1.8 Notes for Chapter 1

[1] Even this core of attributes is not fully possessed by at least half the living and dead religions which cultural anthropologists have studied. For example, there is no priest in Hinduism and Shintoism; there is no book (even metaphorically) among the Australoids; and there is virtually no ritual in Quakerism and Unitarianism. The fact that Hinduism "broadened down from precedent to precedent," with no single great founder, with no prophets, in the Hebrew sense, and only occasional reformers, gives it a very different sanction and spirit indeed from Christianity. The fact that Judaism has always awaited a Messiah and the coming of the kingdom of the one true god gives it again, a totally different temper from the mannerly or diplomatic accomodation to an emporor, to an infidel or pagan neighbor, along with the accomodation to the primitive spirit of superstition such as has been achieved in the urbane procession of Confucianism. And what could be more different than the Buddhist's world-weary desire to get out of the cycle of life; the ancient Greek's dauntless intention (with Zeus's aid) to snatch what he can from the web of Fate, and the Viking's boisterous confidence that he will drink with Thor and Odin in Valhalla?

[2] Some of the clearest evidence that certain religions are adopted more readily by certain temperaments especially when such temperaments are homogenously massed together where there can be cumulative effects is to be found in the new conceptual developments from cross-cultural psychological measures (McDougall, 1921; Cattell, Breul, and Hartmann, 1952; Darlington, 1969). In terms of finding direct attitudinal measures of religious value to correlate substantially with personality measures the work of Morris (1956) is particularly striking. In the less direct terms of geographical mapping of racial distributions the largely cognitive, community-oriented, unemotional religion of the Mongolian peoples in Taoism and Confucianism, for example, is in obvious contrast to the fierce emotional abstractness of conceptions in the Semitic peoples. Again, it has been noted that in Europe, notably in France, the low countries, and Germany, Protestantism has fairly closely followed the distribution of Nordic settlement. Economics, conquest, climate, and historical accidents play important parts too, but it is difficult to escape the conclusion from an open-minded investigation that biological temperament also plays a part in deciding the emotional quality of the religion which most readily prevails. (See especially Lynn, 1971.)

[3] The methods are too technical to admit adequate brief discussion here. They hinge on the psychologist's ability to describe a stimulus, situation or course of action by vector quantities untilizing the factors obtained in temperament and motivation (Sells, 1962; Horn, 1966; Cattell, 1965). To do this between distinct populations requires certain assumptions about the equivalence of factors in different bio-social groups (Cattell, 1971). The whole approach is one of describing perceptual differences in terms of dimensions of the perceivers.

[4] An instance with a little more appeal than others has been offered by William James, who awoke from sleep with the tremendous revelation ringing in his head:

Hogamous, Higamous;
Men are polygamous.
Higamous, Hogamous;
Women monogamous!

At best it can be said of the experience that it created a form somewhat different from the limerick!

[5] Examples of conviction from emotional intuition (which we should distinguish from emotional truth in the other, empirical sense above) are as numerous and incoherent as sand grains in the desert. I therefore take yesterday's magazine at random and read of a young actress (drama being a field where emotional truth is so frequently called truth) exclaiming (Life, April 23, 1971): "'When I left the West Coast I was a liberal. When I landed in New York I was a revolutionary.' Just what she means by that, Jane Fonda is constantly and not always consistently redefining. 'I didn't have time to sit down with books and get a historical analysis and put it all into perspective,' she says. 'It was an emotional, gut kind of thing.'"

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