How much older than this the Christian story is, we cannot tell, but it is interesting to remember that it embodies in the form of a speech the "Apology" of the 2nd-century philosopher Aristides.
As religion advances with improved social organization, a series of figures, partly human, partly divine, embodies the idea that the command of nature implied in the progress of the arts is due to some kind of instruction from above, and that the obli gations of law are of more than human origin.
The term " animism," which embodies Tylor's classical theory of primitive religion, is unfortunately somewhat ambiguous.
Among the Arunta of Central Australia, the ghosts of the dead haunt certain localities, and, entering the bodies of passing women, are constantly reincarnated; the Black-snake clan of the Warramunga tribe embodies the spirits which the original ancestor had deposited by a certain creek.'
The term is so far justified in that it harmonizes better than Oceania did with the names of the other continents, and also embodies the two essential facts that it is a south-eastern extension of Asia, and that its central and most important division is the great island-continent of Australia.