MAN, GOD, AND MAGIC by Ivar Lissnar


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Seventeen years of intensive travel and research among the most primitive peoples of the world have led this author to the theory that both modern and ancient primitives were fundamentally monotheistic, that a belief in many gods results from early man's invasion of the supernatural, a digressive step into the fascinating realm of magic. Man, God, And Magic is a comparison of the religious beliefs of existent primitive tribes with those of prehistoric man. Pointing specifically to the anthropological evidence indicating how early man worshipped God, and viewing it alongside the customs of today's primitives, Mr. Lissnar has formulated a theory which has given rise to great controversy in his native Germany where this book has gone into two editions. We survey the various types of prehistoric man wherever he appeared on earth, from the predecessors of the American Indian to Cro-Magnon man, comparing and contrasting their religious beliefs with those of; the Gilyaks, the Siberian Talga, the Tungus and a host of other primitives. Sorcery and magic are examined; and assigned a proper role in primitive culture. Spirituality, man's desire to reach God, takes on a dramatic role as it is interpreted over some 600,000 years. A most valuable and erudite contribution to the annals of anthropology that should find an avid audience not only among scholars and educators but also among intelligent laymen with an interest in man's origin and religious motivations.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1961
Publisher: Putnam