nurtured the heroic pride of warriors, so also did predestination feed the "pharisaical" pride of the heroes of citizenry asceticism.

(I.3.e) Aristocracy of Predestination

But in no other religion was the pride of the aristocracy of predestined salvation so closely associated with the person of a vocation and with the idea that success in rationalized activity demonstrates god's blessing as in Puritanism (and hence in no other religion was the influence of ascetic motivation upon the attitude toward economic activity so strong). Predestination too is a belief of virtuosi, who alone can accept the thought of the everlasting "double decree." But as this doctrine continued to flow into the routine of everyday living and into the religion of the masses, its gloomy severeness became more and more intolerable. Finally, all that remained of it in Occidental ascetic Protestantism was a remains (caput mortuum), the contribution which this doctrine of grace made to the rational capitalistic orientation, namely the concept of the methodical demonstration of vocation in one's economic conduct. The Neo-Calvinism of Kuyper no longer dared to maintain the pure doctrine of predestined grace. Nevertheless, the doctrine was never completely eliminated from Calvinism; it only altered its form. Under all circumstances the determinism of predestination remained an instrument for the greatest possible systematization and centralization of the "ethic of heart." The "total personality," as we would say today, has been provided with the accent of eternal value by "God's election," and not by any individual action of the person in question.

(I.3.f) This-worldly Determinism

There is a non-religious counterpart of this religious evaluation, one based on a worldly determinism. It is that distinctive type of "shame" and, so to speak, godless feeling of sin which characterizes modern secular person precisely because of systematization of the ethic of heart, regardless of its metaphysical basis. Not that one has done a particular deed, but that by one's unalterable qualities, acquired without one's cooperation one "is" such that one could commit the deed --this is the secret anguish borne by modern person, and this is also what the others, in their "Phariseeism" (now turned determinism), blame him for. It is a "merciless" attitude because there is no significant possibility of "forgiveness," "contrition," or "restitution"-- in much the same way that the religious belief in predestination was merciless, but at least it could conceive of some impenetrable divine rationality.


(J.1) Internalization Of Religious Ethic

The more a religion of salvation has been systematized and internalized in the direction of an ethic of heart, the greater becomes its tension toward the reality of the world.

(J.1.a) Ritualistic Religion

This tension between religion and the world appears less and least as a matter of principle, so long as the religion is a simple ritualistic or legalistic kind. In these forms, religions of salvation generally exert the same effects as those of magical ethics. That is to say, such a religion generally assigns inviolable sanction to those conventions received by it, since all the adherents of a particular god are interested in avoiding the wrath of the deity, and hence in punishing any transgression of the norms. Consequently, once an injunction has achieved the status of a divine order, it rises out of the circle of alterable conventions into the rank of sanctity. Henceforth, the sanctions of a religion are regarded, like the order of the cosmos as a whole, as eternally valid norm --only susceptible of interpretation, but not of alteration, unless the god himself reveals a new commandment.

In this stage, the religion exercises a stereotyping effect on the entire realm of legal orders and social conventions, in the same way that symbolism stereotypes certain substantive elements of a culture and prescription of magical taboos stereotypes concrete relationships to human beings and to goods. The sacred books of the Hindus, Muslims, Parsees and Jews, and the classical books of the Chinese treat legal prescriptions in exactly the same manner that they treat ceremonial and ritual norms. The law is sacred law. The rulership of religiously stereotyped law constitutes one of the most significant limitations on the rationalization of the legal order and hence also on the rationalization of the economy.

Conversely, when ethical prophecies have broken through the stereotyped magical or ritual norms, a sudden or a gradual revolution may take place, even in the daily order of human living, and particularly in the realm of economics. It is self-evident, of course, that there are limits to the power of religion in both spheres of stereotyping and breaking through the order. It is by no means true that religion is always the decisive element when it appears in connection with the aforementioned transformation. Furthermore, religion nowhere creates certain economic conditions unless there are also certain possibilities of such an economic transformation. Of course, these power of religious sanction is conditioned by even more powerful drives toward the existing relationships and constellations of interests. It is not possible to state any general formula that will summarize the comparative substantive powers of the various factors involved in such a transformation or will summarize the manner of their "accommodation" to one another.

The needs of economic life make the sacred commandments transformed either through a reinterpretation or their casuistic bypassing. Occasionally the transformation also comes through a simple, practical elimination of religious commandments in the course of the churchly dispensation of penance and grace. One example of this is the elimination of the prohibition against usury within the Catholic church without any express abrogation (foro conscientiae), which would have been impossible. Concerning this issue, we shall have more to say presently because of an important provision. Probably the same process took place in the case of another prohibition of the "birth control practice" (onanismus matrimonialis).

Such ambivalent and implicit religious norms toward new problems and practices inevitably result in parallel existences of absolute unalterable stereotyping on the one hand and extraordinary arbitrariness and utter incalculability of its actual validity on the other. Thus, in the Islamic law (shari'ah), it is virtually impossible to assert what is the practice today in regard to any particular matter. The same double standards arise to all sacred laws and ethical regulations that have a formal ritualistic and casuistic character, above all the Jewish law.

(J.1.b) Ethic of Heart

But the systematization of religious duty in the direction of an "ethic of heart" (Gesinnungsethik) produces a fundamentally different situation. Such systematization breaks through the stereotype of individual norms on behalf of a "meaningful" total relationship of the conduct of life to the goal of religious salvation. Moreover, an ethic of heart does not recognize any "sacred law," but only a "sacred heart" that may sanction different maxims of conduct in different situations, and which is thus elastic and susceptible of accommodation. The more an ethic of heart direct the conduct of life, the more it may bring revolutionary effects from within, instead of exerting a stereotyping effect. But the ethic of heart acquires this power at the price of greatly intensified and internalized problems of life. The inner conflict between the religious postulate and the reality of the world does not diminish, but rather increases indeed. With the growing systematization and rationalization of social relationships and of their substantive contents, the external solutions provided by the doctrine of theodicy are replaced by the struggles of particular autonomous spheres of life against the requirements of religion. The more intensified the religious requirement is, the more the world presents a problem. Let us now clarify this matter by articulating some of the principal conflicts.

Religious ethics penetrate into social orders in very different extents. What is decisive here is not the difference between magical ritual sanctions and religious ethic, but rather its principled attitude toward the world. The more this attitudes is rationally systematized from the religious viewpoint of cosmos, the more its ethical tension with worldly orders become intensified. This is more true, the more the world orders are systematized according to its own law. Here the religious ethic of world-rejection emerges, and by its nature it lacks completely the stereotyping character of the sacred law. Indeed, the tension that this religious ethic brings into the relationship of the world is a strongly dynamic factor of social development.

(J.2) Religious Ethic And Economics

(J.2.a) Religious vs. Family Ethic

As long as a religious ethic simply appropriates the general virtues of life within the world, no discussion is required here. These general virtues naturally include relationships within the family, truthfulness, reliability, and respect for another person's life and property, including wives. But the accentuation of the various virtues is characteristically different in different religions. Confucianism placed a tremendous stress on familial piety, a stress which was motivated by magic belief in ancestor spirit. This familial piety was cultivated in practice by a patriarchal and patrimonial-bureaucratic political organization. Confucius, according to a dictum attributed to him, regarded "insubordination as more reprehensible than brutality," [119] which indicates that he expressly interpreted obedience to family authorities very literally as the distinctive mark of all social and political qualities. The directly opposite attitude toward family is found in those more radical types of communal religion which advocate the dissolution of all family ties: "Whosoever cannot hate his father cannot become a disciple of Jesus." [120]

Another example of the different accentuations of virtues is the stress placed on truthfulness in the Hindu and Zoroastrian ethics, whereas the Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian tradition confines this virtue to judicial testimony. On the other hand, the complete recession of the obligation of veracity in favor of the varied commandments of ceremonious propriety is found in the status ethic of the Confucian Chinese bureaucracy. Zoroastrianism forbids the torture of animals, as a consequence of the founder's campaign against orgiastic religion. Hindu religion goes far beyond any other in absolute prohibition of the killing any living beings (ahimsa), which was grounded on the beliefs in animism and transmigration of soul.

(J.2.b) Religious vs. Neighborly Ethic

The content of every religious ethic which goes beyond particular magical prescriptions and familial piety is primarily determined by two simple motives that condition all everyday behavior beyond the limits of the family, namely, retaliation against offenders and brotherly help-in-need. Both are in a sense compensations: the offender "must be" punished in order to pacify the anger of god; and conversely, the religious brothers and sisters are deserved for help-in-need. It is self-evident in Chinese, Vedic, or Zoroastrian ethics, or in that of the Jews until post-exilic times, that an enemy must be compensated with evil for the evil he has done. Indeed, the entire social order of these societies appears to have rested on just compensation. For this reason and because of its accommodation with the world, the Confucian ethic rejected the idea of love for one's enemy, which in China was partly mystical and partly based on notions of social utility, as being contrary to the reason of the state. The notion of love for one's enemy was accepted by the Jews in their post-exilic ethic, [121] but only in the particular sense of causing their enemies the greater humiliation by the benevolent conduct of the Jews. The post-exilic Jews added above all an important commandment, which Christianity retained, that vengeance is the proper prerogative of God, who will the more certainly execute it the more person refrains from doing so by oneself. [122]

Communal religion demands their fellow adherents the duty of brotherly help-in-need, which already included the bands of kinship, clan and tribe. Stated more correctly, communal religion takes the place of the clan and tribal bands: "Whoever does not leave his own father and mother cannot become a follower of Jesus." [123] This is also the general meaning and context of Jesus' remark that "he came not to bring peace, but the sword." [124] Out of all this grows the commandment of "brotherly love," which is especially characteristic of communal religion, because it carries out most seriously the emancipation from political bands. Even in early Christianity, for example in the doctrine of Clement of Alexandria, brotherly love in its fullest extent was enjoined only within the circle of fellow believers, and not beyond.

Neighborly mutual assistance in work and help-in-need were developed among various social strata, as economic differentiation proceeded. The same process is also reflected in religious ethics at a very early time. The brotherly help-in-need was derived, as we saw, [125] from the neighborhood band. The nearest person helps the neighbor because the person may one day require the neighbor's help in turn. The emergence of the notion of universal love is possible only after political and ethnic communities have become considerably intermixed, and after the gods have been liberated from connection with political bands and become universal powers. Universal love toward the adherents of another religions is more difficult when the other religious communities have become competitors, each proclaiming the uniqueness of its own god. Thus, Buddhist tradition relates that the Jainist monks expressed amazement that the Buddha had commanded his disciples to give food to them as well as to Buddhist monks. [126]

(J.2.c) Alms-Giving

Singers and magicians, the oldest "professionals" who were first liberated from the soil, lived from the bounty of the rich. Consequently, the wealthy who was generous to singers and magicians was praised by them at all times, while the greedy was cursed. However, under the early agricultural economy, the status of noble was honored by the singers and magicians not to the wealthy as such, but to the person of free-giving and hospitable conduct of life, as we shall see later on. [127] Hence, the giving of alms became a universal and primary component of every ethical religion, though the motivation was varied. Jesus occasionally made use of the principle of compensation that god would all the more certainly render compensation to the giver of alms in the world beyond, since it was impossible for the poor to return the generosity in this world. [128] To this motivation, the principle of the solidarity of the faithful was founded, which under certain circumstances might bring the brotherliness to a "communism of love."

In Islam, the giving of alms was one of the five commandments of the faithful. [129] Giving of alms was the "good work" enjoined in ancient Hinduism, [130] in Confucianism, [131] and in early Judaism. [132] In ancient Buddhism, the giving of alms was originally the only activity of the pious layperson that really mattered. Finally, in ancient Christianity, the giving of alms attained almost the dignity of a sacrament, and even in the time of Augustine faith without alms was regarded as unrighteous. [133]

The impoverished Muslim warrior for the faith, the Buddhist monk, and the impoverished fellow believers of ancient Christianity, especially those of the Christian community in Jerusalem, were all dependent on alms, as were the prophets, apostles, and frequently even the priests of salvation religions. In ancient Christianity, and among Christian sects as late as the Quaker community, opportunity of alms-giving and of help-in-need were regarded as a residence requirement and a main economic motive of the maintenance of the religious community and missionary. Hence, when communal religion lost its initial character of alms-giving, the meaning of is transformed to, more or less, a mechanical ritual. Yet, alms-giving remains as a fundamental commandment. In Christianity, even after its expansion, the giving of alms remained so unconditionally necessary for the achievement of salvation by the wealthy that the poor were actually regarded as a distinctive and indispensable "status" within the church.

(J.2.d) Protection of Weak

In the same token, the sick, widows, and orphans were repeatedly described as religiously valuable objects of ethical deeds. The relationships among brothers in the faith came to be characterized by the same expectations which were felt between friends and neighbors, such as the expectations that credit would be extended without interest and that one's children would be taken care of in time of need without any compensation. Many of the secularized associations which have replaced the sects in the United States still make such requirement upon their members. Above all, the poor brother in the faith expects this kind of assistance and generosity from the powerful and from his own master. Indeed, within certain limitations, the power-holders' own interests dictated that he protect his own subordinates and show them generosity, since the security of his own income depended ultimately on their goodwill and cooperation, as long as no rational methods of control existed. On the other hand, every propertyless, especially sacred singer, seeks to gain an opportunity, patronage, and help-in-need from powerful individuals and praise them for their generosity. Wherever patriarchal relationships of power determined the social stratification, especially in the Orient, the prophetic religions were able, in connection with the aforementioned purely practical situation, to create some kind of protectorate of the weak such as women, children, slaves, etc. This is especially true of the Mosaic and Islamic prophetic religion.

This protection can also be extended to relationships between classes. The powerful class's limitless exploitation of the weaker class is typical in pre-capitalist times. The merciless enslavement of debtors and the aggressive accumulation of land holdings, which are in practice identical, meets with considerable social condemnation and religious censure, as being an offense against the solidarity. Similar objections apply to the maximum utilization of one's purchasing power in acquiring consumer goods for the speculative exploitation of the critical condition of those in less favorable positions. On the other hand, the members of the ancient warrior nobility tend to regard as an outsider any person who has risen in the social scale as a result of the acquisition of money. Therefore, the kind of greed just described is everywhere regarded as abominable from the religious point of view. It was so regarded in the Hindu legal books, as well as in ancient Christianity and in Islam. In Judaism, the reaction against such greed led to the creation of the characteristic institution of a jubilee year in which debts were cancelled and slaves liberated, to ameliorate the conditions of one's fellow believers. This institution was subsequently construed as the "sabbatical year," a result of theological casuistry and of a misunderstanding on the part of those pious people whose provenience was purely urban. Every internal systematization of ethic transformed from all these individual demands of the protection of the weak into the distinctive religious ethic of heart: "charity" (caritas).

(J.2.e) Religious Antipathy to Usury

The rejection of usury appears as an outcome of this central religious spirit in almost all ethical regulation of economic life. Such a prohibition against usury is completely lacking, outside of Protestantism, only in the religious ethics which have become a mere accommodation to the world like Confucianism; and in the religious ethics of ancient Babylonia and the Mediterranean region in which the urban citizenry (more particularly the nobility residing in the cities and maintaining economic interests in trade) hindered the development of a consistent ethic of charity. The Hindu books of canonical law prohibit the taking of usury, at least for the two highest castes. Among the Jews, collecting usury from "fellow folks" was prohibited. In Islam and in ancient Christianity, the prohibition against usury at first applied only to brothers in faith, but subsequently became unconditional. It seems probable that the prohibition of usury in Christianity is not original in that religion. Jesus justified the biblical commandment to lend to the unbeliever on the ground that God will not reward the lender in transactions which present no risk. This verse: "Do not expect anything from it," [134] was then misread and mistranslated as: "Do not deprive anybody of hope" in the Vulgate, which resulted in the prohibition of usury. [135] The original basis for the rejection of usury was generally the primitive custom of economic help-in-need, in accordance with which the taking of usury "among brothers" was undoubtedly regarded as a serious breach against the obligation to help-in-need. The fact that the prohibition against usury became increasingly severe in Christianity, under quite different conditions, was due in part to various other motives and factors. The prohibition of usury was not, as the materialist conception of history would represent it, a reflection of the absence of interest on capital under the general conditions of a natural economy. On the contrary, the Christian church and its servants, including the Pope, took interest without any hesitation even in the early Middle Ages, that is, in the very period of a natural economy; even more so, of course, they condoned the taking of interest by others. It is strikingly parallel that the churchly persecution of usurious lending arose and became ever more intense virtually as the actual capitalist commerce and particularly of profit-making enterprise in overseas trade was increasingly developed. What is involved, therefore, is a struggle in principle between ethical rationalization and the process of rationalization in the domain of economics. As we have seen, only in the nineteenth century was the church obliged, under the pressure of certain unalterable facts, to remove the prohibition in the manner we have described previously.

The real reason for religious antipathy toward usury is deeply related to the position of religious ethics toward the autonomy of rational profit-making business as such. Even in early religions, those which otherwise placed a high positive value on the possession of wealth, purely profit-making enterprises were practically always the objects of antipathetic judgment. This antipathy was found not only in predominantly agrarian economies under the influence of warrior nobilities, but rightly in the stage of economy that commercial transactions were already relatively advanced. And indeed religious antipathy arose in conscious protest against such commercial development.

(J.2.f) Antipathy to Rational Economy

First of all, every economic rationalization of trade and business has weakened the traditions upon which the authority of the sacred law primary depended. For this reason alone the pursuit of money, the typical goal of the rational profit-making, is religiously suspect. Consequently, the priesthood favored the maintenance of a natural economy (as was apparently the case in Egypt) wherever the particular economic interests of the temple as a bank for deposit and loans under divine protection did not count much against a natural economy.

In particular, the impersonal and economically rationalized (but for this very reason ethically irrational) character of purely commercial relationships as such evoked the suspicion, never clearly expressed but all the more strongly felt, of ethical religions. For every purely personal relationship of human to person, of whatever sort and even including complete enslavement, can be ethically regulated and may be subjected to ethical requirements. This is true because the structures of these relationships depend upon the subject's goodwill and can make room for the charitable virtues. But this is not the situation of the economically rationalized relationships, where the more economic relationship is rationally differentiated, the less it is personally and ethically regulated. There is no possibility in practice or even in principle, of any charitable regulation of the relationships arising between the holder of a savings and loan bank mortgage and the mortgagee who has obtained a loan from the bank, or between a holder of a federal bond and a citizen taxpayer. Nor can any charitable regulation arise in the relationships between stockholders and factory workers, between tobacco importers and foreign plantation workers, or between industrialists and the miners who have dug from the earth the raw materials used in the plants owned by the industrialists. The growing impersonality of the economy on the basis of rationalization of the market follows its own rules, ignoring of which will result in economic failure and, in the long run, economic ruin.

Rational economic relationship always brings about depersonalization, and it is impossible to control a cosmos of objectively rationalized activities by appealing charity to particular individuals. The rationalized world of capitalism certainly offers no support for any such charitable regulation. The appeal of religious charity is disregard not merely because of the ignoring and weakness of particular individuals, as it happens everywhere, but because charity loses its meaning altogether. Religious ethics has to confront with a world of depersonalized relationships which for fundamental reasons cannot submit to religious norms. Consequently, in a peculiar duality, priesthoods have time and again protected patriarchalism against impersonal business relationships in the interest of traditionalism, whereas prophetic religion has broken up patriarchal social relationships. However, the more the religiosity becomes the matter of principle and opposes to economic rationalism as such, the more the religious virtuosi ends up with an anti-economic rejection of the world.

(J.2.g) Economic Credit and Religion

In reality, of course, the religious ethics have demonstrated diverse positions toward the world because of the inevitable compromises. From of old, religious ethics has been directly utilized for rational economic purposes, especially the purposes of creditors. This was especially true wherever the state of indebtedness legally involved only the person of the debtor, so that the creditor had to appeal to the filial piety of the heirs. An example of this practice is the confinement of the embalmed body of the deceased in Egypt to appeal his descendants the sense of shame of not paying the debts. Another example is the belief in some Asiatic religions that whoever fails to keep a promise, including a promise to repay a loan and especially a promise guaranteed by an oath, would be tortured in the next world and consequently might disturb the quiet of his descendants by evil magic. In the Middle Ages, the credit standing of bishops was particularly high because any breach of obligation on their part, especially of an obligation assumed under oath, might result in their excommunication, which would have ruined a bishop's whole existence. [136] This reminds one of the credit-worthiness of our lieutenants and fraternity students which was similarly upheld by the efficacy of threats to the future career.

(J.2.h) Asceticism vs. Economy

By a peculiar paradox, asceticism actually resulted in the contradictory situation already mentioned on several previous occasions, [137] namely that it was precisely its rationally ascetic character that led to the accumulation of wealth. The cheap labor of ascetic celibates, who underbid the indispensable minimum wage required by married male workers, was the primarily reason for the expansion of monastic businesses in the late Middle Ages. The antipathy of the citizen strata against the monasteries during this period was based on the "low wage" economic competition by the monks. In the same way, the secular education offered by the cloister was able to underbid the education offered by married teachers.

The standpoint of a religion can often be explained on grounds of economic interest. The Byzantine monks were economically makers of icons, and the Chinese monks had an economic interest in the products of their workshops and printing establishments. An extreme example of this kind is provided by the manufacture of alcoholic liquors in modern monasteries, which defies the religious campaign against alcohol. Factors such as these have tended to work against any consistent religious opposition to worldly economic activities. Every organization, and particularly every institutional religion, requires sources of economic power. Indeed, scarcely any doctrine has been attacked by such papal curses, especially at the hands of the greatest financial organizer of the church, the Pope John XXII (1316-34), as the doctrine that Christ requires giving up of property for his true followers,which authorized in the scriptural and was consistently exercised by the Franciscan Spirituals. From the time of Arnold of Brescia (1100-55) and down through the centuries, a whole train of martyrs died for this cause.

(J.2.i) Catholic Economic Life

It is difficult to estimate the practical effect of Catholic's prohibition of usury, and even more difficult to estimate the practical effect of Catholic's doctrine: "No Business person can please God." [138] The prohibitions against usury generated legalistic circumventions of all sorts. After a hard struggle, the church itself was virtually compelled to permit undisguised usury in the charity funds (montes pietatis) when the loans were in the interests of the poor; this became definitively established after the Pope Leo X (1513-21). Furthermore, emergency loans for businesses at fixed rates of interest were privileged to the Jews during the Middle Ages.

We must note, however, that in the Middle Ages fixed interest charges were rare in the entrepreneurial contracts extending business credit to enterprises subject to great risk, especially overseas commerce (credit contracts which in Italy also used the property of trusts). The more usual procedure was actual participation in the risk and profit of an enterprise (commenda, dare ad proficuum de mari), with various limitations and occasionally with a graduated scale such as that provided in the "Pisan Consortium of Usury." [139] Yet the great merchant guilds nevertheless protected themselves against the violation of private usury by expulsion from the guild, boycott, or blacklist --punitive measures comparable to those taken under our stock exchange regulations against violation of contract. The guilds also took care of the member's personal salvation of the souls by providing churches with innumerable testamentary gifts of conscience money or endowments as did the Florentine guild of the bankers and traders (Arte di Calimala).

The laypersons frequently felt a deep discrepancy between the inevitabilities of economic life and the Christian ideal. In any case this ethical separation kept the most pious people and all ethical people far from the occupations of trade and commerce. Above all, time and again it made effect on the ethical devaluation of rational business spirit and impeded its development. The rise of a consistent, systematic, and ethically regulated conduct of life in the economic domain was completely prevented by the medieval institutional church's expedients by grading religious obligations according to religious charisma and ethical vocation and by granting dispensations. (The fact that people with rigorous ethical standards simply could not take up a business career was not altered by the dispensation of indulgences, nor by the extremely lax principles of the Jesuit probabilistic ethics after the Counter-Reformation.) A business career was only possible for those who were lax in their ethical thinking.

(J.2.j) Protestant Asceticism

The inner-worldly asceticism of Protestantism first produced a capitalistic ethics, although unintentionally, for it opened the way to a career in business, especially for the most pious and ethically rigorous people. Above all, Protestantism interpreted success in business as the fruit of a rational conduct of life. Indeed, Protestantism, and especially ascetic Protestantism, confined the prohibition against usury to clear cases of complete selfishness. But by this principle it now denounced unreasonable usury in situations which the Roman church itself had, as a matter of practice, tolerated, for example, in the "charity funds" (montes pietatis), the extension of credit to the poor. It is worthy of note that Catholic business persons and the Jews had long since felt to be weariness the competition of these institutions which lent to the poor. Very different was the Protestant justification of interest as a legitimate form of participation by the provider of capital in the business profits increasing from the money he had lent, especially wherever credit had been extended to the wealthy and powerful --for example, as political credit to the prince. The theoretical justification of this attitude was done by Salmasius (de usuris, 1638).

One of the most notable economic effects of Calvinism was its destruction of the traditional forms of charity. First it eliminated random alms-giving. To be sure, the first steps toward the systematization of charity had been taken with the introduction of fixed rules for the distribution of the bishop's fund in the later medieval church, and with the institution of the medieval hospital --in the same way that the tax for the poor in Islam had rationalized and centralized alms-giving. Yet random alms-giving had still retained a "good work." The innumerable charitable institutions of ethical religions have always led in practice to the creation and direct cultivation of mendicancy, and in any case charitable institutions tended to make of charity a purely ritual gesture, as the fixed number of daily meals in the Byzantine monastic establishment or the official soup days of the Chinese. Calvinism put an end to all this, and especially to any benevolent attitude toward the beggar. For Calvinism held that the inscrutable God possessed good reasons for having distributed the gifts of fortune unequally. It never ceased to stress the notion that a person proved oneself exclusively in one's vocational work. Consequently, begging was explicitly stigmatized as a violation of the commandment to love one's neighbor, in this case the person from whom the beggar solicits.

What is more, all Puritan preachers proceeded from the assumption that the idleness of a person capable of work was inevitably his own fault. But it was felt necessary to organize charity systematically for those incapable of work, such as orphans and cripples, for the greater glory of God. This notion often resulted in such striking phenomena as dressing institutionalized orphans in uniforms reminiscent of fool's clothes and parading them through the streets of Amsterdam to divine services with the greatest possible fanfare. Care for the poor was oriented to the goal of discouraging the lazy. This goal was quite apparent in the social welfare program of the English Puritans, in contrast to the Anglican program. [140] In any case, charity itself became a rationalized "enterprise," and its religious significance was therefore eliminated or even transformed into the opposite significance. This was the situation in consistent ascetic and rationalized religions.

Mystical religions had to take a pathetically opposite path with regard to the rationalization of economics. The pathos of brotherly love in opposition to the loveless realities of the rationalized economic domain led to the requirement of love for one's neighbor until a completely indiscriminate "love for everybody". Such objectless "love" did not inquire into the dignity of the person, or one's capacity of self-help. It quickly gave the shirt when the cloak had been asked for. This was the basis and outcome of mystic's absolute devotion as such. In the final analysis, the individual for whom the mystic makes the sacrifice is unimportant. One's "neighbor" is simply a person whom one happens to encounter along the way; the neighbor has significance only because of her/his need and her/his condition. This results in a distinctively mystical flight from the world which takes the form of self-devotion in objectless love, not for the sake of the person but for the sake of the devotion itself --what Baudelaire has termed "the sacred prostitution of the soul."

(J.3) Religious Ethics And Politics

(J.3.a) Conditions of Religion and Politics

Every religiously grounded universal love and indeed every ethical religion, in similar measure and for similar reasons, must face sharp tensions with the political action. This tension appears as soon as religion has become autonomous from political bands.

(J.3.a.1) Ancient Political Religion

To be sure, the ancient local god of politics, even where he was an ethical and universally powerful god, existed merely for the protection of the political interests of his bands. Even the Christian God is still invoked as a god of war and as a god of our fathers, in much the same way that local gods were invoked in the ancient city-state. One is reminded of the fact that for centuries Christian priests have prayed along the beaches of the North Sea for a "blessing upon the strand" (namely, for numerous shipwrecks). On its part the priesthood generally depended upon the political band, either directly or indirectly. This dependence is so strong that even contemporary churches are supported from governmental pension. At the beginning, the priests were court or patrimonial officials of rulers or landlords, for example, the court Brahman (purohita) of India and the Byzantine court bishops since Constantine (306-337). Or, the priests themselves were either feudal lords exercising secular power (for example, as during the medieval period in the Occident), or noble priestly families. Among the Chinese and Hindus as well as the Jews, the sacred singers, whose compositions were practically everywhere incorporated into the scriptures, sang the praises of heroic death. According to the canonical books of the Brahmins, a heroic death was as much an ideal duty of the Kshatriya caste member at the age when he had "seen the son of his son" as withdrawal from the world into the forests for meditation was an duty of members of the Brahmin caste. Of course, magical religion had no conception of the war of faith. But for magical religion, and even for the ancient religion of Yahweh, political victory and especially vengeance against the enemy constituted the real reward granted by god.

The more the priesthood attempted to organize itself as a independent authority from the political power and the more rationalized its ethic became, the more the original position was shifted. The contradiction within the priestly doctrine, between brotherliness toward fellow adherents and the glorification of war against outsiders, did not as a general rule determine the degradation of martial virtues and heroic qualities. In the old and genuine warrior ethics, a distinction between just and unjust war was unknown; this distinction was a product of pharisaical thought.

(J.3.a.2) Rise of Religious Community

Of far greater importance was the rise of religious community among politically demilitarized and priestly domesticated peoples such as the Jews, and also the rise of peaceful groups who, at least comparatively unmilitary, became increasingly important for the priests' maintenance of their power position wherever they had developed into an independent organization. The priesthood unquestioningly welcomed the characteristic virtues of these classes, namely, simplicity, patience in affliction, humble submission to existing authority, and friendly forgiveness and passivity in the face of injustice, especially since these virtues were useful in establishing the obedience to an ethical god and of the priests themselves. These virtues were also complementary to the special religious virtue of the powerful, namely generous charity, since the patriarchal rulers expected and desired these virtues in those who were under their protection.

The more a religion became "communal," the more did political circumstances contribute to the ethics of religious subjugation. Thus, Jewish prophecy, in a realistic recognition of the external political situation, preached submission to the foreign rulership by the great powers, as a destiny apparently willed by God. The domestication of the masses was assigned to priests by foreign rulers (for the first time systematically by the Persians), and later local rulers followed suit. Moreover the personal and peaceful activity of the priesthood were distinctively affiliated with the religious sensibility of women as shown everywhere. As religion became more popularized, this domestication provided ever stronger grounds for assigning religious value to the essentially feminine virtues of the ruled. However, this priestly organized "slave revolt" of morality was not the only internal force of pacification. In addition, by its own nature, every ascetic, and especially every mystic quest for personal salvation took this direction. Certain typical external situations also contributed to this development, for example, the apparently meaningless changes of limited and temporal small political power structures in contrast to universalistic and relatively unitary social cultures of religions such as that of India. Two other historical processes operating in the opposite direction also contributed to the same development: universal pacification and the elimination of all struggles for power in the great world empires, and particularly the bureaucratization of all political dominion, as in the Roman Empire.

(J.3.a.3) Religious Rejection of Politics

All these factors removed the ground from the political and social interests involved in a military power-struggle and a social status-struggle. Thus they make strong effect on the same direction of an anti-political rejection of the world and on the development of a religious ethic of brotherly love and renunciation of all violence. The power of the apolitical Christian religion of love was not derived from interests in social reform, nor from any such thing as "proletarian instincts," but rather from the complete loss of such social and political interests. The same motivation accounts for the increasing importance of all salvation religions and communal religions from the first and second century of the Roman Imperial period. This transformation was carried out not only by the subjugated classes with their slave revolt in morality but, in particular, by educated strata which had lost interest in politics because they had lost influence or had become disgusted by politics. The educated stratum was the career of specifically anti-political salvation religion.

The altogether universal experience that violence breeds violence, that social or economic power interests may combine with idealistic reforms and even with revolutionary movements, and that the employment of violence against some particular injustice produces as its ultimate result the victory, not of the greater justice, but of the greater power or cleverness, did not remain concealed, at least not from the intellectuals who lacked political interests. This recognition continued to evoke the most radical demands for the ethic of brotherly love, namely, that evil should not be resisted by force, a commandment that is common to Buddhism and to the teaching of Jesus. [141] But the ethic of brotherly love is also characteristic of mystical religions, because their peculiar quest for salvation fosters an attitude of humility and self-surrender as a result of its minimization of activity and its state of incognito in the world as the only proven method for salvation. Indeed, from the purely psychological point of view, mystical religion must necessarily come to the conclusion of non-violence by its acosmistic sentiment of love. Every pure intellectualism bears within itself the possibility of such a mystical development.

On the other hand, inner-worldly asceticism can compromise with the political power order by interpreting them as instruments for the rationalized ethical transformation of the world and for the control of sin. It must be noted, however, that the coexistence is by no means as easy in this case as in the case where economic interests are concerned. For public political activity leads to a far greater surrender of rigorous ethical requirements than by private business activity, since political order must install on the presence of average human qualities, to compromises, to craft, and to the employment of other ethically suspect means and people, and thereby oriented to relativism of all goals. Thus, it is very striking that under the prosperous regime of the Maccabees (2nd BC), after the first intoxication of the war of liberation had been dissipated, [142] there arose among the most pious Jews a party which preferred alien rulership to the national kingdom. This may be compared to the preference found among some Puritan denominations for the subjection of the churches to the rulership of unbelievers, because genuineness of religion can be proven only in such churches. In both these cases two distinct motives were operative. One was that a genuine commitment in religion could be truly demonstrated only in martyrdom; the other was the religious principle that true religious virtue whether uncompromising rational ethic or universal brotherly love, could never be a place within the political apparatus of force. This is one source of the affinity between inner-worldly asceticism and the advocacy of the minimization of state control such as was represented by the free-trade doctrine of the "Manchester school." [143]

(J.3.b) Tension between Religion And Politics

(J.3.b.1) Absence of Conflict

The conflict of ascetic ethics, as well as of the mystically oriented brotherly love, with all political structure of the apparatus of force has produced the most varied types of tension and compromise. Naturally, the tension between religion and politics is least wherever, as in Confucianism, religiosity is the stage of the belief in spirits and magic, and ethics is no more than a prudent accommodation to the world for the educated person.

Nor does any conflict between religion and politics exist wherever, as in Islam, religion makes obligatory the violent propagation of the true prophecy which consciously avoids universal conversion and enjoins the subjugation of unbelievers under the ruling order of the warrior of faith without aiming the salvation of the subjugated. For this is obviously no universalistic salvation religion. The use of violence poses no problem, as god is pleased by the forcible rulership of the faithful over the infidels, who are tolerated once they have been subjugated.

Inner-worldly asceticism reached a similar solution to the problem of the relation between religion and politics wherever, as in radical Calvinism, it represented as God's will the rulership over the sinful world, for the purpose of controlling it, by religious virtuosi belonging to the pure church. This view was fundamental in the theocracy of New England, in practice if not explicitly, though naturally it became involved with compromises of various kinds.

Another instance of the absence of any conflict between religion and politics is to be found in the intellectualistic salvation doctrines of India, such as Buddhism and Jainism, in which every relationship to the world and to action within the world is broken off, and in which the personal exercise of violence as well as resistance to violence is absolutely prohibited and is indeed without any objection.

Mere conflict between concrete demands of a state and concrete religious commandments arises when a religion is the pariah faith of a group who is excluded from political equality but still believes in the religious promise of a divine restoration of its political ruling right. This was the case in Judaism, which never in theory rejected the state and its coercion but, on the contrary, expected in the Messiah their own masterful political ruler, an expectation that was sustained at least until the time of the destruction of the Temple by Hadrian (117-138 AD).

(J.3.b.2) Quaker Experiment

Wherever communal religions have rejected all employment of force as an abomination to god and have sought to require their members' avoidance of all violence, without however reaching the consistent conclusion of absolute flight from the world, the conflict between religion and politics has led either to martyrdom or to passive anti-political rejection of the coercive rulership. History shows that religious anarchism has hitherto been only a short-lived phenomenon, because the intensity of faith which makes it possible is in only a temporal charisma. Yet there have been independent political organizations which were based, not on a purely anarchistic foundation, but on a principle of pacifism. The most important of these was the Quaker state of Pennsylvania (1686-1776), which for two generations actually succeeded, in contrast to all the neighboring colonies, in existing side by side with the Indians, and indeed prospering, without recourse to violence. Such situations continued until the conflicts of the great colonial powers made pacifism a fiction. Finally, the American War of Independence (1776), which was waged in the name of basic principles of Quakerism (though the orthodox Quakers did not participate because of their principle of nonresistance), led to the discrediting of this principle even inwardly. Moreover, the corresponding policy of the tolerant admission of religious dissidents into Pennsylvania brought even the Quakers there to a policy of gerrymandering political wards, which caused them increasing uneasiness and ultimately led them to withdraw from responsibility for the government.

(J.3.b.3) Political Indifference

Typical examples of completely passive indifference to politics, from a variety of motives, are found in such groups as the genuine Mennonites, in most Baptist communities, and in numerous other sects in various places, especially Russia. The absolute renunciation of the use of force by these groups led them into acute conflicts with the political authorities only where military service was demanded of the individuals concerned. Indeed, attitudes toward war, even of religious denominations that did not teach an absolutely anti-political attitude, have varied in particular cases, depending upon whether the wars in question were fought for the freedom of religious belief from the interference of political power or fought for purely political purposes. For these two types attitude toward war, two opposite maxims stood. On the one standpoint, there was the purely passive resistance of political power and the withdrawal from any personal participation in the exercise of violence, climaxing in personal martyrdom. This was of course the standpoint of apolitical mysticism, with its absolute indifference to the world, as well as the pacifist type of inner-worldly asceticism. But even a purely personal religion of faith frequently brought about political indifference and religious martyrdom, inasmuch as it recognized neither a rational order of the outer world pleasing to God, nor a rational rulership of the world desired by God. Thus, Luther completely rejected religious revolutions as well as religious wars.

(J.3.b.4) Justifications of Violence

The other standpoint was that of violent resistance, at least to the employment of force against religious faith. The concept of a religious revolution was consistent most with inner-worldly ascetic rationalism which oriented to the holy orders of God' commandments within the world. Within Christianity this was true in Calvinism, which made it a religious obligation to defend the faith against tyranny by the use of force. It should be added, however, that Calvin taught that this defense might be undertaken only at the initiative of the status authorities, corresponding with the character of an institutional church. The duty of religious revolution for the cause of faith was naturally taught by the religions that engaged in wars of missionary enterprise and by their derivative sects, like the Mahdists and other sects in Islam, including the Sikhs-- a Hindu sect that was originally pacifist but passed under the influence of Islam and became eclectic.

The representatives of the two opposed viewpoints just described sometimes took virtually reverse positions toward a political war that had no religious motivation. Religions that demands ethically rationalized order of the political cosmos had necessarily to take a more fundamentally negative attitude toward purely political wars than those religions that accepted the orders of the world as "given" and relatively indifferent in value. The unconquerable Cromwellian army petitioned Parliament for the abolition of compulsory conscription, on the ground that a Christian should participate only in those wars the justice of which could be affirmed by his own conscience. From this standpoint, the mercenary army might be regarded as a relatively ethical institution, inasmuch as the mercenary would have to settle with God and his conscience as to whether he would take up this calling. The employment of force by the state can have moral sanction only when the force is used for the control of sins, for the glory of God, and for combating religious injustice --in short, only for religious purposes. On the other hand the view of Luther, who absolutely rejected religious wars and revolutions as well as any active resistance, was that only the secular authority, whose domain is untouched by the rational postulates of religion, has the responsibility of determining whether political wars are just or unjust. Hence, the individual subject has no reason to burden his own conscience with this matter if only he gives active obedience to the political authority in this and in all other matters which do not destroy his relationship to God.

(J.3.c) State and Christiantiy

(J.3.c.1) Early Christianity

The position of ancient and medieval Christianity in relation to the state as a whole swung or, more correctly, shifted its center of gravity from one to another of several distinct points of view. At first there was a complete abomination of the existing Roman empire, whose existence until the very end of time was taken for granted in Antiquity by everyone, even Christians. The empire was regarded as the dominion of Anti-Christ. A second view was complete indifference to the state, and hence passive suffering from the use of force, which was deemed to be unrighteous in every case. This, however, entailed fulfillment of all the compulsory obligations imposed by the state, for example the payment of taxes, which did not directly endanger religious salvation. For the true intent of the New Testament verse: "render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's" [144] is not the meaning deduced by modern harmonizing interpretations, namely a positive recognition of the obligation to pay taxes, but rather the reverse: an absolute indifference to all the affairs of this world.

The third standpoint entailed withdrawal from concrete activities of the political community, such as the cult of the emperors, because and insofar as such participation necessarily led to sin. Nevertheless, the state's authority was accorded positive recognition as being somehow ordained by God, even when exercised by unbelievers and even though inherently sinful. It was taught that the state's authority, like all the orders of this world, is an ordained punishment for the sin brought upon human by Adam's fall, which the Christian must obediently take upon one's own self. Finally, the authority of the state, even when exercised by unbelievers, might be evaluated positively, due to our condition of sin, as an indispensable instrument, based upon the divinely implanted natural knowledge of religiously unilluminated heathens, for the social control of reprehensible sins and as a general condition for all earthly existence pleasing to God.

(J.3.c.2) Medieval Christianity

Of these four points of view, the first two mentioned belong primarily to the period of advent expectation, but occasionally they come to the fore even in a later period. As far as the last of the four is concerned, ancient Christianity did not really go beyond it in principle, even after it had been recognized as the state religion. Rather, the great change in the attitude of Christianity toward the state took place in the medieval church. [145] But the problem in which Christianity found itself involved as a result, while not limited to this religion, nevertheless generated a whole complex of difficulties peculiar to Christianity alone, partly from internal religious causes and partly from the conditions of non-religious motives. This critical problems was dealt from the standpoint of so-called "natural law" to religious revelation on the one hand, and the positive relationship to political bands and their activities on the other. We shall discuss again to this matter briefly, both in connection with the types of religious communities and the types of rulership. [146] But the following point may be made here regarding the theoretical solution of these problems as it affects personal ethics: the general schema according to which religion customarily solves the problem of the tension between religious ethics and the non-ethical or unethical requirements of life in the political and economic order of power within the world is to relativize and differentiate ethics into "organic" (as contrasted to "ascetic") ethics of vocation. This holds true whenever a religion is dominant within a political band or occupies a privileged status, and particularly when it becomes a institution of grace.

(J.3.d) Solution by Organic Ethic

(J.3.d.1) Catholic Organic Ethic

Catholic doctrine, as formulated by Aquinas for example, to some degree assumed the view, already common in animistic beliefs regarding souls and the world beyond, that there are purely natural differences among humans, completely independent of any effects of sin, and that these natural differences determine the diversity of status destinies in this world and beyond. This formulation of Catholic doctrine differs from the view found in Stoicism and earliest Christianity of a blissful state of equality of all human beings in the original golden age. [147]

At the same time, however, Aquinas interpreted the power relationships of this world metaphysically. Human beings are condemned --whether as a result of original sin, of an individual causality of karma or of the corruption of the dualistic world-- to suffer violence, toil, pain, hate, and above all differences in class and status position within the world. The various vocations or castes have been providentially ordained, and each of them has been assigned some specific, indispensable task desired by god or determined by the impersonal world order, so that different ethical obligations devolve upon each. The diverse occupations and castes are compared to the constituent portions of an organism in this type of theory. The various relationships of power which emerge in this manner must therefore be regarded as divinely ordained relationships of authority. Accordingly, any revolt or rebellion against them, or even the raising of vital claims other than those corresponding to one's status in society, is reprehensible to god because they are destructive of sacred tradition and are expressions of creaturely self-arrogance and pride. The religious virtuosi, be they of an ascetic or contemplative type, are also assigned their specific task within such an organic order, just as specific functions have been allocated to princes, warriors, judges crafts-persons, and peasants. This vocation to religious virtuosi is intended to produce a treasure of external good works which the institution of grace may thereupon distribute. By submitting oneself to the revealed truth and to the correct sentiment of love, the individual will achieve, and that within the established institutions of the world, happiness in this world and reward in the life to come.

(J.3.d.2) Islamic Viewpoint

For Islam, this organic conception and its entire related problems were much more remote, since Islam rejected universalism, regarding the ideal status rulership of the world and the unbelievers. Accordingly, Islam left the governed peoples entirely to themselves in all matters which were of indifference to the Islamic regulation. It is true that the mystical quest for salvation and ascetic virtuoso religion did conflict with institutional orthodoxy in the Muslim religion. It is also true that Islam did experience conflicts between religious and secular law, which always arise when positive sacred norms of the law have developed. Finally, Islam did have to face certain questions of orthodoxy in the theocratic constitution. But Islam did not confront the ultimate problem of the relationship between religious ethics and secular orders, which is a problem of religion and natural law.

(J.3.d.3) Indian Organic Ethic

On the other hand, the Hindu books of law promulgated an organic, traditionalistic ethic of vocation, similar in structure to medieval Catholicism, only more consistent, and certainly more consistent than the rather poor Lutheran doctrine regarding the churchly, political, and economic status. As we have already seen, [148] the status order in India actually combined a caste ethic with a distinctive doctrine of salvation. That is, it held that an individual's chances of an ever higher status in future incarnations upon earth depend on having fulfilled the duty of one's own caste, be they ever so discriminated socially. This belief had the effect on the affirmation of the social order, in the most radical sense, especially among the lowest castes, which would have most to gain in any transmigration of souls.

On the other hand, the Hindu theodicy would have regarded as absurd the medieval Christian doctrine that the status differences during one's brief span of earthly life will be perpetuated into "eternal" existence in the world beyond, as set forth for example by Beatrice in the Divine Comedy of Dante. Indeed, such a view would have deprived the strict traditionalism of the Hindu organic ethic of vocation since all the hope that the pious Hindu believed depends on the transmigration of souls in the infinite cycles of the future and on the possibility of an ever more elevated form of life upon this earth. Hence, even from the purely religious point of view, the medieval doctrine of the perpetuation of status distinctions into the next world had, a much less degree, the effect on the foundation for the traditional stratification of vocations than did the steel-like anchorage of caste to the altogether different religious promises contained in the doctrine of transmigration of soul.

(J.3.d.4) Medieval Traditionalism of Vocation

The medieval and the Lutheran traditionalistic ethics of vocation, however, rested on increasingly diminishing general presupposition (which both share with the Confucian ethic) that power relationships in both the economic and political spheres are a purely personal character. In these spheres of the execution of justice and particularly in political administration, a whole cosmos of personal relations of subordination is dominated by arbitrariness and grace, anger and love, and most of all by the piety relationship between masters and subjects, after the mode of the family. Thus, these characters of power relationships were applied to the realm of ethical postulate as well as every other purely personal relationship.

Yet as we shall see later, it is quite certain that the "masterless slavery" of the modern propertyless people, and above all the whole realm of the rational institution of the state --"the state of devil" so as abominated by romanticism-- no longer possess this personalistic character. [149] In a personalistic status order it is quite clear that one must act differently toward persons of different status. The only problem that may arise on occasion, even for Thomas Aquinas, is how this is to be accord with the biblical commandment that "not looking to the face of persons" (sine ira et studio). [150] Today, however, the political person (homo politicus), as well as the economic person (homo economicus), performs one's duty best when the one acts without regard to the person in question, without hate and without love, without personal favor and therefore without grace, but utterly in accordance with the impersonal duty of one's vocation, and not as a result of any concrete personal relationship. The person of vocation can fulfill one's responsibility best if s/he acts as closely as possible in accordance with the rational regulations of the modern orders. Modern procedures of justice impose capital punishment upon the malefactor, not out of personal indignation or the need for vengeance, but with complete detachment and for the sake of objective norms and ends, simply for the working out of the rational autonomous lawfulness inherent in justice. This is comparable to the impersonal retribution of karma, in contrast to Yahweh's fervent quest for vengeance. [151]

(J.3.e) Moder State and Religion

The political power struggle has increasingly become objectified to the order of the legal state. But from the point of view of religion, this is merely the most effective camouflage of brutality, for all politics is oriented to the reason of state, the pragmatic and self-purposive sustenance of the external and internal distribution of power. These goals must necessarily seem completely meaningless from the religious point of view. Yet only in this way does the realm of politics acquire a peculiarly rational power of its own, once formulated by Napoleon, which appears as thoroughly alien to every ethic of brotherliness as do the rationalized economic orders.

The accommodation that contemporary churchly ethics is making to this situation need not be discussed in detail here. In general the compromise takes form through reaction to each concrete situation as it arises. Above all, and particularly in the case of Catholicism, the accommodation involves the salvaging of churchly power interests, which have increasingly become objectified into the reason of church, by the employment of the same modern instruments of power employed by secular institutions.

The objectification of the power structure, with the complex of problems produced by its rationalized ethical conditions, has but one psychological equivalent: the vocational ethic of inner-worldly asceticism. An increased tendency toward escape into the irrationalities of apolitical sentiment in different degrees and forms, is one of the actual consequences of the rationalization of coercion, manifesting itself wherever the exercise of power has developed away from the personalistic orientation of heroes and wherever the entire society in question has developed in the direction of a rational "state." Such apolitical sentiment may take the form of a flight into mysticism and an acosmistic ethic of absolute goodness or into the irrationalities of non-religious emotionalism, above all eroticism. However, the sphere of eroticism also enters into strong tensions with religions of salvation. This is particularly true of the most powerful component of eroticism, namely sexual love. For sexual love, along with the "true" or economic interest, and the social and power prestige, is among the most fundamental and universal components of the actual course of interpersonal social action.

(J.4) Religious Ethics And Sexuality

The relationship of religion to sexuality is extraordinarily intimate, though it is partly conscious and partly unconscious, and though it may be indirect as well as direct. We shall focus on a few traits of this relationship that have sociological relevance, leaving out of account as being rather unimportant for our purposes the innumerable relationships of sexuality to magical notions, animistic notions, and symbols.

(J.4.a) Sexual Orgy

In the first place, sexual intoxication is a typical component of the orgy, a primitive religious action of the laity. The function of sexual intoxication may be retained even in relatively systematized religions, in some cases quite directly and by calculation. This is the case in the Shakti religion of India, after the mode of the ancient phallic cults and rites of the various functional gods who control reproduction, whether of human, beast, cattle, or grains of seed. More frequently, however, the erotic orgy appears as an unintentional consequence of ecstasy produced by other orgiastic means, particularly the dance. Among modern sects, this was still the case in the dance orgy of the Khlysty, which occasioned the counter-formation of the Skoptsy sect. As we have seen, [152] then the Skoptsy sect sought to eliminate this erotic byproduct so hostile to asceticism. Various institutions which have often been misinterpreted, as for example temple prostitution, are related to orgiastic cults. [153] In practice, temple prostitution frequently fulfilled the function of a brothel for traveling traders who enjoyed the protection of the sanctuary. [154] The intoxication of the sexual orgy can, as we have seen, [155] be sublimated explicitly or implicitly into erotic love for a god or savior. But the notion that sexual love has a religious worthiness may also emerge from the sexual orgy, from temple prostitution, or from other magical practices. Here we are not interested in this aspect of the matter. Yet there can be no doubt that a considerable portion of the specifically anti-erotic religiosity, both mystical and ascetic, discharges sexually conditioned physiological needs with some form of substitution.

(J.4.b) Religious Hostility to Sexuality

What concerns us in this religious hostility to sexuality is not the neurological relationships, which are still controversial in important aspects, but rather the "meaningful" contexts of this relationship. For this "meaning" which underlies religious antipathy to sex in a given case may produce quite diverse results in actual conduct, even if the neurological factor remains constant. Even these consequences for action are of only partial interest here. The most limited manifestation of the religious antipathy to sexuality is cultic chastity, a temporary abstinence from sexual activity by the priests or participants in the cult prior to the administration of sacraments. A primary reason for such temporary abstinence is usually regard for the norms of taboo which for various magical and demonic reasons control the sexual sphere. The details of this matter do not concern us here.

On the other hand, the enduring abstinence of charismatic priests and religious virtuosi derives primarily from the view that chastity, as a highly extraordinary type of behavior, is a symptom of charismatic qualities and a source of valuable ecstatic abilities, which may be used for the for the magical coercion of the god. Later on, especially in Occidental Christianity, a major reason for priestly celibacy was the necessity that the ethical achievement of the priestly incumbents of churchly office not lag behind that of the ascetic virtuosi, the monks. Another major reason for the celibacy of the clergy was the church's interest in preventing the inheritance of its benefices by the heirs of priests.

In ethical religion, two other meaningful relationships of antipathy to sexuality developed in place of the various types of magical motivation. One was the conception of mysticism that sexual abstinence is the central and indispensable means of the quest for salvation through contemplative withdrawal from the world. For the mystic, the drive of sexuality constitutes the most powerful temptation, which most firmly binds the mystic to the animality of humans. The other meaningful relationship was that of asceticism. Rational ascetic alertness, self-control, and methodical life are threatened the most by the special irrationality of the sexuality, which is ultimately and uniquely insusceptible to rational formation of life. These two motivations have frequently operated together to produce hostility toward sexuality in particular religions. All genuine religious prophecies and all non-prophetic priestly systematists without exception concern themselves with hostility toward sexuality from such motives as we have just discussed.

(J.4.c) Religious Regulation of Sexuality

Systematic priests attempt to eliminate the sexual orgy (the "whoredom" denounced by the Jewish priests), while prophets demonstrate general hostility toward orgies, which we have described already. [156] But an additional effort is made by them to eliminate all free sexual relationships in the interest of the religious regulation and legitimation of "marriage." Such an effort was even made by Muhammad, although in his personal life and in his religious preachments regarding the world beyond he permitted unlimited sexual freedom to the warrior of the faith. It will be recalled that in a chapter (suras) of Koran he ordained a special dispensation regarding the maximum number of wives permitted. [157] As a thoroughgoing result of this sexual regulation, the legal forms of extra-martial love and prostitution are scarcely found in orthodox Islam until now.

Outer-worldly asceticism of the Christian and Hindu types would obviously have been presupposed the rejection of sexual orgy as such. The mystical Hindu prophecies of absolute and contemplative world-flight naturally made the rejection of all sexual relations a prerequisite for complete salvation. But even the Confucian ethic of absolute accommodation to the world viewed irregular eroticism as an inferior irrationality, since it disturbed the inner balance of a gentleman and since woman was viewed as an irrational being difficult to control. Adultery was prohibited in the Mosaic Ten Commandments, in the Hindu sacred law, and even in the relativistic lay ethics of the Hindu monastic prophecies. The prophecy of Jesus, with its demand of absolute and indissoluble monogamy, went beyond all other religions in the limitations imposed upon permissible and legitimate sexuality. [158] In the earliest period of Christianity, adultery and whoredom were almost regarded as the only absolute mortal sins. The monogamy was regarded as the hallmark of the Christian community in the Mediterranean costal area, which had been educated by the Greeks and the Romans as a custom but with free divorce.

(J.4.d) Woman and Religion

Naturally, the various prophets differed widely in their personal attitudes toward woman and her place in the community, depending on the character of their prophecy, especially on the extent to which it corresponds to the distinctively feminine emotionality. The fact that a prophet such as the Buddha was glad to see spiritual women sitting at his feet [159] and the fact that he employed them as propagandists and missionaries, [160] as did Pythagoras, did not necessarily carry over into an evaluation of whole sexuality. A woman might be "sacred," yet entire sexuality would still be considered vessels of sin. Yet, practically all orgiastic and mystic cultist religious propaganda, including that of the cult of Dionysos, effected upon at least a temporary and relative emancipation of women, unless such liberation was blocked by other religious tendencies or by the rejection of hysterical prophetic women, as occurred among the disciples of the Buddha and in ancient Christianity as early as Paul. [161] The admission of women to a monastery was also resisted due to sexual temptation, which assumed extreme forms in such sexual castration as Alfonsus Liguori (1696-1787). Women are accorded the greatest importance in sectarian spiritualist cults, be they hysterical or sacramental, of which there are numerous instances in China. Where women played no role in the missionary of a religion, as was the case in Zoroastrianism and Judaism, the situation was different from the very start.

(J.4.e) Marriage

Legally regulated marriage itself was regarded by both prophetic and priestly ethics, not as an erotic value, but in keeping with the sober view of the so-called "primitive peoples," simply as an economic institution for the production and rearing of children as a labor force and subsequently as carriers of the cult of the dead. This was also the view of the Greek and Roman ethics, and indeed of all ethics the world over which have given thought to the matter. The view expressed in the ancient Hebrew scriptures that the young bridegroom was to be free of political and military obligations for a while so that he might have the joy of his young love was a very rare view. Indeed, not even Judaism made any concessions to sophisticated erotic expression estranged from sexuality's natural consequence of reproduction, as we see in the Old Testament curse upon masturbation, the sin of Onan. [162] Roman Catholicism adopted the same rigorous attitude toward sexuality by rejecting birth control as a mortal sin (coitus interruptus). Of course every inner-worldly asceticism, above all Puritanism, limits the legitimation of sexual life to the rational purpose of reproduction. In mysticism, on the other hand, the anomic and semi-orgiastic consequences, which were caused by their acosmistic sentiment of love, are only occasional deviations from the central hostility toward sexuality.

Finally, the value of normal and legitimate sexual intercourse, and thus the ultimate relationship between religion and biological nature, by prophetic ethics and even priestly rational ethics is still not uniform. Ancient Judaism and Confucianism generally taught that offspring were important. This view, also found in Vedic and Hindu ethics, was based in part on animistic notions and in part on later ideas. All such notions culminated in the direct religious obligation to beget children. In Talmudic Judaism and in Islam, on the other hand, the motivation of the comparable injunction to marry seems to have been based, in part at least, like the exclusion of unmarried ordained clergy from the priestly benefices in the Eastern churches, on the view that sexual drives are absolutely irresistible for the average person, for whom it is better that a legally regulated channel of sexuality be made available.

These standpoint in the inevitability of sexuality corresponds to not only the relativity of lay ethics in the Hindu contemplative religions of salvation, which proscribe adultery for the lay believer (upasakas), but also the ethic of Paul. From mystical motivations which we need not describe here, Paul viewed absolute abstinence as the purely personal charisma of religious virtuosi. The lay ethic of Catholicism also followed this point of view. Further, this was the attitude of Luther, who regarded sexuality within marriage simply as a lesser evil for the avoidance of whoredom. Luther interpreted marriage as a legitimate sin which God was constrained not to notice, so to speak, and which was a consequence of the inevitable lust resulting from original sin. This notion, similar to Muhammad's notion, partly accounts for Luther's relatively weak opposition to monasticism at first. There was to be no sexuality in Jesus' Nation of God, [163] that is, the future nation of the earth, and all official Christian theory strongly rejected the inner emotional value of sexuality as constituting "lust," the result of original sin.

(J.4.f) Rise of Eroticism

Despite the widespread belief that hostility toward sexuality is a special view of Christianity, it must be emphasized that no distinctive religion of salvation had in principle any other view. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is based on the type of social development, in which sexuality itself increasingly underwent in actual life, as a result of the rationalization of the conditions of life. At the era of the peasant, the sexual act is an everyday occurrence; primitive people may indeed enact it before the eyes of onlooking travelers without the slightest feeling of shame. They do not regard sexual act as having any significance beyond the everyday living. The decisive development, from the viewpoint of our problems, is the sublimation of sexuality into "eroticism" on the basis of special sensations, hence generates its own unique values and extraordinariness. The restrictions to sexual intercourse that are increasingly installed by the economic interests of clans and by status conventions are the most important factors of this sublimation. To be sure, sexual relations were never free of religious or economic regulations at any known stage of social development, but originally they were far less surrounded by bonds of convention, which gradually attach themselves to the economic restrictions until they subsequently become major restrictions on sexuality.

The attribution that the origin of "prostitution" was the modern ethical restriction upon sexual relations, is almost always false interpretation. Professional prostitution of both the heterosexual and homosexual types (note the training of lesbian) is found even at the most primitive levels of culture, and everywhere there is some religious, military, or economic restriction upon prostitution. However, the absolute prohibition of prostitution dates only from the end of the fifteenth century. As culture becomes more complex, there is a constantly increasing restriction of sexual life required by the kinship in regard to providing security for the children of a female member, and also in the living standards of young married couples. Thereby another developmental factor becomes more important. That is the rise of increasingly rationalized total existence of human life, which depart from simple organic cycle of penalty existence. This rationalized life has a far strong effect on the relation of ethic, though it is least noticed.

(J.5) Religious Ethic And Art

(J.5.a) Initial Intimacy between Religion and Art

Just as ethical religion, especially of brotherly love, enters into the deepest inner tensions with the strongest irrational power of personal life, namely sexuality, so also does ethical religion enter into a strong tension with the sphere of art. Religion and art are most intimate in the beginning. That religion has been an inexhaustible spring for artistic creation is evident from the existence of idols and icons of every variety, and from the existence of music as a means of ecstasy or of exorcism and apotropaic cultic actions. Religion has stimulated the artistic activities of magicians and sacred bards, as well as the construction of temples and churches (the greatest of artistic productions), together with the creation of religious garments and church vessels of all sorts, the chief objects of the arts and crafts. But the more art becomes an autonomous sphere, which happens as a result of lay education, the more art tends to acquire its own set of constitutive values, which are quite different from ethical religious values

(J.5.b) Rise of Esthetic Intellectualism

Every unreflectively receptive approach to art starts from the significance of the artistic content that may induce formation of a community. But the conscious search for uniquely esthetic values becomes dominant in an intellectualist civilization. This development diminishes those elements in art which are conducive to community formation and are compatible to the quest for religious salvation. However, from the viewpoint of religious salvation, any art which clams to bring esthetic salvation in this world is anti-god. These artistic and anti-ethical salvation is reprehensive for ethical religion as well as true mystic religion. This conflict between art and religion reaches climax in genuine asceticism which views any surrender to esthetic values as a serious breach in the rational systematization of the conduct of life. Furthermore this tension increases with the advance of intellectualism, which switches ethical conduct into esthetic behavior. The rejection of responsibility for ethical judgment and the escape from traditional bound, which come to dominant in intellectualist periods, shift judgments whose intention was originally ethical into an esthetic sense. Typical is the shift from the judgment "reprehensible" to the judgment "in poor taste." But this unappealable subjectivity of all esthetic judgments about human relationships in the cult of estheticism, may well be regarded by genuine religion as one of the most serious type of lovelessness conjoined with cowardice. Clearly there is a sharp contrast between the esthetic attitude and religio-ethical norms, since even when the individual rejects ethical norms s/he nevertheless experiences them humanly in one's own creatureliness. S/he assumes some such norm to be basic for one's own conduct as well as another's conduct in the particular case which s/he is judging. Moreover, it is assumed in principle that the justification and consequences of a religio-ethical norm remain subject to discussion. At all events, the esthetic attitude offers no support to a consistent ethic of brotherliness, which in its turn has a clearly anti-esthetic orientation.

(J.5.c) Prophetic Antipathy of Art

The religious devaluation of art, which usually parallels the religious devaluation of magical, orgiastic, ecstatic, and ritualistic elements in favor of ascetic, spiritualistic, and mystical virtues, is intensified by the rational and literary character of both priestly and lay education in scriptural religions. But above all genuine prophecy exerts an influence hostile to art in two directions. First, prophecy obviously rejects orgiastic practices and usually rejects magic. Thus, the primal Jewish fear of "images and likenesses," which originally had a magical basis, was given a spiritualistic interpretation by Hebrew prophecy and transformed in relation to a concept of an absolute and transcendental god. Second, the tension between the ethical prophecy and art lies somewhere the line of the prophetic view that "the work of human hand is only an illusionary of salvation. The more the god proclaimed by the prophets was conceived as transcendental and sacred, the more insoluble and irreconcilable became this tension between religion and art.

(J.5.d) Religious Interests in Art

On the other hand, religion is continually brought to recognize the undeniable "divinity" of artistic achievement. Mass religion in particular is frequently and directly dependent on "artistic" devices for its drastic effects, and it is inclined to make concessions to the needs of the masses, which everywhere is filled with magic and idolatry. Apart from this, organized mass religions have frequently had connections with art resulting from economic interests, as, for instance, in the case of the commerce of icons by the Byzantine monks, the most decisive opponent of the caesaro-papist Imperial power which was supported by an army that was iconoclastic because it was recruited from the marginal provinces of Islam, still strongly spiritualistic at that time. The imperial power, in turn, attempted to cut off the monks from this source of income, hoping thus to destroy the economic strength of this most dangerous opponent to its rulership over the church.

Subjectively too, there is an easy way back to art from every orgiastic or ritualistic religion of mood, as well as from every mystic religion of love that springs from acosmistic sentiment, despite the heterogeneity of the ultimate meanings involved. Orgiastic religion leads most readily to song and music; ritualistic religion inclines toward the pictorial arts; mystic religions of love favor poetry and music. All experience over the world history shows this relationship: Hindu literature and art, the joyous lyricism of the Sufis, so utterly receptive to the world; the canticles of Francis of Assisi; and the immeasurable influences of religious symbolism, particularly in mystically conditioned mood. Yet particular empirical religions hold basically different attitudes toward art, and even within any one religion diverse attitudes toward art are manifested by different strata, carriers, and structural forms. In their attitudes toward art, prophets differ from mystery cultists and priests, monks from pious laypersons, and mass religions from sects of virtuosi. Sects of ascetic virtuosi are naturally more hostile to art in principle than are sects of mystical virtuosi. But these matters are not our major concern here. At all events, any real inner compromise between the religious and the esthetic attitudes in respect to their ultimate (subjectively intended) meaning is rendered increasingly difficult once the stages of magic and pure ritualism have been left behind.

(J.5.e) Rational Religion's Rejection of Art

In all this, the one important fact for us is the significance of the marked rejection of all distinctively esthetic means by those religions which are rational, in our special sense. These are synagogue Judaism, ancient Christianity, and later on ascetic Protestantism. Their rejection of arts is either a symptom or a device of religion's increasingly rational influence upon the conduct of life. It is perhaps going too far to assert that the second commandment of the Ten Commandments is the decisive foundation of actual Jewish rationalism, as some representatives of influential Jewish reform movements have assumed. But there can be no question at all that the systematic prohibition in devout Jewish and Puritan circles of unrestrained devotion to the distinctive values of art-form has effectively bared the artistic productivity in these circles, and has turned the effect on the intellectual productivity and the development of rational methodical conduct of life.


(K.1) Judaism: World-accommodated

Judaism, in its post-exilic and particularly its Talmudic form, belongs among those religions that are in some sense "accommodated" to the world. Judaism is at least oriented to the world in the sense that it does not "reject the world" as such but only rejects the domination social rank order in the world.

(K.1.a) Absence of Asceticism

We have already made some observations concerning the total sociological characteristic of Judaism. [164] Its religious promises, in the intended meaning of the word, are of this world, and any notions of contemplative or ascetic world-flight are as rare in Judaism as in Chinese religion and in Protestantism. Judaism differs from Puritanism mainly in the relative (as always) absence of systematic asceticism. The ascetic elements of the early Christian religion did not derive from Judaism, but emerged primarily in the heathen Christian communities of the Pauline mission. The observance of the Jewish "law" has as little to do with "asceticism" as the fulfillment of any ritual or tabooistic norms.

Moreover, the relationship of the Jewish religion to both wealth and sexual life is not in the least ascetic, but rather highly naturalistic. For wealth was regarded as a gift of God, and the satisfaction of the sexual impulsion --naturally in the prescribed legal form-- was thought to be so imperative that the Talmud actually regarded a person who had remained unmarried after a certain age as morally suspect. The interpretation of marriage as an economic institution for the production and rearing of children is universal and has nothing specifically Jewish about it. Judaism's strict prohibition of illegitimate sexual intercourse, a prohibition that was highly effective among the pious, was also found in Islam and all other prophetic religions, as well as in Hinduism. Moreover, the majority of ritualistic religions shared with Judaism the periods of abstention from sexual relations for purposes of purification. For these reasons, it is not possible to speak of a specific meaning of sexual asceticism in Judaism. The sexual regulations do not go as far as the Catholic casuistry of the seventeenth century and in any case have analogies in many other casuistic systems of taboo. [165] Nor did Judaism forbid the unrestrained enjoyment of life or even of luxury as such, provided that the positive prohibitions and taboos of the "law" were observed. The denunciation of wealth in the prophetic books, the Psalms, the Wisdom literature, and subsequent writings was evoked by the social injustices which were so frequently perpetrated against fellow Jews in connection with the acquisition of wealth and in violation of the spirit of the Mosaic law. Wealth was also condemned in response to arrogant disregard of the commandments and promises of God and in response to the rise of temptations to laxity in religious observance. To escape the temptations of wealth is not easy, but is for this reason all the more admirable: "Hail to the person of wealth who has been found to be blameless." Moreover, since Judaism possessed no doctrine of predestination and no comparable idea producing the same ethical effects, incessant labor and success in business life could not be regarded or interpreted in the sense of "proving," which appears most strongly among the Calvinist Puritans and which is found to some extent in all ascetic Protestant religions, as shown in John Wesley's remark on this point. [166] Of course a certain tendency to regard success in one's economic activity as a sign of God's grace for obedience is self-evident in the religion of the Jews, as in the religions of the Chinese and the lay Buddhists and generally in every religion that is not the religiosity of world-rejection. This view was especially likely to be manifested by a religion like Judaism, which had before it very specific promises of a transcendental God together with very visible signs of this God's indignation against the people he had chosen. It is clear that any success achieved in one's economic activities while keeping the commandments of God could be, and indeed had to be, interpreted as a sign that one was personally pleased by God. This actually occurred again and again.

(K.1.b) Jewish Economic Ethos

But the situation of the pious Jew engaged in business was altogether different from that of the Puritan, and this difference remained of practical significance for the role of Judaism in the history of the economy. Let us now consider what were the distinctive economic achievements of Judaism in the Middle Ages and in modem times? [167] We can easily list: moneylending, from pawnbroking to the financing of great states; certain types of commodity business, particularly retailing, peddling, and produce trade of a distinctively rural type, certain branches of wholesale business: and trading in securities, above all the brokerage of stocks. To this list of Jewish economic achievements should be added: money-changing; money-forwarding or check-cashing, which normally accompanies money-changing; the financing of state agencies, wars, and the establishment of colonial enterprises; tax-farming (naturally excluding the collection of prohibited taxes such as those directed to the Romans); banking; credit; and the floating of bond issues. But of all these businesses only a few, though some very important ones, display the forms, both legal and economic, characteristic of modern Occidental capitalism (as contrasted to the capitalism of ancient times, the Middle Ages, and the earlier period in Eastern Asia). The distinctively modern legal forms include securities and capitalist associations, but these are not of specifically Jewish provenience. The Jews introduced some of these forms into the Occident, but the forms themselves have perhaps a common Oriental (probably Babylonian) origin, and their influence on the Occident was mediated through Hellenistic and Byzantine sources. In any event they were common to both the Jews and the Arabs. It is even true that the specifically modern forms of these institutions were in part Occidental and medieval creations, with some specifically Germanic infusions of influence. To adduce detailed proof of this here would take us too far afield. However, it can be said by way of example that the Exchange, as a "market of tradesmen," was created not by Jews but by Christian merchants. Again, the particular manner in which medieval legal concepts were adapted to the purposes of rationalized economic enterprise, namely, the way in which the limited partnerships (en commandite), privileged companies of all kinds and finally joint stock corporations were created, [168] was not at all dependent on specifically Jewish influences, no matter how large a part Jews later played in the formation of such rationalized economic enterprises. Finally, it must be noted that the characteristically modern principles of satisfying public and private credit needs first arose on the soil of the medieval city. These medieval legal forms of finance, which were quite non-Jewish in certain respects, were later adapted to the economic needs of modern states and other modern recipients of credit.

Above all, one element particularly characteristic of modern capitalism was strikingly --though not completely-- missing from the extensive list of Jewish economic activities. This was the organization of productional labor in domestic industry and in the factory system. How does one explain the fact that no pious Jew thought of establishing an industry employing pious Jewish workers of the ghetto (as so many pious Puritan entrepreneurs had done with devout Christian workers and crafts-persons) at times when numerous proletarians were present in the ghettos, princely patents and privileges for the establishment of any sort of industry were available for a financial compensation, and areas of industrial activity uncontrolled by guild monopoly were open? Again, how does one explain the fact that no modern and distinctively industrial and propertied citizen of any significance emerged among the Jews to employ the Jewish workers available for home industry, despite the presence of numerous impecunious crafts-person groups at almost the threshold of the modern period?

All over the world, for several millennia, the characteristic forms of the pre-modern capitalist enterprise of wealth have been state-provisioning, tax-farming, the financing of colonies, the establishment of great plantations, trade, and moneylending. One finds Jews involved in just these activities, found at all times and places but especially characteristic of Antiquity, just as Jews are involved in those legal and entrepreneurial forms created by the Middle Ages but not by them. On the other hand, the Jews were altogether absent from the new and distinctive forms of modern capitalism, the rational organization of labor, especially in production and industrial "enterprise." The Jews evinced the ancient and medieval business ethos which had been and remained typical of all genuine traders, whether small businessmen or large-scale moneylenders, in Antiquity, the Far East, India, the Mediterranean costal area, and the Occident of the Middle Ages the will and the wit to employ mercilessly every chance of profit, "for the sake of profit to ride through Hell even if it singes the sails." But this ethos is far from distinctive of modern capitalism, as distinguished from the capitalism of other eras. Precisely the reverse is true. Hence, neither that which is new in the modern economic system nor that which is distinctive of the modern economic ethos is specifically Jewish in origin.

(K.1.c) Double Standards of Morals

The ultimate principle reasons for this fact that the distinctive elements of modern capitalism originated and developed quite apart from the Jews, are to be found in the peculiar character of the Jews as a pariah people and its religiosity. Their religiosity presented purely external difficulties impeding their participation in the organization of industrial labor. The legally and factually precarious position of the Jews hardly permitted continuous and rationalized industrial enterprise with fixed capital, but only trade and above all dealing in money. Also of fundamental importance was the inner ethical situation of the Jews. As a pariah people, they retained the double standard of morals which is characteristic of primordial economic practice in all communities: what is prohibited to "one's brothers" is permitted in relation to strangers. It is unquestionable that the Jewish ethic was thoroughly traditionalistic in demanding of Jews an attitude of "sustenance "toward fellow Jews. Although the rabbis made concessions in these matters even in regard to business transactions with fellow Jews, [169] this amounted merely to concessions to laxity, whereby those who took advantage of them remained far behind the highest standards of Jewish business ethics. In any case, it is certain that such behavior was not the realm in which a Jew had to "demonstrate" his religious qualification.

However, for the Jews the economic relations with strangers, particularly economic relations prohibited in regard to fellow Jews, was an area of ethical indifference. This is of course the primordial economic ethic of all peoples everywhere. That this have remained the Jewish economic ethic was a self-evident fact that in Antiquity the stranger encountered the Jew almost always as an "enemy." All the well-known admonitions of the rabbis enjoining fairness especially toward Gentiles could not change the fact that the religious law prohibited taking usury from fellow Jews but permitted it in transactions with non-Jews. Nor could the rabbinical counsels alter the fact that a lesser degree of exemplary legality was required by the law in dealing with a stranger, namely, an enemy, than in dealing with another Jew, in such a matter as taking advantage of an error made by the other party. [170] In fine, no proof is required to establish that the pariah condition of the Jews, which we have seen resulted from the promises of Yahweh, and the resulting incessant humiliation of the Jews by Gentiles necessarily led to the Jewish people's retaining a different economic morality for its relations with strangers than with fellow Jews.

(K.1.d) Jew, Catholic, and Puritan

Let us summarize the contrasts among Catholics, Jews, and Protestants in regard to economic acquisition.

The devout Catholic disregards or restricts economic acquisition since it violates papal injunctions; economic acquisition could be ignored in the confessional only on the principle of "things standing unchanged," and it could be permissible only on the basis of a lax, probabilistic morality. To a certain extent, therefore, the business life itself had to be regarded as reprehensible or, at best, as not positively pleasing to God.

On the other had, pious Jews conducted economic activities among Christians in the inevitable situations and conditions which if performed among Jews would have been regarded by the Jewish community as unequivocally contrary to the law or at least as suspect to the Jewish tradition. At best economic acquisition was permissible on the basis of a lax interpretation of the Judaic religious law, and then only in relation to strangers. Never were they infused with positive ethical value. Thus, the Jew's economic conduct appeared to be permitted by God, in the absence of any formal contradiction with the religious law of the Jews, but ethically indifferent, in view of such conduct's correspondence with the average evils in the society's economy. This is the basis of whatever factual truth there was in the observations concerning the inferior standard of economic legality among Jews. That God crowned such economic activity with success could be a sign to the Jewish businessman that he had done nothing clearly objectionable or prohibited in this area and that indeed he had held fast to God's commandments in other areas. But it would still have been difficult for the Jew to demonstrate his ethical qualification by characteristically modern economic acquisition.

But this was precisely the case with the pious Puritan who engaged economic profit-making not through any lax interpretations of religious ethic or standards of double moralities, nor through the manner of ethical indifference. On the contrary, the Puritan had to engage economic activities with the best possible conscience, since through one's rationalistic and legal action in business "enterprise" the one was factually objectifying the rational methodology of total conduct of life. The Puritan legitimated one's ethical behavior in one's own eyes, and indeed within the circle of one's religious associates, by the extent to which the absolute --not relativized-- proof of one's economic conduct remained beyond question. No pious Puritan --and this is the crucial point-- could have regarded as pleasing to God any profit derived from usury, exploitation of another's mistake (which was permissible to the Jew), haggling and sharp dealing, or participation in political or colonial exploitation. Quakers and Baptists believed their religious qualification to be demonstrated before all humankind by such practices as their fixed prices and their absolutely reliable business relationships with everyone, unconditionally legal and nothing of greediness. Precisely such practices promoted the irreligious to trade with Puritans rather than with their own kind, and to entrust their money to the trust companies or limited liability enterprises of the Puritans rather than those of their own people --all of which made the Puritans wealthy, even as their business practices may prove their religious qualification before their God.

(K.1.e) Jewish Intellectualism

(K.1.e.1) Jewish Ideal

By contrast, the Jewish law concerning to strangers, which in practice was the pariah law of the Jews, enabled them, notwithstanding innumerable reservations, to engage lax business practice with non-Jews which the Puritans rejected pathetically as the greediness of the trader. Yet the pious Jew could combine such an attitude with strict legality, with complete fulfillment of the law, with all the inwardness of his religion, with the most sacrificial love for his family and community, and indeed with pity and mercy toward all God's creatures. For in view of the laws regarding strangers, Jewish piety never in actual practice regarded the realm of permitted economic behavior as one in which the genuineness of a person's obedience to God's commandments could be demonstrated. The pious Jew never gauged his inner ethical standards by what he regarded as permissible in the economic context. Just as the Confucian ideal of life was the gentleman who had undergone a comprehensive education in ceremonial esthetics and literature and who devoted lifelong study to the classics, so the Jew set up as the ideal of life the scholar learned in the law and its casuistry, the "intellectual" who continuously studied the sacred Scripture and commentaries at the expense of one's business, which was very frequently left to the management of his wife.

(K.1.e.2) Jesus' Opposition

It was this intellectualist and literal character of authentic late Judaism that Jesus opposed against. [171] His opposition was not motivated by "proletarian" instincts, which some have attributed to him, but rather by his type of piety and his way of observing the law, both of which were characteristic to the rural crafts-person or the inhabitant of a small town, and constituted his basic opposition to the virtuosi of legalistic knowledge who had grown up on the soil of the city-state of Jerusalem. Members of such urban legalistic circles asked: "What good can come out of Nazareth?" [172] --The kind of question that might have been posed by any dweller of a metropolis in the classical world. Jesus' knowledge of the law and his observance of it was representative of that average lawful men of practical work, who could not help but let their sheep lie in wells on the Sabbath. [173]

(K.1.e.3) Urban Judaism

On the other hand, the genuine pious Jews' knowledge of the law as well as their legalistic education of the young surpassed both quantitatively and qualitatively the familiarity with the Bible characteristic of the Puritans. The scope of religious law of which knowledge was obligatory for the pious Jew may be compared only with the scope of ritual laws among the Hindus and Persians, but the Jewish law far exceeded these in its inclusion of ethical prescriptions beyond merely ritual and tabooistic norms.

The economic behavior of the Jews simply moved in the direction of least resistance which was permitted them by these legalistic ethical norms. This meant in practice that the "desire of acquisition," which is found in varying degrees in all groups and nations, was here directed primarily to trade with strangers, who were usually regarded as enemies.

Even at the time of Josiah and certainly in the post-exilic period (500-100 BC), the pious Jew was an urban dweller, and the entire Jewish law was oriented to this urban status. Since the orthodox Jew required the services of a ritual slaughterer, he had necessarily to live in a community rather than in isolation. Even today residential gathering is characteristic of orthodox Jews when they are contrasted with reformed Jews, as for example in the United States. Similarly, the Sabbatical year, which in its present form is probably a product of post-exilic urban scholars learned in the law, made it impossible for Jews to carry on systematic intensive cultivation of the land. Even at the present time (1915), German rabbis endeavor to apply the prescription of the Sabbatical year to Zionist colonization in Palestine, which would be ruined thereby. In the age of the Pharisees a "rural" Jew was of second rank, since he did not and could not observe the law strictly. Jewish law also prohibited the participation of Jews in the banquets of the guilds, in fact, all table-community with non-Jews; in Antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages table-community was the indispensable foundation for any kind of civic integration in the surrounding world. On the other hand, the Jewish institution of the "dowry," common to the Orient and based originally on the exclusion of daughters from inheritance, favored the establishing of the Jewish groom at marriage as a small shopkeeper. Traces of this phenomenon are still apparent in the relatively undeveloped "class consciousness" of Jewish shop clerks.

In all dealings with foreigners, as well as fellow folks we have just discussed, the Jew --like the pious Hindu-- was regulated by scruples concerning the Law. Genuine study of the Law could be combined most easily with the occupation of moneylending which requires relatively little continuous labor. [174] Jewish legalism and intellectualist education of the law was the outcome of the Jew's methodology of life and its "rationalism." It is a prescription of the Talmud that "a man must never change a practice." Only in the realm of economic relationships with strangers, and in no other area of life, did tradition leave a sphere of behavior that was relatively indifferent ethically. Indeed, the entire domain of things relevant before God was determined by tradition and the systematic casuistry concerned with its interpretation, rather than determined by rational purposes derived from "natural law" and oriented without further presupposition to methodical action. The "rationalizing" effect of the Jewish fear of God's Law is thoroughly pervasive but entirely indirect.

(K.1.f) Self-control

Self-control --usually accompanied by "watchfulness," steadiness, and calmness-- was found among Confucians, Puritans, Buddhist and other types of monks, Arab leader (sheiks), and Roman senators, as well as among Jews. But the basis and significance of self-control were different in each case. The watchful self-control of the Puritan flowed from the necessity of overcoming all creaturely stimuli to a rational and methodical conduct of life for the interest of the certainty of salvation. The self-control of the Confucian was motivated by the necessity to maintain classically educated gentlemen's propriety and sense of dignity, disesteeming commoner's irrationality. On the other hand, the self-control of the devout Jew of ancient times was a consequence of the preoccupation with the Law in which one's way of thinking had been schooled, and of the necessity of one's continuous concern with the Law's precise fulfillment. The pious Jew's self-control was formed in a conscious coloring and effect upon following tenets: only the Jew possessed this law, for which reason the world persecuted them and imposed degradation upon them; yet this law was binding to all other people as well; and one day, by an act that might come suddenly at any time but that no one could accelerate, God would transform the social structure of the world, creating a messianic realm for those who had remained faithful to His law. The pious Jew knew that innumerable generations had awaited this messianic event, despite all mockery, and were continuing to await it. This produced in the pious Jew a certain "over-wakefulness." But since it remained necessary for the Jew to continue waiting in vain, s/he nurtured one's sense of self-esteem by a meticulous observance of the law for its own sake. Last but not least, the pious Jew had always to stay on guard, never permitting one's self the free expression of emotions against powerful and merciless enemies. This repression was inevitably combined with the aforementioned [175] inevitable effect of the sentiment of "resentment" which derived from Yahweh's promises and the resulting unparalleled sufferings of this people.

(K.1.g) Jewish Rationalism

These circumstances basically determined the rationalism of Judaism, but this is not "asceticism" in our sense. To be sure, there are "ascetic" traits in Judaism, but they are not central. Rather, they are byproducts of the law or products of the peculiar tensions of Jewish piety. In any case, ascetic traits are of secondary importance in Judaism, as are any mystical traits developed within this religion. We need say nothing more here about Jewish mysticism, since neither Kabalaism, Hasidism nor any of its other forms --whatever symptomatic importance they held for Jews-- produced any significant motivations toward practical behavior in the economic sphere.

The Jew's "ascetic" aversion of everything esthetic was originally based on the second commandment of the Ten Commandments, which actually prevented the once well-developed angelology of the Jews from assuming artistic form. But another important cause of aversion to things esthetic is the purely educational and literal character of the worship in the synagogue, even as it was practiced in the Diaspora, long before the destruction of the Temple cult in the 6th century BC. Even at that time, Hebrew prophecy had virtually removed artistic elements from the cult, effectively exterminating orgiastic, orchestral, and dancing activities. It is of interest that Roman religion and Puritanism pursued similar paths in regard to esthetic elements, though for reasons quite different from the Jewish reasons. Thus, among the Jews the plastic arts, painting, and drama lacked those points of development with religion which were elsewhere quite normal. This is the reason for the marked decrease of secular poetry and especially of the erotic sublimation of sexuality, when contrasted with the marked sensuality of the earlier Song of Solomon. The basis of all this is to be found in the naturalism of the Jewish ethical treatment of sexuality.

All these traits of Judaism are characterized by one overall theme: that the silent, faithful, and longing expectation of a redemption from the hellish existence of the life burdened upon the chosen people of God (and definitely chosen, despite their present status) was again and again focused upon the ancient promises and laws of the God. Conversely, it was held --there are corresponding traditions of the rabbis on this point-- that any unrestrained surrender to the artistic or poetic glorification of this world is completely vain and apt to divert the Jews from the ways and purposes of God. Even the purpose of the creation of this world had already on occasion been problematical to the Jews of the later Maccabean period.

(K.1.h) Lack of Asceticism

Above all, what was lacking in Judaism was the decisive hallmark of "inner-worldly asceticism": an integrated relationship to the "world" from the center point of the individual's certainty of salvation, which nurtures all else. Again in this important matter, what was ultimately decisive for Judaism was the pariah character of the religion and the promises of Yahweh. An ascetic control of this world, such as that characteristic of Calvinism, was the very last thing of which a traditionally pious Jew would have thought. He could not think of methodically controlling the present world, which was so chaotic because of Israel's sins, and which could not be set right by any human action but only by some free miracle of God that could not be hastened. The Jew could not take as one's "mission," as the sphere of religious "vocation," the bringing of this world and its very sins under the rational norms of the revealed divine will, for the glory of God and as an identifying mark of one's own "election." The pious Jew had a far more difficult destiny to overcome than did the Puritan, who could be certain of one's election to the world beyond. The individual Jew had to be content with the fact that the world would remain absurd to the promises of God as long as God permitted the world to stand as it is. The Jew had to find contentment if God sent him/her grace and success in his/her dealings with the enemies of his/her people, toward whom s/he must act soberly and legalistically, in fulfillment of the injunctions of the rabbis. This meant acting toward non-Jews in an "objective" manner, without love and without hate, solely in accordance with what was permissible.

The frequent assertion that Judaism required only an external observance of the Law is incorrect. Naturally, that is the average behavior; but the requirements for genuine religious piety stood on a much higher plane. In any case, Judaic law fostered in its adherents a tendency to compare individual actions with each other and to compute the net result of them all. This conception of human's relationship to God as a bookkeeping operation of single good and evil acts with an uncertain total (a conception which may occasionally be found among the Puritans as well) may not have been the dominant official view of Judaism. Yet it was sufficient, together with the double-standard morality of Judaism, to prevent the development within Judaism of a methodical and ascetic orientation to the conduct of life on the scale that such an orientation developed in Puritanism. It is also important that in Judaism, as in Catholicism, the individual's activities in fulfilling particular religious injunctions were indispensable to one's assurance of chances of salvation. However, in both Judaism and Catholicism, God's grace was needed to supplement human inadequacy, although this dependence upon God's grace was not as universally recognized in Judaism as in Catholicism.

The churchly dispensation of grace was much less developed in Judaism, after the decline of the older Palestinian confessional, the Days of Penitence (teshuva), than in Catholicism. In practice, this resulted in the Jew's having a greater religious responsibility for oneself. This responsibility for oneself and the absence of any mediating religious agency necessarily made the Jewish conduct of life more systematic and methodical than the corresponding Catholic conduct of life. Still, the methodical control of life was limited in Judaism by the absence of the distinctively ascetic motivation characteristic of Puritans and by the continued presence of Jewish double-standard morality of unbroken traditionalism. To be sure, there were present in Judaism numerous single stimuli toward practices that might be called ascetic, but the unifying force of a basically ascetic religious motivation was lacking. The highest form of Jewish piety is of religious "mood" and not of active action. How could it be possible for the Jews to install a new rational order upon the world so that they would become the human executor of God's will, when for the Jews this world was thoroughly contradictory, hostile, and --as they had known since the time of Hadrian (117-138 AD) -- impossible to change by human action? This might have been possible for the Jewish freethinker, but not for the pious Jew.

Puritanism always felt its inner similarity to Judaism, but also felt the limits of this similarity. The similarity in principle between Christianity and Judaism, despite all their differences, remained the same for the Puritans as it had been for the Christian followers of Paul.

(K.1.i) Paul's Breakthrough

Both the Puritans and the early Christians always looked upon the Jews as the chosen people of God. But the unexampled activities of Paul had the following significant effects for early Christianity. On the one hand, Paul made the sacred book of the Jews into one of the sacred books of the Christians, and at the beginning the only one. [176] He thereby erected a stout fence against all intrusions of Greek, especially Gnostic, intellectualism. [177] But on the other hand, by the aid of logical argument that only a rabbi could possess, Paul here and there broke through what was most distinctive and effective in the Jewish law, namely the tabooistic norms and the overpowering messianic promises. Since these taboos and promises grounded the whole religious dignity of the Jews to their pariah position, Paul's breakthrough was fateful in its effect. Paul accomplished this breakthrough by interpreting these promises as having been partly fulfilled and partly abolished by the birth of Christ. He triumphantly employed the highly impressive proof that the patriarchs of Israel had lived in accordance with God's will long before the issuance of the Jewish taboos and messianic promises, showing that they found blessedness through faith, which was the surety of God's election. [178]

The consciousness of having escaped the fate of pariah status provided Paul a tremendous release. [179] A Jew could henceforth be a Greek among Greeks as well as a Jew among Jews, and could achieve this within the paradox of faith rather than through an enlightened hostility to faith. This passionate sentiment of liberation brought Paul a dynamic power behind the incomparable missionary labors. [180] Paul was actually free himself from the ancient promises of his God, by placing his faith in the new savior who had believed himself abandoned upon the cross by that very God. [181] Immediate consequence of Paul's breakthrough was the intense hatred of Paul by the Jews of the Diaspora, sufficiently authenticated as fact. Among the other consequences may be mentioned the conflicts and utter uncertainty of the early Christian community; the attempt of James and the "pillar apostles" to establish an "ethical minimum" of the law which would be valid and binding for all, in harmony with Jesus' own layman's understanding of the law; and finally, the open hostility of the Jews against Christians. These consequences flowed from the rending of the sturdy chains that had bound the Jews firmly to their pariah position. In every line that Paul wrote we can feel his overpowering joy at having emerged from the hopeless "slave law" into freedom, through the blood of the Messiah. The overall consequence was the possibility of a Christian world mission.

(K.1.j) Puritanism and Judaism

The Puritans, like Paul, rejected the Talmudic law and even the characteristic ritual laws of the Old Testament, while taking over and considering as binding --for all their elasticity-- various other expressions of God's will witnessed in the Old Testament. As the Puritans took these over, they always conjoined norms derived from the New Testament, even in matters of detail. The Jews who were actually welcomed by Puritan nations, especially the Americans, were not pious orthodox Jews but rather Reformed Jews who had abandoned orthodoxy, Jews such as those of the present time who have been trained in the Educational Alliance, and finally baptized Jews. These groups of Jews were at first welcomed without any disturbance whatsoever and are even now welcomed fairly readily, so that they have been absorbed to the point of the absolute loss of any trace of difference. This situation in Puritan countries contrasts with the situation in Germany, where the Jews remain --even after long generations-- "assimilated Jews." These phenomena clearly manifest the actual affinity of Puritanism to Judaism. Yet precisely the non-Jewish element in Puritanism enabled Puritanism to play its special role in the creation of the modern economic ethos, and also to carry through the aforementioned absorption of Jewish proselytes, which was not accomplished by nations with other than Puritan orientations.

(K.2) Islam: This-worldliness

(K.2.a) Political Religion

Islam, a comparatively late product of Near Eastern monotheism, in which Old Testament and Jewish-Christian elements played a very important role, "accommodated" itself to the world in a sense very different from Judaism. In the first Meccan period of Islam, the advent religion of Muhammad in pietistic urban conventicles which displayed a tendency to withdraw from the world. But since the move in Medina and in the development of the early Islamic communities, the religion was transformed into a national Arabic religion, and above all into status oriented warrior religion. Those followers whose conversion to Islam made possible the decisive success of the Prophet were consistently members of powerful families.

The religious commandments of the holy war were not directed in the first instance to the purpose of conversion. Rather, the primary purpose was war "until they (the followers of alien religions of the book) will humbly pay the poll tax (jizyah)," namely, until Islam should rise to the top of this world's social prestige, by exacting tribute from other religions. This is not the only factor that stamps Islam as the religion of rulers. Military booty is important in the orders, in the promises, and above all in the expectations characterizing particularly the most ancient period of the religion. The ultimate elements of its economic ethic were purely feudal. The most pious adherents of the religion in its first generation became the wealthiest, or more correctly, enriched themselves with military booty --in the widest sense-- more than did other members of the faith.

The role played by wealth accruing from spoils of war and from political conquest in Islam is the most opposite to the role played by wealth in the Puritan religion. The Muslim tradition depicts with pleasure the luxurious clothes, perfume, and meticulous beard hairstyle of the pious. According the tradition, Muhammad said to a rich man who appeared before him in luxury style: "when god blesses a person with prosperity he likes to see the signs thereof visible upon him.". This saying would mean, in our language, that a wealthy person is obligated "to live in keeping with his status." It stands in extreme opposition to any Puritan economic ethic and thoroughly corresponds with feudal conceptions of status. In the Koran, Muhammad is represented as completely rejecting every type of monasticism, [182] though not all asceticism, for he did accord respect to fasting, begging, and penitential mortification. Muhammad's attitude in opposition to celibacy may have sprung from personal motivations similar to those apparent in Luther's famous remarks which are so expressive of his strongly sensual nature; namely, in the conviction, also found in the Talmud, that whoever has not married by a certain age must be a sinner. But we would have to regard as unique among the saints of an ethical "religion of salvation" Muhammad's dictum expressing doubt about the ethical character of a person who has abstained from eating meat for forty days; as well as the reply of a renowned pillar of ancient Islam, celebrated by some as a Mahdi, to the question why he, unlike his father Ali, had used cosmetics for his hair: "In order to be more successful with women."

(K.2.b) No Salvation

Islam was never really a religion of salvation; the ethical concept of "salvation" was actually alien to Islam. The Islamic god was a lord of unlimited power, although merciful, the fulfillment of whose commandments was not beyond human power. All the chief character of Islam is fundamentally political: the elimination of private feuds in the interest of increasing the group's striking power against external foes; the proscription of illegitimate forms of sexual behavior and the regulation of legitimate sexual relations along strongly patriarchal lines (actually creating sexual privileges only for the wealthy, in view of the facility of divorce and the maintenance of concubines with female slaves); the prohibition of "usury"; the prescription of taxes for war; and the injunction to support the poor. Equally political in character is the distinctive religious obligation in Islam, its only required dogma the recognition of Allah as the one god and of Muhammad as his prophet. In addition, there were the obligations to journey to Mecca once during a lifetime, to fast by day during the month of fasting, to attend services once a week, and to observe the obligation of daily prayers. Finally, Islam imposed such requirements for everyday life as the wearing of distinctive clothing (a requirement that even today has important economic consequences whenever naked tribes are converted to Islam) and the avoidance of certain unclean foods, of wine, and of gambling. The restriction against gambling obviously had important consequences for the religion's attitude toward speculative business enterprises. There was no individual quest for salvation or mysticism in ancient Islam. Wealth, power, and honor were the promises of ancient Islam in this world, the promises for soldiers, and even the promise of the world beyond was a soldier's sensual paradise.

(K.2.c) Feudal Ethic

Moreover, the ancient Islamic concept of "sin" was feudal. The depiction of the prophet of Islam as "sinless" is a late theological construction, scarcely consistent with the actual nature of Muhammad's strong sensual passions and his explosions of wrath even very small matter. Indeed, such a picture is strange even to the Koran, just as after Muhammad's move to Medina he lacked any sort of "grievous" sense of sin. The original feudal conception of sin remained dominant in orthodox Islam, for which sin is a composite of ritual impurity, ritual sacrilege (shirk, namely, polytheism), disobedience to the positive commandments of the prophet; and the violation of status dignity by violations of convention or etiquette. Islam displays other characteristics of a distinctively feudal spirit: the obviously unquestioned acceptance of slavery, serfdom, and polygamy; the disesteem for and subjection of women; the essentially ritualistic character of religious obligations; and finally, the great simplicity of religious requirements and the even greater simplicity of the modest ethical requirements.

(K.2.d) Contrast to Judaism and Christianity

Islam was not brought any closer to Judaism and to Christianity in decisive matters by such Islamic developments of theological and juristic casuistry, the appearance of both pietistic and enlightenment schools of philosophy (following the intrusion of Persian Sufism, derived from India), and the formation of the order of Dervishes (still today strongly under Indian influence). Judaism and Christianity were specifically citizen religions, whereas for Islam the city had only political importance. A certain sobriety in the conduct of life might also be produced by the nature of the official cult in Islam and by its sexual and ritual commandments. The petty-citizen stratum was largely the carrier of the Dervish religion, which was disseminated practically everywhere and gradually grew in power, finally surpassing the official churchly religion. This type of religion, with its orgiastic and mystical elements, with its essentially irrational and extraordinary character, and with its official and thoroughly traditionalistic ethic of everyday life, became influential in Islam's missionary enterprise because of its great simplicity. It directed the conduct of life into paths whose effect was plainly opposite to the methodical conduct of life found among Puritans, and indeed, found in every type of asceticism oriented toward the methodical control of the world.

Islam, in contrast to Judaism, lacked the requirement of a comprehensive knowledge of the law and lacked that intellectual training in casuistry which nurtured the" rationalism" of Judaism. The ideal personality of Islam was not the scholar, but the warrior. Moreover, Islam lacked all those promises of a messianic realm upon earth which in Israel were linked with meticulous observances of the law, and which --together with the priestly doctrines of history, election, sin, and dispersion of the Jews-- determined the fateful pariah character of the Jewish religion.

To be sure, there were ascetic sects among the Muslims. Large groups of ancient Islamic warriors were characterized by a trend toward "simplicity"; this prompted them from the outset to oppose the rule of the Umayyads. The latter's merry enjoyment of the world presented the strongest contrast to the rigid discipline of the encampment fortresses in which Umar had concentrated Islamic warriors in the conquered domains; in their stead there now arose a feudal aristocracy. But this was the asceticism of a military league, of a martial order of knights, not of monks. Certainly it was not a citizenry ascetic systematization of the conduct of life. Moreover, it was effective only periodically, and even then it tended to merge into fatalism. We have already spoken of the quite different effect which is engendered in such circumstances by a belief in providence. [183] Islam was diverted completely from any genuine methodical conduct of life by the advent of the cult of saints, and finally by magic.

(K.3) Buddhism: World-rejection

(K.3.a) Genuine Religion of Salvation

At the opposite extreme from economic ethics of this-worldly religion stands the ultimate ethic of world-rejection, the mystical illuminative concentration of original ancient Buddhism (naturally not the completely transformed Buddhism adopted in Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese folk religions). Even this most world-rejecting ethic is "rational," in the sense that it produces a constant self-control of all natural instinctive drives, though for purposes entirely different from those of inner-worldly asceticism. Salvation is sought, not from sin and suffering alone, but also from transitoriness as such; escape from the "wheel" of karma-causality into eternal rest is the goal pursued. This search is, and can only be, the highly individualized achievement of a particular person. There is no predestination, no divine grace, no prayer, and no religious service. The karma-causality of the cosmic mechanism of compensation automatically rewards or punishes all single good or evil deeds. This retribution is always proportional, and hence always limited in time. So long as the individual is driven to action by the thirst for life, he must experience in full measure the fruits of his behavior in ever-new human existences. Whether his momentary situation is animal, heavenly, or hellish, he necessarily creates new chances for himself in the future. The most noble enthusiasm and the most sordid sensuality lead equally into new existence in this chain of individuation (it is quite incorrect to term this process "transmigration of souls," since Buddhist metaphysics knows nothing of a soul). This cycle of individuation continues on as long as the "thirst" for life, in this world or in the world beyond, is not absolutely extinguished. The process is but perpetuated by the individual's powerless struggle for his personal existence with all its illusions, above all the illusion of an unified soul or "personality."

All end-rational action and every connection with worldly interests leads away from salvation , except the inner activity of concentrated contemplation which empties the soul of the thirst for life. The achievement of salvation is possible for only a few, even of those who have resolved to live in propertyless, celibacy, and unemployment (for labor is end-oriented action), and hence in begging. These chosen few are required to wander ceaselessly --except at the time of the heavy rains-- freed from all personal ties to family and world, pursuing the goal of mystical illumination by fulfilling the commandments of the correct path (dharma). When such salvation is gained, the deep joy and tender, undifferentiated love characterizing such illumination provides the highest blessing possible in this existence, short of absorption into the eternal dreamless sleep (nirvana), the only state in which no change occurs. All other human beings may improve their situations in future existences by approximating the prescriptions of the rule of life and by avoiding major sins in this existence. Such future existences are inevitable, according to the karma teaching of causality, because the ethical account has not been straightened out, the thirst for life has not been "overcome," so to speak. For most people, therefore, some new individuation is inevitable when the present life has ended, and truly eternal salvation remains inaccessible.

There is no path leading from this only really consistent position of world-flight to any economic ethic or to any rational social ethic. The universal "sentiment of empathy," extending to all creatures, cannot be the carrier of any rational behavior and in fact leads away from it. This sentiment of empathy is the rational consequence of contemplative mysticism's position regarding the solidarity of all living, and hence transitory, beings. This solidarity follows from the common karma-causality which overarches all living beings. In Buddhism, the psychological basis for this universal empathy is the mystical, euphoric, and universal love.

Buddhism is the most consistent doctrine of salvation produced by the intellectualism of noble lay educated Indian strata. Its cool and proud emancipation of the individual from life as such, which in effect stood the individual on one's own feet, could never become a mass religion of salvation. Buddhism's influence beyond the circle of the educated was due to the tremendous prestige traditionally enjoyed by the "ascetic" (shramana), who possessed magical and idolatrous charisma. As soon as Buddhism became a missionizing "folk religion," it accordingly transformed itself into a savior religion based on karma compensation, with hopes for the world beyond guaranteed by devotional techniques, cultic and sacramental grace, and deeds of mercy. Naturally, Buddhism also tended to accept purely magical notions.

(K.3.b) Transformation of Buddhism

In India itself, Buddhism was taken place, among the upper strata, by a renewed philosophy of salvation based on the Vedas; and it met competition from Hinduistic salvation religions, especially the various forms of Vishnuism, from Tantristic magic, and from orgiastic mystery religions, notably the bhakti piety (love of god). In Tibet, Buddhism became the purely monastic religion of a theocracy which controlled the laity by churchly powers of a thoroughly magical character. In East Asia, original Buddhism underwent striking transformation as it competed and entered into diverse combinations with Chinese Taoism, thus, which was specifically concerned with this world and the ancestral cult and which become a typical mass religion of grace and salvation.

At all events, no motivation toward a rational system for the methodical control of life flowed from Buddhist, Taoist, or Hindu piety. Hindu piety in particular, as we have already discussed, [184] maintained the strongest possible power of tradition, since the presuppositions of Hinduism constituted the most consistent religious solution in the "organic" view of society. The existing order of the world was provided absolutely unconditional justification, in terms of the mechanical operation of a proportional retribution in the distribution of power and happiness to individuals on the basis of their merits and failures in their earlier existences.

All these folk religiosity of Asia left room for the "acquisitive drive" of the tradesman, the interest in "sustenance" of the crafts-person, and the traditionalism of the peasant. These religiosity also left undisturbed both philosophical speculation and the conventional status-oriented life styles of privileged strata. These status-oriented life style of the privileged displayed feudal character in Japan; patrimonial-bureaucratic, and hence strongly utilitarian features in China; and a mixture of knightly, patrimonial, and intellectualistic traits in India. None of these religiosity of Asia, however, provided the motives or orientations for a rational and ethical transformation of a creaturely world in accordance with divine commandments. Rather, they all accepted this world as eternally given, and so the best of all possible worlds. The only choice open to the sages, who possessed the highest type of piety, was whether to accommodate themselves to the impersonal order of the world (Tao) as the only thing specifically divine, or to save themselves by own achievement from the inexorable chain of causality and enter into the only eternal being of the dreamless sleep (Nirvana).

(K.4) Capitalism And Religion

"Capitalism" existed among all these religiosity, of the same kind as in Occidental Antiquity and the medieval period. But there was no development toward modern capitalism, nor even any stirrings in that direction. Above all, there developed no "capitalist spirit," in the sense that is distinctive of ascetic Protestantism. But to assume that the Hindu, Chinese, or Muslim merchant, trader, crafts-person, or coolie had a weaker "acquisitive drive" than the ascetic Protestant is to fly in the face of the facts. Indeed, the reverse is true, for what is distinctive of Puritanism is the rational and ethical limitation of the "making-profit." There is no proof whatever that a weaker natural "endowment" for technical economic "rationalism" was responsible for the actual difference in this respect. At the present time, all these people import this "commodity" as the most important Occidental product, and whatever impediments exist result from rigid traditions, such as existed among us in the Middle Ages, not from any lack of ability or will. Such impediments to rational economic development must be sought primarily in the domain of religion, insofar as they must not be located in the purely political conditions, the inner structures of rulership, with which we shall deal later. [185]

Only ascetic Protestantism completely eliminated magic and the outer-worldly quest for salvation, of which the highest form was intellectualist, contemplative "illumination." It alone created the religious motivations for seeking salvation primarily through the devotion in one's worldly "vocation." This Protestant concept of the methodically rationalized fulfillment of one's vocation was contrary opposite to Hinduism's strongly traditionalistic concept of vocations. For the various folk religiosity of Asia, in contrast to ascetic Protestantism, the world remained a great magical garden, in which the reverence and coercion of "spirits" and the quest of salvation in this world or the next through ritual, idolatrous, or sacramental means were in practice oriented and secured. No path led to a rational, methodical conduct of life from the world accommodation of Confucianism, from the messianic expectations and economic pariah law of Judaism, from the world-conquest of Islam, from the world-rejection of Buddhism, or from the magical religiosity of the non-intellectual strata of Asia.

(K.5) Jesus: World-indifference

(K.5.a) Jesus's Self-Consciousness

The second great religion of "world-rejection," in our special sense of the term, was early Christianity, at the cradle of which magic and belief in demons were also present. Its Savior was primarily a magician whose magical charisma was an indispensable source of his unique self-consciousness. The distinctive character of early Christianity, however, was decisively conditioned by the absolutely unique religious promises of Judaism. It will be recalled that Jesus appeared during the period of the most intensive messianic expectations. Still another factor contributing to the distinctive message of Christianity was its reaction to the most highly developed education of scriptural intellectualism of Jewish piety. The Christian evangel arose in opposition to this intellectualism, as a non-intellectual's proclamation directed to non-intellectuals, the "poor in spirit." [186] Jesus understood and interpreted the "law," from which he did not remove even a letter, [187] in a manner common to the lowly and unlearned pious people of the countryside and the small towns. The pious people of the countryside understood the Law in their own way and in accordance with the needs of their own occupations, in contrast to the Hellenized, wealthy and upper-class people and to the scriptural scholars and Pharisees trained in casuistry. Jesus' interpretation of the Jewish law was milder than theirs in regard to ritual prescriptions, particularly in regard to the keeping of the Sabbath, [188] but stricter than theirs in other respects, for example, in regard to the grounds for divorce. [189] There already appears to have been an anticipation of the Pauline view that the requirements of the Mosaic law were conditioned by the sinfulness of the false piety. [190] There were, in any case, instances in which Jesus squarely opposed specific injunctions of the ancient tradition. [191]

Jesus' distinctive self-consciousness did not come from anything like a "proletarian instinct" but from the knowledge that he was oneness with God and the way of God is through him alone. [192] His self-dignity was grounded in the fact that he, the non-scholar, possessed both the charisma to control demons and a powerful preaching ability, both of which no scholar or Pharisee can command. [193] Jesus experienced that his power to cast out demons was operative only among the people who believed in him, even if they be heathens, but none of those among in his home town, his own family, the wealthy and nobles of the land, the scholars, and the Pharisees did he find the faith that gave him his magical power to work miracles. [194] He did find such a faith among the poor and the oppressed, among publicans and sinners, and even among Roman soldiers. [195] These charismatic powers were the absolutely decisive components in Jesus' consciousness concerning his messiahship. And disbelief in these powers were the fundamental issue in his "denunciation" of the Galilean cities and in his angry curse upon the fruitless fig tree. [196] His dignity about his own powers also explains why the election of Israel became ever more problematical to him and the importance of the Temple ever more dubious, while the rejection of the Pharisees and the scholars became increasingly certain to him. [197]

(K.5.b) Salvational Heroism

Jesus recognized two absolutely mortal sins. One was the "sin against the spirit" committed by the scriptural scholar who disregarded charisma and its bearers. [198] The other was unbrotherly arrogance, such as the arrogance of the intellectual toward the poor in spirit, when the intellectual throws at his brother the exclamation "Fool!" [199] This anti-intellectualist rejection of scholarly arrogance and of Hellenic and rabbinic wisdom is the only "status" and most distinctive element of Jesus' message. In general, Jesus' message is far from for everyone and all the weak. [200] To be sure, the yoke is light, [201] but only for those who can once again become as little children. [202] In truth, Jesus set up the most tremendous requirements for salvation; his teaching is really aristocratic. [203]

Nothing was far from Jesus' teaching than the notion of the universalism of the grace of God. On the contrary, he directed his whole teaching against this notion. Few are chosen to pass through the narrow gate, to repent and to believe in Jesus [204]; others were hardened by God Himself. [205] It is naturally the proud and the rich who are most overtaken by this destiny. Of course this element is not new, since it can be found in the older prophecies. [206] The older Jewish prophets had taught that, in view of the arrogant behavior of the highly placed, the Messiah would be a king who would enter Jerusalem upon the ass of burden used by the poor. [207] This implies no "social equalitarianism." Jesus lodged with the wealthy, which was ritually reprehensible in the eyes of the virtuosi of the law, [208] and he expressly commanded to the rich young man give away his all wealth if he wanted to be "perfect," namely, a disciple. [209] This commandment certainly presupposes complete emancipation from all ties of the world, from family as well as possessions, such as we find in the teachings of the Buddha and similar prophets. [210] Yet, although all things are possible for God, continued attachment to "wealth" (Mammon) constitutes one of the most difficult impediments to salvation into the Nation of God. For attachment to Mammon diverts the individual from religious salvation, the most important thing in the world. [211]

Jesus nowhere explicitly states that preoccupation with wealth leads to unbrotherliness, but this notion is at the heart of the matter, for the prescribed commandments definitely contain the primordial ethic of mutual help which is characteristic of neighborhood community of poorer people. The chief difference is that in Jesus' message acts of mutual help have been systematized into the ethic of heart, in particular, of brotherly love. [212] The commandment of neighborhood help was also internally rationalized into universal love for everyone. [213] The "neighbor" is the one nearest at hand. [214] Indeed, the notion of brotherly love was enlarged into an universalistic paradox, based on the axiom that God alone can and will reward. Unconditional forgiveness, [215] unconditional charity, [216] unconditional love even of enemies, unconditional suffering of injustice without requiting evil by force [217] --these demands for religious heroism could have been products of a mystically conditioned acosmism of love. But it must not be overlooked, as it so often has been, that Jesus combined universal love with the Jewish notion of retribution. God alone will one day compensate, avenge, and reward. Human must not boast of his virtue in having performed any of the aforementioned deeds of love, since his boasting would take his subsequent reward. [218] To amass treasures in heaven one must in this world lend money to those from whom no repayment can be expected; otherwise, there is no merit in the deed. [219] A strong emphasis upon the just compensation of destinies was expressed by Jesus in the legend of Lazarus and elsewhere. [220] From this perspective alone, wealth is already a dangerous gift.

(K.5.c) Indifference to World

But Jesus held in general that what is most decisive for salvation is an absolute indifference to the world and its concerns. The kingdom of heaven, a realm of joy upon earth, utterly without suffering and sin, is at hand [221] ; indeed, this generation will not die before seeing it. [222] It will come like a thief at night; it is already in the process of appearing among humankind. Let person be free with the wealth (Mammon), instead of grabbing it fast; let person render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, [223] for what profit is there in such matters? Let person pray to God for daily bread and remain unconcerned for the morrow. [224] No human action can accelerate the coming of the kingdom, but person should prepare himself for its coming. Although this message did not formally abolish the law, it did place the emphasis throughout upon religious inwardness. The entire content of the law and the prophets was condensed into the simple commandment to love God and one's neighbor, [225] to which was added the one far-reaching conception that the true religious attitude is to be judged by its fruits, by its faithful demonstration. [226]

The visions of the resurrection, doubtless under the influence of the widely diffused salvational myths, generated a tremendous power in pneumatic manifestations of charisma; in the formation of communities, beginning with Jesus' own family, who originally had not shared Jesus' faith; and in missionary activity among the heathens. Initial Christianity maintained continuity with the older Jewish prophecies even after the fateful conversion of Paul had resulted in a breaking away from the pariah religion. As a result of these developments, two new attitudes toward the "world" became decisive in the Christian missionary communities. One was the expectation of the Second Coming, [227] and the other was the recognition of the tremendous importance of charismatic gifts of the "spirit." [228] The world would remain as it was until the Lord would come. So too the Christians were as required to abide in their position and in their calling, [229] submitted to the authorities, save where they demanded of the Christians to commit a sinful deed.[230]