Myths, dreams, and religion

by Joseph Campbell

Book, 1970



Call number



Call number



Dallas, Tex. : Spring Publications, 1988, c1970.

Physical description

255 p.; 22 cm

Local notes

As Mr. Campbell suggests in introducing these eleven papers (first presented at the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture), "The import of the whole" is significantly "greater than the sum of its parts." The import of this whole lies in the internal dynamic that operates in the integration of sympathetic yet independent perspectives; their direction is expressed by Richard Underwood in the summary of the last 'part' -- "...contemporary philosophy...needs to see myth and dream as signs that point the way to the possibility of knowing who we really are." To this end the ideas of Jung and Wallace Stevens are frequently quoted: by Ira Progoff, for example, writing on "Waking Dream and Living Myth"; by Stanley Romaine Hopper on "Myth, Dream and Imagination"; in Joseph Campbell's own essay "Mythological Themes in Creative Literature and Art." This last functions as fulcrum and focus for the others, intentionally, since the collection is structured to mirror an intellectual progression to which Campbell's compact (re)statement of his theses is idiomatically central. The tone varies redeemingly from the relaxed, good-natured blasphemy of Allan Watts who projects a reconstructive program in "Western Mythology: Its Dissolution and Transformation," to the Ovidian epigram in Norman O. Brown's "Daphne or Metamorphosis"; from the theological orientations of John F. Priest and Amos N. Wilder to the erudite analysis of Orestes Myth rand Dream as Catharsis" by David L. Miller. The "Philosophical Double Vision" of Owen Barfield and psychological platform of Rollo May round out the interdisciplinary esoterics -- an adventure in epistemology.
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