James G. Frazer & William Robertson Smith
Dr. John C. Reeves
Office hours: W 2:30-3:30; F 2:00-3:00; or by appointment
This course centers upon the close reading of two primary works authored by two influential Victorian era scholars of religion, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites and The Golden Bough. It also conducts a critical examination of the enormous impact of their thought on twentieth-century students of both Indo-European and Semitic religions, as well as certain modernist critics of religion and religiosity, such as Freud. Ideas we will consider include (but are not limited to) influential themes like theorizing magic, religion, and rationality; the myth of the divine king; dying and rising gods; totem and taboo; and the ritual theory of myth.
The following textbooks are required for this course:
William Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2002). An online version of the 2nd edition (1894) can be accessed here.
James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions (ed. Robert Fraser; Oxford World Classics; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (trans. James Strachey; New York: Norton, 1952); original ed. Totem und Tabu (Wien: Hugo Heller, 1913).
Jessie L. Weston, From Ritual to Romance (London, 1920; repr., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).
Supplementary readings will be assigned and/or distributed by the instructor as needed.
a. Readings. The nature of this course entails a significant amount of close reading and reflection. Students are responsible for anticipating and completing the reading assignments (outlined below) in a timely manner. Every student is expected to read and critically expound the four required works mentioned above in their entirety.
b. Seminar presentations/papers. At almost every class meeting, an individual student will be responsible for leading the first half of our collective discussion of that week’s assignment. Students should use the template found later in this syllabus as a rough guide for their presentation. All students (including the discussion leader) will prepare and submit to the instructor at the beginning of class a written summary and brief analysis (maximum length of five  typewritten or electronically printed pages) of that week’s reading assignment. The instructor’s evaluation of the student’s collective written exercise performance (based on the scale √+ = A-; √ = C+ for undergrads; B- for grads; √- = D for undergrads; C for grads) will comprise 40% of the course grade.
c. Research project. One (1) formal research project to be presented in oral and written form (at least 15 double-spaced pages, exclusive of notes and list of sources) that focuses upon a particular topic relevant to or which interacts with the critical work of Smith and/or Frazer. After a close reading of primary and secondary sources and in consultation with the instructor, the student should select a topic of individual interest that permits such an extended exposition, analysis, and/or evaluation. The project will be presented orally (approximately 15 minutes) during the final class meeting (Friday, November 21); the formal written version of the papers must be submitted to the instructor by 12:00 PM on Monday, December 1. The research project accounts for 40% of the course grade.
d. Individual involvement. Almost perfect attendance (see below) is an essential requirement for this course. Each class meeting builds upon the knowledge gained during previous meetings. Moreover, in-class discussion, close reading, and analysis by both the instructor and class members comprises a significant portion of every class meeting. Preparation for every class usually involves the completion of a series of assigned readings and/or written assignment(s), and individual students initiate our collective examination and discussion of the weekly topics. Students are expected to contribute in an informed manner to the public analysis and discussion of any assigned topic, and the instructor reserves the right to administer occasional unannounced ‘pop-quizzes’ should he deem the situation so warrants. The instructor’s assessment of one’s attendance, apparent class preparation, presentations, informed oral contributions, and any pop-quiz scores will constitute 20% of the final course grade.
e. Zakhor (Remember!): Mastery of the assigned readings and diligent class attendance are necessary prerequisites for the successful completion of this course. Each student is responsible for all lectures, class discussions, assignments, and announcements, whether or not he/she is present when they occur.
a. The grading scale used in this course is as follows:
91-95+ A = demonstrable mastery of material; can creatively synthesize
81-90 B = some demonstrable proficiency in control of material & analysis
71-80 C = satisfactory performance of assignments; little or no analysis
61-70 D = inadequate and/or faulty understanding of material
0-60 F = unacceptable work
Graduate students are graded using a scale of A, B, C, and U. A grade of ‘C’ for a graduate student is equivalent to that of a ‘D’ for undergraduates; ‘U’ signals unacceptable graduate-level work.
b. One of the requirements of this course is to complete the work of the course on time. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for late work—an illness or other emergency. ‘Emergency,’ however, does not include your social involvements, travel plans, job schedule, disk and/or printer failures, the state of your love life, your obligations to other courses, or general malaise over the state of the world. The world has been in a mess as long as anyone can remember, and most of the world’s work is done by people whose lives are a mass of futility and discontent. If you haven’t learned yet, you had better learn now to work under the conditions of the world as it is. Therefore:
1) All missing work is averaged as a 0 in the computation of the course grade.
2) All written work falls due on the dates scheduled in the syllabus, or on the date announced by the instructor in class (usually the next class meeting). ‘Late’ work will not be accepted from those who were privy to its oral evaluation and discussion (i.e., you were present while we ‘went over it’ but you neglected to do it beforehand). In the event of one’s absence, ‘late’ submissions bear the following penalties: one day late/one letter grade; two days late/two letter grades; three or more days late/U. Please note: these ‘days’ are calendar days, not class meeting days. For accounting purposes, letter grades bear the following values: A=95; A-=92; B+=88; B=85; B-=82; C+=78; C=75; C-=72; D=65; F/U=35. Seminar papers are assessed according to the following formulae: √+ = A-; √ = B-; √- = D. Untyped exercises, seminar papers, or research projects automatically receives the grade F/U, as do those typed submissions which violate the required parameters or which the instructor deems physically or grammatically substandard.
3) Since your diligent physical participation is critical for the success of this course, attendance at class meetings will be monitored by the instructor. One absence is regrettable; two absences are the limit of tolerability. Three (3) or more absences will result in an automatic U for the course. Please note that—with the exception of religious holidays—the instructor does not distinguish ‘excused’ from ‘unexcused’ absences. Unsanctioned late arrivals and early departures will be tallied as absences.
4) Policy regarding Audits: the instructor expects auditors (whether formally enrolled as such or not) to meet the same attendance, preparation, and oral participation standards as those students who are taking the course for credit. The instructor does not expect auditors to prepare and submit any written assignments.
c. Assistance and solicitation of criticism is your right as a member of the class. It is not a privilege to be granted or withheld. Do not hesitate to request it nor wait too late in the course for it to be of help.
Rough Course Outline
William Robertson Smith (1): The religious community
Required: Smith, Religion of the Semites, Lectures 1-2 (pp. 1-83).
William Robertson Smith (2): Sanctuaries, temples, and shrines
Required: Smith, Religion of the Semites, Lectures 3-5 (pp. 84-212). Additional Notes A, B, C, D (pp. 441-57).
William Robertson Smith (3): Sacrifice, part 1
Required: Smith, Religion of the Semites, Lectures 6-8 (pp. 213-311). Additional Notes E, F, G (pp. 458-79).
William Robertson Smith (4): Sacrifice, part 2
Required: Smith, Religion of the Semites, Lectures 9-11 (pp. 312-440). Additional Notes H, I, K, L, M (pp. 479-92).
James George Frazer (1): ‘The King of the Wood’
Required: Frazer, The Golden Bough, Book I (pp. 9-219).
James George Frazer (2): ‘Killing the God,’ part 1
Required: Frazer, The Golden Bough, Book II (pp. 223-386).
James George Frazer (3): ‘Killing the God,’ part 2
Required: Frazer, The Golden Bough, Book II (pp. 387-554).
James George Frazer (4): ‘The Scapegoat’
Required: Frazer, The Golden Bough, Book III (pp. 557-676).
James George Frazer (5): ‘The Golden Bough’
Required: Frazer, The Golden Bough, Book IV (pp. 679-808).
Frazerian readings of Grail literature (1)
Required: Weston, From Ritual to Romance, chaps. 1-8 (pp. 1-112).
Frazerian readings of Grail literature (2)
Required: Weston, From Ritual to Romance, chaps. 9-14 (pp. 113-209).
Repercussions for modernist thought
Required: Freud, Totem and Taboo (entire).
Final student presentations
No class (Thanksgiving)
Template for weekly discussion leaders
Discussion leaders should use the following template as a rough guideline for their seminar presentations:
1. Begin promptly.
2. Call on the instructor for announcements.
3. Present to the class an initial consideration of the assigned topic. Summarize (but do not evaluate yet!) your section’s main arguments and points. Certain key primary texts (e.g., myths; scriptures; descriptions by travelers or observers) may need to be identified and analyzed in view of their importance for the larger argument(s). I would suggest spending no more than thirty to forty minutes on this.
4. Open the floor for questions and discussion:
Plan A. Invite discussion of any issue of interest.
Plan B. Raise an important issue which you have seen in the text(s) and invite response (now you can evaluate!).
Plan C. Elicit comment on how the text(s) relate to points made in earlier classes and/or other passages from required or supplementary readings.
Plan D. Ask a series of pointed questions designed to provoke a response.
5. Be prepared to put Plans B-D into operation if Plan A falters.
6. Conclude by pointing to one or two aspects of the discussion that you consider to have been particularly valuable or productive for further work and consideration.
WORKS ON SO-CALLED PRIMITIVE THOUGHT, RELIGION, AND THE RITUAL THEORY OF MYTH GENERALLY PERTINENT TO THE WORK OF SMITH AND FRAZER
Mary Beard, The Invention of Jane Harrison (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000).
Franz Boas, “The Limitations of the Comparative Method of Anthropology,” Science n.s. 4, no. 103 (Dec. 18, 1896): 901-908.
Peter Burke, “Strengths and Weaknesses in the History of Mentalities,” History of European Ideas 7 (1986): 439-51.
J. W. Burrow, Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966).
William M. Calder, ed., The Cambridge Ritualists Reconsidered (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991).
Stanley A. Cook, “Israel and Totemism,” Jewish Quarterly Review o.s. 14 (1902): 413-48.
E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Theories of Primitive Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965).
Joseph Fontenrose, The Ritual Theory of Myth (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966).
Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (trans. James Strachey; New York: Norton, 1952).
Theodore H. Gaster, Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East (2d ed.; Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1961).
A. A. Goldenweiser, “Totemism, An Analytic Study,” Journal of American Folklore 23 (1910): 179-293.
S. H. Hooke, “Hebrew Mythology,” in his Middle Eastern Mythology (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963), 103-60.
S. H. Hooke, ed., The Labyrinth: Further Essays in the Relation between Myth and Ritual in the Ancient World (London/New York: SPCK/Macmillan, 1935).
______, ed., Myth and Ritual: Essays on the Myth and Ritual of the Hebrews in Relation to the Culture Pattern of the Ancient East (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1933).
______, ed., Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958).
Robin Horton, Patterns of Thought in Africa and the West: Essays on Magic, Religion, and Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
Robin Horton and Ruth Finnegan, eds., Modes of Thought: Essays on Thinking in Western and Non-Western Societies (London: Faber, 1973).
Stanley Edgar Hyman, “The Ritual View of Myth and the Mythic,” in Thomas A. Sebeok, ed., Myth: A Symposium (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1958), 136-53.
Sarah Iles Johnston, “Describing the Undefinable: New Books on Magic and Old Problems of Definition,” History of Religions 43 (2003): 50-54.
Robert Alun Jones, The Secret of the Totem: Religion and Society from McLennan to Freud (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005).
Hans G. Kippenberg, Discovering Religious History in the Modern Age (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002). See esp. pp. 51-112.
Clyde Kluckhohn, “Myth and Ritual: A General Theory,” Harvard Theological Review 35 (1942): 45-79.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966).
Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, Primitive Mentality (trans. Lilian A. Clare; New York: Macmillan, 1923; repr., Boston: Beacon Press, 1966).
G. E. R. Lloyd, Demystifying Mentalities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Bronislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1948).
David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance, eds., Modes of Thought: Explorations in Culture and Cognition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Daniel L. Pals, “Animism and Magic: E. B. Tylor and J. G. Frazer,” in his Seven Theories of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 16-53.
Sandra J. Peacock, Jane Ellen Harrison: The Mask and the Self (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988).
Hans H. Penner, “Rationality, Ritual, and Science,” in Jacob Neusner, et al., eds., Religion, Science, and Magic: In Concert and in Conflict (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 11-24.
Robert Redfield, The Primitive World and its Transformations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1953).
Marshall Sahlins, How “Natives” Think: About Captain Cook, For Example (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Robert A. Segal, “In Defense of the Comparative Method,” Numen 48 (2001): 339-73.
______, The Myth and Ritual Theory: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998).
______, “The Myth and Ritual Theory: An Overview,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 6 (1997): 1-18.
______, “The Myth-Ritualist Theory of Religion,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 19 (1980): 173-85.
Jonathan Z. Smith, “Adde Parvum Parvo Magnus Acervus Erit,” in his Map is Not Territory: Studies in the History of Religions (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 240-64.
______, “I am a Parrot (Red),” in his Map is Not Territory: Studies in the History of Religions (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 265-88.
George W. Stocking, Jr., Victorian Anthropology (New York: Free Press, 1987).
Stanley J. Tambiah, Culture, Thought, and Social Action: An Anthropological Perspective (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985).
______, Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
H. S. Versnel, “Some Reflections on the Relationship Magic-Religion,” Numen 38 (1991): 175-97.
Jessie L. Weston, From Ritual to Romance (Cambridge: The University Press, 1920).
Marjorie Wheeler-Barclay, The Science of Religion in Britain, 1860-1915 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010).
Bryan R. Wilson, ed., Rationality (Evanston: Harper & Row, 1970).
WILLIAM ROBERTSON SMITH BIBLIOGRAPHY
“Bible,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.; 25 vols.; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1878-89), 3:634-48.
“Ctesias and the Semiramis Legend,” English Historical Review 2 (1887): 303-17.
“Hebrew Language and Literature,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.; 25 vols.; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1878-89), 11:531-38.
Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1885; new ed. by Stanley A. Cook, London: Adam and Charles Black, 1903).
Lectures and Essays of William Robertson Smith (ed. John Sutherland Black and George Chrystal; London: Adam and Charles Black, 1912).
Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, First Series: The Fundamental Institutions (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1889; new rev. ed., London: A. & C. Black, 1894; 3d rev. and enlarged ed. by Stanley A. Cook, London: A. & C. Black, 1927).
Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, Second and Third Series (JSOTSuppl 183; ed. John Day; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).
The Old Testament in the Jewish Church: Twelve Essays on Biblical Criticism (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1881; 2d rev. ed., London: A. and C. Black, 1892, 1895, etc.).
The Prophets of Israel and Their Place in History to the Close of the Eighth Century B.C.: Eight Lectures (Edinburgh, 1882; repr., New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892, etc.).
“Sacrifice,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.; 25 vols.; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1878-89), 21:132-38.
Robert Ackerman, “William Robertson Smith and J. G. Frazer: ‘Genuit Frazerum’?” Journal of Scottish Thought 1 (2008): 63-77.
Gillian M. Bediako, Primal Religion and the Bible: William Robertson Smith and his Heritage (JSOTSuppl 246; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997).
T. O. Beidelman, William Robertson Smith and the Sociological Study of Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974).
John Sutherland Black and George Chrystal, The Life of William Robertson Smith (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1912).
Gordon Kempt Booth, “The Fruits of Sacrifice: Sigmund Freud and William Robertson Smith,” The Expository Times 113 (2002): 258-64.
______, “Comrades in Adversity: Richard Burton and William Robertson Smith,” Victorian Literature and Culture 37 (2009): 275-84.
F. C. Burkitt, “William Robertson Smith,” The English Historical Review 9 (1894): 684-89.
Stanley A. Cook, “Introduction,” in Lectures on the Religion of the Semites: The Fundamental Institutions (3d ed.; London: A. & C. Black Ltd., 1927), xxvii-lxiv.
James G. Frazer, “William Robertson Smith,” Fortnightly Review n.s. 55 (1894): 800-807; reprinted in his Sir Roger de Coverley (London: Macmillan, 1920), 194-209; and in his The Gorgon’s Head and Other Literary Pieces (London: Macmillan, 1927), 278-90. For a personal reminiscence, see his letter of December 15, 1897 to John F. White as published in Selected Letters of Sir J. G. Frazer (ed. Robert Ackerman; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 102-11.
Frank A. Gosling, “William Robertson Smith: A Paradigm for Exegesis?” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 11 (1997): 223-31.
Cornelis Houtman, “Abraham Kuenen and William Robertson Smith: Their Correspondence,” Nederlandsch archief voor kerkgeschiedenis 80 (2000): 221-40.
Joseph Jacobs, “Recent Research in Comparative Religion: Review of Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, by William Robertson Smith,” Folk-Lore 1 (1890): 384-97.
William Johnstone, ed., William Robertson Smith: Essays in Reassessment (JSOTSuppl 189; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).
Robert Alun Jones, “Durkheim, Frazer, and Smith: The Role of Analogies and Exemplars in the Development of Durkheim’s Sociology of Religion,” American Journal of Sociology 92 (1986): 596-627.
______, “Robertson Smith and James Frazier on Religion: Two Traditions in British Social Anthropology,” in George W. Stocking, Jr., ed., Functionalism Historicized: Essays on British Social Anthropology (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 31-58.
______, “Robertson Smith, Durkheim, and Sacrifice: An Historical Context for The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 17 (1981): 184-205.
Herman Kogan, The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 172-78. (for Smith’s work as editor for ninth edition)
J. P. Lilley, “Willam Robertson Smith: Recollections of a Fellow Student,” Expositor, 8th ser., no. 115 (July 1920): 61-75.
David N. Livingstone, “Oriental Travel, Arabian Kinship and Ritual Sacrifice: William Robertson Smith and the Fundamental Institutions,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 22 (2004): 639-57.
______, “Public Spectacle and Scientific Theory: William Robertson Smith and the Reading of Evolution in Victorian Scotland,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (2004): 1-29.
Bernhard Maier, William Robertson Smith: His Life, his Work and his Times (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 67; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009).
John W. Rogerson, The Bible and Criticism in Victorian England: Profiles of F.D. Maurice and William Robertson Smith (JSOTSuppl 201; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 56-179.
S. D. F. Salmond, “Professor William Robertson Smith,” Expository Times 5 (1893-94): 356-61.
Margit Warburg, “William Robertson Smith and the Study of Religion,” Religion 19 (1989): 41-61.
Marjorie Wheeler-Barclay, “Victorian Evangelicalism and the Sociology of Religion: The Career of William Robertson Smith,” Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (1993): 59-78.
JAMES G. FRAZER BIBLIOGRAPHY
“Ancient Stories of a Great Flood,” Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 46 (1916): 231-83.
Apollodorus: The Library (Loeb Classical Library; 2 vols.; London: W. Heinemann, 1921).
The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead (3 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1913).
Creation and Evolution in Primitive Cosmogonies and Other Pieces (London: Macmillan, 1935).
The Fear of the Dead in Primitive Religion (London: Macmillan, 1933).
“Folk-Lore in the Old Testament,” in Anthropological Essays Presented to Edward Burnett Tylor (ed. N. W. Thomas; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1907), 101-74.
Folk-Lore in the Old Testament (3 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1918).
Garnered Sheaves (London: Macmillan, 1931).
The Golden Bough (2 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1890; 2d ed., 3 vols., 1900; 3d ed., 12 vols., 1911-15; abridged ed., 1922).
The Gorgon’s Head and Other Literary Pieces (London: Macmillan, 1927).
Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship (London: Macmillan, 1905).
Ovid’s Fasti (Loeb Classical Library; London: W. Heinemann, 1931).
“On Certain Burial Customs as Illustrative of the Primitive Theory of the Soul,” Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 15 (1886): 64-104.
Pausanias’s Description of Greece (6 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1898).
“The Prytaneum, the Temple of Vesta, the Vestals, Perpetual Fires,” Journal of Philology 14 (1885): 145-72.
Psyche’s Task (London: Macmillan, 1909).
Publii Ovidii Nasonis Fastorum libri sex: The Fasti of Ovid (6 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1929).
The Scope of Social Anthropology (London: Macmillan, 1908).
“Some Popular Superstitions of the Ancients,” Folk-Lore 1 (1890): 145-71.
“Taboo,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.; 25 vols.; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1878-89), 23:15-18.
“Totemism,” Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.; 25 vols.; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1878-89), 23:467-76.
Totemism (Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1887).
Totemism and Exogamy (4 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1910).
The Worship of Nature (London: Macmillan, 1926).
Robert Ackerman, “Frazer on Myth and Ritual,” Journal of the History of Ideas 36 (1975): 115-34.
______, “J. G. Frazer and the Jews,” Religion 22 (1992): 135-60.
______, J. G. Frazer: His Life and Work (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
______, The Myth and Ritual School: J. G. Frazer and the Cambridge Ritualists (New York: Garland, 1991; repr., New York and London: Routledge, 2002).
______, ed., Selected Letters of Sir J. G. Frazer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
Mary Beard, “Frazer, Leach, and Virgil: The Popularity (and Unpopularity) of The Golden Bough,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 34 (1992): 203-24.
Theodore Besterman, A Bibliography of Sir James George Frazer (London: Macmillan, 1934).
William M. Calder, “The German Reception of J. G. Frazer: An Unpublished Document,” Quaderni di Storia 33 (1991): 135-43; reprinted in his Men in Their Books: Studies in the Modern History of Classical Scholarship (Zurich and New York: Olms, 1998), 197-203.
Arthur Bernard Cook, “The Golden Bough and the Rex Nemorensis,” Classical Review 16 (1902): 365-80.
______, “Zeus, Jupiter and the Oak,” Classical Review 17 (1903): 174-86; 268-78; 403-21; 18 (1904): 75-89; 325-28; 360-75.
______, “The European Sky-God,” Folk-Lore 15 (1904): 264-315; 369-426; 16 (1905): 260-332; 462; 17 (1906): 27-71; 141-73; 308-48; 427-53; 18 (1907): 24-53.
Mary Douglas, “Judgments on James Frazer,” Daedalus 107 (1978): 151-64.
P. W. Filby, “Life Under the Golden Bough,” Gazette of the Grolier Club 13 (1970): 31-38.
Robert Fraser, The Making of the Golden Bough: The Origins and Growth of an Argument (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990).
______, ed., Sir James Frazer and the Literary Imagination: Essays in Affinity and Influence (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991).
J. Rendel Harris, “Notes from Armenia, in Illustration of The Golden Bough,” Folk-Lore 15 (1904): 427-46.
Robin Horton, “Back to Frazer?” in his Patterns of Thought in Africa and the West: Essays on Magic, Religion, and Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 105-37.
I. C. Jarvie, “Academic Fashions and Grandfather Killing—In Defense of Frazer,” Encounter 26 (April 1966): 53-55.
______, The Revolution in Anthropology (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964).
Andrew Lang, Magic and Religion (London: Longmans, Green, 1901).
Edmund R. Leach, “Golden Bough or Gilded Twig?” Daedalus 90 (1961): 371-99.
______, “On the Founding Fathers: Frazer and Malinowski,” Encounter 25 (1965): 24-36; reprinted in Current Anthropology 7 (1966): 560-67.
Robert H. Lowie, “Magic,” in his Primitive Religion (New York: Liveright, 1952), 136-52.
Sabine MacCormack, “Magic and the Human Mind: A Reconsideration of Frazer’s Golden Bough,” Arethusa 17 (1984): 151-76.
Bernard McKenna, “Isolation and the Sense of Assumed Superiority in Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough,” Nineteenth-Century Prose 19 (1992): 49-59.
Bronislaw Malinowski, “Sir James George Frazer: A Biographical Appreciation,” in his A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 177-221.
Mark Manganaro, “The ‘Tangled Bank’ Revisited: Anthropological Authority in Frazer’s The Golden Bough,” Yale Journal of Criticism 3 (1989): 107-26.
R. R. Marett, “From Spell to Prayer,” Folk-Lore 15 (1904): 132-65; reprinted in his The Threshold of Religion (London: Methuen, 1909), 33-84.
______, “Sir James George Frazer, 1854-1941,” Proceedings of the British Academy 27 (1941): 377-91.
David Parkin, “Nemi in the Modern World: Return of the Exotic?” Man n.s. 28 (1993): 79-99.
Marty Roth, “Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Reading Lesson,” in Mark Manganaro, ed., Modernist Anthropology: From Fieldwork to Text (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 69-79.
Jonathan Z. Smith, “Dying and Rising Gods,” Encyclopaedia of Religion 4:521-26.
______, “When the Bough Breaks,” in his Map is Not Territory: Studies in the History of Religions (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 208-39.
John B. Vickery, The Literary Impact of the Golden Bough (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973).