The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

Campbell examines how myth has impacted (and continues to do so) our modern world. I chose this book because, as a History teacher, I love to examine how thought and belief throughout the ages impacts our society today. Though not so much a traditional book for education, it has always been my belief that, in order to move forward, we must understand the past.

16 thoughts on “The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell”

    1. Mielestäni vaikutat nuoremmalta kuin "melkein kolmikymppiseltä", vaikka eihän se numero habitusta katso. Vaikutat ihanan freessiltä, avarakatseiselta ja samalla fiksulta ja asiaansa vihkiytyneeltä!:)

  1. I read this book and as an atheist, I found it intriguing how myths mirror each other, in what Campbell calls “accents” of the cultures. In other words, the various myths occur in a variety of religions as the same stories, but expressed with different details. A good example is the Flood story of Noah in the bible, yet the same story occurs in the Sumerian Gilgamesh story.

    I enjoyed the ways in which Campbell described his passion for these myths. As an atheist, I was surprised that Campbell himself remained a Christian, in light of what he is aware of, in terms of the repeated stories throughout all religions. The fact that Bill Moyers remains a Christian is no surprise, since he is a Baptist minister, as well as a journalist, but Campbell surprises me in that he has compared these myths to each other in the various religions which express them and had an advantage which most practitioners of religion do not have. Comparative analysis, did not seem to influence him to become an atheist (at least not that I am aware of). After finishing the book, I gathered that Campbell was so very much to these myths, and found them necessary in his life, as repeating themes, in such a way that his need to have these rites of passage, these rituals of becoming, that he remained a christian, whereas, in my personal view, the knowledge of mirrored mythological details in the various religions was not a great enough incentive to embrace a religion. If anything, it keeps me even more committed to remaining an atheist.

    Great book!

  2. I should explain that I had heard that Joseph Campbell remained Catholic, and this is an assumption I make about his choice to remain Christian. Bill Moyers is an outstanding journalist, but his Christian bias is transparent in the dialog. This, however, does not detract from the merit of this work. The subject matter in the course of the dialog is enhanced by two religious perspectives. Bill Moyers is not entirely ignorant of comparative religious studies, I suspect, but Campbell certainly led the dialog into the realm of the transcendental.

    The theme that seemed to repeat itself is that of the Hero’s Journey. I was a bit surprised that Moyer didn’t speak much of the Druids, given the repetition of the theme, as they have an identical myth, called the Peregrine’s Journey, or otherwise known as the Hero’s Journey. Perhaps if Moyer had lived to see the proliferation of the Celtic based mysticism which is occurring in the present, he would have thought to write and speak more of it.

    I admire Campbell for his encyclopedic knowledge of mythology, as well as his passion. Bill Moyer’s is also admirable, to me, but to a lesser degree. I appreciate his journalism as well as the films he has made. I would recommend this book to anyone within the religious spectrum, from atheist to Zionist.

  3. Actually Canada hasn't had an immigration policy that has benefitted Canadians since Tom Kent brought in the points system in 1967. Canada today is a mess. Immigration is a PRIVILEGE, not a "right".

  4. Dr, por favor não dá mais pra jogar com Dentinho e Jorge Henrique…. este segundo se arrastou em campo…. será que o Tite não tem peito pra tirar ele do time titular??No meu ponto de vista Willian deveria entrar no lugar do Dentinho e o Ramirez no lugar do Jorge Henrique….. Nós só não perdemos porque o Palmeiras jogou com um a menos quase o tempo todo…..Não dá mais pra suportar esta escalação do Tite, se for a mesma vamos passar vergonha diante do Santos…….

  5. I see why the govt. are giving a whole lot of shit to Iwi now. It's a cunning plan to default on the debt without losing the whole country.See, govt. goes broke but don't actually have anything, Iwi take over and we are in the clear.

  6. J’ai loupé votre passage en Gaume à cause de mes cours. Bonne chance et bon courage, vous nous faites rêver J’adore vos photos !« N’ayez jamais peur de la vie, n’ayez jamais peur de l’aventure, faites confiance au hasard, à la chance, à la destinée. Partez, allez conquérir d’autres espaces, d’autres espérances. Le reste vous sera donné de surcroît. » (H. M.)BisousCéline de Ruette

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