First published in 1902, this book investigates the history and development of early religion from an anthropological perspective. Rather than dealing with religions that grew from the teachings of their original founders, such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, Jevons considers those religions that were practised as a matter of custom and tradition. The title considers such subjects as the supernatural, life and death, animal sacrifice, and the worship of nature. It provides an introduction to the history of religion for students of religion, anthropology and folklore.
1. Introductory 2. Outline of the Argument 3. The Supernatural 4. Sympathetic Magic 5. Life and Death 6. Taboo: Its Transmissibilit y 7. Things Taboo 8. Taboo, Morality, and Religion 9. Totemism 10. Survivals of Totemism 11. Animal Sacrifice: The Altar 12. Animal Sacrifice: The Sacrificial Meal 13. Fetishism 14. Family Gods and Guardian Spirits 15. Ancestor-Worship 16. Tree and Plant Worship 17. Nature Worship 18. Syncretism and Polytheism 19. Mythology 20. Priesthood 21. The Next Life 22. The Transmigration of Souls 23. The Mysteries 24. The Eleusinian Mysteries 25. Monotheism 26. The Evolution of Belief; Index
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