James George Frazer





James George Frazer

Author profile


born
in Glasgow, The United Kingdom
January 01, 1854

died
May 07, 1941

gender
male

genre


About this author

Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion.


Average rating: 3.99 · 5,654 ratings · 229 reviews · 178 distinct works · Similar authors
The Golden Bough
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 4,727 ratings — published 1890 — 150 editions
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The Golden Bough. A Study i...
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 476 ratings — published 1890 — 7 editions
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The Illustrated Golden Boug...
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 1978 — 6 editions
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The Golden Bough. A Study I...
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 1911 — 5 editions
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The New Golden Bough
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 39 ratings — published 1959 — 8 editions
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The Golden Bough. A Study I...
4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 2003
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The Golden Bough. A Study I...
4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 21 ratings
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The Golden Bough. A Study I...
4.61 of 5 stars 4.61 avg rating — 18 ratings
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The Golden Bough. A Study I...
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 16 ratings
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Folk-Lore in the Old Testam...
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 1923 — 11 editions
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More books by James George Frazer…
“Small minds cannot grasp great ideas; to their narrow comprehension, their purblind vision, nothing seems really great and important but themselves.”
James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion

“By religion, then, I understand a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life. Thus defined, religion consists of two elements, a theoretical and a practical, namely, a belief in powers higher than man and an attempt to propitiate or please them. Of the two, belief clearly comes first, since we must believe in the existence of a divine being before we can attempt to please him. But unless the belief leads to a corresponding practice, it is not a religion but merely a theology; in the language of St. James, “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” In other words, no man is religious who does not govern his conduct in some measure by the fear or love of God. On the other hand, mere practice, divested of all religious belief, is also not religion. Two men may behave in exactly the same way, and yet one of them may be religious and the other not. If the one acts from the love or fear of God, he is religious; if the other acts from the love or fear of man, he is moral or immoral according as his behaviour comports or conflicts with the general good.”
James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

“The propensity to excessive simplification is indeed natural to the mind of man, since it is only by abstraction and generalisation, which necessarily imply the neglect of a multitude of particulars, that he can stretch his puny faculties so as to embrace a minute portion of the illimitable vastness of the universe. But if the propensity is natural and even inevitable, it is nevertheless fraught with peril, since it is apt to narrow and falsify our conception of any subject under investigation. To correct it partially - for to correct it wholly would require an infinite intelligence - we must endeavour to broaden our views by taking account of a wide range of facts and possibilities; and when we have done so to the utmost of our power, we must still remember that from the very nature of things our ideas fall immeasurably short of the reality.”
James George Frazer, The Golden Bough. A Study In Magic And Religion: Part 1. The Magic Art And The Evolution Of Kings. Volume 1

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