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Myth, Ritual and Religion — Volume 1   By: (1844-1912)

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MYTH, RITUAL, AND RELIGION

Volume One

By Andrew Lang

CONTENTS

PREFACE TO NEW IMPRESSION.

PREFACE TO NEW EDITION.

CHAPTER I. SYSTEMS OF MYTHOLOGY.

Definitions of religion Contradictory evidence "Belief in spiritual beings" Objection to Mr. Tylor's definition Definition as regards this argument Problem: the contradiction between religion and myth Two human moods Examples Case of Greece Ancient mythologists Criticism by Eusebius Modern mythological systems Mr. Max Muller Mannhardt.

CHAPTER II. NEW SYSTEM PROPOSED.

Chapter I. recapitulated Proposal of a new method: Science of comparative or historical study of man Anticipated in part by Eusebius, Fontenelle, De Brosses, Spencer (of C. C. C., Cambridge), and Mannhardt Science of Tylor Object of inquiry: to find condition of human intellect in which marvels of myth are parts of practical everyday belief This is the savage state Savages described The wild element of myth a survival from the savage state Advantages of this method Partly accounts for wide DIFFUSION as well as ORIGIN of myths Connected with general theory of evolution Puzzling example of myth of the water swallower Professor Tiele's criticism of the method Objections to method, and answer to these See Appendix B.

CHAPTER III. THE MENTAL CONDITION OF SAVAGES CONFUSION WITH NATURE TOTEMISM.

The mental condition of savages the basis of the irrational element in myth Characteristics of that condition: (1) Confusion of all things in an equality of presumed animation and intelligence; (2) Belief in sorcery; (3) Spiritualism; (4) Curiosity; (5) Easy credulity and mental indolence The curiosity is satisfied, thanks to the credulity, by myths in answer to all inquiries Evidence for this Mr. Tylor's opinion Mr. Im Thurn Jesuit missionaries' Relations Examples of confusion between men, plants, beasts and other natural objects Reports of travellers Evidence from institution of totemism Definition of totemism Totemism in Australia, Africa, America, the Oceanic Islands, India, North Asia Conclusions: Totemism being found so widely distributed, is a proof of the existence of that savage mental condition in which no line is drawn between men and the other things in the world. This confusion is one of the characteristics of myth in all races.

CHAPTER IV. THE MENTAL CONDITION OF SAVAGES MAGIC METAMORPHOSIS METAPHYSIC PSYCHOLOGY.

Claims of sorcerers Savage scientific speculation Theory of causation Credulity, except as to new religious ideas "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" Fundamental ideas of magic Examples: incantations, ghosts, spirits Evidence of rank and other institutions in proof of confusions of mind exhibited in magical beliefs.

CHAPTER V. NATURE MYTHS.

Savage fancy, curiosity and credulity illustrated in nature myths In these all phenomena are explained by belief in the general animation of everything, combined with belief in metamorphosis Sun myths, Asian, Australian, African, Melanesian, Indian, Californian, Brazilian, Maori, Samoan Moon myths, Australian, Muysca, Mexican, Zulu, Macassar, Greenland, Piute, Malay Thunder myths Greek and Aryan sun and moon myths Star myths Myths, savage and civilised, of animals, accounting for their marks and habits Examples of custom of claiming blood kinship with lower animals Myths of various plants and trees Myths of stones, and of metamorphosis into stones, Greek, Australian and American The whole natural philosophy of savages expressed in myths, and survives in folk lore and classical poetry; and legends of metamorphosis.

CHAPTER VI. NON ARYAN MYTHS OF THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD AND OF MAN.

Confusions of myth Various origins of man and of things Myths of Australia, Andaman Islands, Bushmen, Ovaherero, Namaquas, Zulus, Hurons, Iroquois, Diggers, Navajoes, Winnebagoes, Chaldaeans, Thlinkeets, Pacific Islanders, Maoris, Aztecs, Peruvians Similarity of ideas pervading all those peoples in various conditions of society and culture... Continue reading book >>




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