Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood he became interested in mythology. He loved to read books about American Indian cultures, and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he was fascinated by the museum's collection of totem poles.
Campbell was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. While abroad he was influenced by the art of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, the novels of James Joyce and Thomas Mann, and the psychological studies of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These encounters led to Campbell's theory that all myths and epics are linked in the human psyche, and that they are cultural manifestations of the universal need to explain social, cosmological, and spiritual realities.
After a period in California, where he encountered John Steinbeck and the biologist Ed Ricketts, he taught at the Canterbury School, and then, in 1934, joined the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he retained for many years. During the 40s and '50s, he helped Swami Nikhilananda to translate the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. He also edited works by the German scholar Heinrich Zimmer on Indian art, myths, and philosophy. In 1944, with Henry Morton Robinson, Campbell published A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake. His first original work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, came out in 1949 and was immediately well received; in time, it became acclaimed as a classic. In this study of the "myth of the hero," Campbell asserted that there is a single pattern of heroic journey and that all cultures share this essential pattern in their various heroic myths. In his book he also outlined the basic conditions, stages, and results of the archetypal hero's journey.
Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the four-volume series The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space and The Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Joseph Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, introduced Campbell's views to millions of people.
This was a series of lectures regarding not just God but the cultural impact of a deity on our worldly views. From the bible to media the influence of the idea of god is everywhere and so influential. Joseph Campbell makes some great points through this series and gives you a lot of interesting facts to ponder. He also makes quite a few jokes to keep you on your feet. I enjoyed following along and going on the exploration of the many faces of the entity known as God.
This is a collection of talks given by Joseph Campbell. If you are a fan of J.C. this book will add additional insight and reinforcement for his ideas about universality of human archetypes. This is a book I listened to on tape and the original speeches were used; it was a wonderful opportunity to listen as well as interprute the cross cultural works.
Born: 26 March 1904, Died: 31 October 1987, he was raised Catholic but had a fascination with Native American myths at a young age. He is well known for several books and “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” and different lecture series.
The Myths and the Masks of God include:
Interpreting Symbolic Forms Using the Garden of Eden and the symbols including the two trees and a few beings, they are compared to earlier versions from societies 7000 BCE through 1900 CE. Concluding with “feel free to read any form you like into these symbols and realize it will be a symptom of you.”
Experiencing the Devine
History of the Gods
The Religious Impulse
This series of lectures was given in the seventies and it is interesting to see how it holds up today. He brings a different vision for most of us when he compares a religion where we identify with God vs. having a relationship with God. Of course, those that have followed Joseph Campbell Already have the concepts but find it useful to hear his thoughts and compare them to what we already know.
The nice thing about the lectures is that every time we hear them we get a different slant on what we originally heard or glossed over. Learn more www.jcf.org
Lecture I.5.1 – Interpreting Symbolic Forms Lecture I.5.2 – Mythic Vision Lecture I.5.3 – Experiencing the Divine Interesting conversation about the - west's myth-based religions, - lack of definition (a.k.a. freedom) leading to a lack of identity - the power of a regular, regulated view of nature & its cycles - how imporant it is to maintain a sense of wonder at the world. - (solitary) uniqueness of western life Lecture I.5.4 – History of the Gods Lecture I.5.5 – The Religious Impulse
Interesting work. Didn't think I would enjoy listening to his theories and myths and yet many times I chose his audio to that of music on long drives. Although my listening to his work was for University purposes, I'm pleased to say it's a pleasure in being exposed to people like him. I was educated and agreed with his teachings. I do have to add that his work might not be for everyone particular those with an extensive religious background
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I enjoyed this audio book. I can get lost in Campbell trying to sort out the lessons learned. He is incredibly knowledgeable about his subject. He knows the myths and the stories from many different cultures. His telling of these stories and how the cultures compare is fascinating.