Mythology : The Voyage of the Hero
This book offers an unusual yet effective approach to the subject of mythology by stressing the universal rather than national themes. Leeming collects a wide array of narrative texts from the Bible to English literature to interpretations by Joseph Campbell, C.G. Jung and others, which illustrate the stages of the universal hero. The arrangement of texts by themes such as "Childhood, Initiation and Divine Signs" and "The Descent to the Underworld" help readers strip mythic characters of their many national and cultural "masks" to reveal their archetypal aspects. Real figures such as Jesus and Mohammed are also included to underline the text theory that myths are real and can be applied to real life. Changes to the third edition include additional heroine myths (including Navajo, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese and African tales) and an updated bibliography.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 175.3 x 223 x 25.4mm | 612.36g
- 28 May 1998
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 3rd Revised edition
Back cover copy
In Mythology, David Leeming offers an unusual and effective approach to the subject of mythology by stressing universal themes through myths of many cultures. This anthology collects a wide array of narrative texts from the Bible to English literature to interpretations by Joseph Campbell, C.G. Jung, and others, which illustrate how myths serve whole societies in our universal search for meaning. Leeming illuminates the various stages or rites of passage of the universal mythic hero, from birth to childhood, through trial and quest, death, descent, rebirth, and ascension. Real figures, including Jesus and Mohammed, are included, underlining the theory that myths are psychically real and can be applied to real life. This edition is updated to include additional heroine myths, as well as Navajo, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, and African tales. Myths might be called the dreams of humankind, Leeming writes. With Mythology, he provides an essential resource not only for those wishing to advance their knowledge of this vast subject, but for anyone who wants to better understand the human psyche.
"A wonderfully well arranged collection...that offer[s] up the whole subject....It should be useful, not only for classroom study, but also for anyone wishing to advance his knowledge of this vast subject. I shall be recommending it from now on to people asking me what I read."--Joseph Campbell
About David Adams Leeming
David Adams Leeming is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He is the author of numerous books including The World of Myth, and A Dictionary of Creation Myths. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.