Remarkable for its vast assembly of facts and its charm of presentation, it offers the thesis that man progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought. It discusses fertility rites, human sacrifices, the dying god, the scapegoat and many other symbols and practices which have influenced a whole generation of 20th Century writers.
This is a fascinating one-volume version of Frazier's masterwork on the history of religion(s). It's a book that any person concerned with spirituality, comparative religion, and/or the precedents of customs (worship/prayer/"sin", atonement, purification, birth, coming-of-age, death, etc.) still followed today should have on hand as a reference. It is not a book for fundamentalists whether Christian, Muslim, or any other major world religion, as it emphasizes the historical development of "beliefs" rather than "revelations."