Econ Order & Religion Ils 76: Volume 1 (International Library of Sociology)
This interpretation has been quite popular among foreign observers. Linkage to the virulent spin of the Wirtschaftswunder identity is a symbolic resource that, though available, domestic audiences have never tapped into, at least in the historical context within which the history of the D-Mark and of the Deutsche Bundesbank has unfolded. As a result, the Bundesbank has turned into a weapon that Germany has at its disposal for the purpose of a new quest for world power and hegemony.
David Marsh, for example, maliciously leaves the door open to this interpretation when he remarks in his book on the German central bank that. The reconstitution of German monetary affairs at the symbolic center of German society triggers a latent moralization of the German monetary arena. Inflation will take up, as a result, a moral connotation. Everybody makes contracts knowing perfectly well that they will not be kept in terms of constant values.
This conditions is hard to reconcile with simple honesty. The better the money, the more intimate the fusion of the individuals to the social body. On such a ground he sees that a country that introduces a new currency after a hyperinflation will not merely live a new economic beginning. As money and monetary policy acquire a moral meaning, the central bank will also undergo a transformation and turn into the moral compass of a society, as David Horowitz, former President of the Bank of Israel, once put it.
Its authority will no longer be strictly technical. The knowledge that the central bank will draw upon in order to fulfil its mission will also undergo a metamorphosis that will put it at the service of morals. Once the German monetary game gets to the symbolic center of society and undergoes a process of moralization, narrative frames drawn from the Christian tradition come into play and prevent it from losing its moral dimension.
For example, the conquest of the moral ground that monetary stability can secure is framed as a perpetual challenge that never ends and that calls for a continuous struggle. After discussing the effects that linkage to the symbolic center of German society can have upon the German monetary game, I will now argue that the symbolic transfiguration of German money and central banking sets the stage for a possible totemization of the German currency. As Durkheim  shows, the notion of totem indicates the species of things that serve to designate a clan collectively. The totem is at the same time an abstract principle and the material object that reifies such principle.
The D-Mark turns into the symbol of the nation, thereby providing Germans with an opportunity for self-identification. It will turn into an abstract principle as well as the reification of that principle. It will become a focus of various sentiments, in particular of respect and affection. Critics might complain that drawing a parallel between the religious sphere within primitive societies and the economic sphere within modern societies is really pushing it too far.
It is important to stress, however, that a neo-Durkheimian perspective upon such a phenomenon does not require in the case of modern societies the satisfaction of the very same ritual conditions under which totems operate within primitive societies. One can still draw the parallel and accept that in modern societies the totemization of money and central banking is subjected to much more stringent performative conditions which make it a much more contingent accomplishment.
To recapitulate, the Wirtschaftswunder identity has constituted throughout the history of the German Federal Republic a fundamental constituent of the symbolic center of Germany society. Through symbolic linkage Germany monetary affairs have been grafted onto the existential and the political dimensions that constitute such identity.
As a result, the meanings of the D-Mark and of the Bundesbank have undergone a deep transformation that has contributed to increase the appeal of the German central bank before larger segments of the general public. For the symbolic linkage to produce such effects, the linkage must be available in the first place.
The availability has to do with the cultural macro-embeddedness of monetary affairs. To this issue I will devote the second part of this section. German monetary affairs do not unfold in a cultural vacuum. Rather, they are culturally embedded. As a result, they occur within a cultural space that consists of different semantic fields that are variably connected to one another through a network of symbolic relations. Such network constitutes the topography of the cultural space within which German monetary affairs unfold.
It defines the meanings German money and central banking can take. And it lays out the rules actors must follow to trigger changes in meaning. In the first half of this section I have suggested that, as a result of a shift of German monetary affairs to the symbolic center of German society, the D-Mark and the Deutsche Bundesbank acquire new layers of meaning. Now, I will show how in concrete the cultural macro-embeddedness of German monetary affairs can influence such changes in meaning as well as create new possibilities for representation of German money and central banking.
By addressing the cultural macro- embeddedness of German monetary affairs, it will be therefore possible to show how and to what extent symbolic linkages are and can be made available to catapult the D-Mark and the Bundesbank to the symbolic center of German society. As earlier suggested, the D-Mark and the Bundesbank have occasionally been represented in militaristic terms. Though available to the German public, however, only foreign observers have tapped into this mode of representation. I have pointed out that the re-presentation of German monetary affairs in such terms reflects an anchoring of the German monetary game to a virulent spin that is latent within the Wirtschaftswunder identity.
The way they did it was by doing away with the D-Mark and by replacing it with the euro, thereby making it structurally impossible for German monetary affairs to imagine the above-mentioned virulent transformation under whatever pragmatic circumstances. I will now show how the structural topography of the symbolic space within which German monetary affairs unfold made it structurally possible to imagine the Bundesbank in militaristic terms and how it justified from a cultural point of view the step into the European Monetary Union.
It is no news that the financial market is a sphere where the traditional practices of violence and war get sublimated. In their studies of one trading floor of the foreign currency exchange market in Zurich, Knorr and Bruegger , have found that violence constitutes one horizon that shapes interaction among traders and between traders and the Market. For example, the parallel between war and the ups and downs in the foreign currency exchange market looms on the background of the following account in a British popular newspaper.
The possibility of coding financial markets as a terrain where wars are waged and blood is spilled out sets the stage for a militaristic representation of German monetary affairs, though it is per se not enough to allow it. The structural topography within which German money and central banking are embedded, on the other hand, can be more determining in this respect.
To clarify my point, I will here choose three separate symbolic spaces to which German monetary affairs are linked, and show that, taken separately, they are not sufficient to support a militaristic representation of German monetary affairs whereas, taken together, such representation will manage to gel. I will start by addressing the displacement of German monetary affairs to the symbolic sphere that codifies the imperialistic past of the German Reichs. As mentioned above, French and British observers have been particularly imaginative at mobilizing the symbolic linkages available in this direction.
They have represented the D-Mark as an imperial currency. First, catapulting monetary affairs onto the symbolic field that identifies the historical experience of the German Reichs presupposes that the Deutsche Bundesbank is an institution that is not inscribed within the political horizon of fully developed democracy. Does this actually apply? But if not, then we will not. Second, to effectively catapult German monetary affairs into the symbolic space that codifies the German Reichs, the Deutsche Bundesbank should appear war-mongerish and power-thirsty.
This is an attribute that is particularly difficult to square with the institutional attitudes that the Bank has displayed throughout its history. And may the day come when in an again reunified fatherland one currency and one central bank will be able to serve the whole German people! Instead, we have taken up credit, both materially and metaphorically. May we prove, before history, to be reliable debtors, who pay off the balance through industry and without delay.
Now, participants to the monetary game have traditionally resorted to a constellation of symbolic linkages that project German monetary affairs into the religious sphere. Again, such linkages per se do not seem sufficient to establish a belligerent representation of the Bundesbank but, when coordinated with the previous ones, they tend to contribute in that direction.
Ralph Dahrendorf has paralleled the Bundesbank with the state of Andorra, that is the small state in the Pyrenees, which formally falls under the authority of two lords; i. And since they rule from far, Andorra is ruled by a local independent regent and judge. The former represents the political authority overlooking the Bundesbank; the latter, the economy.
And Catalan, i. The very staff of the Deutsche Bundesbank has repeatedly coincided with such move. For example, in one occasion Otmar Issing has suggested that. Anyway, whether along with this case one should also include the readiness to undergo martyrdom, I will leave it open. Such symbolic transfiguration of the Bundesbank into a Church and of its staff into a clergy that owes allegiance only to the Church and to no other institution strengthens the reading of those like Claus Noe or the Editor of the Guardian that see the Bundesbank a law upon itself.
This could make it more plausible to believe that the democratic credentials of the Bundesbank are not as firm as one would expect. Such outcome would therefore weaken one of the structural attributes that prevents German monetary affairs from drifting towards the semantic field of the German Reichs and from being represented, as a result of it, in militaristic terms.
Something quite similar occurs with the attribute of belligerency. I am a bit afraid of him. You need a bit of agnosticism. The history of the Church as well as the history of other secular religions are there to remind that the fanatic enforcement of dogma has very often led to such consequences. Mao generated an authoritarian theoretical building by which he could pretend any absurdity from his people, such as the Great Leap. To recapitulate, the symbolic linkage of German monetary affairs to the religious sphere weakens the two attributes that prevented them from getting linked to the sphere of the German Reichs, thereby paving the way to a twisting of its meaning in militaristic terms.
There is, however, one further path through which linkage to the religious sphere can cut the structural distance that separates the German monetary game from the semantic sphere of the German Reichs. Once the Bundesbank is projected into the semantic sphere of religion, it is possible to mobilize within the German public a new cluster of representations that transfigures the Bundesbankers into Templar Knights or, in other words, into the defenders of the Holy Grail.
As a result, the projection of German monetary affairs into the semantic field of religion reduces the structural distance that discourse need to cover for the D-Mark and the Bundesbank to reach the semantic sphere of the German Reichs and get represented accordingly. Though the coupling of the above-mentioned semantic spheres makes a violent or belligerent turn of monetary affairs more plausible, the distance between German monetary affairs and the semantic sphere of the German Reichs has not been sufficiently curtailed to turn a militaristic framing of German money and central banking into a concretely legitimate possibility.
I will suggest that the projection of German monetary affairs into the semantic sphere of medicine and hygiene add the missing link that can tilt the possibility for representation in that direction. Once money and central banking drift to the semantic sphere of medicine and hygiene, inflation starts to be represented as a disease. The diffusion of shock waves throughout the international currency market turns into the propagation of infections.
Quite interestingly, catapulting German monetary affairs into this sphere can have important implications upon the structural attributes of autarchy and of belligerency of the Bundesbank. When an epidemic disease hits, institutional response must be ready and the institutions that act must show resolve. Commonly, before an epidemic, democracies shift to a state of siege and suspend, at least partially, some of the constitutive ingredients that make them function as democracies. The institutions that manage the crises are endowed with special powers and very often the military comes in to enforce social order.
Under such circumstances, the medicalization of inflation legitimizes the transformation of the Bundesbank into a more autarchic institution that can act beyond the reach of the democratic order. Hygienic representations have been particularly fashionable during the Nazi regime and in the years that preceded it. Hygiene has been a motive that has justified various forms of social and ethnic cleansing.
Catapulting monetary affairs into the medical sphere can therefore increase dramatically the possibility of turning the monetary sphere more belligerent and more violent. As a result, linkage to the semantic sphere of medicine and hygiene will reduce even further the distance between the monetary sphere and the semantic sphere of the German Reichs, thereby setting the stage, even for a German public, for a plausible recasting of German monetary affairs in militaristic terms.
In conclusion, the specific structural topography of the semantic fields within which German monetary affairs can unfold make it possible within the German public sphere for them to be represented in militaristic terms, as various foreign observers have repeatedly done. The fact that within the German public sphere such a turn is structurally possible does not imply that it will actually take place. Simply, it is latent and the pragmatic circumstances within which German politics and German monetary affairs will take place will say whether such possibility will be used.
Removing the D-Mark from the scene, however, as German politicians did by having Germany join the European Monetary Union, has eliminated such a structural possibility from the root. After showing in what way cultural macro-embeddedness influences the possibility of anchoring German monetary affairs to one specific dimension of the Wirtschaftswunder identity, I will now focus upon symbolic linkage of German money and central banking to the religious sphere and show how cultural macroembeddedness allows or restricts the possibility of recasting the D-Mark or the Deutsche Bundesbank in religious terms.
One more address. Such a seemingly innocuous association betrays a superstructure operating at the level of public cognition that grounds the juxtaposition between the Catholic and the Evangelical Churches on the one hand and the Bundesbank on the other. Both within and outside Germany the religious transfiguration of the D-Mark and of the Deutsche Bundesbank has been recurrent in public discourse. The D-Mark has often been depicted as an all-powerful entity,  a God that the Bundesbank was supposed to guard.
The religious transfiguration of German monetary affairs is no isolated phenomenon. In other countries, too, monetary affairs have been represented this way. This implies that the availability of symbolic linkage of German monetary affairs to the semantic sphere of religion does not only depend upon the symbolic embeddedness of the D-Mark and of the Bundesbank within German culture.
One could then think that there are structural attributes of the monetary field in general that could ground an homology between the monetary sphere and the religious sphere. For example, both the central bank and the Church are independent institutions and both central bankers and priests seem to undergo a transformation of their identity when they take up their own respective clothes. Even then, however, one will soon realize that some of the structural attributes of the economy in general can also contribute to sustain the homology between the monetary and the religious spheres.
This is why an analyst will need to take the cultural macro-embeddedness of monetary affairs very broadly into consideration in order to understand whether and to what extent symbolic linkage is available between the monetary and the religious spheres. For the purpose of clarity I will elaborate in greater detail on this latest point. As an Italian journalist has remarked, observers have constantly attributed to the economy a quality of fixity that stands in marked contrast with that of flux that is commonly attributed to politics:. These laws are repeatedly evoked in the classical Greek thought.
The tragic hero affirms himself against them, but cannot ignore or abolish them. So happens today with Maastricht, and for the competition that has opened up between its two constituencies: between the freedom of politics and the necessity of the economy.
The economy, in other words, reflects a cosmic order that is fixed and perennial. By doing so, it therefore shares the attributes of a sacred cosmos. The realm of politics, on the other hand, is the realm of flux that it shares with the realm of the profane. The fixity of such a cosmic order is again reproduced in another article appeared in the Financial Times that borrows from pop culture:. For a thousand generations, the Jedi knights have ensured peace and justice throughout the galaxy. But will it turn out to be a phantom one? A Jedi knows that, when he senses a disturbance in the living force, it is a sure sign of danger.
Armed only with such unreliable information, it has to plot a course between two evils … the evil Darth Inflation … and the equally nasty Darth Recession. In this passage, monetary affairs are catapulted into a mythical space and time beyond the historical horizon of the present.
The fixed cosmic order that underpins the economy is separate from the profane realm of citizens. Being fixity an attribute of the sacred cosmic order, it becomes structurally possible for sacredness to diffuse into those realms of the economy that appear to have a markedly fixed nature. One would therefore expect that the monetary rule and the notions of monetary and price stability would fall within such category and would therefore be apt to get linked to the religious sphere.
And indeed they are. Once sacredness flows into those dimensions of the monetary sphere that share the attribute of fixity, a new range of representations becomes available, such as those of commandment, dogma and orthodoxy. As a result, not only monetary rules, monetary stability and price stability can gain the imperative force of the commandment, of the dogma and of orthodoxy but also the institutional arrangements that are introduced to uphold them.
Rejecting the cosmic order will plunge existence into chaos, darkness, evil and destruction. Earlier in this section I have suggested that the availability of a symbolic linkage depends upon the topography of the cultural field within which monetary affairs unfold, and in particular upon the simultaneous linkage of monetary affairs to different semantic spheres. Then, I have shown that the availability of a given symbolic linkage does not only depend upon the most immediate symbolic embeddedness of the monetary game. Rather, the symbolic embeddedness of the economic sphere at large can have important consequences in this respect upon the monetary sphere.
Now, I will discuss how the embeddedness of a symbolic linkage plays out in the unfolding of a text, how it concurs to sustain the linkage, how it constrains it, and how it provides with the symbolic resources for circumventing the very constraints it generates. This will allow me to provide a more concrete example of what symbolic competence is really about in monetary affairs.
Glotz then says that Tietmeyer is a party man not out of opportunism, but out of social milieu. This qualification is important because it reinforces the naturalization effect pursued by the pluralization. If Tietmeyer were a party man out of calculative opportunism, this would taint his status and undermine the authenticity of the aristocratic attributes that result from pluralization. The symbolic linkage between the monetary sphere and the realm of royalty and aristocracy that Glotz implicitly uses at this point of his article appears plausible against the more widespread practice in public discourse on money and central banking that represents monetary affairs in royal terms.
Due to his position as State Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Tietmeyer was targeted at the end of the s on his way to work by the Rote Armee Fraktion in a failed assassination attempt. Despite the shocking accident, that day Tietmeyer stayed at his office as if nothing had happened. It is particularly interesting how Glotz treats this event. Again, such a discursive transition from the sphere of royalty to the religious sphere is effective because it occurs against a cultural background that sustains it in many ways.
First, the transition from royalty to the sacred draws from a well-established cultural connection. Structurally speaking, throughout the history the figure of salvation or of the rescuer has cued the religious sphere and royalty has been recognized to have a salvific meaning in the role of mediator between the Power and mankind.
Finally, the association between the German central bankers and Thomas Beckett is a recurrent theme in public discourse on money and central banking and has even been directly acknowledged by the members of the Bundesbank themselves. The nesting of the figure of martyrdom into that of royalty is a typical symbolic transition in public discourse on money and central banking. Yet, when it comes to argue that Governor Fazio is capable of resisting political pressures upon monetary policy, the journalist steers discourse into the field of religion. And he does so by evoking the idea of martyrdom.
Again, the acceptance of martyrdom is used as a guarantee that central bankers will behave like Thomas Beckett. Glotz continues that Tietmeyer should be as courageous as Walter Hallstein. Although Hallstein was a conservative German civil servant, when he took office as President of the European Community, he was able to push aback his orthodox rigorism. If Glotz suggests that Tietmeyer is a Thomas Beckett, he cannot suddenly say that Tietmeyer does not need to undergo martyrdom.
This option is no longer available. Readiness to martyrdom is a constitutive dimension of the persona of Thomas Beckett. The following text provides a clear example of a successful discursive reversal along the lines I just referred. In turn, such an association creates the expectation that they are unchangeable. Still, the author can use talk about the Bible to circumvent a constraint that had resulted from the use of that very talk. In conclusion, the availability of a symbolic linkage that can shift money and central banking into a different semantic sphere depends upon the topography of the cultural field within which monetary affairs unfold or, in other words, upon the cultural macro-embeddedness of monetary affairs.
Some times a symbolic linkage that is not yet available becomes available only after linking simultaneously the monetary sphere to other semantic spheres. Other times, a symbolic linkage becomes available not just because of the embeddedness of monetary affairs within a given national culture nor because of the structural features of monetary affairs alone but rather because of the structural attributes that characterize the economic sphere more generally and that apply down to the monetary sphere.
The capability of seeing the opportunities for linkage and the restrictions on linkage that are inherent in the semantic fields within which monetary affairs are or can be embedded constitutes a symbolic competence that is crucial in the practice of the so-called art of independent central banking. After carrying out a neo-Durkheimian analysis of German monetary affairs, and after recovering the cultural macro-embeddedness of the D-Mark and of the Deutsche Bundesbank, I will draw the implications of this analysis for the study of stability culture and then recapitulate my argument.
The German legislature has once considered the possibility of regulating conflict of principle between the Federal Government and the Bundesbank, but it has soon acknowledged that it is impossible to design a generally valid institutional rule to regulate such an issue. The possibility that monetary affairs be dramatized in the public sphere and that the central bank be required to maneuver to gain legitimacy before the general public opens up the possibility that monetary affairs be latently prone to turn into a morality drama. That is, there were incapacities equalling those attributed by other peoples to their gods.
Similarly with intellectual and moral nature. Jahveh receives information; he goes to see whether reports are true; he repents of what he has done—all implying anything but omniscience. He sends a lying spirit to mislead a king, as Zeus does to Agamemnon 2 Chron.
He acts as did the Greek gods; from whom bad impulses were supposed to come, and who were similarly indiscriminate in their revenges. The forms of worship show us like parallelisms. Not dwelling on the intended or actual human sacrifices though by grouping the sacrifice of a son with sacrifices of rams and calves, as methods of propitiation to be repudiated, Micah implies in ch. As the Egyptians and as the Greeks, so did the Hebrews offer hecatombs of oxen and sheep to their god; sometimes numbering many thousands 1 Kings viii, Those orders made in Leviticus, under which certain parts of animals are to be given to Jahveh while other parts are left to the priests, remind us of those endowment-deeds, by which Egyptian landowners provided that for their ghosts should be reserved certain joints of the sacrificed animals, while the remaining parts were made Edition: current; Page: [ 32 ] over to the ka -priests.
Various other likenesses may be briefly noted.
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Images of the gods, supposed to be inhabited by them, have been taken to battle by various peoples; as by the Hebrews was the ark of the covenant, which was a dwelling place of Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] Jahveh. Dancing was a form of worship among the Hebrews as it was among the Greeks and among various savages: instance the Iroquois. Fast and penances like those of the Hebrews exist, or have existed, in many places; especially in ancient Mexico, Central America, and Peru, where they were extremely severe. The fulfilments of prophecies alleged by the Hebrews were paralleled by fulfilments of prophecies alleged by the Greeks; and the Greeks in like manner took them to be evidence of the truth of their religion.
As by the Hebrews, Jahveh is represented as having in the earliest times appeared to men in human shape, but not in later times; so by the Greeks, the theophany frequently alleged in the Iliad becomes rare in traditions of later date. Nay, the like happened with the ancient Central Americans. Said an Indian in answer to Fr. But formerly they used to do so, as our ancestors told us.
Nor do parallelisms fail us when we turn to the more Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] developed form of the Hebrew religion. But it is not the Greek religion only which furnished such parallels. The Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar asserted that he had been god-begotten. The position, too, of mediator held by the god-descended son, has answering positions elsewhere. Once more we have, in various places, observances corresponding to the eucharist.
All such observances originate from the primitive notion that the natures of men, inhering in all their parts, inhere also in whatever becomes incorporated with them; so that a bond is established between those who eat of the same food. Hence arise, in various parts of the world, feasts at which living and dead are supposed to join; and thus to renew the relation of subordination on the one side and friendliness on the other. Briefly stringing together minor likenesses, we may note that the Christian crusades to get possession of the holy sepulchre, had their prototype in the sacred war of the Greeks to obtain access to Delphi; that as, among Christians, part of the worship consists in reciting the doings of the Hebrew god, prophets, and kings, so worship among the Greeks consisted partly in reciting the great deeds of the Homeric gods and heroes; that Greek temples were made rich by precious gifts from kings and wealthy men to obtain divine favour or forgiveness, as Christian cathedrals have been; that St.
What are we to conclude from all this evidence? What must we think of this unity of character exhibited by religions at large? And then, more especially, what shall we say of the family likeness existing between the creed of Christendom and other creeds? Observe the facts. Alike in those minds among the civilized which, by defective senses, have been cut off from instruction, and in the minds of various primitive peoples, religious conceptions do not exist.
Wherever the rudiments of them exist, they of the dead. The ghost-theory, with resulting propitiation have, as their form, a belief in, and sacrifices to, the doubles of ordinary ghosts, habitually survives along with belief in, Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] and propitiation of, supernatural beings of more powerful kinds; known at first by the same generic name as ordinary ghosts, and differentiating by small steps.
And the worships of the supposed supernatural beings, up even to the highest, are the same in nature, and differ only in their degrees of elaboration. What do these correspondences imply? Do they not imply that in common with other phenomena displayed by human beings as socially aggregated, religions have a natural genesis? Are we to make an exception of the religion current among ourselves? If we say that its likenesses to the rest hide a transcendant unlikeness, several implications must be recognized.
One is that the Cause to which we can put no limits in Space or Time, and of which our entire Solar System is a relatively infinitesimal product, took the disguise of a man for the purpose of covenanting with a shepherd-chief in Syria. Another is that this Energy, unceasingly manifested everywhere, throughout past, present, and future, ascribed to himself under this human form, not only the limited knowledge and limited powers which various passages show Jahveh to have had, but also moral attributes which we should now think discreditable to a human being.
And a third is that we must suppose an intention even more repugnant to our moral sense. For if these numerous parallelisms between the Christian religion and other religions, do not prove likeness of origin and development, then the implication is that a complete simulation of the natural by the supernatural has been deliberately devised to deceive those who examine critically what they are taught.
Appearances have been arranged for the purpose of misleading sincere inquirers, that they may be eternally damned for seeking the truth. On those who accept this last alternative, no reasonings will have any effect. Here we finally part company with them by accepting the first; and, accepting it, shall find that Ecclesiastical Institutions are at once rendered intelligible in their rise and progress. A satisfactory distinction between priests and medicine-men is difficult to find.
Both are concerned with supernatural agents, which in their original forms are ghosts; and their ways of dealing with these supernatural agents are so variously mingled, that at the outset no clear classification can be made. In other cases we find separation beginning; as witness the New Zealanders, who, in addition to priests, had at least one in each tribe who was a reputed sorcerer. And with advancing social organization there habitually comes a permanent separation.
In point of time the medicine-men takes precedence. In Australian tribes the only men concerned with the supernatural are the boyala -men or doctors; and the like is alleged by Bonwick of the Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] Tasmanians. Moreover, in many other instances, those who are called priests among uncivilized peoples, do little else than practise sorcery under one or other form. How shall we understand this confusion of the two functions, and the early predominance of that necromantic function which eventually becomes so subordinate? If we remember that in primitive thought the other world repeats this world, to the extent that its ghostly inhabitants lead similar lives, stand in like social relations, and are moved by the same passions; we shall see that the various ways of dealing with ghosts, adopted by medicine-men and priests, are analogous to the various ways men adopt of dealing with one another; and that in both cases the ways change according to circumstances.
See how each member of a savage tribe stands towards other savages. There are first the members of adjacent tribes, chronically hostile, and ever on the watch to injure him and his fellows. Among those of his own tribe there are parents and near relatives from whom, in most cases, he looks for benefit and aid; and towards whom his conduct is in the main amicable, though occasionally antagonistic. Of the rest, there are some inferior to himself over whom he habitually domineers; there are others proved by experience to be stronger and more cunning, of whom he habitually stands in fear, and to whom his behaviour is propitiatory; and there are many whose inferiority or superiority is so far undecided, that he deals with them now in one way and now in another as the occasion prompts—changing from bullying to submission or from submission to bullying, as he finds one Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] or other answer.
Thus to the living around him, he variously adapts his actions—now to conciliate, now to oppose, now to injure, according as his ends seem best subserved. It is clear that you were a bad fellow when you were a man: are you still a bad fellow under the ground? Ghosts and ghost-derived gods being thus thought of as repeating the traits and modes of behaviour of living men, it naturally happens that the modes of treating them are similarly adjusted—there are like efforts, now to please, now to deceive, now to coerce. Stewart tells us of the Nagas that they cheat one of their gods who is blind, by pretending that a small sacrifice is a large one.
We say, You fellow, Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] we have given you a chicken, a goat, and yet you strike us! What more do you want? Thus, then, arises a general contrast between the actions and characters of men who deal antagonistically with supernatural beings and men who deal sympathetically. Hence the difference between medicine-men and priests; and hence, too, the early predominance of medicine-men. For in primitive societies relations of enmity, both outside the tribe and inside the tribe, are more general and marked than relations of amity; and therefore the doubles of the dead are more frequently thought of as foes than as friends.
Numerous doubles of the dead supposed to haunt the neighbourhood, are those of enemies to the tribe. Of the rest, the larger number are those with whom there have been relations of antagonism or jealousy. The ghosts of friends, too, and even of relatives, are apt to take offence and to revenge themselves.
Hence, accidents, misfortunes, diseases, deaths, perpetually suggest the agency of malevolent spirits and the need for combating them. Modes of driving them away are devised; and the man who gains repute for success in using such modes becomes an important personage. Led by the primitive conception of ghosts as like their originals in their sensations, emotions, Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] and ideas, he tries to frighten them by threats, by grimaces, by horrible noises; or to disgust them by stenches and by things to which they are averse; or, in cases of disease, to make the body a disagreeable habitat by subjecting it to intolerable heat or violent ill-usage.
The early predominance of the medicine-man as distinguished from the priest, has a further cause. At first the only ghosts regarded as friendly are those of relatives, and more especially of parents. The result is that propitiatory acts, mostly performed by descendants, are relatively private. But the functions of the medicine-man are not thus limited in area. As a driver away of malicious ghosts, he is called upon now by this family and now by that; and so comes to be a public agent, having duties co-extensive with the tribe.
Such priestly character as he occasionally acquires by the use of propitiatory measures, qualifies but little his original character. He remains essentially an exorcist. It should be added that the medicine-man proper, has some capacity for higher development as a social factor, though he cannot in this respect compare with the priest. One time to shew his Art, he caused a strong Wind to blow.
Another time desiring to be resolved of some questioned particular, after his Charms a smoke and flame arose out of the Earth, by which he gathered the answer to his demand. In subsequent stages when social ranks, from head ruler downwards, have been formed, and when there has evolved a mythology having gradations of supernatural beings—when, simultaneously, there have grown up priesthoods ministering to those superior supernatural beings who cannot be coerced but must be propitiated; a secondary confusion arises between the functions of medicine-men and priests.
The priest comes to play the part of an exorcist by calling on the supernatural being with whom he maintains friendly relations, to drive out some inferior supernatural being who is doing mischief. There may be added the evidence which early records yield, that the superior supernatural beings invoked to expel inferior supernatural beings, had been themselves at one time medicine-men. Summarizing a tablet which he translates, Smith says—.
Hea, the god of Wisdom, in answer related the ceremonies and incantations, for effecting his recovery, and these are recorded in the tablet for the benefit of the faithful in after times. Thus, after recognizing the fact that in primitive belief the doubles of the dead, like their originals in all things, admit of being similarly dealt with, and may therefore be induced to yield benefits or desist from inflicting evils, by bribing them, praising them, asking their forgiveness, or by deceiving and cajoling them, or by threatening, frightening, or coercing them; we see that the modes of dealing with ghosts, broadly contrasted as antagonistic and sympathetic, initiate the distinction between medicine-man and priest.
It is needless here to follow out the relatively unimportant social developments which originate from the medicine-man. Noting, as we have done, that he occasionally grows politically powerful, and sometimes becomes the object of a cult after his death, it will suffice if we note further, that during civilization he has varieties of decreasingly-conspicuous descendants, who, under one or other name, using one or other method, are supposed to have supernatural power or knowledge.
Scattered samples of them still survive under the forms of wise women and the like, in our rural districts. But the other class of those who are concerned with the supernatural, becoming, as it does, conspicuous and powerful, and acquiring as society develops an organization often very elaborate, and a dominance sometimes supreme, must be dealt with at length. Illustrations of this belief as existing among various savages were given in Part I, Chaps.
Here is another from New Britain. Even where ghosts are regarded as generally looking on their descendants with goodwill, they are apt to take offence and to need propitiation. We read of the Santals that from the silent gloom of the adjacent grove—. Nevertheless the ghostly inhabitants of the grove are sharp critics, and deal out crooked limbs, cramps and leprosy, unless duly appeased. But while recognizing the fact that ghosts in general are usually held to be more or less malicious, we find, as might Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] be expected, that the smallest amount of enmity and the greatest amount of amity are supposed to be felt by the ghosts of relatives.
Though among various peoples there is propitiation chiefly of bad spirits, while good spirits are ignored as not likely to do mischief; yet wherever ancestor-worship preserves its original lineaments, we find the chief attention paid to the spirits of kindred. Prompted as offerings on graves originally are by affection for the deceased, and called forth as praises are by actual regrets for his or her departure, it naturally happens that these propitiations are made more by relatives than by others.
Hence then the truth, everywhere illustrated, that those who perform the offices of the primitive cult are, at the outset, children or other members of the family. Hence then the fact that in Samoa—. Some, for example, would pray for health in sickness and might or might not recover.
I pray you look upon me; let me go safe on the sea. And hence once more the fact that among the Blantyre negroes—. Unquestionably these cases, re-inforcing many before given, show us the beginnings of a family-religion. Along Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] with that fear of a supernatural being which forms the central element of every religion, we see sacrifice and prayer, gratitude and hope, as well as the expectation of getting benefits proportionate to propitiations. An interpretation is thus furnished of the fact that in undeveloped societies the priestly function is generally diffused.
Each family maintained the sacrifices to its own dead; and the greater deities had a semi-private worship, carried on by actual or nominal descendants. The like held of the Greeks and Romans, who joined sacrifices made to their public gods, chiefly by priests, with sacrifices made by private persons to their household gods who were dead relatives.
And it is the same at the present time in China, where priesthoods devoted to wider worships, have not supplanted the primitive worship of departed progenitors by their offspring. Having thus observed that in the earliest stage, propitiation of the double of a dead man by offerings, praises, etc. Though in the earliest stages sacrifices to the ghost of the dead man are made by descendants in general, yet in conformity with the law of the instability of the homogeneous, an inequality soon arises: the propitiatory function falls into the hands of one member of the group.
By existing Hindoos the daily offering to ancestors is made by the head of the family. That family-headship brought the like duties in respect of manes-worship among Greeks and Romans, needs no showing. In the course of evolution under all its forms, differentiations tend ever to become more definite and fixed; and the differentiation above indicated is no exception. Eventually the usage so hardens, that the performance of sacrificial rites to ancestors is restricted to particular descendants.
Hence certain sequences which we must note before we can rightly understand the institutions which eventually become established. If the legitimate wife was barren, or brought forth daughters only, the defect must be remedied by a second wife. Even now Hindoo wives, in a similar case, are urgent with their husbands to associate a second wife with them, in order that they may not die without male issue.
How strong the necessity was felt in ancient times is shown by an indication of the Rigveda, where the childless widow summons her brother-in-law to her bed, and by the narrative in the Epos of the widows of the king who died without a son, for whom children are raised up by a relation, and these children pass for the issue of the dead king p. The law shows that such a custom did exist, and is not a poetic invention. It permits a son to be begotten by the brother of the husband, or the nearest of kin after him; in any case by a man of the same race gotra , even in the life-time of the husband with his consent.
Among the Jews, too, though interdicted by their law from making material sacrifices to the dead, there survived the need for a son to utter the sacrificial prayer. So is it too in China, where a chief anxiety during life is to make provision for proper sacrifices after death. Failure of a first wife to bear a male child who may perform them, is considered a legitimate reason for taking a second wife; and in the Corea, where the funeral ceremonies are so elaborate that the mourners have cues to weep or cease weeping, we are shown the quasi-priestly function of the son, and also get an indication of the descent of this function.
The eldest son, if living, or, failing him, his son rather than his brother, is the proper Shangjoo. When these friends arrive, they mourn altogether, with the Shangjoo at their head. The primitive and long-surviving belief in a second life repeating the first in its needs—a belief which, as we see, prompted surprising usages for procuring an actual or nominal son who should minister to these needs—prompted, in other cases, a usage which, though infrequent among ourselves, has been and still is frequent in societies less divergent from early types: so frequent as to cause surprise until we understand its origin.
Such a ceremony as that of a mock birth, whereby a fictitious son was made to simulate as nearly as might be a real son, could not have had a political origin, but must have had a domestic origin; and this origin was the one above indicated. As is pointed out by Prof. Just as, in ancient Egypt, men made bequests and endowed priests for the purpose of carrying on sacrifices in the private shrines erected to them; so did Roman fathers secure to themselves dutiful heirs, artificial when not natural, to minister to their ghosts out of the transmitted property.
Further significant evidence is supplied by the fact that heirship involved sacrifice. It was thus with the Eastern Aryans. That these obligations to the dead had a religious character, is shown by the fact that where they have survived down to our own day, they take precedence of all other obligations. That we may the better comprehend early ideas of the claim supposed to be made by the double of the dead man on his property and his heir, it will be well to give some ancient examples of the way in which a son, or one who by a fiction stands in the position of a son, speaks of, or speaks to, his actual or nominal father who has died.
I caused my statues to be conveyed to the holy dwelling, and distributed to them their offerings in pure gifts. I instituted the officiating priest, to whom I gave donations in lands and peasants. I fixed for thee the number of the fields. I provided thee with land-surveyors and husbandmen, to deliver the corn for thy revenues. Both which extracts exhibit the successor as being, in some sort, a steward for the deceased, administering on his behalf.
So was it in an adjacent empire. Be this so or not, however, the facts grouped as above, clearly show how, among the progenitors of the civilized peoples of the Old World, as well as among peoples who still retain early institutions, there arose those arrangements of the family-cult which existed, or still exist. What has happened where descent in the female line obtains, is not clear. I have met with no statements showing that in societies characterized by this usage, the duty of ministering to the double of the dead man devolved on one of his children rather than on others.
But the above facts show that, where the system of counting kinship through males has been established, the descent of the priestly function Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] follows the same law as the descent of property; and there are other facts showing it more directly. So, too, is it in the Corea, where, as already pointed out, the Shangjoo, or chief mourner, is either the eldest son or the eldest son of the eldest. These facts, along with foregoing ones, show that devolution of the sacrificial office accompanies devolution of property, because the property has to bear the costs of the sacrifices.
We see that in societies characterized by the patriarchal form of organization, a son, who alone was capable of inheriting, could alone have due means of ministering to the deceased, and therefore could alone be priest. Whence obviously resulted the necessity for having a male descendant, as indicated above. At the same time we are shown how, under the patriarchal type of society in its first stages, the domestic, the political, and the ecclesiastical, are undistinguished.
These sacrifices made to the departed head of a family-group are primarily domestic. As the family-group develops into the compound group, the patriarch at its head acquires a quasi-political character; and these offerings made to him after death are in the nature of tribute, while fulfilment of the commands he left, disobedience to which may bring punishment when he returns, implies civil subordination.
At the same time, in so far as these actions are performed to propitiate a being distinguished as supernatural, those who perform them acquire a quasi-ecclesiastical character. As implied at the end of the last chapter, one of the many results is that throughout early stages of social evolution, the secular and the sacred are but little distinguished.
The name of heaven was given to the Empire, the sovereign called himself God. Ra decreed to give it unto his son whom he loves, so that the king be an image of Ra amongst the living; and has not Ra put himself in this land, that this land may be in peace? Amen-Ra selects one of the Royal Brothers. If from the primitive belief that the double of the dead man will presently return and resume his life, there results the conception that the son who holds his property and ministers to him from its proceeds is but a deputy, then this fusion of the sacred with the secular is a corollary.
While the growth of the family into the cluster of families, ending in the formation of the village-community, which often includes affiliated strangers, involves that the patriarch ceases to have the three-fold character of domestic, political, and ecclesiastical head, his character remains twofold: he habitually retains, as in the case just named, the functions of ruler and priest.
This connexion of offices we everywhere find in early stages of social evolution; and we observe it continuing through later stages. Of various semi-civilized peoples, past and present, we have similar accounts. The Egyptian king, head of the priesthood, was everywhere represented in their monuments as sacrificing to a god.
It was the same with Aryan peoples in ancient days. He was a real rex sacrorum.lamviendanang.com/wp-includes/map16.php
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Nor indeed is the connexion entirely broken even now. In illustrating this primitive identity of ruler and priest, and in tracing out the long-continued connexion between the two, I have been unavoidably led away from the consideration of this double function as seen at the outset. Fully to understand the genesis of the priest properly so called, we must return for a moment to early stages. At first the priestly actions of the chief differ in nothing from the priestly actions of other heads of families.
The heads of all families forming the tribe, severally sacrifice to their departed ancestors; and the chief does the like to his departed ancestors. How, then, does his priestly character become more decided than theirs? Elsewhere I suggested that besides propitiating the ghosts of dead relatives, the members of a primitive community will naturally, in some cases, think it prudent to propitiate the ghost of a dead chief, regarded as more powerful than other ghosts, and as not unlikely to do them mischief if friendly Edition: current; Page: [ 58 ] relations are not maintained by occasional offerings.
I had not, when making the suggestion, any evidence; but conclusive evidence has since been furnished by the Rev. The following three extracts show the transition from priestly actions of a private character to those of a public character, among the Blantyre negroes. Some say that everyone in the village, whether a relative of the chief or not, must worship the forefathers of the chief.
Others say that a person not related to the chief must worship his own forefathers, otherwise their spirits will bring trouble upon him. To reconcile these authorities we may mention that nearly everyone in the village is related to its chief, or if not related is, in courtesy, considered so. Any person not related to the village chief would be polite enough on all public occasions to recognise the village god: on occasions of private prayer.
It is his relatives that are the village gods. He is the recognised high priest who presents prayers and offerings on behalf of all that live in his village. Here, then, we see very clearly the first stage in the differentiation of the chief into the priest proper—the man who intercedes with the supernatural being not on his own behalf simply, nor on behalf only of members of his family, but on behalf of unrelated persons.
This is, indeed, a stage in which, as shown by the disagreement among the people themselves, the differentiation is incomplete. In another part of Africa, we find it more definitely established. The huacas were adored by the entire village; the canopas by particular families, and only the priests spoke to, and brought offerings to, the huacas. These few out of many cases, while they sufficiently exemplify the incipient parting of the sacred function from the secular function, also illustrate the truth which everywhere meets us, that the political and religious obligations are originally both obligations of allegiance, very little distinguished from one another—the one being allegiance to the living chief and the other allegiance to the ghost of the dead chief.
To prevent misapprehension a parenthetic remark must be made. Where allegiance to the ghost of a deceased patriarch or founder of the tribe, has become so well established through generations that he assumes the character of a god; and where, by war or migration, the growing society is so broken up that its members are separated from their chief and priest; it naturally results that while continuing to sacrifice to the doubles of their dead relatives, these separated members of the society begin to sacrifice on their own account to the traditional god.
Similarly among the Homeric Greeks. While chiefs made public sacrifices to the gods, sacrifices and prayers were made to them by private persons, in addition to the sacrifices made to their own ancestors. The like was the case with the Romans. Phenomena of this kind, however, manifestly belong to a Edition: current; Page: [ 60 ] more advanced stage and not to that first stage in which, as we see, the genesis of the god and the priest are concurrent. Thus, then, the ghost-theory, which explains the multitudinous phenomena of religion in general, explains also the genesis of the priestly function, and the original union of it with the governing function.
Propitiations of the doubles of dead men, made at first by all their relatives and afterwards by heads of families, come to be somewhat distinguished when made by the head of the most powerful family. With increased predominance of the powerful family, and conception of the ghost of its deceased head as superior to other ghosts, there arises the wish, at first in some, then in more, and then in all, to propitiate him.
And this wish eventually generates the habit of making offerings and prayers to him through his ruling descendant, whose priestly character thus becomes decided. We have now to observe how, with the progress of social evolution, the sacerdotal function, though for a long time retained and occasionally exercised by the political head, comes to be performed more and more by proxy.
Among the functions thus deputed, more or less frequently, is that of priest. That such deputation takes place under pressure of affairs, civil or military, we see in the case of the Romans. This vicarious priest-ship of the younger brother, here arising temporarily, in other cases becomes permanent.
Of the New Zealanders, who have in many cases chiefs who are Edition: current; Page: [ 62 ] at the same time priests, we read that in other cases the brother of the chief is priest. As an example we may name the prince Khamus, a favourite son of Ramses II. In some cases the priestly functions of the head man are performed by a female relative.
Among the Damaras this law of descent is still in force; it was manifestly at one time the law among the Peruvians; and the high political position of women among the Dahomans suggests that it was once the law with them also. Further reason for assuming this cause is supplied by the fact that in Dahomey and Peru, the priestly organization in general is largely officered by women; and that in Madagascar too, where descent is in the female line, there are women-priests.
This deputation of priestly functions to members of a ruling family, usual in early stages, may be considered the normal differentiation; since the god being the apotheosized ancestor, the sacrifices made to him continue to be the sacrifices made by descendants. Even where descent is not real, or has ceased to be believed, it is still pretended; as in Egypt, here the king habitually claimed kinship with a god, and where, by consequence, members of his family were hypothetically of divine descent.
But while this is distinguishable as the usual origin of a priesthood, there are other origins. In a preceding chapter we saw that there is at the outset no clear distinction between the medicine-man and the priest. Though the one is a driver away of spirits rather than a propitiator of them, while the other treats them as friends rather than enemies, Edition: current; Page: [ 64 ] yet either occasionally adopts the policy of the other. Especially in cases where the medicine-man is supposed to obtain for the tribe certain benefits by controlling the weather through the agency of supernatural beings, does he participate in the character of priest.
On recalling the case of Samuel, who while a judge over Israel also offered sacrifice to Jahveh as a priest and also controlled the weather by his influence with Jahveh thus uniting the offices of ruler, priest and weather-doctor , we are shown how a kindred union of functions may in other cases similarly arise. In other cases there arise within the tribe the worships of apotheosized persons who were not related to the apotheosized chief; but who, for some reason or other, have left behind awe-inspiring reputations.
And Sir Alfred Lyall in his Asiatic Studies variously illustrates this sporadic origin of new deities severally apt to originate priesthoods. Especially is such usurpation likely to happen where by migration or by war, there have been produced fragments of the society which do not contain within themselves descendants of the traditional god. So long as there continues undivided, a community of which the deceased founder has become the village god, propitiated on behalf of his descendants by the nearest of kin among them, who also serves as intermediator for other heads of families respectively worshipping their ancestors, no advance in the development of a priesthood is likely to take place.
But when increase of numbers necessitates parting, there comes a further differentiation. The duties of a vestal then devolves upon the daughter of the emigrant. Always the probability is that the detached group contains men akin to the chief of the parent tribe, and therefore descendants, direct or collateral, of the worshipped god; and on one of these, in virtue of greatest age or nearest relationship, the function Edition: current; Page: [ 66 ] is likely to fall. And since the reasons which determine this choice tend also to determine inheritance of the function, the genesis of a priestly caste becomes intelligible.
Hunter says—. One of these represents the state religion, founded on the family basis, and administered by the descendants of the fifth son, the original family priest. In some places, particularly in the north, the descendants of the second son. They are for the most part prophets, diviners, and officiating Levites of forest or other shrines, representing demon-worship; and in only a few places do they take the place of the fifth tribe. West and East.
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