Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Annotated) by Andrew Lang

Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Annotated)

byAndrew Lang

Kobo ebook | June 29, 2014

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*This Book is annotated (it contains a detailed biography of the author).
*An active Table of Contents has been added by the publisher for a better customer experience.
*This book has been checked and corrected for spelling errors.

Myth, Ritual, and Religion by Andrew Lang (Complete 2 Volumes)

When this book first appeared (1886), the philological school of
interpretation of religion and myth, being then still powerful in
England, was criticised and opposed by the author. In Science, as on the
Turkish throne of old, "Amurath to Amurath succeeds"; the philological
theories of religion and myth have now yielded to anthropological
methods. The centre of the anthropological position was the "ghost
theory" of Mr. Herbert Spencer, the "Animistic" theory of Mr. E. R.
Tylor, according to whom the propitiation of ancestral and other spirits
leads to polytheism, and thence to monotheism. In the second edition
(1901) of this work the author argued that the belief in a "relatively
supreme being," anthropomorphic was as old as, and might be even older,
than animistic religion. This theory he exhibited at greater length, and
with a larger collection of evidence, in his Making of Religion.

Since 1901, a great deal of fresh testimony as to what Mr. Howitt
styles the "All Father" in savage and barbaric religions has accrued. As
regards this being in Africa, the reader may consult the volumes of the
New Series of the Journal of the Anthropological Institute, which are
full of African evidence, not, as yet, discussed, to my knowledge, by
any writer on the History of Religion. As late as Man, for July, 1906,
No. 66, Mr. Parkinson published interesting Yoruba legends about Oleron,
the maker and father of men, and Oro, the Master of the Bull Roarer.

From Australia, we have Mr. Howitt's account of the All Father in his
Native Tribes of South-East Australia, with the account of the All
Father of the Central Australian tribe, the Kaitish, in North Central
Tribes of Australia, by Messrs. Spencer and Gillen (1904), also The
Euahlayi Tribe, by Mrs. Langley Parker (1906). These masterly books are
indispensable to all students of the subject, while, in Messrs. Spencer
and Gillen's work cited, and in their earlier Native Tribes of Central
Australia, we are introduced to savages who offer an elaborate animistic
theory, and are said to show no traces of the All Father belief.

The books of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen also present much evidence as
to a previously unknown form of totemism, in which the totem is not
hereditary, and does not regulate marriage. This prevails among the
Arunta "nation," and the Kaitish tribe. In the opinion of Mr. Spencer
(Report Australian Association for Advancement of Science, 1904) and
of Mr. J. G. Frazer (Fortnightly Review, September, 1905), this is
the earliest surviving form of totemism, and Mr. Frazer suggests an
animistic origin for the institution. I have criticised these views in
The Secret of the Totem (1905), and proposed a different solution of the
problem. (See also "Primitive and Advanced Totemism" in Journal of the
Anthropological Institute, July, 1906.) In the works mentioned will be
found references to other sources of information as to these questions,
which are still sub judice. Mrs. Bates, who has been studying the
hitherto almost unknown tribes of Western Australia, promises a book
on their beliefs and institutions, and Mr. N. W. Thomas is engaged on
a volume on Australian institutions. In this place the author can only
direct attention to these novel sources, and to the promised third
edition of Mr. Frazer's The Golden Bough.

A. L.

Title:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Annotated)Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 29, 2014Publisher:Consumer Oriented Ebooks PublisherLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990045269481

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