DOI link for General Introduction
General Introduction book
This chapter discusses dynamic of religions which discover the essence of the so-called 'great religions'. In ancient Egypt this process of amalgamation had set in at a very early period, and proceeded very deliberately. In recent times there exists a close parallel to the boundless syncretism of the Roman imperial era, in the various semi-, or completely, occult tendencies which appear under the names of theosophy, anthroposophy, Christian science or sufism. 'Transpositions', to continue, appear at all times, but chiefly during reformations and missions. The dynamic of religions, further, is displayed as mission. Catholicism assimilated mysticism, for example, and substituted popular religion, while at the same time it isolated asceticism within monasticism. The great mission religions are the 'world religions' of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Of these three, again, Islam is at present the typical missionary religion because it takes the dynamic power of its faith to be wholly a matter of course: conquest lies in the essence of Islam.