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Lecture 13. Languages not Aryan and not Semitic.

Lecture 13.
Languages not Aryan and not Semitic.
The Ural-Altaic Family.
WE now proceed to examine the principal languages belonging to the Ural-Altaic family.
The Samoyedic.

The tribes speaking Samoyedic dialects are spread along the Yenisei and Ob rivers and were pushed more and more North by their Mongolic successors. They have now dwindled down to about 16000 souls. Five dialects however have been distinguished in their language by Castrén the Yurakian Tawgyan Yeniseian Ostjako-Samoyede and Kamassinian with several local varieties.

The vocalic harmony is most carefully preserved in the Kamassinian dialect but seems formerly to have existed in all. The Samoyedic has no gender of nouns but three numbers singular dual and plural and eight cases. The verb has two tenses an Aorist (present and future) and a Preterite. Besides the indicative there is a subjunctive and an imperative.
Altaic Languages.
This name comprehends the Tungusic Mongolic and Turkic languages. Some of the Tungusic and Mongolic dialects represent the lowest phase of agglutination which in some cases is as yet no more than juxtaposition while in Turkish agglutination has entered into the inflectional phase. The vocalic harmony prevails throughout.
The Tungusic branch extends from China northward to Siberia and westward to 113° where the river Tunguska partly marks its frontier. The Tungusic tribes in Eastern Siberia are under Russian sway. They consist of about 70000 souls; some are called Tchapogires some Orotongs. Other Tungusic tribes belong to the Chinese empire and are known by the name of Mandshu a name taken after they had conquered China in 1644 and founded the present imperial dynasty. Their country is called Mandshuria.
Mongolic Class.
The original seats of the people who speak Mongolic dialects lie near the Lake Baikal and in the eastern parts of Siberia where we find them as early as the ninth century after Christ. They were divided into three classes the Mongols proper the Buriäts and the Ölöts or Kalmüks. Chingis-Khan (1227) united them into a nation and founded the Mongolian empire which included however not only Mongolic but likewise Tungusic and Turkic (commonly though wrongly called Tataric) tribes.
The name of Tatar soon became the terror of Asia and Europe and changed into Tartar as if derived from Tartarus it was applied promiscuously to all the nomadic warriors whom Asia then poured forth over Europe. Originally Tatar was a name of the Mongolic races but through their political ascendancy in Asia after Chingis-Khan it became usual to call all the tribes which were under Mongolian sway by the name of Tatar. In linguistic works Tataric is now used in two several senses. Following the example of writers of the Middle Ages Tataric like Scythian in Greek has been fixed upon as the general term comprising all languages spoken by the nomadic tribes of Asia. Secondly Tataric by a strange freak has become the name of that class of languages of which the Turkish is the most prominent member. While the Mongolic class—that which in fact has the greatest claims to the name of Tataric—is never so called it has become an almost universal custom to apply this name to the third or Turkic branch of the Ural-Altaic division; and the races belonging to this branch have in many instances themselves adopted the name.
The conquests of the Mongols or the descendants of Chingis-Khan were not confined however to these Turkish tribes. They conquered China in the East where they founded the Mongolic dynasty of Yuan and in the West after subduing the Khalifs of Bagdad and the Sultans of Iconium they conquered Moscow and devastated the greater part of Russia. In 1240 they invaded Poland in 1241 Silesia. Here they recoiled before the united armies of Germany Poland and Silesia. They retired into Moravia and having exhausted that country occupied Hungary.
At that time they had to choose a new Khan which could only be done at Karakorum the old capital of their empire. Thither they withdrew to elect an emperor to govern an empire which then extended from China to Poland from India to Siberia. But a realm of such vast proportions could not be long held together and towards the end of the thirteenth century it broke up into several independent states all under Mongolian princes but no longer under one Khan of Khans. Thus new independent Mongolic empires arose China Turkestan Siberia Southern Russia and Persia. In 1360 the Mongolian dynasty was driven out of China; in the fifteenth century they lost their hold on Russia. In Central Asia they rallied on more under Timur (1369) whose sway was again from Karakorum to Persia and Anatolia. But in 1468 this empire also fell by its own weight and for want of powerful rulers like Chingis-Khan or Timur. In Jagatai alone—the country extending the Aral Lake to the Hindu-Kush between the rivers Oxus and Yaxartes (Jihon and Sihon) and once governed by Jagatai the son of Chingis-Khan—the Mongolian dynasty maintained itself and thence it was that Baber a descendant of Timur conquered India and founded there a Mongolian dynasty surviving up to our own times in the Great Moguls of Delhi. Most Mongolic tribes are now under the sway of the nations whom they once had conquered the Tungusic sovereigns of China the Russian Czars and the Turkish Sultans.
The Mongolic language although spoken (but not continuously) from China as far as the Volga has given rise to but few dialects. Next to the Tungusic the Mongolic is the poorest language of the Ural-Altaic family and the scantiness of grammatical terminations accounts for the fact that as a language it has remained very much unchanged. There is however a distinction between the language as spoken by the Eastern Western and Northern tribes; and incipient traces of grammatical life have lately been discovered by Castrén the great Swedish traveller and Turanian philologist in the spoken dialect of the Buriäts. In it the persons of the verb are distinguished by affixes while according to the rules of Mongolic grammar no other dialect distinguishes in the verb between amo amas amat.
Turkic Class.
Much more important are the Turkic languages most prominent among which is the Turkish itself or the Osmanli of Constantinople. The different Turkic dialects of which the Osmanli is one occupy one of the largest linguistic areas extending from the Lena and the Polar Sea down to the Adriatic.
Turkish Grammar.
It is a real pleasure to read a Turkish grammar even though one may have no wish to acquire it practically. The ingenious manner in which the numerous grammatical forms are brought out the regularity which pervades the system of declension and conjugation the transparency and intelligibility of the whole structure must strike all who have a sense for that wonderful power of the human mind which is displayed in language. Given so small a number of graphic and demonstrative roots as would hardly suffice to express the commonest wants of human beings to produce an instrument that shall tender the faintest shades of feeling and thought; given a vague infinitive or a stern imperative to derive from it such moods as an optative or subjunctive and tenses such as an aorist or paulo-post future; given incoherent utterances to arrange them into a system where all is uniform and regular all combined and harmonious—such is the work of the human mind which we see realised in language. But in most languages nothing of this early process remains visible. They stand before us like solid rocks and the microscope of the philologist alone can reveal the remains of organic life with which they are built up.
In the grammar of the Turkic languages on the contrary we have before us a language of perfectly transparent structure and a grammar the inner workings of which we can study as if watching the building of cells in a crystal beehive. An eminent Orientalist remarked ‘We might imagine Turkish to be the result of the deliberations of some eminent society of learned men;’ but no such society could have devised what the mind of man produced left to itself in the steppes of Tartary and guided only by its innate laws or by an instinctive power as wonderful as any within the realm of nature.
Finno-Ugric Class.
We now proceed to the Finnic class which according to Castrén is divided into four branches.
1. The Ugric comprising Ostjakian Vogulian and Hungarian.
2. The Bulgaric1 comprising Tcheremissian and Mordvinian.
3. The Permic comprising Permian Syrjänian Votjakian.
4. The Finnic comprising Finnish Estonian Lapponian Karelian Livonian Wotian.
For our own purposes the Fins and Estonians are the most interesting among the Finno-Ugric tribes. The Fins call themselves Suomalainen i.e. inhabitants of fens. They are settled in the province of Finland (formerly belonging to Sweden but since 1809 annexed to Russia) and in parts of the governments of Archangel and Olonetz. Their literature and above all their popular poetry bear witness to a high intellectual development in times which we may call almost mythical and in places more favourable to the glow of poetical feelings than their present abode the last refuge Europe could afford them. The epic songs still live among the poorest recorded by oral tradition alone and preserving all the features of a perfect metre and of a more ancient language. A national feeling has lately arisen amongst the Fins despite of Russian supremacy; and the labours of Sjögren Lönnrot Castrén Kellgren Donner and others receiving hence a powerful impulse have produced results truly surprising. From the mouths of the aged an epic poem has been collected equalling the Iliad in length and completeness—nay if we can forget for a moment all that we in our youth learned to call beautiful not less beautiful. A Fin is not a Greek and Wainamoïnen was not a Homeric rhapsodos. But if the poet may take his colours from that nature by which he is surrounded if he may depict the men with whom he lives the Kalevala possesses merits not dissimilar from those of the Iliad and will claim its place as the fifth national epic of the world side by side with the Ionian songs with the Mahâbhârata the Shâhnâmeh and the Nibelunge. If we want to study the circumstances under which short ballads may grow up and become amalgamated after a time into a real epic poem nothing can be more instructive than the history of the collection of the Kalevala. We have here facts before us not mere surmises as in the case of the Homeric poems and the Nibelunge. We can still see bow some poems were lost others were modified; how certain heroes and episodes became popular and attracted and absorbed what had been originally told of other heroes and other episodes. Lönnrot could watch the effect of a good and of a bad memory among the people who repeated the songs to him and he makes no secret of having himself used the same freedom in the final arrangement of these poems which the people used from whom he learnt them. This early literary cultivation has not been without a powerful influence on the language. It has imparted permanence to its forms and a traditional character to its words so that at first sight we might almost doubt whether the grammar of this language had not left the agglutinative stage altogether. The agglutinative type however yet remains and its grammar shows a luxuriance of grammatical combination second only to Turkish and Hungarian. Like Turkish it observes the ‘harmony of vowels’ a feature which lends a peculiar charm to its poetry.
The yield of this popular poetry for mythological and religious researches is very considerable.
The Estonians.
The Ests or Estonians neighbours of the Fins and speaking a language closely allied to the Finnish possess likewise large fragments of ancient national poetry. Dr. Kreutzwald has been able to put together a kind of epic poem called Kalewipoeg the Son of Kalew not so grand and perfect as the Kalevala yet interesting as a parallel.
The languages which I formerly comprehended under the general name of South-Turanian should for the present at least be treated as independent branches of speech.
Tamulic Languages.
There can be no doubt about the Tamulic or Dravidian languages constituting a well-defined family held together by strongly marked grammatical features. Tamil Telugu Canarese and Malayalam occupy nearly the whole of the Indian peninsula. Some scattered dialects still spoken north of the Dekhan such as those of the Gonds Uraon-Kols Râjmahals and Brahuis show that the race speaking Tamulic languages occupied formerly more northern seats and was driven from the North to the South by the Aryan colonists of the country.
Munda Languages.
There is another cluster of languages the Munda or Kol which were formerly classed with the Tamulic but which as I was the first to prove in my Letter on the Turanian Languages2 constitute by themselves an independent family of speech. The dialects of the Santhals Kols Hos Bhumij belong to this class. These dialects which I had called Munda Sir G. Campbell proposed to call Kolarian.
Taic Languages.
In the same Letter on the Turanian Languages I comprehended under the name of Taic the Siamese and its congeners such as Laos Shan (Tenasserim) Ahom Khamti and Kassia.
Gangetic Languages.
Under Gangetic I classed Tibetan with such related dialects as Lepcha Murmi Magar Gurung etc.
Lohitic Languages.
Under Lohitic I arranged Burmese with Bodo Garo Nâga Singpho and similar dialects.
The Lohitic and Gangetic languages together are sometimes spoken of as Bhotîya.
Languages of Farther India.
There are still the languages of what used to be called Farther India but these languages now spoken by Anamites Peguans Cambodjans and others have been so little explored in the spirit of comparative philology that it must suffice for the present to mention their names. For our own purposes the study of Natural Religion they have yielded as yet very little. They have long been under the influence of either China Tibet or India and have hardly attracted the attention of the collector of sacred folk-lore.
Languages of the Caucasus.
The same remark applies to the languages spoken in the Caucasus such as the Georgian Lazian Suanian Mingrelian Abchasian Circassian Thush etc. They have been studied but they have not yet been classified with any degree of success and they yield us hardly any information on the natural growth of religious ideas.
Language and Religion.
We have thus surveyed the principal languages of Europe and Asia more particularly those which have supplied the living soil for the growth of mythology and religion. I have intentionally confined my remarks to languages without saying much of those who spoke them.
Blood and hair and bones can teach us nothing or very little about religion and the more carefully the two sciences of ethnology and philology are kept apart the better I believe it will be for both. We know from history that races may give up their own language and adopt that of their conquerors or in some cases of the conquered. Much more is this the ease with religion. Our interest therefore is with religion whoever the people were who believed in it just as we classify languages regardless of the people by whom they were spoken. Buddhism for instance is an Aryan religion and its origin would be unintelligible on any but an Aryan substratum of language and thought. But it has been adopted by races whose languages belong to a totally different family and whose intellectual peculiarities have completely changed the original character of Buddha's teaching. Who could understand Buddhism if he knew it in its Chinese Mongolian or Japanese form only?
In the case of Christianity we have a Semitic religion which has become Aryan in every sense of the word. And again I ask who could understand the original character of Christianity unless he knew the language which gave rise to such names and concepts as Elohim and Jehovah and Messiah unless he knew its antecedents in the Old Testament?
It may happen that whole nations most interesting to us in their ethnological and political character are of no account whatever in the study of religion. Japan for instance so far as it is Buddhist can teach us nothing except by showing us how a religion most spiritual in its origin may become formal and ceremonial and unmeaning if transferred to an uncongenial soil. Fortunately however something of the native religion of Japan also has been preserved to us in the Shintoism of the past and of the present day. It is by this that Japan supplies a really important chapter in the history of Natural Religion.
What applies to Japan applies likewise to such countries as Tibet Burmah and Siam all of which have adopted the religion of Buddha and can be of real interest to us by the remnants of their ancient popular religion only which survive here and there in superstitions customs and legends.
A larger harvest awaits the student of religion in Egypt. Here however both ethnology and philology offer us as yet but little help. Whether the ancient language of Egypt shows any traces of real relationship with Aryan and Semitic speech is a question which has been asked again and again but has never been satisfactorily answered. Similarities with Semitic grammar there are and there are coincidences between Egyptian and Aryan roots which are sometimes startling. Some scholars have gone so far as to recognise in the language of Egypt the most primitive form of human speech previous even to its differentiation as Aryan and Semitic. That Egypt was open from the earliest times to ethnic influences from the Semitic the Aryan and likewise from the African world cannot be denied. But for the present we must be careful not to dogmatise on these problems and it will be best to treat the Egyptian religion for the study of which we possess such ample materials as an independent nucleus of religious thought.
The adjacent languages of Northern Africa are likewise as yet in what may be called an unclassified state. In ancient times the language of Carthage and other Phenician settlements on the Northern coast was Semitic. But what are called the Sub-Semitic or sometimes the Hamitic languages the Berber or Libyan (Kabyle Shilhe Tuareg or Tamasheg) and some of the aboriginal dialects of Abyssinia or Ethiopia (the Somâli Galla Beja or Bihâri Agau Dankali etc.) must be submitted to a far more searching analysis before they can claim a real right to the name of either Hamitic or Sub-Semitic. Fortunately they are of small importance to us in our investigations of primitive religious concepts and names as Mohammedanism has effaced nearly every trace of religious beliefs which preceded it in those regions.
There is no time and there is no necessity for my laying before you the as yet only partially disentangled network of languages spread over the rest of Africa. For our own purposes it will be sufficient if we distinguish between those linguistic and religious groups to which reference will have to be made in the course of our studies.
The Nubas on the Upper Nile who according to F. Müller constitute with the Fulahs a separate linguistic class need not occupy us at present because here also little is known of their ancient religion previous to their conversion to Mohammedanism. Lepsius in his ‘Nubische Grammatik’ denies the independent character of the language. There remain therefore:
1. The Hottentots and Bushmen in the South. The best judges now consider these two races in spite of striking differences in language and religion as originally one.
2. The Bântu races or Kafirs who extend in an unbroken line on the East-coast from several degrees north of the Equator down to the Hottentots with whom they are often closely united. They have spread from East to West across the whole continent. The typical form of their language is so pronounced that there can be no doubt as to the relationship of these languages though it may be that several little explored dialects are at present treated as Bântu which further analysis will have to adjudge to a different class. Dr. Bleek who was the first to establish the relationship of the best-known Bântu languages on a truly scientific basis was also the first to show the influence which such languages would naturally exercise on the religious ideas of those who spoke them. Being without grammatical gender in our sense of the word these languages do not lend themselves easily to the personification of the powers of nature. Worship of ancestral spirits is very general among these Bântu tribes.
3. The Negro races extending from the Western coast of Africa towards the interior. Here much remains to be done and we must hope that future researches will lead to the discovery of several subdivisions of what are now called Negro languages. Something however has been gained in so far as this ill-defined name of Negro is restricted for the present to the inhabitants of the centre of Africa. What is called fetishism was first observed among these tribes though it never constituted the original or the exclusive character of their religion.
Lepsius3 in his ‘Nubische Grammatik’ tries to reduce the population of Africa to three types:—
1. The Northern negroes;
2. The Southern or Bântu negroes;
3. The Cape negroes.
And in accordance with this ethnological system he arranges the languages also into three zones:—
(1) The Southern south of the Equator the Bântu dialects explored chiefly on the west and east coasts but probably stretching across the whole continent comprising the Herero Pongue Fernando Po Kafir ('Osa and Zulu) Tshuana (Soto and Rolon) Suahili etc.; (2) the Northern zone between the Equator and the Sahara and east as far as the Nile comprising Efik Ibo Yoruba Ewe Akra or Ga Otyi Kru Vei (Mande) Temne Bullom Wolof Fula Sonrhai Kanuri Teda (Tibu) Logone Wandala Bagirmi Mâba Konjâra Umâle Dinka Shilluk Bongo Bari Oigob Nuba and Barea; (3) the Hamitic zone including the extinct Egyptian and Coptic the Libyan dialects such as Tuareg (Kabyl and Amasheg) Hausa the Kushitic or Ethiopian languages including the Beja dialects the Soho Falasha Agau Galla Dankali and Somâli. The Hottentot and Bushman languages are referred to the same zone.
The Hamitic languages comprised in the third zone the Egyptian Libyan and Kushitic are considered by Lepsius as alien to Africa. They are all intruders from the East though reaching Africa at different times and by different roads. The true aboriginal nucleus of African speech is contained in the first zone and represented by that class of languages which on account of their strongly marked grammatical character has been called the Bântu family. Professor Lepsius attempts to show that the languages of the Northern zone are modifications of the same type which is represented in the Southern zone these modifications being chiefly due to contact and more or less violent friction with languages belonging to the Hamitic zone and to a certain extent with Semitic languages also.
Imperfect as our present classification of the native languages and in consequence of the native religions of Africa is still we have advanced so far that no scholar would speak any longer of African languages and no theologian of African religions.
The same applies to America. The division and the mutual relations of the numerous languages spoken on that continent are far from being satisfactorily established. Still no one speaks any longer of American languages in general nor would any one venture to treat the various religions of America as varieties of one and the same original type. Progress has been slow still there has been progress here also. We can distinguish between at least four independent centres of language and likewise of religion and though future researches may help us to subdivide more minutely they will hardly tend to remove the landmarks which so far have been established.
These four centres of language and religion are:—
1. The Red-Indians or Red-skins in the North. They will for the present have to be treated as one group though not only in their language but in their religious ideas and social customs also different tribes exhibit very marked differences. Totemism which has often been represented as the common feature of their religion was originally much more of a social custom than a religious belief though like many social customs it acquired in time something of a religious sanction. Their religion if we are allowed to generalise is based on a belief in divine spirits often in a Supreme Spirit and the questions of the creation of the world and of man have occupied the thoughts of many of these so-called savages.
2. The next nucleus of an independent religion existed in Mexico where if we may trust tradition two immigrations took place from the North bringing with them new elements of civilisation. These immigrants are known by the names of Tolteks and Azteks the latter driving the former before them into more southern latitudes. Religion and ceremonial had reached a very high development in Mexico at the time of its discovery and devastation by the Spaniards. Even philosophical theories on the true nature of the gods were not unknown among the higher classes.
3. Central America seems to have been the seat of an independent civilisation though strongly influenced by immigrations from the North. One language the Quiché has been more carefully studied and an ancient book the Popol Vuh written in that language has been published in the original and translated. Some scholars have claimed for it a place among the Sacred Books of the world and it is certainly a rich mine for studying the traditions of the Mayas as they existed in the fifteenth century.
4. Peru the kingdom of the Incas is chiefly distinguished by its solar religion and solar worship the very rulers being considered as children of the sun. Here also philosophical opinions seem to have sprung up from a religious soil and the reasoning of a famous Inca has often been quoted who maintained that there must be a higher power than their father the sun because the sun was not free but had to perform its appointed course from day to day and from year to year.
Besides these four groups there are still a number of independent tribes of whose language and religion we know something but not enough to enable us to classify them either by themselves or with other tribes.
Such are the Arctic or Hyperborean tribes more particularly the Eskimos and Greenlanders in the extreme North; the Arowakes and the once famous Caribes in the north of South America and in the islands of the Antilles; the aboriginal inhabitants of Brazil; the Abipones so well described by Dobrizhofer (1784); and in the South the Patagonians and the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego.
Until the languages of these people have been carefully analysed by real scholars any attempt at grouping them would prove simply mischievous. We are at present in a stage where our duty is to distinguish not to confound. Even to speak of the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego as one race has produced as we saw disastrous results and it is to be hoped that we shall hear no more of a South American language or of a North American religion. It is true that certain legends have been found in the North as well as in the South of America which seem to point to a common origin. But it will be time to account for such coincidences after the legends of each centre have been studied by themselves and after some clearer light has been thrown on the component elements of the population of the whole American continent.
How under present circumstances scholars could have been bold enough to trace the whole American race to immigrations from Asia or even from Europe is difficult to understand. The physical possibility no doubt was there whether across the island bridges in the North or by sea from West or East. We heard but lately how a large vessel cast off by its crew drifted safely from America to England (the Hebrides). The same may have happened on either coast of America. But any attempts to recognise in the inhabitants of America descendants of Jews Phenicians Chinese or Celts are for the present simply hopeless and are in fact outside the pale of real science.
Oceanic Languages.
The languages which extend from Madagascar on the East coast of Africa to the Sandwich Islands West of America have been far more carefully studied than those of America and Africa. I speak oflanguages not of races for if ethnological classification has proved a failure anywhere it has when applied to the mixture of blood that led to the formation of such races as Australians Papuans Malays Polynesians Melanesians Micronesians Negritos Mincopies Orang-utans and all the rest.
From the latest work on this family of languages by Dr. Codrington (‘The Melanesian Languages’ Oxford 1885) it appears that we must admit an original though very distant relationship between the Malay the Polynesian Melanesian and Micronesian languages but that in their later development it is possible to distinguish between the Malay the Polynesian and the Melanesian (with Micronesian) as independent branches of a common stem. The dialects of Australia stand as yet apart as too little known as well as those of New Guinea though some dialects like the Motu of New Guinea are clearly Melanesian.
It follows from this division that with regard to religion also we must distinguish between a Malay a Polynesian a Melanesian and possibly a New Guinea (Papuan) and Australian centre. Our information however from the two last is very imperfect.
Owing to the proximity of the Malay islands to India they have from the earliest times been overrun by immigrants conquerors and missionaries from the Asiatic Continent. Their ancient religious opinions are covered up and hidden under superimposed strata of Hindu Buddhist Mohammedan and Christian faith and what there is of native growth in Java Borneo and elsewhere represents probably the mere dregs of a former religion.
The Polynesian languages on the contrary present us with an abundant growth both of religion and of poetical mythology. These Polynesian traditions are particularly valuable to the student of comparative mythology because they offer striking similarities with the legends of Greeks Romans Teutons and others without the possibility of a common origin or of a later historical contact.
The Melanesians so far as we can judge do not differ much from the Polynesians and Micronesians in the fundamental outlines of their religious opinions but they are not so rich in imaginative legends. Further research however may modify this opinion.
As to the Australians and the Papuas of New Guinea very little has been ascertained as yet of their religion except what is embodied in their ceremonial observances and social customs.
Classification of Languages why necessary.
This linguistic and religious survey which has taken up much of our time will nevertheless I hope prove a saving of time in the progress of our work. Imperfect as it is it will enable us to guard against certain mistakes very common in the Science of Religion. We have established certain broad lines of division in language and religion and we shall hear no more of what used to be called the religion of savages or barbarians or black men or red men or Africans or Americans. The student of religion knows no savages no barbarians. Some of the races who are called savage or barbarous possess the purest simplest and truest views of religion while some nations who consider themselves in the very van of civilisation profess religious dogmas of the most degraded and degrading character. The African Zulu who was a match for Bishop Colenso cannot be classed as an African or black man together with the royal butchers of Dahomey; and the Inca philosopher who searched for something more divine than the sun cannot be placed by the side of the Blackfoot performing the sun-dance4.
Progress in the Science of Religion means at present discrimination both with regard to the subject and the object of religious faith. As we speak no longer of the believers in a religion as either savages or barbarians black men or red men Africans or Americans the idea also that we can truly characterise any religion by such general terms as fetishism totemism animism solarism shamanism etc. has long been surrendered by all critical students. Ingredients of all these isms may be found in most religions but not one of them can be fully defined by such vague terms. Religions are everywhere the result of a long historical growth and like languages they retain even in their latest forms traces of the stages through which they have passed. There is fetishism in some forms of Christianity; there is spiritualism in the creed of some so-called worshippers of fetishes. Generalisation will come in time but generalisation without a thorough knowledge of particulars is the ruin of all sciences and has hitherto proved the greatest danger to the Science of Religion.

  • 1.

    The name Bulgaric is not borrowed from Bulgaria, on the Danube; Bulgaria, on the contrary, received its name (replacing Moesia) from Bulgaric armies by whom it was conquered in the seventh century. Bulgarian tribes marched from the Volga to the Don, and after remaining for a time under the sovereignty of the Avars on the Don and Dnieper, they advanced to the Danube in 635, and founded there the Bulgarian kingdom. This has retained its name to the present day, though the original Bulgarians have long been absorbed and replaced by Slavonic inhabitants, and both brought under Turkish sway since 1392.

  • 2.

    Letter to Chevalier Bunsen, ‘On the Turanian Languages,’ in Bunsen's Christianity and Mankind, vol. iii. p. 263. 1854.

  • 3.

    M. M., Introduction to the Science of Religion, p. 239.

  • 4.

    The Blackfoot Sun-Dance, by Rev. John McLean, in the Proceedings of the Canadian Institute, No. 151; 1889. Notes bearing on the use of ordure in rites of a religious character, by John G. Bourke, Washington, 1888.

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