Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo Characters

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James (George) Frazer

Frazer was an anthropologist who wrote the popular and widely published Golden Bough. He regarded confusion between uncleanness and holiness as part of primitive thinking. He thought that savages think in a completely different way than modern people, confusing subjective and objective experiences. He treated magic as symbolic action while, in his opinion, ethical refinement was the mark of advanced civilization and regarded magic as separate from morals or religion. He claimed that primitive culture had the manner of thinking dominated by magic and expressed contempt for primitive society. He thought that there is a division between religion and magic while assuming that the primitive view of the universe was part of mechanical symbols. Frazer attempted to show regularities between magical beliefs and classified them while regarding primitive religion as devoid of ethics.

William Robertson Smith

William Robertson Smith is regarded by Douglas as foremost theologian...

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