North Central Travel on As late as 1870, when this theory was, to say the least of it, not without a rival in the field, it was still being maintained in an improved form by Lord Avebury (Sir John Lubbock). In what follows I shall use the word fetishism to denote the habit of paying worship or reverence to inanimate objects such as stones or lumps of wood, which will certainly meet us when we come to consider the religion of the Greeks. It may take its origin in some mysterious circumstance connected with the discovery of the object, or some peculiarity in the object itself which has caused it to attract attention in this way. We shall probably find it attached to the worship of some god, and described perhaps as an image of him (though totally lacking in resemblance to the human form) or as one of his abodes. Its sanctity may go back to a period before the existence of the god, or it may be a comparatively reccnt discovery to which the power of the most appropriate god has been attached. It would be unwise to suppose that all have a similar explanation, and in our use of the word no assumption of this sort will be implied. It will simply serve to mark off one class of objects of worship from others such as living trees or plants, animals or personal deities. North Central Travel 2016.
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