Greek art and the rise of religion in the West

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Porkchop Holocaust

Interesting passage from René Guenon's Introduction Générale a l'Étude des Doctrines Hindoues. :asif:

Translation is mine, so beware:

A quick note should be made regarding Guénon's use of the word religion. For him religion is dependent on three pre-conditions: a dogma, a morality and a cult. These, insofar as they take part in religion, have elements which are at the same time metaphysical, sentimental and social. Both dogma and morality have an inherently sentimental element, because only in that fashion are they able to provide necessary conditions for the adaptation of a metaphysical doctrine (which is purely intellectual) to the specific needs of a society. Religion, in its etymological sense of re-ligare, means thus both the process of linking to the source of creation and to society. He notes, however, that the religious aspect of tradition is very strong in some societies (Western and Islamic) while nearly or completely absent in others (Indian, Chinese). In Oriental societies, the absence of religion is connected to relative separation between the metaphysical, on one hand, and the social and sentimental on the other. In Chinese society, for example, he claims that the Confucian rituals that Westerners ignorantly call "religious" are purely social matters. Inversely, Taoism is a purely metaphysical doctrine. These two elements are able to exist within Chinese society without conflicting with one another, despite the complete absence of the religious point of view. Further on he states:


Yes, Guenon's restriction of the word 'religion' to, essentially, the Abrahamic, is idiosyncratic. I prefer Schuon's usage.

Anyway, here is Coomaraswamy on art: