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The Idea of the Soul: the History of Mankind's Most Fundamental Concept, Part I

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According to the ancient religions of the Near East, every man possessed a double nature, compounded of physical and psychical elements, each an essential adjunct of his life.

I

>In 1871, Sir Edward Burnett Taylor, often called the “father of modern anthropology,” published a work entitled Primitive Culture. It proved to be epoch-making; for he set forth therein belief in “Spiritual Beings” as a “minimum definition of Religion.” This theory, which he named “animism,” has had a wide currency since as a convenient explanation of primitive forms of human culture.


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