Primitive Mythology (Paperback)

The Masks of God

Joseph Campbell

One of Joseph Campbell's classic quartet, a study of the ethno-cultural roots of mythology.

The Masks of God is the summation of Joseph Campbell's lifelong study of the origins and function of myth. In this volume, Primitive Mythology, Campbell examines the primitive roots of spiritual beliefs among our ancient ancestors. Drawing on anthropology, archaeology and psychology Primitive Mythology confirms the fundamental unity of mankind (not only biologically but in shared spiritual history).

As a whole, the landmark quartet The Masks of God traces mankind's history as a search for meaning through ideas, themes and quests of culture and religion.

Publication date: 01/09/2011


ISBN: 9780285640559

Imprint: Souvenir Press

Subject: Humour & Gift, Reference

Reviews for Primitive Mythology

'Campbell has become the rarest of intellectuals... a serious thinker who has been embraced by popular culture.'

Newsweek .

'One cannot but admire the width and diversity of Joseph Campbell's scholarship. Campbell's great gift is for fluent and engaging exposition.'

New Society .

'Looks at the myths, rituals and legends of the Western world... The human race is united not just biologically but also spiritually, by ... continually recurring themes, subjects and stories... It is an extremely thorough contribution to our knowledge of the origins of the legends, themes and symbols which are integral to modern culture, both Eastern and Western.'

Tribune .

'Campbell's words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but among a wide range of other people who find his research down mythical pathways relevant to their lives today.'

Time .

'Campbell's masterwork... has inspired passages connecting with the luminously permanent, beyond gender, beyond time.'

The Guardian .

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was interested in mythology since his childhood in New York, when he read books about Native Americans, frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History, and was fascinated by the museum's collection of totem poles. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Columbia in 1925 and 1927 and went on to study medieval French and Sanskrit at the universities of Paris and Munich. After a period in California, where he encountered John Steinbeck and the biologist Ed Ricketts, he taught at the Canterbury School, then, in 1934, joined the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he retained for many years. During the 1940s and '50s, he helped Swami Nikhilananda to translate the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. The many books by Professor Campbell include The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Myths to Live By, The Flight of the Wild Gander, and The Mythic Image. He edited The Portable Arabian Nights, The Portable Jung, and other works. He died in 1987.

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