Terms Employed (¢ 1). Classification of Religions (1 2). The Deities of Polytheism (1 3). Development of Polytheism (1 4). Mythology and StanWorship (1 5). Animism Distinguished from Polytheism (1 6). Shamanism and Fetishism (1 7).
The Old Testament employs the word goyim
(" peoples," " nations "; E. V. "Gentiles," " hea
then," " nations ") as a designation of all peoples
other than the chosen one, and uses it
I. Terms in a religious sense. Other nations of Employed. antiquity had similar designations for peoples of other faiths, but these had only ethnic or national significance, such as the barbaroa of the Greeks, or the airya or arya by which Indians and Iranians distinguished themselves from others. A name for other peoples founded upon religious differences alone is peculiar to the Jews. The usage of the Old Testament passed over into
the New Testament and into the Latin and Gothic versions, where elhnis, gentea, thiedos were employed to designate the followers of false religions. In later Latin usage the word paganus (" pagan ") came to be applied to those who retained the old faith as distinct from the Christian majority, though the original sense of the word may have been simply " civilian " as opposed to '° military;" and it had later the meaning " rustic " or " countryman " (cf. Gothic haithne). In Germany since the time of Luther the term Heide (" heathen ") has been much used to name all religions except Judaism and Christianity. These two religions are historically connected, and are regarded as the true religions or religions of revelation. As a rule, Islam is now also admitted to the category of religions of revelation, but is still regarded as false.
In the classification of religions another mark has been used to distinguish the three religions named from all others, namely monotheism. Yet it has to be noted that monotheism was developed in the Hebrew faith, and is a tendency in all polytheistic religions. In all polytheistic faiths there are elements which make for monotheism, and the same is true even of animistic religions. Indeed, in most religions there have been efforts made to discover unity in the midst of diversity and plurality, though these attempts have failed to gain the mastery, and where even small success has attended them it has been confined to narrow circles. Moreover, these attempts toward unity have developed
_. Classi not monotheism so much as pantheism.
fication of But religions may be classified as mono
as furnishing another category atheistic religions,
to which a negative answer is returned on the
ground that neither in origin nor in development is
Buddhism atheistic, though the true disciple is
wholly independent of gods and need not worship
them. Heathen religions are further distinguished
by the character of their objects of worship into
polytheistic and animistic. Polytheistic religions
are those of the advanced peoples of culture, such
as the. Semitic and Indo Germanic races and other
groups of the Old and the New World. Animistic
religions are to be distinguished as they reveal fetish
, ism, in which the spirits worshiped are closely connected with material objects; or shamanism, in which the spirits are elemental. In both religions there is worship of souls, and especially of the dead, whose souls are thought to have power for good and evil over the living. The boundary between soul and spirit can not be sharply drawn. Animistic religions lay stress upon magic, i.e., the power of making the spirits serve the will of man.
Most modern investigators of religions, excepting Roman Catholic scholars, connect animism and polytheism as two stages of a development; worship of souls and spirits precedes that of gods. The lofty abstract idea of "god " is not a product of the lower culture either in cult or language. First comes faith in spirits, then polydemonism, then polytheism, and then, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,
179 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Heart.H BiblicalenismUsage
ath monotheism. Yet the conception and the expres
sion " god " is earlier than the polytheistic systems
sides the word deva in its various forms, Persians
and Slavs had the form baga or bogu, " lord," while
Indians and Iranians had asura, ahura, " the living."
Semitic peoples had several names for " god," the
most common of which was el or it (see ELomm),
the etymology of which is uncertain, while " lord "
or " king " was used both for " god " and " God."
Similarly the civilization of Central America had an
expression for " god." But in these cases it can
not be determined what the original conception was,
though the probability is that it expressed not so
much the being of deity as the relation of that deity
to man; it was not abstract, but concrete, denoting
a personal power upon which man felt himself
dependent, yet possessing the ability to approach.
Sometimes this appears as the relation of lord and
subject; again the expression implies participation
in the forms of nature, as in the case of deva, " light,"
which brings out the contrast employed in Indo
Germanic and other religions between light and
darkness. Yet the material for adequate knowledge
is lacking, as Indo Germanic language has furnished
few words which can be accepted as original names
of deities; indeed the Sanskrit Dyaus pitar, Gk.
Zeus patter, Lat. Juppiter or Diespiler are almost
alone, and express the idea of the heaven god. In
other religions also the god of the heaven appears
to be the earliest, and in later times the chief deity.
The original Indo Germanic deities must have been
few, though comparison of Iranian and Indian con
ceptions shows a larger number common to both,
but with many changes introduced. Dyaus is in
India replaced by Varuna, in Persia by Ahura
Mazda, " the living " or " wise lord," and alongside
this highest god in both countries are six other
deities closely connected with him. In historic
times all the Indo Germanic peoples developed rich
pantheons which included not only nature deities,
but personifications of ethical and religious ideas.
Even in the Vedas the original nature sources of
some of the deities are partly forgotten in an ethical
or religious relationship, and this is true of the other
branches of the family in historic times. Even in the
case of original nature deities it may not be held that
that was the only idea present and that no ethical re
lations were conceived; indeed the ethical was often a
result of the phase of natural relationship to the world
represented by a particular deity, as in the case of a
god of light who battled with the powers of darkness.
Polytheism seems to have come about through
gaining in nature a conception of deity followed by a
differentiation of natural phenomena
;. Develop and specialization of functions of the
ment of powers conceived as producing them.
Polytheism. This is confirmed by the fact that, often
several gods are found connected with
the same phenomena, as when in India, Surya,
Pushan, Vishnu, Tvashtar, Savitar, and Vivasvant
are all connected with the sun. Further development comes in the unfolding of purely ethical conceptions into deities which had no relationship to natural phenomena. It has been objected to this that such a development would lead to the worship of all the gods of a circle in any given place or time, whereas historically, as among the Greeks, only certain of the gods were honored in any one city. Then polytheism is the result of a syncretism of varied cults brought about through extraneous political or other circumstances, which later involved a partition of the realms of nature among the several deities. But comparison shows that the condition in historic times among Greeks, Slavs, Egyptians, Babylonians, and others was due to differentiation in an original system of deities. The first tendency of polytheism then is not toward monotheism, but away from it. Purely ethical ideas of the being of the gods are not a consequence of polytheism, but rather exist in spite of it. Religious feeling demanded of its gods omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, righteousness, and holiness, attributes which the cults show were originally given to them, for the possibility of a cult is dependent upon the omnipresence of the deity, through which men can have access to him. And so with the other attributes of deity. The religious mode of viewing things appears in the fact that to the highest god absolute deity is attributed, while many times the other deities are creations. Polytheism seems to reveal not a development to higher views, but a coarsening of conceptions. Most polytheistic religions set apart special places for the worship of deities through sacred symbols or images. Originally these were but external expressions of the presence of deity, but for the majority they became deity itself, and were so worshiped, examples of which are given in the image worship of Roman Catholic peoples, among Greeks and Romans of the first century of our era, and in modern Brahmanism. Sacrifice, originally an expression of dependence, became a means of magic, and the entire cult is hardly distinguishable from fetishism and shamanism.
A further matter of importance is the development of myth in the polytheistic religions. Myth is the
setting forth of occurrences and operas. Mythol tions of nature in the guise of the ogy and events and happenings of divine or Star semidivine persons, so far as these
Worship. have religious meanings, or at least are
brought into connection with religious conceptions and usages (see CoMPA$ATIvE RELIGION, VI., 1, a, §§ 7 8). Myth is not to be confused with the saga, which often means what has developed out of the myth, and has to do with heroes rather than with deities. The myth is generally an article of faith, which the saga is not, at least in the religious sense. The characteristic of the myth is its anthropomorphism carried over to the domain of nature, so that operations in that sphere appear as the acts of persons with the feeling and niethods of men, as when the storm is pictured as the battle of a deity with the cloud demons. Myth stands in close relationship with polytheism, and has undergone the same development; as the gods
Heathenism THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 180
lost their old nature connection, so with the myths.
Hence they speak of the acts and lot of a deity in
which, as a rule, the deity does not act from a relig
ious motive, and are so far subversive of religious
ideas. Original myths often bear the unmistakable
marks of their origin in the operations of nature,
later they are put forth often as historical doings.
A distinction is to be made between those in which
deities are the actors and those in which elemental
spirits appear. Modern theory regards these as
stages, but probably both stood side by side in the
beginning. Star worship (see STARS), which is
almost a specialty of Semites, is not an original form
of polytheism, but came in late through the iden
tification of certain stars with individual deities.
Traces of these are found in the Avesta.
The two forms of animism (see COMPARATIVE RE
LIGION, VI., 1, a, §§ 1 4), Fetishism and shamanism
(qq.v.), have in common that they deaLaet with gods,
but with spirits, as objects of worship.
6. Animism Spirits are distinguished from gods
Dis chiefly by their number. Developed
tinguished polytheism has only a limited number
from of deities, while the spirits of animism
Polytheism. are innumerable. These last are for
the most part without names, only
those credited with being most powerful having this
distinction. In general these spirits have nothing
to do with creation, though there may be a great
spirit to whom this function is ascribed. They are
also not ethical in influence, since prohibition is the
essence of the law they give. A second distinction
between polytheism and animism is that gods are
thought of as beneficent; maleficent deities are not
original, but the result of a secondary development.
The spirits of animism are, on the contrary, by
nature maleficent. Consequently the purpose of
the cult is different. The purpose in polytheism is
to bespeak the good will of deity, or to regain his
favor when that has been forfeited through a fault.
In animism the cult has the aim of averting un
toward action of spirits or of bending that action
through magic to the will of man. Generally in
polytheism the worshiper does not need the inter
cession of the priest; in animism this help is neces
sary, since the priest alone knows the means of
using the magic. The hypothesis that the origin
of religion was fear of unknown powers would be
justified if animism were shown to be the original
form of religion. But historical proof of this is
lacking, since nowhere is it apparent that poly
theism has developed from animism. Indeed, the
shamanism of the Finns implies an early polytheism,
which is probably of equally ancient standing. Fre
quently among polytheistic peoples there is in use
a magic which is decidedly animistic together with
reminiscences of fetishism. This is often explained
as the evidence of an earlier animism and fetishism
out of which polytheism has developed, but without
sufficient grounds. The charms of India and Baby
lon are polytheistic, and can be no older than the
belief in gods.
Shamanism, the worship of elemental spirits or of
the souls of the dead, is best known among the
Turanian peoples of Asia, America, and Australia.
Special manifestations of this are the Totemism
(see COMPARATIVE RELIGION, VI., 1, b, §§ 2 6) of North American Indians and the Taboo (see
COMPARATIVE RELIGION, VI., 1, c, §§y. Shaman 1 3) of South Sea Islanders. By a
ism and totem is meant an animal or a Fetishism. plant from which a stock or a family
is said to have sprung, which also acts as protector of the stock, while in turn the individuals of the totem family are worshiped. Taboo is found chiefly among Polynesians, and denotes prohibition of certain things or localities for common use because belonging to spirits. It has an important influence upon social relations. Fetishism, which is confined to Africa, is religious veneration of an object regarded as the home of spirits. The two chief forms of animism can not be entirely separated the one from the other; outside of the worship of spirits, both have the use of magic, soothsaying, and the worship of departed spirits. Shamanism has many fetishistic elements. Upon ethical conceptions these religions have no influence.
The designation of heathen religions as poly
theistic, shamanistic, and fetishistic is based upon
the expression of these in terms of cult; it does not
imply that the entire religious thought and feeling
of the peoples who employ them is expressed. Poly
theism, it has been shown, often contains elements
of lower form; animism has also indications of
higher forms; but in each case these do not change
the total character of the religion in question.
Numerous remains are found in Christianity of the
older heathenism, and they are classed under the
name of superstitions. For a different view of the
subject see COMPARATIVE RELIGION; see also
articles on the different forms of heathen religions
(FETISHISM; POLYTHEISM; SHAMANISM, etc.), ar
ticles on particular religions (BRAHMANISM; BUD
DHISM; etc.), and articles on heathen lands (CHINA;
INDIA; etc.). (B. LINDNER.)
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Wuttke, Geaahichte des Heidenthume, Breslau, 1852 53; T. Waits, Anthropologie der Naturn61ker, Leipsie, 1858 72; %. Werner, Die Relipionen and Bulte des roorchriatlichen Heidenthums, Sebaffhauseu, 1871; A. Pesch, Der Goueebegriff in den heidniacAen Retigionen des Altertuma, Freiburg, 1885; idem, Der Gouesbegri# in den heidniaden Religionen der Neuzeit, ib. 1888; J. Vi, son, Lea Religions actuelles, Paris, 1887; A. C. Kruyt, Animieme in den Indiachen Arehiped, The Hague, 1908; A. Bros, La Religion des peuplea non cicilisfa, Paris, 1907; and particularly the literature given under COMPARATIVa RELttnON, where the subject is fully treated.
HEAVE OFFERING.See SACRIFICE. HEAVEN.
Use of " Heaven " in the Bible (1 1). Heaven the Abode of God (¢ 2). Heaven the Symbol and source of Salvation (¢ 3). Use of the Plural, " Heavens " (§ 4).
The Old Testament has no comprehensive term
for the universe, which is designated as heaven and
earth; although in the wisdom of
I. Use of Solomon and II Maccabees it is called
"Heaven" " world " (WM. of Sol. i. 14,. and
in the Bible. often; II Mace. vii. 9, 23, and often).
This term is employed in the New Tes
tament with the same connotation (John xvii. 5,
xxi. 25; Acts xvii. 24; Rom. i. 20; of. ". the founda
tion of the world," Matt, xiii. 35, xxv. 34; Luke xi.
181 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Heathenism
Heaven 50; John xvii. 24; Eph. i. 4; Heb. iv. 3, ix. 26;
I Pet. i. 20; Rev. xiii. 8). In other passages, how
ever, " world " implies the dwelling place of man
kind as defiled with sin and death, and with Satan
for its lord instead of God. The phrase " heaven
and earth " is accordingly retained to denote the
universe (Matt. v. 18; Mark xiii. 27; Luke xii. 56;
Acts iv. 24; James v. 18; cf. Eph. i. 10; Col. i. 16,
20; II Pet. iii. 7, 13; Rev. xxi. 1). In a physical
sense heaven denotes the place of the stars and
constellations (Gen. i. 14; Jer. xxxiii. 22; Matt.
xxiv. 29; Heb. xi. 12; Rev. vi: 13, etc.) and of the
clouds (Gen. i. 9; Dent. xxviii. 23; Pa. cxlvii. 8;
Matt. xxiv. 30; etc.), and its power and phenomena
influence the earth (Job xxxviii. 33; Matt. xvi. 2 3;
James v. 18). Beneath the heaven lies the earth
(Job ii. 2; Prov. viii. 28), which'it encloses so as to
form a unity (Eccl. i. 13; Luke xvii. 24; Acts ii. 5;
Col. i. 23): The heaven is a " firmament " (Gen. i.
6, 8; Pa. xix. 1), which is supported by the, moun
tains as pillars (Job xxii. 14). With the heaven is
conjoined the earth, thus forming the cosmos which
will pass away to make place for a new heaven and
a new earth, where righteousness shall dwell (Ps.
cii. 26; Ise. xiii. 13; Joel ii. 30 31; Luke xxi. 33;
II Pet. iii. 7, 10; Rev. vi. 12 14).
Heaven is, moreover, the throne of God (Pa.
ii. 4; Isa. Ixvi. 1; Ezek. i. 1; Matt. v. 34; Acts vii.
49; Heb. viii. 1), and in heaven is the
2. Heaven divine temple (Isa. vi.; Rev. xi. 19),
the Abode which is the prototype of the earthly
of God. sanctuary (Ex. xxv. 40; Acts vii. 44;
Heb. viii. 5). It is the dwelling place
of God (II Chron. xx. 6; Pa. cxv. 3; Eccles. v. 2),
who looks from heaven upon the earth (Pa. xiv. 2;
Isa. Ixiii. 15; Lam. iii. 50), and speaks from thence
(Deut. iv. 36; Neh. ix. 13); so that words spoken
from heaven are eternal in their validity (Heb. xii.
cially the forgiveness of sins by Christ, bear a dis
tinct relation to heaven or to God (Matt. ix. 6 as
compared with xvi. 19), who hears prayer while he
is in heaven (I Kings viii. 30 sqq.; II Chron. vi. 25
eqq.; Neh. ix. 27 28; Ps. xxxiii. 13; Luke xi. 13;
etc.). When the exaltation and absolute sovereignty
of God are to be emphasized, he is termed " the God
of heaven " (Gen. xxiv. 7; Neh. i. 4 5; Pa. xcvi. 5),
who reveals from heaven his wrath against iniquity
(Rom. i. 18; I Thess. iv. 16; II Thess. i. 7 8).
Sins which require the vengeance of God cry to
heaven (Gen. iv. 10; I Sam. v.12; Luke xv. 18, 21),
and, in like manner, he who prays turns toward
heaven (Mark vi. 41; John xvii. 1; etc.), since God
is exalted above all the earth (Ps. lxviii. 15; Dan.
iv. 23) and his will is manifested from heaven (Deut.
iv. 36), his holy mandate being absolute (Deut.
xxxiii.,26; Pa. lvii. 3; lxxxix. 2). The designation
of God as " my father," " your father which is in
heaven," and the like in Matthew and Mark (Matt.
v. 16, 45, 48; Mark xi. 25; etc.) is intended to
inspire confidence in his goodness, especially as he
is represented as saying: " For as the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts " (Isa. Iv. 9). Hence God is besought to rend the heavens (Isa. Ixiv. 1), and a sign from heaven is desired to prove .the Messiahship of,Jesus (Matt. xvi. 1, cf. xxiv. 30; Luke ix. 54). The ascension of Christ to heaven symbolizes his exaltation to divine honor and glory (Luke xxiv. 51; Acts i. 9 11; cf. John iii. 13; Heb. iv. 14; I Pet. iii. 22), and necessitates unconditional obedience and recognition on the part of man (cf. Acts ii. 34 31f with Eph. i. 2022; Phil. ii. 9 11).
Yet God is by no means restricted to heaven, and I Kings viii. 27 expressly declares: " The heaven and heaven of heavens can not contain thee." In Christ, therefore, there is access to God through faith (Rom. v. 2; Eph. ii. 18). God is present throughout the world (Pa. cxxxix; Jer. xxiii.!23 24 ), but his earthly congregation is in a special sense his " habitation " (Eph. ii. 22) and his temple (I Cor. iii. 6).
As contrasted with the earth, heaven represents a higher and eternal order (Matt. vi. 20; Mark x. 21;
Luke xii. 33; II Cor. v.1; Phil. iii. 20;
3. Heaven Col. i. 5; Heb. x. 34; I Pet. i. 4). It the is, therefore, the place of the prototype
Symbol of the earthly symbolic ordinances of and salvation (Ex. xxv. 40; Acts vii. 44;