The Golden Bough


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(4.2 stars; 8 reviews)


The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). It offered a modernist approach, discussing religion dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon, rather than from a theological perspective. Although most of its theories have subsequently been exploded (the most famous one being that of the relationship between magic, religion and science), its impact on contemporaneous European literature was substantial.

The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief, ranging from ancient belief systems to relatively modern religions such as Christianity. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that centered around the worship of, and periodic sacrifice of, a sacred king. This king was the incarnation of a dying and reviving god, a solar deity who underwent a mystic marriage to a goddess of the earth, who died at the harvest, and was reincarnated in the spring. Frazer claims that this legend is central to almost all of the world’s mythologies, and he offers a plethora of colourful examples from all over the world. Moreover, his book is written in an admirable style, seldom excelled by his more modern colleagues. (From Wikipedia, with small additions by Måns Broo)

(42 hr 43 min)

Chapters

Preface & Chapters I & II 43:16 Read by hefyd
Chapters III.1 & III.2 part 1 47:42 Read by hefyd
Chapter III.2 part 2 49:43 Read by hefyd
Chapter III.3-4 39:06 Read by hefyd
Chapter IV 41:35 Read by hefyd
Chapter V.1-2 55:20 Read by Jim Eastman
Chapter V.3-4 18:05 Read by Leon Mire
Chapter VI 26:47 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter VII 52:39 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter VIII & IX 48:42 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter X 48:36 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter XI & XII 36:06 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter XIII & XIV 44:54 Read by hefyd
Chapter XV & XVI 24:32 Read by Christie Nowak
Chapter XVII 36:14 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter XVIII 59:11 Read by hefyd
Chapter XIX 29:05 Read by Mira Cheskis
Chapter XX part 1 36:56 Read by hefyd
Chapter XX part 2 42:34 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXI part 1 38:28 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXI part 2 39:30 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXII 1:05:19 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXIII & XXIV 1:17:38 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXV - XXVII 37:19 Read by Sheila Morton
Chapter XXVIII part 1 43:25 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXVIII part 2 1:00:16 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXIX - XXXI 42:47 Read by Tysto
Chapter XXXII & XXXIII 42:03 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXXIV - XXXVI 31:42 Read by hefyd
Chapter XXXVII & XXXVIII 41:50 Read by Leon Mire
Chapter XXXIX 32:45 Read by Leon Mire
Chapter XL - XLII 29:16 Read by Leon Mire
Chapter XLIII & XLIV 40:12 Read by Sarah Jennings
Chapter XLV 47:31 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVI 44:35 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVII part 1 28:11 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVII part 2 25:45 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVII part 3 34:22 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVIII part 1 37:14 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLVIII part 2 27:59 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLIX part 1 31:34 Read by hefyd
Chapter XLIX part 2 27:06 Read by hefyd
Chapter L 52:22 Read by JoeD
Chapter LI 18:52 Read by Andrew Coleman
Chapter LII 1:03:38 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter LIII 45:57 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter LIV & LV 46:06 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter LVI 50:47 Read by Måns Broo
Chapter LVII 1:00:12 Read by JoeD
Chapter LVIII & LIX 56:36 Read by JoeD
Chapter LX & LXI 1:06:07 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXII part 1 48:39 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXII part 2 1:09:53 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXIII 34:29 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXIV 31:04 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXV 34:27 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXVI 45:35 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXVII part 1 50:36 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXVII part 2 34:40 Read by JoeD
Chapter LXVIII & LXIX 46:05 Read by hefyd

Reviews

(5 stars)

Frazer's learning is impressive--and even this abridgement seems exhaustive. His imperialstic outlook and condescension to natives, ancient and modern, is annoying, but his scholarship is still relevant. It has inspired writers of fiction and scholars alike.