“While the attempt is made to show that the wilder features of myth survive from, or were borrowed from, or were imitated from the ideas of people in the savage condition of thought, the existence—even among savages—of comparatively pure, if inarticulate, religious beliefs is insisted on throughout”.
Lang, Andrew. Myth, Ritual and Religion — Volume 1 (Kindle Locations 106-108). Kindle Edition.
The gist of this book is that anthropologists set myth on one side of human experience and religion on the other. One important feature is that myths are irrational and religion is rational.
The major fallacy of anthropology is the belief in evolution. Truth and rationalism did not build up over time. Rather man fell from truth and pursued an irrational path. Greek mythology and the writings of Homer arose after the Israelite departure from Egypt. Moses described an apostasy that would come upon Israel after his own death. This apostasy is something all nations have suffered:
But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked–
You are grown fat, thick, and sleek–
Then he forsook God who made him.
And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
“They made Him Jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
“They sacrificed to demons who were not God.
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
:You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.
“And the LORD saw this, and spurned them
Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters.
“Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end shall be;
For they are a perverse generation,
Sons in whom is no faithfulness.
“They have made Me jealous with what is not God;
They have provoked Me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people.
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
“For a fire is kindled in My anger,
And burns to the lowest part of Sheol.
And consumes the earth with its yield,
And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Genesis 32:15-22, NASB
A passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans echoes the theme of Moses’ song:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress truth in unrighteousness,
because that which is know about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing to be wise; they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”
Romans 1:18-23, NASB
Keep these two Bible passages in mind and reading Lang’s history will make more sense.