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NATURISM


717


NATURISM


and nature of Go J and of his distinction from the world. Here the question of the possibility of miracles is sug- gested. If nature alone exists, and if all its changes are absolutely necessary, everything takes place ac- cording to a strict determinism. If, on the contrary, God e.xists as a transcendent, intelligent, and free cause of nature and its laws, not only nature in all its details depends ultimately on God's will, but its ordinary course may be suspended by a miraculous interven- tion of the First Cause. (Sec Arts; N.4.tur.\lism; Supernatural; Grace.)

EiSLER, Worterhuch dpr philos. Begriffe; RicEABT, General Afeta- phijsics (New York, 1900); Gutberlet, Nalurphilosophie (Mun- ster, 1S94;; Harper, Metaphysics of the SchooHhondon, 1.S79-84); Mercier, Ontologie (Louvain, 1902); Nts, Cosmologie (Louvain, 1906), and literature under Naturalism.

C. A. Dubray.

Naturism, the term proposed by R^viUe to desig- nate the worship of nature. It differs from Natural- ism, which is not a religion, but a system of atheistic philosophy, and from natural religion, which sets forth those truths about God and man attainable by the na- tive power of human reason and forming the prolego- mena to Revelation, e. g., the existence of God, the spiritual and immortal nature of the human soul, the moral order. As a theory of religion Naturism ex- hibits three phases: I. Ethnographic Naturism. II. Philosophic Naturism. III. Science-Naturism.

I. Ethnographic N.wurism. — According to Re- ville, Naturism is the primitive form of religion, the basis and source of all existing forms. This is the thesis of comparative mythology, which is said to re- veal a primitive nature worship. Its foundation is a twofold assumption: (1) the philosophic assumption of evolution, which maintains that man is a develop- ment by slow and successive stages from the animal; hence the corollary advanced by Spencer and Thomas as the first principle in the evolutionary history of re- ligion, viz., that primitive man was a creature of emo- tion, not of intelligence which is the product of more advanced culture; (2) the ethnographic assumption that primitive man existed in the savage state, a con- dition and mode of life akin to that prevailing among the non-civilized races of to-day, e. g., Tylor, Lub- bock, Tiele, Reville, and Spencer.

The core and essence of nature-worship is that na- ture is animated throughout. In the conception of animated nature, Reville is in touch with de Brosses and Comte, who claim that Fetishism is the primitive religion and by Fetishism understand the primitive tendency to conceive external objects as animated by a life analogous to that of man. He differs from Ty- lor, who specifies the cause of the animation, e. g., spirits or souls, and from Comte in holding that the primitive animation in its initial stage is not Fetish- ism, but becomes so when in process of development the spirit or soul is distinguished from the object. Thus with Reville, the Animism of Tylor and Spencer is the intermediate link between Naturism and Fetish- ism. Tylor, however, considers nature-worship as the connecting bond between Fetishism and Polytheism, yet admits that the stages of this process defy any more accurate definition. Giddings follows Tylor in holding that religious ideas are of two groups: animis- tic interpretation of the finite, and animistic interpreta- tion nf tlir infinite (" Induct. Sociol.", New York, 1901). In like manner Blackmar teaches that nature-worship was nothing more than spirit-worship localized in the various objects of nature (Elem. of Sociology, New York, 190.5). On the other hand Guyan calls Natur- ism, Physiolatry, of which zoolatry, i. e., worship of animals, is a department (The Non-Religion of the Future, New York, 1907). Haddcn holds that primitive folk do not draw a sharp distinction between things animate and inaminate (The Study of Man, New York, 1898). Jastrow says that the savage and primitive man does not differentiate between such an


object of nature as the sun and its personification as a being possessing life in some form, and teaches that it is an axiom of primitive man's science to ascribe life to all things (The Study of Religion, London, 1902). Schrader says the common basis of the ancient Indo- European religion was a worship of natiu'e, and ap- peals to linguistics which shows that the ancient Aryans designated objects perceived as doing some- thing, e. g., the rain rains, the fire burns ("Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples", tr. by Jevons, liOndon, 1890). Hence the discovery of the soul or spirit as distinct from the object is the origin of Ani- mism. This theory is sometimes called personification of natural forces, but only in the sense that nature is conceived as living, as vital with creative and preserv- ative powers. Personification, in the strict sense of investing material things with the attributes of a per- son is far above the power of early man and appears only in later forms of developed belief. Hence, ac- cording to Reville, there is first the naive cult of nat- ural objects as possessing life and in some way sup- posed to influence man; this is followed by Animism and Fetishism; and finally a third stage known as the natural mythologies founded on the dramatization of nature, e. g., the historic polytheisms of China, Egypt, Babylonia, of the Teutonic, Greek, Latin, and Vedic races.

Primitive man faces the world about him in child- like wonder. The succession of the seasons, of night and day, of storm and cloud, the growth of living things, exhibit nature in constant and varied changes. He views natural phenomena as the effects of causes beyond his comprehension and control. Conscious of his own agency, though unable yet to distinguish soul from the parts of the body, he attributes agency like his own to the objects which surround him. Awe and delight possess him. Having no idea at all of God, writes Keary, he makes the things themselves gods by worshipping them ("Early Relig. Develop." in Nineteenth Cent., Aug., 1878). Hence Brinton writes that nature is known to man only as a force which manifests itself in change (The Religious Senti- ment, New York, 1876). Ratzel explains this crav- ing for causality in an animistic sense as tending to vivify all the higher phenomena of nature by attribut- ing to them a soul, and applies the word Polytheism to all religions of the lower grades ("Hist, of Man- kind", tr. Butler, London, 1896). With Crawley the phenomena of change exhibits a vital principle analo- gous to man's own and this principle of life vaguely conceived by primitive man but strongly felt is the origin of religion; in a later stage of development Vitalism passes into Animism (The Tree of Life, London, 190.5). Shaw says the difference between Naturism and Spiritism is largely a difference of em- phasis, because neither can be excluded from the in- terpretation of a primitive which as yet has made no sharp separation between subject and object. Hence the worshipper of nature seems to ally himself with external objects which, as he surveys them anthro- popatically, serve as a support and mirror of his own fleeting fancies. These natural objects are further conceived by primitive man as either friendly or inim- ical to him. In the particular view of Fetishism the physical and psychical further appears. Thus Shaw in the primitive Naturism resulting from the contact of man with the phenomena of the external world, attempts to reconcile the psychological theories of fear as set forth by Hume, Clodd, Tiele, Deinker, and of desire either natural with Brinton or morbid by Feuerbach.

Pfleidner holds that nature is animated throughout, that this view was just as natural for (he childlike fancy of the primitive man as it is still to-day for children and poets. According to him this animation of nature is not to be explained by saying that the primitive man only compared natural phenomena