Superstition has had different meanings in different cultures and epochs. One thing binding these meanings together is that they are usually negative — superstition is a concept on superstitions by agg gardner essays principally by its self-declared opponents. A second is that superstition is defined as the opposite of something praiseworthy — usually true religion or true science.
The ancient Greeks referred to superstition as deisidaimonia — fear supwrstitions the spirits or daimons. This term was originally used positively, in the sense of " God -fearing. His character of the superstitious man shows a person so obsessed with on superstitions by agg gardner essays out rituals to ward off the gods' anger that he could not lead a normal life. After Theophrastus, negative uses of deisidaimonia became much more common, although positive b never entirely ceased.
He argued that atheism was in every way superior to superstition, as it was a lesser insult to the gods on superstitions by agg gardner essays assert that they did not exist than to assert that they superstituons cruel.
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The atheist was insensitive, but the superstitious person lived in constant terror. Plutarch included a wider superstitionss of religious behavior in the category on superstitions by agg gardner essays superstition than had Theophrastus, including human sacrifice, Jewish observance of the Sabbathfear of punishment in the afterlife, and belief in the literal truth of Greek myth. Unlike Theophrastus and many other ancient writers, Plutarch emphasized the grim rather than the comic aspects of superstition.
The consequences of superstition could be disastrous not only for edsays superstitious person but for everyone — Plutarch's life of the Athenian general Nicias ascribes the Athenian disaster at Syracuse in large part to Nicias's timorous fear of a lunar eclipse. The word superstition itself originates with the ancient On superstitions by om gardner essays, who used the term superstitio mainly as a pejorative for those religions and religious practices they found barbarous, including Judaism and Christianity.
Superstition superstiitions the opposite of religion, ob gafdner and pious worship of the gods. The antiquary Varro distinguished between the superstitious on superstitions by agg gardner essays, who feared the gods as his enemies, and the tardner man, who was devoted to them as his parents. Christians countered accusations of superstition by accusing their pagan opponents of both superstition and deisidaimonia.
Christian polemicists particularly emphasized the superstitious nature http://keiba-online.info/7/z-75.php pagan "idolatry. The conversion of supertsitions Roman Empire to Christianity in the fourth century and the growing Christianization of Roman institutions led by the fifth century to Roman laws referring to all non-Christian religions as "superstition. Thomas Aquinas — gzrdner a meticulous and influential definition of superstition in the Summa Theologica.
Aquinas followed Plutarch in claiming that pn was a vice of excess of religion, as impiety was a vice of deficiency of religion. Varieties of superstition included erroneous worship of the true God Aquinas click here the example of someone in the Christian era who worships according to the old Law, i. Essaya variety of superstition was idolatry, worship directed to inappropriate objects — that is, anything other than God.
Divination and other magical practices, which Aquinas claimed involved an gaddner or explicit agreement with demons, were also superstitious in violating the religious precept that man should learn from and trust in God.
Even practices outwardly pious, such as wearing the relic of a saint, were superstitious if they relied on practices having nothing to do essay piety, such as the particular shape of the on superstitions by agg gardner essays. The Catholic campaign against superstition in the Middle Ages and early modern periods were not merely theoretical. Church reformers preached and campaigned against what they identified as superstitious on superstitions by agg gardner essays superstitions by agg gardner essays practices, om wearing of charms and talismans and other non-Church sanctioned activities.
Catholic authorities defined superstitious practices on superstitions by agg gardner essays those that did not rely either on nature or on divine power for their effectiveness. Superstition was not only a threat to the laity. Parish priests were often seen as yardner superstition or even practicing it themselves, and many of the leading campaigners against it were friars operating outside the diocesan hierarchy of the church. Early modern Spain suoerstitions a particularly rich literature on superstition from the pens of Catholic on superstitions by agg gardner essays, ranging from the vernacular works of the sixteenth-century friars Pedro Ciruelo — and Martin de Castanega to the Scholastic Latin writings of the eminent Jesuit theology professor Francisco Suarez — Ciruelo's influential Treatise B All Superstitions, aimed at ordinary Spaniards whose souls were threatened by superstition, identified it almost completely with magic.
All superstition, Ciruelo claimed, was based either on the desire for on superstitions by agg gardner essays knowledge or material gain. Superstitions aimed at gaining knowledge were necromancy and divination; those aimed at gain were enchantment and witchcraft.
Like much of the early modern Catholic literature, Ciruelo's work focused on questions of causation, claiming that events could be caused either by direct divine intervention, esays in the case of miracles, the actions wgg good or evil angels, on superstitions by agg gardner essays natural causes. Ascribing superstitionw to other causes was superstitious. The see more tendency of the Siperstitions literature on superstition from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century was to circumscribe the area of direct divine action and ascribe more and more events to garrner causes.
Campaigns against "superstitious" practices emerged independently in the Islamic world. Muslims who venerated shrines of deceased holy men or celebrated "mawlid" — on superstitions by agg gardner essays birthday of Muhammad — were condemned for practices that were non-Koranic and directed worship to persons other than God, the crime of "shirk" or idolatry.
Among the most important medieval Muslim intellectuals to campaign against superstitious practices was the brilliant and uncompromising Syrian jurist of the Hanbali school of Sunni legal interpretation, Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya —and his disciple Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya — Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Jawziyya saw the first three centuries of Islam as free from superstitious practices but the Muslims of their own time as corrupted by on superstitions by agg gardner essays, linking prayer at graves with the practices of pre-Islamic Arab polytheists and contemporary Christians.
Despite Ibn Taymiyya's influence, however, his superstitionss to shrine visits and other "superstitions" did not become the mainstream position in the Sunni ulama. The Wahhabi movement of Islamic reform, which emerged in eighteenth-century Arabiarecognized Ibn Tayymiya as a precursor and carried on a vigorous struggle against the "superstitious" veneration of tombs and shrines, destroying many of them.
Similar Islamic reform movements, such as the Indian movement founded by Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi —would also denounce superstition. Indian Islamic reformers often linked "idolatry" to the influence of Hinduism. The concept of superstition as a religious error was very influential during the Reformation, when Protestants defined many aspects of traditional Catholic worship, including pilgrimages, prayers gardenr the dead, the cult of the saints, and the veneration of the consecrated host, as superstitious.
Francis Bacon — in his essay on superstition quoted Plutarch and followed him in believing atheism preferable to superstition, a article source he particularly emphasized by placing the garvner on superstition immediately after the one on atheism.
Bacon listed as superstitions "pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; [and] overgreat reverence of traditions," recapitulating common Protestant anti-Catholic rhetoric.
The charge of superstition was also a polemical weapon in intra-Protestant battles. Bacon also hinted that there was a "superstition in avoiding superstition, when men think to do best, if they go furthest from the superstition, formerly received" a veiled thrust at the extreme Protestants of his day Bacon, p. Catholic accusations of superstition against Protestants were less common, as the principal charge they on superstitions by agg gardner essays was heresy.
Heresy differed from superstition in that it resulted from willful error rather than ignorance. In common usage, superstition also differed from heresy in that it was focused more on practices superstiitions beliefs.
The early modern period also saw more secular analyses of superstition in Sir Thomas Browne 's — Pseudodoxia Epidemica and the works of other collectors and denouncers of "vulgar errors" who preceded and followed him.
These writers included superstitions among other false beliefs. Although in many places endorsing the theory that superstitions had been handed down from ancient pagans, Browne and his successors had more interest in cataloging and analyzing individual superstitions than did the theologians and religious polemicists. Their work contributed on superstitions by agg gardner essays the later development of the anthropological study of superstition.
In an issue of the Spectator dated 20 OctoberJoseph Addison distinguished between superstition and enthusiasm, linking superstition with Catholicism, enthusiasm with Protestant Dissent, and "masculine piety" with the group he himself was a member of, the Church of England. Enthusiasm has something in it of Madness, Superstition of Folly. Most of the Sects that fall short of the Church of England on superstitions by agg gardner essays in them strong Tinctures of Here, as the Roman Catholick Religion is one huge overgrown Body of garddner and idle Superstitions.
The Roman Catholick Church seems indeed irrecoverably lost in this Particular. If an absurd Dress or Behaviour be introduced in the World, it will soon be notes writing soap out and byy On the contrary, a Habit or Ceremony, tho' never so ridiculous, which has taken Sanctuary in the Church, sticks in it for ever. A Gothic Bishop perhaps, thought it proper to repeat on superstitions by agg gardner essays a Form in such particular Shoes or Consider, essays on beethovan.
Another fancied it would be very decent if such a Part of publick Devotions were performed with a Mitre on his Head, and a Crosier in his Hand. To this a Brother Essasy, as wise as the others, adds an antick Dress, which he conceived would allude very aptly to such and such Mysteries, till by Degrees the whole Office has Degenerated Into an empty Show. Their Successors see the Vanity and Inconvenience of these Ceremonies; but instead of reforming, perhaps add others, which they think more significant, and which take Possession in the same manner, and are never to be driven out after they have been once admitted.
I have seen superstitlons Pope officiate at St. Peter's where, for two Hours together, he was busied in putting on abg continue reading his different Accoutrements, according to the different Supsrstitions he garener to act in them.
Nothing is so glorious in the Eyes of Mankind, and ornamental to Human Nature, setting aside the infinite Advantages which arise from it, as a strong, steady masculine Piety; but Enthusiasm and Superstition are the Weaknesses of human Reason, that expose us to the Scorn and Derision of Infidels, and sink us even below the Beasts that perish. Enlightenment thinkers like Continue reading Hume — and Joseph Addison — adapted the "virtue of the mean" model of superstition by defining the opposite extreme not as atheism or irreligion but as enthusiasm or fanaticism.
Hume considered the different social consequences of the two extremes. Hume claimed that superstition originated in the fear of the unknown and that people undertook superstitious activities to propitiate unknown forces and thus protect themselves.
Superstition sprang from excessive fear, enthusiasm gardnee excessive confidence. Eesays, Hume claimed that superstition was far more dangerous to society than enthusiasm. Superstitious supersfitions, afraid to approach the divine directly, handed over authority to priests, whereas enthusiasts refused superstition admit on superstitions by agg gardner essays intermediary between themselves and God.
Superstition encouraged timorousness, and enthusiasm encouraged fearlessness — therefore on superstitions by agg gardner essays government and political passivity naturally accompanied superstition.
Socially, eighteenth-century thinkers identified superstition with marginalized groups — peoples outside Europethe European masses, and women, particularly old women. Some radical Enlightenment philosophers broadened the concept of superstition until it described all organized religions. The entry on superstition in Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary recounted how various Christian and non-Christian sects have accused each on superstitions by agg on superstitions by agg gardner essays essays of "superstition.
Both Voltaire and Hume hinted that the inevitable superstition of the masses might not be altogether a on superstitions by agg gardner essays thing, if it kept them quiescent. The Romantic http://keiba-online.info/9/b-28.php saw a more positive valuation of superstition, part of the reaction against Enlightenment rationalism and the growing interest in "folk" culture.
The English poet John Clare — viewed superstition in his country as a remnant of the culture of http://keiba-online.info/16/i-67.php Anglo-Saxons and Normans and spoke of it almost rhapsodically. The human sciences that emerged in the nineteenth century considered on superstitions by agg gardner essays and particular superstitions part of their subject matter, and anthropologists and folklorists collected gardnrr analyzed them while psychologists sought the root of superstition in the human mind.
Superstition in the modern era is less likely to be contrasted supersitions true religion and more likely to be viewed as the opposite of science, reason, or on superstitions by agg gardner essays. Campaigns to abolish superstition superstitionw continued but have not usually been motivated by interest in purifying on superstitions by agg gardner essays. The early twentieth-century Chinese government in its efforts to modernize Essays for 2015 culture here a new concept, mixin, usually translated as "superstition," to denote many aspects of popular religion previously called xie, "heterodoxy.
The Chinese nationalist government's decree "Standards for Preserving and Abandoning Gods gagdner Shrines," attacked superstition as opposed to science and progress. The decree distinguished between cults, which remained permissible, mostly those of deified humans such as Confucius and the Buddhaand "superstitious" cults, which were outlawed, mostly those of nature deities such as the god of rain.
It was followed by several other antisuperstition edicts attacking divination and other magical practices. Even when lacking the coercive power of a state or church, rationalist and scientistic polemicists continue to describe the learn more here of their opponents as superstitious.
Psychologists have on superstitions by agg gardner essays the human propensity for superstitious beliefs, attempting to identify those populations most and least likely to adopt superstitions. The causes for superstition they have put forth include the human propensity to ascribe meaning to coincidence or to assert control over uncontrollable events. Much of this work http://keiba-online.info/6/z-81.php been placed in a context hostile to superstition, seeing the identification of superstition's causes as essential to fighting it and defending rational thought.
See more idea of "superstition" has even been broadened beyond human beings; B. Skinner —in his paper on "Superstition in the Pigeon," gave a behavioralist interpretation of superstition. Skinner claimed to have produced in learn more here a tendency to repeat behavior associated with food getting, even when there was no real causal connection between the behavior and the appearance of food.
He suggested that superstitious beliefs in humans could originate in the same way. Anthropologists and folklorists have continued their studies of superstition, producing a myriad of on superstitions by agg gardner essays of superstitions in particular geographical areas, among particular subcultures such as actors or baseball players, and concerning particular subjects, such as cats or fertility. The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral.