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Transformations of Myth Through Time
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Transformations of Myth Through Time

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  490 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The renowned master of mythology is at his warm, accessible, and brilliant best in this illustrated collection of thirteen lectures covering mythological development around the world.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 28th 1990 by Harper Perennial
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First, I would like to make it clear that I did enjoy this book. The essays were both interesting, and informative - they gave a lot of food for thought. They were taken from a documentary (if I'm not mistaken, Mythos I and Mythos II?) shown on PBS some years ago. This book contained a good deal of artwork and pictures, going hand in hand with what Campbell was discussing - being printed in black and white, a bit of the artistic grandeur was lost.

I didn't give the book a higher rating, simply be
Joseph Campbell had an incredible vision of world mythology, how myths developed among the very first humans until now and how they related to each other in different parts of the world. He was also a very gifted storyteller with a wry sense of humor. This book is a compilation of various lectures he gave. He highlights the importance of ritual and ceremony in our world today to celebrate and acknowledge major life transitions, I couldn't agree with him more.
An indepth study of how humans got to be where we are now...our reliance on myths and religious doctrines to get us through life. His works are fascinating to read, and enlightening!
This is the transcript of a lecture series that can also be found on video. The lectures are better than the reading but the content of the reading is good too.

This is, I think, the best summary of Campbell's main ideas about Myth's role in human life - putting yourself in sync with the society and the world in which you find yourself.
The book almost follows the lectures in how it arranges the three main topics:
- Western philosophy and myth. My key take away: Western traditions have emphasized
Alex Kartelias
These lectures were brilliant. Occasionally, the dialogue becomes odd due to its original medium, but he covers a lot of fascinating topics from both east and west. I will surely read these a second time to better absorb some of these ideas and interpretations. Highly recommend it to those who are either interested in religion or mythology.
Cydni Perkins
I respect Joseph Campbell, but this wasn't what I expected. I think a better title for it would have been Overview Of Eastern Religions Plus Yoga. It's a very rambling lecture series that feels poorly organized. It never seems to get to the transformations part. It's just a lot of dry information about different religions. And yoga, which may not have been as widely appreciated when this book was written as it is now. Anyway, this one just wasn't my bag of tea. Two stars for pointing out a coupl ...more
Great book on the history of mythology. Good resume, not all inclusive.
Mar 07, 2014 Nola added it
Liked it!
I was fortunate enough to catch the PBS series which aired a few years after the author's death, and I was completely blown away by his mastery of mythic forms, and the way he was able to show how the "perennial philosophy" manifested itself thoughout human history, back to Neolithic times. This material propelled me along my spiritual path, and I really enjoyed revisiting it last summer.
This was not one of my favorite books by Joseph Campbell, but I don't fault him for it. As I understand the formation of this book, it is a collection of his lectures, merely transcribed, with pictures added. I could "hear" him talking, but it didn't translate well to words on paper. That said, he shared knowledge and insight, just not as easily absorbed as in a book edited for clarity.
Nov 28, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: myth
Outstanding historical overview of cultural mythology, showing how their stories inherit from each other. more of a fast paced read that descends to only "cliff notes" depth for some cultural mythological systems, but enough to wet the appetite at least. Does a good job of taking the reader through eastern myths and yogic teaching, which seem to be Campbell's strong suite.
This book is a collection of Campbell's lectures, so far I've read two of them, the most interesting a lecture on the phenomenon of Kundali Yoga, which like so many of Campbells essays provide a solid intellectual ground for the experiential understanding of esoteric philosophies. Gonna take my time with this one...
Pretty interesting book about ancient myths of America, Europe, and Asia. The book is taken from lectures and I think the videotapes would be more coherent. Some symbols appear in many myths and this consistency is followed.
I enjoyed this but don't feel like I have enough background in mythology to "get it" all. Interesting look at the connections between different mythologies and religions though.
This is a wonderful television series; the book a terrible transcript of such. Still, it's Campbell. Loss of two stars due to editing.
What a fascinating read. I always knew that religions all had some basic similarities, but was not aware how close they all were.
Reid Siljestrom
Great introduction to world religions. Fascinating read for those interested in how all religions share myths.
I really loved this book, I found it to be very interesting and educational. I can't wait to read more of his books!
Erika Sajdak
If I could give extra stars for the new thoughts and ideas inspired from this, it could reach infinite proportions.
Jeffrey McKinley
Transcripts of Campbell's lectures. Very good.
Great essays about many different cultures.
Amazing! Highly recommend!
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Joseph John Campbell was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion.
More about Joseph Campbell...
The Power of Myth The Hero With a Thousand Faces Myths to Live By Primitive Mythology (The Masks of God, #1) Oriental Mythology (The Masks of God, #2)

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