Religions and Worldviews

  • Mark E. Clark


Philosopher William Hazlitt once observed that ‘Without the aid of prejudice and custom I should not be able to find my way across the room’. 1 That simple phrase in fact says something quite profound about the human mind, and hence about human behaviour. Walking across a room was his metaphor for living through the events of everyday life. He was talking about the inner mental map each of us constructs out of our familiar surroundings and in which we live: the synthetic worldview which is a biased, shorthand reconstruction of ‘out there’. What exactly this worldview is and how each individual acquires it is the subject of Chapter 8. Here it is sufficient to reflect on Hazlitt’s words, ‘prejudice’ and ‘custom’.


Middle East Political Ideology Human Animal Major Religion Liberation Theology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. †.
    Erich Fromm, On Disobedience (New York: Seabury Press, 1981) p. 43.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    W. Hazlitt, quoted by W.H. Auden, p. 13 in A. Freemantle (ed.), The Protestant Mystics (New York: New American Library, Mentor, 1964).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    The Oxford English Dictionary gives both relegere, to read over again or recite, and religâre, to bind or constrain, as possible etymological origins of ‘religion’.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Inscription found at Eleusis; translation by S. Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity (New York: C. Scribner, 1925) p. 140.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    See Yu-lan Fung, Chuang-Tyü 2nd edn (New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corporation, 1964) ‘Introduction’, pp. 3–23, for an interpretation of the essence of Tao.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    F. Waters, ‘Part I. The Myths: Creation of the Four Worlds’, in Book of the Hopi (New York: Penguin, 1963, 1970 printing) pp. 3–27.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    E. Hyams, Soil and Civilization (New York: Harper & Row, 1976) p. 276.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    A. Aveni, ‘Tropical Archeoastronomy’, Science, 213 (1981) pp. 161–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 8.
    K. Birket-Smith, The Paths of Culture (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1965) p. 403.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    R.A. Williamson, H.J. Fisher and D. O’Flynn, ‘Anasazi Solar Observatories’, Chapter 14 in A.F. Aveni (ed.), Native American Astronomy (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1975) p. 212.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    K. Frazier, ‘The Anasazi Sundagger’, Science 80 (November-December 1979) pp. 56–67.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    B. Cobo, Historia del Nuevo Mundo (1653) (Madrid: Bibliotica Autores Espanoles, 1956) vols 91 and 92, pp. 173–4. Translated by A. Aveni, Science, 213 (1981) p. 166.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    K. Birket-Smith, The Paths of Culture, pp. 403–5.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    J.T. Fraser (ed.), The Voices of Time (New York: G. Braziller, 1966) p. 388.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    J. Friberg, ‘Numbers and Measures in the Earliest Written Records’, Scientific American (February 1984) pp. 110–18.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    H. Jensen, Sign, Symbol and Script (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969) p. 27.Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    Jensen, Sign, Symbol and Script, pp. 54–73.Google Scholar
  18. 17.
    H. von Wissmann, ‘On the Role of Nature and Man in Changing the Face of the Dry Belt of Asia’, in W.L. Thomas, Jr (ed.), Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956) p. 286 f.Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    K. Birket-Smith, The Paths of Culture, p. 200.Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    M.D. Sahlins, ‘Poor Man, Rich Man, Big-Man, Chief’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 5 (1963) pp. 285–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 19.
    See also: L. Mumford, The Myth of the Machine vol. I (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967) p. 168 f.Google Scholar
  22. 20.
    Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, p. 215 f.Google Scholar
  23. 21.
    Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, p. 259 fGoogle Scholar
  24. 22.
    Attributed to Chief Seattle in an 1854 message said to have been sent to President Franklin Pierce, and reprinted in Outdoor California (California State Department of Fish and Game) (November-December 1976) pp. 1213.Google Scholar
  25. 23.
    E. Langton, Good and Evil Spirits (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1942) pp. 90–4.Google Scholar
  26. 23.
    For a general discussion of animism, see Sir James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, abridged edn in two volumes (New York: Macmillan, 1951).Google Scholar
  27. 24.
    S.M. Zwemer, The Influence of Animism on Islam: An Account of Popular Superstition (New York: Macmillan, 1920) p. 14. There are similar examples throughout the book.Google Scholar
  28. 25.
    R. Cavendish, The Great Religions (New York: Arco, 1980) p. 59.Google Scholar
  29. 26.
    H.G. Creel, Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao Tsê-tung (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1953) p. 17.Google Scholar
  30. 27.
    Creel, Chinese Thought, p. 98.Google Scholar
  31. 28.
    From The Writings of Kwang-zze (Chuang Tzû) translated by James Legge, in Sacred Books of the East XL (Book XXII, Part II, Section XV, 2) (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1966) pp. 60–1.Google Scholar
  32. 29.
    Cavendish, The Great Religions, p. 135.Google Scholar
  33. 30.
    The Holy Bible Psalms viii, 4–9.Google Scholar
  34. 31.
    Cavendish, The Great Religions, p. 149.Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    R. Shaull, Heralds of a New Reformation: The Poor of South and North America (New York: Orbis Books, Maryknoll, 1984) p. 49.Google Scholar
  36. 33.
    M. Midgley, personal communication. See also R. Graves, The White Goddess (New York: Octagon Books, 1972) p. 393 f.Google Scholar
  37. 34.
    Cavendish, The Great Religions, p. 239.Google Scholar
  38. 35.
    These words appear in John A.T. Robinson, Bishop of Woolich, Honest to God (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  39. 35.
    In this hotly debated treatise, Robinson is attempting to do away with the concept of a supernatural deity. See also James A. Pike, Bishop of California, If This Be Heresy (New York: Harper & Row, 1967).Google Scholar
  40. 36.
    L. White, ‘The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis’, Science 155 (1967) pp. 1203–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 36.
    This article has been rebutted and its argument modified by L.W. Moncrief, ‘The Cultural Basis for Our Environmental Crisis’, Science 170 (1970) pp. 508–12. For further Biblical references see The Holy Bible Genesis, especially i, 27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 37.
    R.N. Bellah, R. Madsen, W.M. Sullivan, A. Swidler and S.M. Tipton, Habits of the Heart (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  43. 38.
    P. Tillich, The Protestant Era (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957) p. xi.Google Scholar
  44. 39.
    J. Bronowski, Science and Human Values (New York: Harper Colophon, 1965) p. 70.Google Scholar
  45. 40.
    D.H. Meadows, ‘What Will Your College Bring to the Future?’, Keynote Address to the 27th National Institute, Council of Independent Colleges, 14 June 1982. Dr Meadows is at the New Policy Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.Google Scholar
  46. 41.
    R. Heilbroner, Marxism: For and Against (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980) p. 86.Google Scholar
  47. 42.
    Shaull, Heralds of a New Reformation, p. 39.Google Scholar
  48. 43.
    Robert McAfee Brown, Making Peace in the Global Village (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  49. 44.
    Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy (Washington, DC: US Catholic Conference, 1986).Google Scholar
  50. 45.
    P. Lernoux, Cry of the People (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1982) p. 31.Google Scholar
  51. 46.
    Shaull, Heralds of a New Reformation, p. 20; quote is of O. Gottwald.Google Scholar
  52. 47.
    Shaull, Heralds of a New Reformation, p. 13; quote is of Pablo Richard. I.F. Stone, writing in The Nation (26 September 1987) p.293, observes that Christian metaphysics — the Trinity, the Eucharist, the virgin birth and original sin — are not to be found anywhere in the New Testament gospels which are strictly concerned with justice for the oppressed.Google Scholar
  53. 48.
    Shaull, Heralds of a New Reformation, p. 56.Google Scholar
  54. 49.
    Lernoux, Cry of the People, p. 137.Google Scholar
  55. 50.
    E. Mortimer, Faith and Power: The Politics of Islam (New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1982) pp. 360 ff.Google Scholar
  56. 51.
    J.A. Bill, ‘Resurgent Islam in the Persian Gulf’, Foreign Affairs (Fall 1984) pp. 108–27; quote is from p. 108.Google Scholar
  57. 52.
    Bill, ‘Resurgent Islam’, p. 127.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark E. Clark 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark E. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.San Diego State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations