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Cover

Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Robert A. Segal

Publication Date - October 2004

ISBN: 9780192803474

176 pages
Paperback
4-1/2 x 7 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95

A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth

Description

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 Lévi-Strauss, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. It focuses on different approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines--including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. Robert Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play.
In order to analyze the different theories of myth, Segal focuses on the fable concerning the fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis. Where one 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.

Features

  • A fresh new approach to the study of myths - their origins and their application to the arts and sciences
  • Reveals how theories can be applied to ancient myths, but also to modern mythologizing, such as the idolization of Hollywood 'stars'.
  • Explores the origin of myths, their function, and their subject matter
  • A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth
  • Considers the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Lévi-Strauss, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud

About the Author(s)

Robert Segal lectures in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University. He is the author of The Poimandres as Myth, Religion and the Social Sciences, Explaining and Interpreting Religion, and Theorizing about Myth.

Reviews

"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. The book is designed to do this."--Journal of Folklore Research

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
    Conclusion