Homo Religiosus Essay

1874 WordsFeb 4, 20138 Pages
Homo Religiosus HOMO RELIGIOSUS. When the Swedish botanist Linnaeus developed his system of biological classification in the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment's ideal of rationality strongly governed views of humanity. As a result, Linnaeus designated the human species Homo sapiens. Soon, however, the Romantic movement and the incipient human sciences accentuated other dimensions of humanity than the rational. In time, new terms were coined on the Linnaean model to designate humanity in various distinctive aspects: homo ludens (G. F. Creuzer and, later, Johan Huizinga), homo faber (Henri Bergson), homo viator (Gabriel-Honoré Marcel), and others. Perhaps the nineteenth century's growing awareness of the universality of religion, especially in the realm of the "primitives" (as they were then known), made it inevitable that a phrase would emerge to express that aspect of humanity that the Enlightenment's ideal had so opposed: homo religiosus, "the religious human." In some circles the expression has gained wide currency, but its sense has not remained constant. Three general meanings of homo religiosus are most important to students of religion. Homo Religiosus as Religious Leader In one meaning, homo religiosus refers to a particularly religious person within a given (religious) community, that is, to a religious leader. The roots of this usage are much older than the Enlightenment and Linnaeus's Systema naturae. . | For Students | For Teachers | Link-O-MatTutoramaGradatoriumGalleriaCite-Check | Sample AssignmentsSample Assignments by NHR TeachersSample SequencesInstructor's Resource ManualOur Grading Criteria | | | Sample Assignments | Sample Assignments Index | | Karen Armstrong, "Homo religious" Questions for Making Connections within the Reading: 1. In “Homo religiosus,” Armstrong takes us back

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