ADACH’s Kalima translates 'The Golden Bough' into Arabic
ABU DHABI– Kalima, the translation initiative of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), translated an award winning book entitled “The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion”, written by the late British writer James George Frazer.
The book is a study of the evolution of religious beliefs since ancient times and how this links to the evolution of human thought.
Frazer divides the study into three sections: magic, religion and science. He sheds light on each stage with a thorough examination and he supports his arguments with examples from different tribes and primitive people.
The author dedicates a significant part of his book to studying the relationship that primitive people had with magic and religion. He stresses that magic and religion do have things in common, particularly with regards to natural phenomena and the way in which people try to control them.
Frazer (1854 – 1941) was born in Glasgow, Scotland to a rich family. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with an honors degree in Classics. He then went on to study law at Middle Temple in London. In 1907, he became the head of the social anthropology department at the University of Liverpool, a position which he left a year later.
Frazer's interest in social anthropology was inspired by the works of his friend William Robertson Smith on the subject of ancient religions. He dedicated his time to thorough research of this topic.
Frazer wrote articles for the ninth edition of the Britannica Encyclopedia. Two of these articles, which were about totem and taboo, occupied a prominent place in this huge work.
Frazer then wrote a book entitled "The Golden Bough", which was published in two volumes in 1890. The third edition was finished in 1915 and ran to twelve volumes, with a supplemental thirteenth volume added in 1936.
Frazer also wrote a small book entitled "Psyche’s Task." The book concludes that a belief in myths, which he describes as "false views", has helped to encourage a respect for authority and ultimately prevented many forms of violence.
The book was translated into Arabic by Mohammed Ziyad Kibbah. Born in Aleppo in 1951, Kibbah acquired a Ph.D. at the University of London in 1979. He was a lecturer at both Aleppo and Lattakia Universities. He is currently working at the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. He has published many books and translations.
Kibbah was recently awarded the “Best Book in Translation” prize at the fifth edition of the 2011 Sheikh Zayed Book Award.