By Robert N. Bellah
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Extra resources for Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditionalist World
In doing so, he shows how Luther was able to solve his own problem of identity, which had its roots deep in his unconscious conflicts, through constructive innovation with respect to religious symbolism. However, Erikson's knowledge of the deep motivational forces involved does not lead him to deny the contribution of the religious reformulation itself. Rather, he emphasizes the fusing and forming power of the symbols to synthesize motivational conflicts and control destructive impulses. Erikson also contributes to the broader problem of religious change by indicating that Luther's solution, once it was embodied in communicable symbolic form, could be appropriated by others in the same society that had analogous identity problems arising from social-historical matrices similar to Luther's own.
The strong emphasis on hierarchical ordering characteristic of archaic religions continues to be stressed in most of the historic religions. Not only is the supernatural realm "above" this world in terms of both value and control but both the supernatural and earthly worlds are themselves organized in terms of a religiously legitimated hierarchy. For the masses, at least, the new dualism is above all expressed in the difference between this world and the life after death. Religious concern, focused on this life in primitive and archaic religions, now tends to focus on life in the other realm, which may be either infinitely superior or, in certain situations with the emergence of various conceptions of hell, infinitely worse.
And Weber, The Sociology of Religion, trans. Ephriem Fischoff (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), first published in German as bk. 2, chap. 4 of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in 1922. 24 Bellah, "Religious Evolution," American Sociological Review 29 (1964): 358-74. " —Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound THOUGH one can name precursors as far back as Herodotus, the systematically scientific study of religion begins only in the second half of the nineteenth century. 1 In its early phases, partly under the influence of Darwinism, the science of religion was dominated by an evolutionary tendency already implicit in Hegelian philosophy and early nineteenth-century historiography.
Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditionalist World by Robert N. Bellah