Lots of books, documentaries, etc, purport to tell you the “real story” that academics are “afraid to reveal,” particularly in history, archaeology, and related fields.
Then there is Sir James G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough. In its day, it was academic. Now it is “the book that has single-handedly inflicted the most damage to the understanding of both scholars and the general public.”
Among other things, The Golden Bough contributed much to the idea of “ancient Pagan survivals” that influenced just about all late-nineteenth and twentieth-century folklore research as well as the grown of conetemporary Paganism.
The high priest of my first coven really wondered at one point if the male leadership should not be decided Rex Nemorensis-style.
Want to know more? Sign up for “Shaking the Tree, Breaking the Bough: The Golden Bough at 100.”
This conference hosted by Drs. Caroline Tully and Stephanie L. Budin under the auspices of the University of Melbourne from Friday, 10 February to Sunday, 12 February 2023 evaluates the continued influence of Sir James G. Frazer and his magnum opus The Golden Bough on the Humanities in modern academia. Talks are 20 minutes/40 minutes (keynote speakers) each, with a short time for Q&A after.
Presentations include “The ‘resurrection’ of Frazer’s dying gods in the ancient Mediterranean mythology: A fresh take on the divine death and resurrection through comparison: the case of Baal, Inanna/Ishtar and Dionysus,” plus “’A Victorian Educated Gentleman’: Frazer and his Golden Bough in Context,” and many others.
Everything available on Zoom. Request a link at Goldenboughconference [att] gmail [daht] com. See full conference program here.
One thought on “A New Look at “The Golden Bough,” a Book both Loved and Hated”
I tried over and over and could never make myself get past more than a few pages. Maybe I should try again.
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