The Wagner Journal

Sigmund Freud, ‘Totem and Taboo’ (extract)

Sigmund Freud, ‘Totem and Taboo’ (extract)

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July 2017, Volume 11, Number 2, 32–3.

Totemic religion arose from the filial sense of guilt [for the primal crime of parricide], in an attempt to allay that feeling and to appease the father by deferred obedience to him. All later religions are seen to be attempts at solving the same problem. They vary according to the stage of civilization at which they arise and according to the methods which they adopt; but all have the same end in view and are reactions to the same great event with which civilization began and which, since it occurred, has not allowed mankind a moment’s rest.

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