The resurrection power of the gods. The late nineteenth-century Scottish anthropologist, Sir James George Frazer, wrote extensively about Adonis in his monumental study of comparative religion The Golden Bough (the first edition of which was published in 1890) as well as in later works. Frazer claimed that Adonis was just one example of the archetype of a “dying-and-rising god” found throughout all cultures a fascinating ancient mystery. Frazer’s main intention was to prove that all religions were fundamentally the same and that all the essential features of Christianity could be found in earlier religions. Frazer’s arguments were criticized as sloppy and amateurish, but his claims became widely influential in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century scholarship of religion. In the mid-twentieth century, scholars began to severely criticize the designation of “dying-and-rising god” In 1987, Jonathan Z, Smith, concluded in Mircea Eliade’s Encyclopedia of Religion that “The category of dying and rising gods, once a major topic of scholarly investigation must now be understood to have been largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts” He further argued that the deities previously referred to as “dying-and-rising” would be better termed separately as “dying gods” and “disappearing gods” asserting that before Christianity, the two categories were distinct and gods who “died” did not return, and those who returned never truly “died” By the end of the twentieth century, most scholars had come to agree that the notion of a “dying-and-rising god” was an invention and that the term was not a useful scholarly designation. Damayanthi Niles opinion on J Z Smiths work. One may note J Z Smith’s comment that revelation is an agenda from which historians and religions should abstain. In any case, the human response falls neatly into the neo-orthodox bias of the separation of religion and revelation, watch video for more from ancient mystery on Youtube.
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