Professor Frazer dedicates these anthropological lectures to examining the notion of immortality as it is held by almost all societies. His main concern is the conception of immortality held by ‘primitive’ communities of aborigines. His lectures are mainly descriptive and cover an extraordinary amount of sources and traditions from all the continents. The ultimate aim of his study is both to cast light on the development of magical beliefs into purer forms of religion as well as to clarify the origin of the notion of immortality our own conception of it.
The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead
This first volume of Professor Frazer’s book, The Belief in Immortality, consists of twenty lectures delivered between 1911 and 1912 as part of the Gifford’s Lectures at the University of St. Andrews. Frazer focuses on the belief in immortality in primitive societies, as he believes only then can we understand our own beliefs in life after death.