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BAAL


fact. Created beings were originally of three orders—the intelligent or angels; the non-intelligent natural existences; and man, who mediated between these two orders. Intelligent beings are endowed with freedom; it is possible, but not necessary, that they should fall. Hence the fact of the fall is not a speculative but an historic truth. The angels fell through pride—through desire to raise themselves to equality with God; man fell by lowering himself to the level of nature. Only after the fall of man begins the creation of space, time and matter, or of the world as we now know it; and the motive of this creation was the desire to afford man an opportunity for taking advantage of the scheme of redemption, for bringing forth in purity the image of God according to which he has been fashioned. The physical philosophy and anthropology which Baader, in connexion with this, unfolds in various works, is but little instructive, and coincides in the main with the utterances of Boehme. In nature and in man he finds traces of the dire effects of sin, which has corrupted both and has destroyed their natural harmony. As regards ethics, Baader rejects the Kantian or any autonomic system of morals. Not obedience to a moral law, but realization in ourselves of the divine life is the true ethical end. But man has lost the power to effect this by himself; he has alienated himself from God, and therefore no ethical theory which neglects the facts of sin and redemption is satisfactory or even possible. The history of man and of humanity is the history of the redeeming love of God. The means whereby we put ourselves so in relation with Christ as to receive from Him his healing virtue are chiefly prayer and the sacraments of the church; mere works are never sufficient. Man in his social relations is under two great institutions. One is temporal, natural and limited—the state; the other is eternal, cosmopolitan and universal—the church. In the state two things are requisite: first, common submission to the ruler, which can be secured or given only when the state is Christian, for God alone is the true ruler of men; and, secondly, inequality of rank, without which there can be no organization. A despotism of mere power and liberalism, which naturally produces socialism, are equally objectionable. The ideal state is a civil community ruled by a universal or Catholic church, the principles of which are equally distinct from mere passive pietism, or faith which will know nothing, and from the Protestant doctrine, which is the very radicalism of reason.

Baader is, without doubt, among the greatest speculative theologians of modern Catholicism, and his influence has extended itself even beyond the precincts of his own church. Among those whom he influenced were R. Rothe, Julius Müller and Hans L. Markensen.

His works were collected and published by a number of his adherents—F. Hoffman, J. Hamberger, E. v. Schaden, Lutterbeck, von Osten-Sacken and Schlüter—Baader's sämmtliche Werke (16 vols., 1851–1860). Valuable introductions by the editors are prefixed to the several volumes. Vol. xv. contains a full biography; vol. xvi. an index, and an able sketch of the whole system by Lutterbeck. See F. Hoffmann, Vorhalle zur spekulativen Lehre Baader's (1836); Grundzüge der Societäts-Philosophie Franz Baader's (1837); Philosophische Schriften (3 vols., 1868–1872); Die Weltalter (1868); Biographie und Briefwechsel (Leipzig, 1887); J. Hamberger, Cardinalpunkte der Baaderschen Philosophie (1855); Fundamentalbegriffe von F. B.'s Ethik, Politik, u. Religions-Philosophie (1858); J. A. B. Lutterbeck, Philosophische Standpunkte Baaders (1854); Baaders Lehre vom Weltgebäude (1866). The most satisfactory surveys are those given by Erdmann, Versuch einer Gesch. d. neuern Phil. iii. 2, pp. 583-636; J. Claassen, Franz von Baaders Leben und theosophische Werke (Stuttgart, 1886–1887), and Franz von Baaders Gedanken über Staat und Gesellschaft (Gütersloh, 1890); Otto Pfleiderer, Philosophy of Religion (vol. ii., Eng. trans. 1887); R. Falckenberg, History of Philosophy, pp. 472-475 (trans. A. C. Armstrong, New York, 1893); Reichel, Die Sozietätsphilosophie Franz v. Baaders (Tübingen, 1901); Kuno Fischer, Zur hundertjährigen Geburtstagfeier Baaders (Erlangen, 1865).

BAAL, a Semitic word, which primarily signifies lord, owner or inhabitant,[1] and then, in accordance with the Semitic way of looking at family and religious relations, is specially appropriated to express the relation of a husband to his wife and of the deity to his worshipper. In the latter usage it indicated not that the god was the lord of the worshipper, but rather the possessor of, or ruler in, some place or district. In the Old Testament it is regularly written with the article, i.e.the Baal”; and the baals of different tribes or sanctuaries were not necessarily conceived as identical, so that we find frequent mention of Baalim, or rather “the Baalim” in the plural. That the Israelites even applied the title of Baal to Yahweh himself is proved by the occurrence of such names as Jerubbaal (Gideon), Eshbaal (one of Saul's sons) and Beeliada (a son of David, 1 Chron. xiv. 7). The last name appears in 2 Sam. v. 16 as Eliada, showing that El (God) was regarded as equivalent to Baal; cf. also the name Be‛aliah, “Yahweh is baal or lord,” which survives in 1 Chron. xii. 5. However, when the name Baal was exclusively appropriated to idolatrous worship (cf. Hos. ii. 16 seq.), abhorrence for the unholy word was marked by writing bōsheth (shameful thing) for baal in compound proper names, and thus we get the usual forms Ishbosheth, Mephibosheth.

The great difficulty which has been felt by investigators in determining the character and attributes of the god Baal mainly arises from the original appellative sense of the word, and many obscure points become clear if we remember that when a title becomes a proper name it may be appropriated by different peoples to quite distinct deities. Baal being originally a title, and not a proper name, the innumerable baals could be distinguished by the addition of the name of a place or of some special attribute.[2] Accordingly, the baals are not to be regarded necessarily as local variations of one and the same god, like the many Virgins or Madonnas of Catholic lands, but as distinct numina. Each community could speak of its own baal, although a collection of allied communities might share the same cult, and naturally, since the attributes ascribed to the individual baals were very similar, subsequent syncretism was facilitated.

The Baal, as the head of each worshipping group, is the source of all the gifts of nature (cf. Hos. ii. 8 seq., Ezek. xvi. 19); as the god of fertility all the produce of the soil is his, and his adherents bring to him their tribute of first-fruits. He is the patron of all growth and fertility, and, by the “uncontrolled use of analogy characteristic of early thought,” the Baal is the god of the productive element in its widest sense. Originating probably, in the observation of the fertilizing effect of rains and streams upon the receptive and reproductive soil, baalism becomes identical with the grossest nature-worship. Joined with the baals there are naturally found corresponding female figures known as Ashtārōth, embodiments of Ashtōreth (see Astarte; Ishtar). In accordance with primitive notions of analogy,[3] which assume that it is possible to control or aid the powers of nature by the practice of “sympathetic magic” (see Magic), the cult of the baals and Ashtārōth was characterized by gross sensuality and licentiousness. The fragmentary allusions to the cult of Baal Peor (Num. xxv., Hos. ix. 10, Ps. cvi. 28 seq.) exemplify the typical species of Dionysiac orgies that prevailed.[4] On the summits of hills and mountains flourished the cult of the givers of increase, and “under every green tree” was practised the licentiousness which in primitive thought was held to secure abundance of crops (see Frazer, Golden Bough, 2nd ed. vol. ii. pp. 204 sqq.). Human sacrifice (Jer. xix. 5), the burning of incense (Jer. vii. 9), violent and ecstatic exercises, ceremonial acts of bowing and kissing, the preparing of sacred mystic cakes, appear among the offences denounced by the Israelite prophets, and show that the cult of Baal (and Astarte) included the characteristic features of heathen worship which recur in various parts of the Semitic world, although attached to other names.[5]

By an easy transition the local gods of the streams and springs which fertilized the increase of the fields became identified with

  1. Cf. its use as a noun of relation e.g. a ba‛al of hair, “a hairy man” (2 Kings i. 8), b. of wings, “a winged creature,” and in the plural, b. of arrows, “archers” (Gen. xlix. 23), b. of oath, “conspirators” (Neh. vi. 18).
  2. Compounds with geographical terms (towns, mountains), e.g. Baal of Tyre, of Lebanon, &c., are frequent; see G. B. Gray, Heb. Proper Names, pp. 124-126. Baal-berith or El-berith of Shechem (Judg. ix. 4, 46) is usually interpreted to be the Baal or God of the covenant, but whether of covenants in general or of a particular covenant concluded at Shechem is disputed. The Βαλμαρκως (near Beirut) apparently presided over dancing; another compound (in Cyprus) seems to represent a Baal of healing. On the “Baal of flies” see Beelzebub.
  3. The general analogy shows itself further in the idea of the deity as the husband (ba‛al) of his worshippers or of the land in which they dwell. The Astarte of Gabal (Byblus) was regularly known as the ba‛alath (fem. of baal), her real name not being pronounced (perhaps out of reverence).
  4. See further Clermont-Ganneau, Pal. Explor. Fund Quart. Stat., 1901, pp. 239, 369 sqq.; Büchler, Rev. d'études juives, 1901, pp. 125 seq.
  5. The extent to which elements of heathen cult entered into purer types of religion is illustrated in the worship of Yahweh. The sacred cakes of Astarte and old holy wells associated with her cult were later even transferred to the worship of the Virgin (Ency. Bib. col. 3993; Rouvier, in Bull. Archéol., 1900, p. 170).