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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Three Popular Conceptions of IT

Three Popular Conceptions of IT.

There are three chief popular conceptions of the essence of religion. All three consist in laying a special emphasis and stress on some one department of human nature, to the virtual neglect of other departments equally important. It is man alone that is religious in the common sense of the word; and therefore no one denies that religion is a manifestation of humanity. But whether it is fundamentally a manifestation of thought, feeling, or will, is a question on which there is a divergence of opinion. I believe that, although nobody perhaps would make religion consist either in thought, feeling, or will exclusively, yet most persons unduly emphasize the part in it played by some one of these three factors of human nature. Hence arise three theories of religion which err by disproportion; and this initial error becomes the root of vast subsequent mischief.