Whether this pre-animistic stage should be classified as 12The Melanesians(1891).
9"religion," or whether it is a perspective from which "religion" developed, has been a matter of debate.13III. The Volitional Explanation. "Volition," by the way, is just a fancy term for the human act of will...as in the word "voluntary" (doing something of your own "free will"). This is a title that I have "made up"...rather than being one that is commonly used. So, you won't find it in your textbook. This explanation, put forward by Daniel Brinton,14notes that, in the case of human beings, action is precededby volition. For example, one thinksabout reaching for a certain object...and thenthe hand moves forward to grasp it. "Will" is priorto action. So, why not assume that actions in natureare similarly preceded by an act of will?15Brinton cites the case of the Dakota Sioux Indians, among whom the force called wakonda(roughly equivalent to the Melanesian mana) is the deification of that peculiar quality or 13King, Introd., p. 31, does not quite equate the two, citing the opinion of Marett (The Threshold of Religion?). 14Religions of Primitive Peoples(1897), pp. 47, 60, 164 (as cited in Leuba, Psychological Study of Religion, p. 72). 15This concept of "will," however, does not necessarily begin with the concept of individual deity, but rather with an inexhaustible and impersonal "source."
10power of which man is conscious within himselfas directing his own actions, or willinga course to bring about certain results.16[emphases added] Then the author concludes: The...origin of all religious thought, is the recognition, or if you please, the assumption, that conscious volitionis the ultimate source of all Force. It is the belief that behind the sensuous, phenomenal world, [yet] distinctfrom it, giving it form, existence, and activity, lies the ultimate, invisible, immeasurable power of Mind, of conscious Will, of Intelligence, analogous in some way with our own...17IV. Religion as a Response to the NumenousThe noun "numenous" was coined by Rudolph Otto...in his influential book entitled The Idea of the Holy.18It is derived from the Latin noun numena, used, for example, by Roman 16Brinton, quoting a Miss Fletcher, according to Leuba, Psychological Study of Religion, p. 72. 17Brinton, as cited in Leuba, ibid., pp. 72-73. 18New York: Oxford University Press, 1958 (first published in 1917). For excerpts and discussion, see John Lyden, Enduring Issues in Religion(1995), pp. 33-38; Allie M. Frazier, Issues In Religion(1975), pp. 179-189.
11farmers...to designate the powers or spirits which inhabitedspecial places around them. Otto uses the term to refer to that which, when encounteredby humans, is extraordinary, uncanny, incomprehensible, awe-evoking, dreadful...and which overwhelmsone with a sense of powerlessness, dependence, creaturliness. There are moments when humans stand in the presence of something that is sensed to be "Wholly Other"...in reactionto which, states Otto, one's soul "trembles inwardly to the farthest fibre of its being."19One has come face-to-face, he says, with that which can accurately be