The Divine and the Human

from Gifford Lectures on Anthropological Religion (1891)
  • Jon R. Stone


The principal object of the study of Anthropological Religion in its historical development is to learn how man has been searching for the god-like element in human nature, just as a study of Physical Religion showed him to us as bent on discovering something divine or infinite in that objective nature by which he found himself surrounded. I have tried therefore to place before you the various attempts by which the human mind, whether in India, Greece, and Rome, or in Palestine and Egypt, or even in countries not yet illuminated by the rays of civilisation, arrived at the discovery of something more than human in human nature, of something immortal in mortal man, at a belief in a soul, and in the divine kinship of that soul. It required an effort, perhaps the greatest effort of which human nature is capable, to bring the two concepts of the human and the divine, which for a time seemed diametrically opposed to each other, into one focus again. It is the history of these efforts, and, at the same time, the justification of these efforts, that forms the second great division of Natural Religion, nay, of all religion; for what would religion be without this second article of faith: “to believe in my own soul and its divine sonship.”


Human Nature Divine Power Divine Nature Ancestral Spirit Natural Religion 
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© Jon R. Stone 2002

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  • Jon R. Stone

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