The world before 1300 A.D. is what defines the theological stage. In the theological stage, the mind attributes phenomena to entities or forces comparable to humans to explain them. At this point, humans depend on supernatural forces to explain things they cannot explain on their own. The fictitious stage is another name for this stage.
In the theological phase, the human mind assumes that the direct activity of supernatural entities causes all events because it seeks the origin and purpose of all effects—in other words, ultimate knowledge—and the fundamental essence of beings.
At this stage, humans try to identify the initial and ultimate causes or the source and aim of all consequences. Because of this, the human mind at this level believes that supernatural creatures are directly responsible for all happenings. For instance, some tribes thought ailments like smallpox and cholera were manifestations of god’s wrath. Examples of military men and ecclesiastical dominances from this period are readily available.
Comte asserts that the theological stage progresses through three stages: fetishism, polytheism, and monotheism.
In the beginning, people thought that everything had a spirit that lived inside of it. Comte refers to this stage as fetishism because every item is seen as a fetish at this point, which is a thing with a spirit within. According to Comte, fetishism is the origin of language, culture, social organization, and a social economy where the earliest animal domestication and plant cultivation occur.
Early in this stage, known as fetishism, non-human entities like the wind, waterfalls, and animal spirits are given human-like impulses that influence their behavior. Fetishism produces minimal abstract thinking to understand the universe since it is believed that everything can be explained in terms of human-like explanations, and there is no authoritative priesthood to make appeals to more powerful forces. As a result, social development is sluggish, technology is still basic, and social organization is weak, with little coordination of group efforts.
There was a shift in how thinking was done as human thought gradually advanced. Polytheism is the name for this sophisticated kind. At this point, the man had categorized forces such as the gods, the natural world, and people. Every human or natural force had a ruling god.
Fetishism grew difficult as primitive man’s mental constructs improved. Confusion resulted from having too many fetishes. Thus, people began to worship several deities. Therefore, polytheism developed. They established the class of priests to win the favor and benefits of these gods. They had mental conflicts as a result of having too many gods.
The man starts to believe in magic and related practices during this sub-stage. Then he inserts or imposes a unique deity into each item. Therefore, they developed a class of priests to obtain the favor and blessings of the many gods they believed in.
Fetishism is replaced by polytheism. It transforms the paranormal into gods in charge of earthly things and happenings. The study of the gods and the emergence of a priesthood skilled in appeasing them resulted in societal development in intelligence and the coordination of group endeavors.
Monotheism was characterized by a high degree of intellect and a small amount of creativity. It opened the door for a critical assessment of the earlier phases. The monotheistic religion is the most sophisticated kind of religious thought. In monotheism, it is held that there is only one ultimate deity who rules over the whole cosmos.
Monotheism, the most advanced version of the theological stage, is the belief that all supernatural abilities are contained inside a single entity. This belief results from the progression of these deities’ conceptions from merely having different domains of influence to a hierarchical organization. Comte depicts a monotheistic society as a stable society in which secular and theological powers are shared between sovereign leaders and a worldwide church using only examples from medieval Europe. The role of spiritual authority is to limit and guide the use of secular power for the sake of the community. Monotheism exhausts the evolutionary possibilities of religious reasoning, despite being stable and harmonious. Thus starts a fall in monotheism (and the theological stage as a whole) that threatens the feudal family economic and political systems that rely on it.
In this phase of the theological stage, man thinks that there is only one source of authority over all that happens in the universe. The man was therefore convinced of the supreme might of a single deity.