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The Truth of Myth

World Mythology in Theory and Everyday Life

Tok Thompson and Gregory Schrempp

Publication Date - 02 March 2020

ISBN: 9780190222802

224 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


The Truth of Myth is a thorough and accessible introduction to the study of myth, surveying the intellectual history of the topic, methods for studying myth cross-culturally, and emerging trends. Readers will encounter insightful commentaries on such questions as: What is the relation of mythology to religion? To science? To popular culture? Did the events recounted in myths actually occur? Why does the term "myth" have so many contradictory definitions and connotations? Offering serious students with an intellectual "toolkit" for launching into this fascinating field, the book is especially useful in conjunction with case studies of individual mythological traditions.


  • Covers perspectives from numerous disciplines
  • Explores the study of myths cross-culturally
  • Investigates new and emerging trends in this topic
  • Discusses key historical and contemporary controversies

About the Author(s)

Tok Thompson is Associate Professor of Teaching, Anthropology, and Communications at the University of Southern California.

Gregory Schrempp is Professor of Folklore at Indiana University.


"A sketch of the history of mythological research and encouragement to study myths comparatively makes this study of mythology interesting to scholars and accessible and intriguing to students—an excellent text (and series!) for classroom work.... Highly recommended." -- CHOICE

"This is an excellent book on the study of mythology and provides a lot of fresh impetus for comparative mythology in a wider sense. All of us who dabble in cross-cultural comparison would do well to take notice!... Tok Thompson and Gregory Schrempp write with wonderful clarity and offer a number of original ideas alongside with a firm command of modern scholarship on myth... As a scholar of Indo-European mythologies I find the book a most useful resource. We can learn from a more inclusive approach to mythologies globally and employ methods from anthropology and indigenous studies to enrich our understanding of Indo-European cultures." -- Kreimir Vukovic, Universität München, The Journal of Indo-European Studies

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1: Definitions and Starting Points
    Chapter 2: Highlights in the History of Mythological Research
    Chapter 3: Studying Mythology Comparatively
    Chapter 4: Some Current Trends

    Works Cited