Myth, Ritual and Religion - Volume 1

Andrew Lang

pubOne.info present you this new edition. 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.