The Golden Bough: A Study In Magic And Religion =LINK=
Frazer attempted to define the shared elements of religious belief and scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat, and many other symbols and practices whose influences had extended into 20th-century culture. His thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship and periodic sacrifice of a sacred king. Frazer proposed that mankind progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought.
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
Frazer wrote in a preface to the third edition of The Golden Bough that while he had never studied Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, his friend James Ward, and the philosopher J. M. E. McTaggart, had both suggested to him that Hegel had anticipated his view of "the nature and historical relations of magic and religion". Frazer saw the resemblance as being that "we both hold that in the mental evolution of humanity an age of magic preceded an age of religion, and that the characteristic difference between magic and religion is that, whereas magic aims at controlling nature directly, religion aims at controlling it indirectly through the mediation of a powerful supernatural being or beings to whom man appeals for help and protection." Frazer included an extract from Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1832).
The Golden Bough scandalized the British public when first published, as it included the Christian story of the resurrection of Jesus in its comparative study. Critics thought this treatment invited an agnostic reading of the Lamb of God as a relic of a pagan religion. For the third edition, Frazer placed his analysis of the Crucifixion in a speculative appendix; the discussion of Christianity was excluded from the single-volume abridged edition.
a broad comparative cultural study of mythology and religion by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941). Aimed at a broad literate audience raised on tales as told in Bulfinch's The Age of Fable, Frazer's book joined the modernists in discussing religion dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon, rather than from within the field of theology itself. Though the final worth of its contribution to anthropology will be newly summed by each generation, its impact on contemporary European literature was unquestionably grand.
A monumental study in comparative folklore, magic and religion, The Golden Bough shows parallels between the rites and beliefs, superstitions and taboos of early cultures and those of Christianity. It had a great impact on psychology and literature and remains an early classic anthropological resource.
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A classic study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind, and the progress through magic and religion to scientific thought, The Golden Bough has a unique status in modern anthropology and literature. First published in 1890, The Golden Bough was eventually issued in a twelve-volume edition (1906-15) which was abridged in 1922 by the author and his wife. That abridgement has never been reconsidered for a modern audience. In it some of the more controversial passages were dropped, including Frazer's daring speculations on the Crucifixion of Christ. For the first time this one-volume edition restores Frazer's bolder theories and sets them within the framework of a valuable introduction and notes. A seminal work of modern anthropolgy, The Golden Bough also influenced many twentieth-century writers, including D H Lawrence, T S Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis. Its discussion of magical types, the sacrificial killing of kings, the dying god, and the scapegoat is given fresh pertinence in this new edition. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion. It attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief to scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat and many other symbols and practices which have influenced the 20th century. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship of, and periodic sacrifice of, a sacred king. Specifically, that man progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought.
The more he compared unconnected early societies the more similarities he found - a pattern which suggested the universal existence of basic human tendencies. His multifaceted analysis of magic and religion considers topics as various as tree worship, taboo, sacrifice, myths of Adonis and Osiris, the Corn-Mother, the transference of evil, public scapegoats and much else. He draws on evidence for these from many different societies - ranging from Babylonian, African, and Jewish to Khazar, European and Mexican.
Besides the influence of Tylor, Frazer was inspired by his encounter with the biblical scholar William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), author of The Religion of the Semites (1889). In this book, Smith laid the ground for a comparative study of religion in his attempt to reconstruct the religion of early Near Eastern peoples, through comparing the evidence from ancient Mesopotamia, Israel and Arabia with other totemic traditions at Arabia. Frazer continued in these attempts to reconstruct missing pieces in traditions through a comparative study.
This volume provides a thorough introduction to the major classic and modern writings dealing with religious sacrifice. Collected here are twenty five influential selections, each with a brief introduction addressing the overall framework and assumptions of its author. As they present different theories and examples of sacrifice, these selections also discuss important concepts in religious studies such as the origin of religion, totemism, magic, symbolism, violence, structuralism and ritual performance. Students of comparative religion, ritual studies, the history of religions, the anthropology of religion and theories of religion will particularly value the historical organization and thematic analyses presented in this collection. 041b061a72