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The Sex Worship and Symbolism of Primitive Races An Interpretation   By: (1884-1968)

The Sex Worship and Symbolism of Primitive Races An Interpretation by Sanger Brown

First Page:

THE SEX WORSHIP AND SYMBOLISM OF PRIMITIVE RACES

AN INTERPRETATION

BY SANGER BROWN II., M. D.

Assistant Physician, Bloomingdale Hospital

With an Introduction by James H. Leuba

BOSTON: RICHARD G. BADGER TORONTO: THE COPP CLARK CO., LIMITED

Copyright 1916, by Richard G. Badger All rights reserved

The Gorham Press, Boston, U. S. A.

DEDICATED TO MY WIFE HELEN WILLISTON BROWN

PREFACE

The greater part of the first three chapters of this book appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology in the December January number of 1915 16 and the February March number of 1916. This material is reprinted here by the kind permission of the Editor of that Journal. This part of the subject is chiefly historical and the data here given is accessible as indicated by the references throughout the text, although many of these books are difficult to secure or are out of print. For this historical material I am particularly indebted to the writings of Hargrave Jennings, Richard Payne Knight and Doctor Thomas Inman. Most of the reference matter coming under the general heading of Nature Worship was obtained from comparatively recent sources, such as the publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology, of the Smithsonian Institute, and certain publications of the American Museum of Natural History. Frazer's Golden Bough and other writings of J. G. Frazer on Anthropology furnished much valuable information. The writings of special investigators, among others those of Spencer, and A. W. Howitt, on Primitive Australian Tribes, and W. H. R. Rivers on the Todas have been freely drawn upon. A number of other books and references have been made use of, as indicated throughout the text. I have found two books by Miss J. Harrison, i. e. , Themis and Ancient Art and Ritual , of great value in interpreting primitive ceremonies and primitive customs in general.

My main object has been to give the life history of a primitive motive in the development of the race, and to emphasize the dynamic significance of this motive. Later other motives may be dealt with in more detail if it is proved that both in normal and abnormal psychology we may best understand the mental development of the individual through our knowledge of the development of the race.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the assistance rendered me by my wife.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I Simple Sex Worship 13

II Symbolism 34

III Sun Myths, Mysteries and Decadent Sex Worship 69

IV Interpretations 96

References and Bibliography 137

Index 141

INTRODUCTION

Our knowledge of religion receives contributions from every quarter; even the student of mental diseases finds information that is of service to the student of religion. The reverse is equally true: a knowledge of religion sheds light upon even the science of mental disorders.

In this short book, a psychiatrist seeks in the study of one aspect of religious practice the worship of the procreating power to gain a clearer understanding of the forms taken by certain kinds of mental diseases. His theory is that we may expect diseased minds to reproduce, or return to expressions of desire customary and official in societies of lower culture. This is, as a matter of fact, less a theory than a statement of observed facts; of this, the reader of these pages, if familiar with certain mental disorders, may readily convince himself.

But Doctor Brown's intention is not merely, perhaps not primarily, to draw the attention of the Psychiatrist to a neglected source of information, he aims at something of wider import and addresses a wider public... Continue reading book >>




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