161 religious encyclopedia harmoa Harmony of the Gospels

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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 

Religions. theistic or non monotheistic, and the

term heathen is applied to the latter.

The question has been raised whether, among the

heathen religions, Buddhism is to be singled out

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


monotheism. Yet the conception and the expres­

sion " god " is earlier than the polytheistic systems

historically known. The culture of

3. The the Indo Germanic peoples before

Deities their separation was certainly higher

of than that of many tribes of the present,

Polytheism. and they already had the word (and

therefore the conception). Indeed, be­

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



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


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.


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.



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.

25), since what comes from heaven comes from God

and is binding unconditionally on the earth and on

man (Matt. xxi. 25 26; Mark i. 11; Luke iii. 22;

John iii. 13). All deeds done on earth, and espe­

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;

Source of Heb. viii. 5), and from it come the

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