With the exception of recent topics like 'biotechnology' and 'gene manipulation'. However ethical objections are the wrong perspective, which rather darken the real problem. The main point is not to protect God's creation, but rather to become aware that man for the first time intrudes into the history of life with an evolutionary past of billions of years. Involved are reproductive processes. To intrude into these processes with the very limited present knowledge about these evolutionary processes appears extremely irresponsible. This fear is particularly valid because not only the human environment is involved insofar as life is concerned, but man himself is irrevocably placed within this reproductive cycle.
It should be remembered here to what extent early Japanology (Aston, Chamberlain, Satow, Florenz) influenced by Frazer's popularisation of Mannhardt‘s 'lower mythology', pounced on the tree cult frequently found in Shinto and how they put the Japanese into the trauma of 'primitive religion'. Today it is clear that the tree cult is not at all an elementary type of cult and the cult is not at all focussed on the tree as part of nature, but as a sign of a particular topos, a place. The tree has merely taken over toposemantic functions from much more ancient traditions.
Cult edifices of certain cult systems (e.g.Shinto) on one hand are interpreted by the associated belief system (e.g.as residential places of certain Gods), on the other hand according to aesthetic qualities attributed to building, to architecture, to art, and consequently are then described in aesthetical terms. The cult is completely neglected, and moves into the background, for instance as cyclic behaviour of certain social groups. However, if the procedure is interpreted the other way round from continuities of the cultic behaviour, a quite different picture emerges. Toposemantic conditions become primary and they produce spatially, temporally and socially - with formal categories - what the Eurocentric system describes as 'religion'.
See Richard Wilhelm, I Ging.
However, it has to be maintained here that Western metaphysics are based on a polar construction. This was described in another study (S. Egenter: The eternally burning Thorn bush - theStructure of Theocracy in the Ancient Near East and the Scholastic Trauma of Europe. Approaches towards an Egypto-Judaeo-Christian Anthropology of Religion, 2000, Lausanne, Ed.Structura Mundi)
This should not be interpreted as something forced upon. The Chinese element was merely wider in the spatial sense. As a more evolved structural concept it has 'accumulated' from outside (Ogburn) into an autochthonous type of polarity (jap. inyô).
Whether prehistorically or rural in the domain of history: in the corresponding agrarian societies ontology (religion, philosophy, world view), art, social hierarchy, territorial order were all intrinsically interwoven and organised in a complex whole. This order can be understood as a prototype of written 'theocratic' constitution. In a certain sense the study can also be understood as a universal "restudy" of the "fetish-maypole-lifetree-complex". The history of religion has conventionally primitivized this phenomenon, projecting Eurocentric, or Euroscholastic theological aprioris on it. It was never objectively studied and explored in relation to the spatial context of local settlement conditions.
In the scientifically strict sense, any theory which is built up on the objective observation of a certain basic field of phenomena using certain terms and certain hypotheses must obey the displacement criterion. Presupposing the same conditions, the theory must be valid also if it is erected over another basic field in another culture. Thus, a truly 'anthropological' theory conceived in Japan must, if it strictly refers to objective characteristics, be transferable to other cultures. This structuro-theoretical condition was explored with the present text. The result is surprising: the outcome is extremely plausible (see Egenter 2000, The eternally burning Thorn bush, Lausanne, Ed. Structura Mundi)
The Eurocentric theories of art a priori devalue popular types of art. Rural popular art is not creative, it falls through the meshes of the European Renaissance myth of the profaned creator genius, which only supports elitarian types of art. However, this classification is absolutely unscientific. It evaluates art in relation to the urban ideal of an individual creativity of the artist-creator. Looking more closely at this, it shows that the rural conservative mentality corresponds to the cyclic time structure of the agrarian world. Rural art is still bound to cultic principles. That is, its ideal is supporting the original, not originality in the subjective sense. By stereotypically reproducing forms in cyclic periods, their original condition (in the historical sense) is preserved. This principle could be extremely valuable in the framework of an anthropology of art (see Egenter: Urban Rural Dichotomy [on the Internet]).
In this context we have to mention also the recent attempt to interpret research of prestigious astro-physics, respectively the cosmological theory of the big bang, in terms of religion (that is, according to its first catholic interpretor Lemaître).
To a modern observer it must appear fully irrational that a modern country which boasts about its freedom all over the world, i.e. the United States, forces its children to learn and identify with a fully outdated mediaeval doctrine. Note that the Kansas University ousted Darwin's evolution theory from its teaching program (Aug. 1999). The whole can only be understood in a political framework, as an initial 'gift exchange' of the Reagan era on the axis Washington-Rom-Gdansk-Moscow, which later led to the breakdown of communism.
See Egenter 1999: "Habitat anthropology and the anthropological definition of material culture" [on the Internet] http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/450a_Introd.html
Thus, often where European 'spiritual sciences' operate with highly religious attitudes, we may find very solid and tangible territorial and political interests in the background.
Indian Rural Settlement Survey Institute, Ahmedabad, India (IRSSI)
A corresponding report can be found on theInternet: