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Golden Bough. A Study in Magic and Religion. Part 3. The Dying God

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By: (1854-1941)

In "The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, Part 3: The Dying God," James Frazer continues his exploration of the parallels between mythologies and religious practices from around the world. This volume focuses on the concept of the dying god, a figure who sacrifices himself in order to bring renewal and fertility to the land.

Frazer delves into the myths of various cultures, from ancient Greece to Africa to the Americas, showing how they all share similar themes of death and rebirth. He argues that these stories reflect a deep-seated human need to make sense of the cycle of life and death, as well as the changing seasons and agricultural cycles.

While Frazer's approach can feel a bit dated and Eurocentric at times, his meticulous research and thorough analysis make this an important work for anyone interested in the history of religion and mythology. This book is a fascinating look at the ways in which different cultures have understood the concept of the dying god, and the role this figure plays in shaping human beliefs and practices. Overall, "The Dying God" is a thought-provoking and informative read that sheds light on the universal themes that connect us all.

Book Description:
The fourth volume in Frazer's seminal 12 volume set on anthropology and traditional systems of belief. With this third part of The Golden Bough we take up the question, why had the King of the Wood at Nemi regularly to perish by the hand of his successor? Topics investigated include the practice and intention of human sacrifice, the mortality of gods, the regular killing of divine kings and spirits, and the superstitions surrounding the succession of the soul. - Summary by Leon Harvey

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