Associate professor of church history princeton theological seminary baker book house



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national or tribal customs of peoples in the bar­barous or eemicivilized state. The first of such mutilations to become known to modern Europe

was circumcision as practised by Jews Meaning and Mohammedans (true circumcision

and Use of as defined above), by whom the cus­

the Tam. tom has been camel on to the higher

stages of culture. When wider knowl­

edge of the earth and its inhabitants brought to

light other more or less similar customs, it was natu­

ral to give to each the name already known. So

it has come about that practises differing widely in

operative method and results, if not in significance

anti origin, are all alike called " circumcision,

and the term, in actual usage, is almost synony­mous with mutilation of the sexual organs. A complete and satisfactory study of circumcision has not yet been published. When it is, the first endeavor will necessarily be to clear up the con­fusion of thought manifest in this vague use of the term and resulting from it. Preliminary to a fruit­ful investigation, the various mutilations moat be precisely defined and named, their relations must be determined, and such se may not properly be classed and considered with circumcision must be set aside. Incidentally this introductory study will probably modify somewhat perhaps very considerably the statements now common con­cerning the wide extent of circumcision, ascribing it as an indigenous practise to Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia, sad the islands of the Pacific.

In the search for significance and origin prac­tically no help is to be obtained directly from any people who circumcise. The explanation uni­formly given and considered quite sufficient by the

givers is " We follow the custom of the Significance fathers." Indirectly, however by and noting and comparing details of the

Origin. operation, and acts and remarks con 

nected with it or with the circumcised and uncircumcised statue  significance may be dis 

covered. Circumcision serves as a national o tribal sign (Hebrews, Jews, and certain African

tribes), or a mark of distinction for classes or indi­viduals (ancient Egypt [?], cf. Joaephus, Apion

ii. 14; Clement of Alexandria, Strom., i. lb; Orige on Rom. ii. 13; negroea of the Niger delta, ef.

Journal o f the Anthropological Institute, xxix., ne aer.,u., 1899, p. b8). It passes as a bodily adorn

went (cf. the peculiar Masai mutilation, best de 

scribed in Yerhandlungen tier Berliner Genellacha

felt Anthropologic, Apr. 27, 1895, pp. [302} [303]

cf. H. H. Johnston, The Kilima njaro Expedition,

London, 1888, p. 412, note). It is regarded as hygienic precaution or grounded in reasons o

physiology (for cleanliness, to moderate sexual desire, to prevent venereal diseases, to secure off 

spring, to remove as abnormal development, etc.).

The operation marks the entrance to maturit, being closely connected with the so called initiation ceremonies, and sometimes a severe test of co

and endurance (cf. C. Niebuhr, BeechreeTrung  von

Arabian, Copenhagen, 1772, p. 269; R. F. Bur­

ton, Personal Narrative o f a Pilgrimage to E



Medinah and Meccah, vol. iii., London, 1856, p.

courage

THE NEW 9CHAFF HERZOG

r

a

w

a

y note; * David Livingstone, Missionary Trawls

and Research, in South Africa, New York, 1858,

pp. 184 165; Zeitachrift far Ethnologic, vi., 1874,

pp. 37 3g; C. M. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Dener­

ta, vol. i., Cambridge, 1888, pp.128 129; accounts for

South America, collected by Plose, see below); the

circumcised state is necessary to the full enjoyment

of the rights and privileges of manhood (cf. refer­

ences already cited and Zeitachrift fur allgemeine

Erdkunde, new Folge, iv., 1858, p. 357, for the

island of Rook, east of New Guinea; J. Sibree, The

Great African Island [Madagascar], London, 1880,

p. 217). Such explanations may account for the

retention of the practise in later times; but they are

speculations of a more advanced culture and do not

indicate the origin, which moat be consistent with

primitive knowledge and thought. Nor is the

origin found by naming circumcision a rite of

religion. It remains to explain why and how this

peculiar mutilation became a religious rite, and the

attempts to . do eo (making it a development of

phallic worship, or of human sacrifice as a substitu­

tionary act, or symbolic) are, like the explanations

already referred to, products of later times and too

conjectural to be convincing. AB smatter of fact,

in moat cases religious significance is not apparent.

It has been asserted among the ancient Mexicans;

but a careful examination of the early accounts

offers little support for the statement that they

either circumcised or practised any distinctly sexual

mutilation. It ie found among Hebrews and Mo­

hammedans. The case of the former will be con­

sidered below. The latter have adopted it as a

part of their religion because the first Mohammed­

ans observed it, and with them it was already the

"custom of the fathers." The more intelligent seem

to have regarded it as one of the requirements of

common decency (it is not commanded in the

Koran, but taken for granted  cf. the fact that

there is no mention of circumcision in the decalogue

or the older laws of the Pentateuch. The com­

mentators class it ae one of the usages of fi(rah,

" natural religion "; cf. J. Wellhausen, Rate .arabi•



ashen Heidentuma, Berlin, 1897, pp. 167 aqq.). The

Bedouin women of Medain Salih may be allowed

to speak for the more ignorant and primitive (of.

Doughty, ut sup., vol. i., p. 410). And some con­

nection with the sexual life is the significance most

frequent, most prominent, and moat primitive, so

far as information goes (cf. references already cited

and Zeitachrift Pr Ethnologic, x., 1878, p. 399;



ftEdinburgh Medical Journal, a., 1864 65, p. 222;

Revue d'Anthropologie, 2d set., iv., 1881, p. 292;

~, 'Verhandlungen tier Berliner Geseflschaft fur Anthro 

pologie, Apr. 28, 1877, p. [180]; Zeitaelirift fur

fEthnologic, x., 1878, p. 18; A. Bastian, Die deutsche

Expedition an tier Loango Kuate, Jena, 1874, p.

177; Riedel and Valentijn for Dutch East Indies,



).

quoted in Plow, Knabenbeachneidung, pp. 21, 22,

24). To conclude that the primary significance is

indicated herein is consistent with the knowledge

and conditions of the time when circumcision must


*The note ie omitted in later editions of Burton. It ie

copied by Julius Wellhsueen in the first edition of his Retie ambieehan Heideniume (Berlin, 1887). D. 215, end omitted



80~ in the second edition




119 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA

have arisen; it is easier to explain the other sig­nificances as secondary to this than to explain it as secondary to any of them; and the conclusion is confirmed by the fact and phenomena of " female circumcision " (improperly so called), i.e., the cutting off of the internal labia, which is almost, if not quite, as common se the male mutilation and as a rule accompanies it a fact which has gener­ally been ignored and its significance strangely overlooked.

In the circumcision of Hebrews and Jews three things are noteworthy: (1) Its marked religious significance; (2) the early age at which

Hebrew the operation is performed; (3) the sad Jewish absence of all trace of a female muti 

Circum  lation. Evidence is not at hand to

vision. prove indisputably whether these

features are original or secondary.

The Biblical data are scanty, and when they were

committed to writing primitive practises were

already followed because they were " the custom

of the fathers." Circumcision is stated to be " a

token of the covenant " and the covenant itself,

and its institution is attributed to the Almighty

(Gen. xvii.10  11). It was regarded as the indis­

pensable requisite to the right relation with God,

participation in his worship, and s share in his favor

being exacted of " strangers " and slaves (Gen.

xvii.12 14; Ex. xii. 43 48)  in later times of prose­

lytes. The popular mind went a step further and

looked upon circumcision as the guaranty o€ the

divine favor, a conception strenuously combated

by the prophets (Jer, iv. 4, vi. 10, ix. 25 26;

Ezek. aliv. 9; cf. Dent. a. 18, age. 6). These

ideas appear in the New Testament (Acts vii. 8,

51, xv. 1; Rom. ii. 28 29, iv. 11). Indications

are not lacking, however, that in its origin and early

significance Hebrew circumcision did not differ

from that of other peoples.* If the statement that

" Iehmad was thirteen years old when he was

circumcised " (Gen. avii. 26) preserves an old and

true tradition, it indicates that the age in early

times was the usual one of maturing manhood.

The account of a general circumcising at Gilgal in

the time of Joshua (Josh. v. 2 9) has still more the

mark of an old tradition, which the scribe who

wrote it down thought necessary to explain in the

light of the custom of his own time (verses 4 7

being generally considered an interpolation); if

so, it evidences that the Hebrews originally cir­

cumcised at the same age as other peoples, and

the circumcision of a number at one time, with the

hint of a special place of circumcision, is in accord

with custom frequently found (cf. B. 8tade, in

ZATW, vi., 1886, pp. 132 142). The use of flint

knives (cf. Ex. iv. 25) is also noteworthy, being

a circumstance not uncommon, even after better

cutting tools have been obtained, and indicating,

perhaps, the antiquity of the practise. The Dinah

story (Gen. axxiv.) makes circumcision a pre­

requisite to marriage. The passage Ex. iv. 24  26,

commonly called (with slight reason) J's account



a Cf. 9tsdae, quoted in Ploee; $nabenbuehneiduno. n. 12: " In preezilic time circumcision in Israel was solely a tribal sign; only in the Exile did it acquire the s3gniliadaos of a religious symbol (Heb. otA)."

of the origin of circumcision, is evidently a muti­lated and incomplete fragment of a longer narrative, and the text of what is preserved is uncertain. Ire meaning is well nigh unintelligible and it affords no secure basis for inference. Yet, if anything is dear from it, it is a connection between circumcision and marriage or the sexual life (for an interesting dis­cussion of this passage, tracing parallels with the use made of the severed foreskin by various tribes, ef. H. P. Smith, in JBL, aav.,1906, pp. 1d  24).

Cssai.>es C. 8sxxrasrt.



Bnanroassrer: The literature is enormous, but much of it may be dismissed as " freakish," the subject being am which has naturally proved attractive to erratic minds; almost all of the more serious treatises consider the prso• ties too exclusively from the Biblical or Jewish point of view. The beet treatment in existence is that of H. Ploss, is Des Kind in Brouah and Big* der YBtker, 2d ed.. LotDei0. 1884, vol. i.. DD. 847r394, with which should be compered the chapter on Der Ab>ch7uas der $%nderjahre, vo1 ii.. pp. 411 448. The same author's l>tenhi&fiichu and EfAno­lapiacha fiber $,wbenbeschneiduny, Leipsie, 1888 (reprinted from Archie for Ouchichte der ;ifedicin and ~sedicini~ (ieapraphie, viii.. 1886), is s partial repetition of what is contained in the earlier work with not much that is new. An article, Die BeeeAneidunp, by R. Andrea, in Atrhiv NIr Anthroyolopie, :iii (1880). pp. 68 78, is worth consulting with Ploee, who by no mesas exhausted all the materiel available when he wrote. Binge then a large amount of valuable mattes has accumulated in the pages of anthro­pologioal and ethnographical journals, the works of special investigators, and books of travel. The studies of the natives of Australia by Baldwin Spencer F. J. Gillen, A. W. Howitt, and others may be specially mentioned. Die BeaAnsidunp in ihrrr DaacAi"ichen, ethnopraphiadwn„ relipiBsan and rnedidnisehen Bedeulunp, ed. A. Glsasbarg, Berlin, 1898. is a cane treatment of various phases of the subject. The works on the Moesic law_ Old Testament theology, Hebrew archeology, sad the Biblical oommen­tariee may be consulted for the conventional treatment; and for Jewish conceptions and prsotisas, JA iv. 92 102.

CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST, FESTIVAL OF. See Nrw Ys.,tx'a FrsTivAl..
CISTERCIAN, eie ter'ehiana.
Origin and Character of the Order (1i). Golden Age of the Order (g 2). Gradual Decay of the Order (1 3). History Since the Reformation (14).

A certain Robert (d. 1108; life in ASS, Apr., iii.

862 878) retired from his position as prior at Mon­

tier Is Cells to become head of a company of an­

chorites in the forest of Molgme, northwest of

Dijon. The monks objected to his strict rule,

however, and in 1098 with twenty followers he

withdrew and founded a monastery

:. Origin at Meaux (Let. Ciatercium, 20 m. se.

sad Char  of Dijon) in Burgundy. A papal

aster of the command required him to return to

Order. Moldme (1099), and he was succeeded

as abbot at Cftesua. by Alberie, who

composed the Inatituta monachomn CiBtercienattsm



de Motianw roeniantdum. Alberio was succeeded by

the able and pious Englishman Herding (or Stephen;

see HARDINp), who came near seeing the end of the

monastery for want of novices. But the en­

trance of the young Bernard (see BIDRNAI3D or

CraravAVx) and thirty of his friends brought s

change. From this time on the number of monks

increased and daughter monasteries were estab­



lished at La Fertd, 1113; Pontigny,1114; Morimud




THE NEW SGHAFF HERZOG

and Clairvaux, 1115. Bernard became abbot of the last. To these establishments others were added by Citenux and the daughter foundations. It soon appeared necessary to regulate the relation of the monasteries to one another, and this was done in a manner which formed a new stage in the devel­opment of monasticism; for the first time a union of monasteries was effected by a formal constitu­tion. The Charts. charitatis, the result of the delib­erations of the abbots, formed the basis, which was further expanded by resolutions  of subsequent general chapters.

The characteristic peculiarities of the order may be comprised in the following points: (1) A strict observance of the letter of the rule of Benedict. (2) The greatest simplicity, even poverty, in the mode of life; the very churches should be devoid of all show and adornment. (3) The subsistence of the monasteries to be derived exclusively from agriculture and cattle raising an arrangement from which sprang the importance that the order obtained in the cultivation of the land and colo­nization. (4) Besides the monks, lay brothers (conversi, laici., bartxiti) are also to be received; as the monk, in accordance with the regulations, while  not' freed entirely from labor, has mostly to devote himself to devotion and choir service, so the lay brother is chiefly occupied with manual labor; the example of Mary and Martha is often quoted; there were also laborers (mercenarii, afterward called /amiliares) mentioned as early as the statutes of Alberie, who were freemen serving for pay (since the possession of serfs was precluded on principle). (5) As concerns the relation of parent and daughter monasteries, each monastery has a certain authority over its filiations. At the head stands Citeaux, but the four oldest under monasteries also enjoy an exceptional position: their abbots visit the mother monastery once every year, and with Ci­teaux, one of them stands at the head of each of the five divisions (line&,) of the order. But all these authorities ass subject to the general chapter, which meets annually at Cftesux, in which all abbots have a voice, and which has not only the highest legis­lative power, but also the decision in all cases of questions which may arise. (fi) It was con­sidered highly important at the beginning that there should be no loosening of diocesan bonds. The foremost representative of this idea is Bernard (cf. De moribus et offictisria• 33 37, in MPL, clxxxii. g30  834; De Conaid., III. iv. 4 18). Afterward,

however, this principle was greatly neglected. I

almost all these regulations can be perceived

contrast to those of the Cluniacenaians, and this

contrast was intentional, for the latter were con eidered as having apostatized from the true nature

of monasticism. Bernard also at first was severe

and bitter against them (Epist., i.), but later he was

much more lenient (APol. ad GuQ.). Peter the

Venerable of Cluny was still more friendly (cf .

e.g., his Epiat., i. 28, in MPL, clxxxix. 112 159, iv. 17=ccx3ix. of the letters of Bernard, MPL, clxaxii. 3981?). Thus the tension was relaxed, but did not disappear altogether. Devotion to the Virgin Mary, the tendency of the time, was not only accepted by the Cistercians, but their fervency

nature

heightened it. Mary is the patroness of the order; the general chapter of 1134 declares that all churches of the order shall be dedicated to her, and it devoted to her a special liturgical office on Saturday.

The golden age of the order extends to the second half of the thirteenth century. Different

causes contributed to a powerful s. Golden growth of the order: besides tie Age of the monastic tendency of the age, there

Order. were especially the personality and

the labor of Bernard, who is con­sidered as the real saint of the order, and from him the Cistercians are frequently called Bernardines. Pious contemplation was coupled with activity in agriculture and strictly regulated authoritative re­lations and government, in which all took part. At the death of Bernard the number of convents was 288, and in vain did the general chapter try to atop their increase; at the end of the century there were 529 abbeys, to which were added yet 142 in the thirteenth century until about 1270. Then began a standstill. During the fourteenth century forty one were added, m the fifteenth century twenty six, so that the whole number was 738 during the medieval period. In the mean

time some foundations were discontinued: to the tined Clarceuallis belong 353 (half of the entire number). From France to Hungary, Poland, and

Livonia; from Sweden to Portugal; from Scotland to Sicily, Cistercian monasteries were found. Dur­ing the period of prosperity the connection with Citeaux and the other mother monasteries was maintained. In the outward construction of the monasteries as well as in the mode of life of the monks, especially in the regulation of religious worship, a conformity existed which united the Cistercians of the different countries among them­selves and separated them from all other commu­nities. In the Spanish peninsula the knightly orders of Alcantasa, Calatrava, and Truxillo (qq.v.);

in Portugal the order of Aviz (q.v.) were connected with the Cistercians In northeastern Germany and further to the east the Cistercians rendered great service to civilization by their colonizing activity. Marshes were drained and forests were cleared; orchards and vineyards were planted on a gigantic scale; and cattle and sheep were raised. The improvement of its property was the principal aim of each monastery. This period has been lucidly described by Winter (cf., however, Hauck,



n RD, iv., Leipsic, 1903). During the twelfth century a and into the middle of the thirteenth the Cistercians

a occupied an important position in the government

of the Church. Not a few of them were made

cardinals. Arnold of Cfteaux under Innocent III.



e undertook the crusade against the Albigenses.

as Innocent III. charged them with so. many things

e that the chapter of 1211 asked for moderation.

, Honorius III. and lnnoccaf IV. overwhelmed them

with privileges.

In the task of influencing spiritually the masses the mendicant friars took precedence of the Cis­tercians. The great facility with which they went from place to place made them at the same time more efficient instruments for the popes.






121 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Cistercian&

Tension between the two orders is evident in the exclusion of the mendicant friars from the studies

of the Cistercians, and in the rule that

3. Gradual no member of the order should go

Decay of to confession to a priest of another

the Order. order. Yet the decay of the order was

due mainly and essentially to inner causes. The riches accumulated through industry and economy gradually exercised a detrimental influence on the life of the brothers. The remark of Caesarius of Heisterbach (q.v.) on the ancient monasteries, "Religion brought forth riches, riches destroyed religion," proved true also with regard to the Cistercians. To this must be added the impossibility of further colonization. Deprived of its strongest outward incentive, the order rapidly declined in inner zeal and energy. The life became lax. General chapters sought to stem the tide, and popes also tried to interfere (as Clement IV. in 1265 and Benedict XII. in 1335). The fourteenth century and later witnessed the financial decay of many monasteries. Under the laxity of discipline and the increasing demoralization the former in­dustry and strict economy suffered. While it proved impossible to reform the entire order, two new congregations were organized in the fifteenth century, the Congregatio regularis observsntice regnorum Hispsnicorum in Spain (1425) and the Congregatio Italics S. Bernardi, definitively con­firmed by Julius II. in 1511 in Lombardy and Tuscany, which separated almost entirely from the order and observed greater strictness. It must also be mentioned that, under the incitement of the mendicant friars, the Cistercians cultivated scien­tific pursuits to a certain degree and founded sttulia generslia, of which the college of St. Bernard at Paris was the most important. These measures, however, were not sufficient to induce scientific productiveness on a large scale, and services ren­dered by the Cistercians in that line are insig­nificant compared with those of the Dominicans and Franciscans.

Through the Reformation the order lost all its possessions in England and Scotland, Denmark,

Sweden and Norway, and the greater

4. History part in Germany. It retained them

Since the in France, but after the concordat of


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