Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Myth: A Very Short Introduction

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Description

This book is not about myths, but about approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines, including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. The fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis is one of the main fables upon which Segal focuses, in an attempt to analyse the various different theories of myth. Where the theory does not work, he substitutes another myth, showing that, for all their claims to all-inclusiveness, certain theories, in fact, only apply to specific kinds of myths. A uniform set of questions is provided, to elucidate both the strengths and the weaknesses of the conjectures. A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. Finally, Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 109.22 x 172.72 x 12.7mm | 158.76g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0192803476
  • 9780192803474
  • 169,827

About Robert A. Segal

Robert Segal lectures in the Department of Religious Studies, at Lancaster University, specialising in theories of myth, theories of religion, and gnosticism. He is the author of The Poimandres as Myth, Religion and the Social Sciences, Explaining and Interpreting Religion, Joseph Campbell, and Theorising about Myth (forthcoming). He has also edited numerous books, including The Gnostic Jung, The Allure of Gnosticism, The Myth and Ritual Theory, and Hero Myth Reader (forthcoming). He has also written the introduction to In Quest of the Hero.show more

Review quote

The book provides a clear and insightful introduction to all the central theorists of myth...Robert Segal achieves a great deal in this short 150 page introduction to myth. It is a concise without being simplistic; intricate without being confusing; playful without being contrite - a must have on any student's (or indeed teacher's!) bookcase. Fiona Darroch, Literature and Theology It isn't often that you find a book that gives you a brief, intelligible way into an entire field of study, but in Myth: A Very Short Introduction, Robert A. Segal does it in style. As a reader, especially a student reader, you walk away feeling enlightened from the power dosage of knowledge. Journal of Folklore Research The book will prove a very valuable guide for anybody setting foot in this minefield of contradictory theorising. Jacqueline Simpson,The Folklore Society Segal constructs a concise, accessible, and comprehensive survey... this small format volume, just the right size to fit conveniently into a pocket, is clearly written and engaging. Recommended for both classrooms and pockets. Diane Jonte-Pace, Religious Studies Review What he achieves is part handy field guide, part playbook of holds for wrestling with this protean phenomenon, surprising for its exhaustiveness in impossibly tight quarters. Victor Faessel, Spring 76 Segal's writing is entirely lucid Laurence Phelan, Independent on Sundayshow more

Table of contents

Introduction ; Myth and Science ; Myth and Religion ; Myth and Philosophy ; Myth and Literature ; Myth and Society ; Myth and Structure ; Myth and the Mind ; Conclusionshow more

Review Text

The book provides a clear and insightful introduction to all the central theorists of myth...Robert Segal achieves a great deal in this short 150 page introduction to myth. It is a concise without being simplistic; intricate without being confusing; playful without being contrite - a must have on any student's (or indeed teacher's!) bookcase. Fiona Darroch, Literature and Theologyshow more

Rating details

279 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 13% (36)
4 28% (78)
3 35% (99)
2 17% (48)
1 6% (18)
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