Ancestor-worship Sentence Examples
The Euhemerist theory mainly appeals to ancestor worship - a fact of undoubted importance in the history of religion, especially in China and in ancient Rome.
Nevertheless, traces of an earlier ancestor worship appear, e.g.
The Lar familiaris has been regarded' as the embodiment of all the family dead and his cult as a consummation of ancestor-worship, but a more probable explanation regards him as one of the Lares (q.v.; numina of the fields worshipped at the compita, the places where properties marched) who had special charge of the house or possibly of the household servants (familia); for it is significant that his worship was committed to the charge of the vilica.
All theories of religion which give prominence to ancestor worship and the cult of the dead are to a certain extent Euhemeristic. But as the sole explanation of the origin of the idea of gods it is not accepted by students of comparative religion.
The simple offering of food or shedding of blood at the grave develops into an elaborate system of sacrifice; even where ancestor-worship is not found, the desire to provide the dead with comforts in the future life may lead to the sacrifice of wives, slaves, animals, &c., to the breaking or burning of objects at the grave or to the provision of the ferryman's toll, a coin put in the mouth of the corpse to pay the travelling expenses of the soul.Advertisement
They may, it is true, be associated with ghost gods, but in Australia it cannot even be asserted that the gods are spirits at all, much less that they are the spirits of dead men; they are simply magnified magicians, super-men who have never died; we have no ground, therefore, for regarding the cult of the dead as the origin of religion in this area; this conclusion is the more probable, as ancestor-worship and the cult of the dead generally cannot be said to exist in Australia.
Aristotle in his Ethics stigmatizes as "extremely unloving" (Xiav a4xXov) the denial that ancestors are interested in or affected by the fortunes of their descendants; and in effect ancestor-worship is the staple of most religions, ancient or modern, civilized or savage.
On this side the ancestor-worship of the Aryans has been productive of the most important institutions of adoption and will or testament.
It is doubtful whether we should dignify by the name of ancestor-worship the older Roman festival of the Lemuria, which was held on the 9th, iith and 13th of May.
Ancestor-worship has its parallels in Christian cults of the dead and of the saints; it must be remembered, however, that a saint is not as a rule an ancestor, and that his cult is not based upon family feeling and love of kinsmen, nor tends to stimulate and encourage the same.Advertisement
Confucius, though unwilling to discuss any questions concerning the dead, by approving ancestor-worship recognized a future life.
Ancestor-worship is universal.
As there can be no doubt that the ghosts of dead men have been worshipped in many lands, and as the gods of many faiths are tricked out with attributes derived from ancestor-worship, the system of Euemerus retains some measure of plausibility.
As Spencer thinks ancestor-worship the first form of religion, and as he holds that persons with such names as sun, moon and the like became worshipped as ancestors, his theory results in the belief that nature-worship and the myths about natural phenomena - dawn, wind, sky, night and the rest - are a kind of transmuted worship of ancestors and transmuted myths about real men and women.
Ancestor-worship is a great force in early religion, and the qualities of dead chiefs and sorcerers are freely attributed to gods, but it does not follow that each god was once a real man, as Sahagun supposes.Advertisement
These are distinguished by circular huts with domed or conical roofs; clothing of skin or leather; occasional chipping or extraction of lower incisors; spears as the principal weapons, bows, where found, with a sinew cord, shields of hide or leather; religion, ancestor-worship with belief in the power of the magicians as rain-makers.
Ancestor-worship occurs most naturally among a people where tribal organization has reached a fairly advanced stage, and is the natural outcome of patriotic reverence for a successful chief and his councillors.
There are decidedly unchristian aspects such as reincarnation (of the elves) and the ancestor worship many of the characters indulge in.
It became very popular among practitioners of Santeria in Cuba, as a means of re-connecting to ancestor worship.
Although ancestor-worship, or, more broadly, the cult of the dead, has in many cases overshadowed other cults or even extinguished them, we have no warrant, even in these cases, for asserting its priority, but rather the reverse; not only so, but in the majority of cases the pantheon is made up by a multitude of spirits in human, sometimes in animal form, which bear no signs of ever having been incarnate; sun gods and moon goddesses, gods of fire, wind and water, gods of the sea, and above all gods of the sky, show no signs of having been ghost gods at any period in their history.Advertisement
Another development is ancestor-worship, the organized cult of ancestors marking, however, a certain stage of advance beyond the very primitive, though the dead are always sacred and have mana which the living may exploit for their own advantage.
Possibly there is a trace of ancestor worship even here; but the two usages have diverged.
Like their neighbours the Cambodians and the Chinese, the Annamese have a great respect for the dead, and ancestor worship constitutes the national religion.