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Life-death-rebirth deityIn mythology, a life-death-rebirth deity also known as a "dying-and-rising" god is one who dies and is reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. Often, the "death" was simply a visit and return to the underworld. Usually, such deities are worshipped primarily for this reason, and are often the subject of a mystery religion. They are associated with immortality, youth and redemption. Some of the most famous include Jesus Christ, Mithras, and Persephone (the object of the famed Eleusinian mysteries).
Dying and rising god scholarship first began in 1890 when James Frazer wrote 'The Golden Bough', which pointed out that ancient near east gods such as Osiris (consort of Isis), Tammuz and the early middle eastern version of Adonis, had all died and been resurrected. Frazer suggested that as early as the third mllenium BCE, ancient middle eastern cultures had a sort of “dying and rising god” template, used especially for “vegetation gods” that died and rejuvenated in accordance with the food growing seasons.
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