The Golden Bough
James George Frazer
Available in PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook. This book has 1,012 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1890.
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.
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