Immortality and the Unseen World: A Study in Old Testament Religion

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Fb&c Limited, 25.06.2015 - 243 Seiten
Excerpt from Immortality and the Unseen World: A Study in Old Testament Religion

No department of Israelite religion can be adequately dealt with unless it be studied in the light of the religious beliefs of kindred peoples. It may in these days be regarded as axiomatic that, whether it be Israelite religion as a whole, or whether it be some particular part of that religion, the subject cannot be properly understood nor adequately appreciated unless it be studied on the comparative method. No scholar has done more to show the need of this than Robertson Smith. "No positive religion," he says, "that has moved men has been able to start with a tabula rasa, and express itself as if religion were beginning for the first time; in form, if not in substance, the new system must be in contact all along the line with the older ideas and practices which it finds in possession. A new scheme of faith can find a hearing only by appealing to religious instincts and susceptibilities that already exist in its audience, and it cannot reach these without taking account of the traditional forms in which all religious feeling is embodied, and without speaking a language which men accustomed to these old forms can understand.

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