The Supernatural: Its Origin, Nature, and Evolution ( 2 Volume Set ).
London: Williams & Norgate, 1892. First edition. Hardcovers. Large octavos. Two volumes. Vol. I: 304pp.; Vol II: 290pp. Original green cloth lettered in gilt on spines. Index. An interesting theory of religion by King, an American anthropologist. King suggests that religion and magic evolved as an attempt by primitive man to bring some control over the unfathomable natural forces that seemed to control his life - as he puts it "Every form of faith is the worship of luck." Concepts of the soul, of spirits and ghosts, arise through dreams and hallucinations, and from them comes the idea of Gods. To test and further his theories King brought examines a large amount of material on the history of religions - in a fashion that would not be unfamiliar to reader's of Frazer's "Golden Bough." Contents: Book I. The Origin and Nature of Supernal Concepts; Chapter I. The organic tendency to evolve Super-natural Concepts; Chapter II. The Supernatural attributes in things conceived as due to impersonal powers; Chapter III. Supernal Concepts derived from natural appearances; Chapter IV. The Evolution of Supernal Concepts in dreams; Chapter V. The inter-relations of the Supernal powers; Book II. The Evolution of the Supernatural. Chapter I. Animal Concepts of the Supernal; Chapter II. The Concept of the uncanny as forms of luck; Chapter III. The Evolution of Charms and Spells in the individual mind; Chapter IV. The Differentiation of the Medicine-man; Chapter V. The origin of Ghosts Human and Animal; Chapter VI. The Evolution of ancestral worship and the sentiment of Supernal goodness; Chapter VII. The Evolution of Human Ghosts and Nature Powers into Tutelar Deities; Chapter VIII. The Differentiation of King-Gods in Egypt; Chapter IX. The Evolution of the Gods of Assyria and Western Asia. From the collection of Dr. M. H. Coleman, with his ex-libris seal blind-stamped on the front free endpapers. Spines darkened, some light bumps to edges of boards, corners and spine ends bruised and chafed, page edges darkened, endpapers unevenly browned, pages toned - more so at margins, unmarked. Overall a tight, clean better than VG set. (no dust jackets). Item #47632