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The Power of Myth (1988)

af Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers (Interviewer)

Andre forfattere: Betty Sue Flowers (Redaktør), David Grubin (Forord)

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: Power of Myth (companion book)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7,737611,135 (4.17)66
The national bestseller, now available in a non-illustrated, standard format paperback edition   The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the "song of the universe, the music of the spheres." With Bill Moyers, one of America's most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit. This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell's work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.  … (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 61 (næste | vis alle)
Flawed and opinionated though it may be, Campbell's book was a real impetus for thinking about story and myth. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 10, 2023 |
It was interesting, and full of information, but at the same time, I don’t really know what it’s overall message was. It seemed vaguely religious, but I couldn’t tell if it was pro religion or anti religion. Maybe I missed something, but I’m not sure. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |
Professor Campell leaves the reader wanting a more profound insight regarding the human person's social, anthropological, and religious need for myth; instead we are left with, well, to use one of his anecdotes: "We don't have a Philosophy, or a Theology... we dance."

And dance he does.

Campbell jumps from one myth to another; dwelling in the fact of its existence and never going beyond to study its meaning, relevance, depth, or "power," making his bias towards Buddhism unblushingly obvious and uninteresting.

This work shows a surprising lack of objectivity coming from an academic. It is not so much a study of myth, the phenomenon, as a presentation of mostly Eastern myths infused with Buddhist world-views ( )
  jc03 | Oct 31, 2022 |
Myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance.”

Joseph Campbell’s views on mythology were presented in a six-part series on the Public Broadcasting System in 1988. I have not seen it. I was curious to find out more about what he said. This book is structured as an interview, with Bill Moyer asking questions or making statements, and Campbell responding.

Campbell’s ideas portray the role of myths in human societies and identify the ways that the diverse religions of the world utilize core beliefs and stories that are quite similar. They have provided a basis by which modern humans can compare experiences to people in the past. Campbell emphasizes common elements such as compassion. He advocates a metaphorical approach to religion. His explains what lies behind his advice to “follow your bliss.” Some of the most impactful segments are observations about how myths have broken down in our current culture. It emphasizes how much people have in common regardless of our time or location.

“It’s important to live life with the experience, and therefore the knowledge, of its mystery and of your own mystery. This gives life a new radiance, a new harmony, a new splendor. Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Série muito simpática de entrevistas para televisão, onde Campbell mostra-se a figura midiática do sábio que eu tomo por ser, e certamente faz lembrar-me de meu vô Azauri, que tentou instilar algum amor por mitologia em mim, na infância (ser ateu parece, em ambos os casos, algo que abre para a verdadeira fascinação pela mitologia). De resto, é um conteúdo fácil, mas prazenteiro - há nos mitos representações, mensagens, simbolismos que refletem nossa vida inconsciente, que preparam as sociedades para as belezas e sofrimentos da vida e lidam com os anseios do homem em sua universalidade (na sua estrutura corporal e mental profunda). Nisso, certamente é generalista e provavelmente pouco rigoroso. É o preço que se paga, entretanto, pra sorrir com o velhote. ( )
  henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 61 (næste | vis alle)
Theology and myth are stepsisters of truth. The one probes with questions, the other spins out tales on gossamer threads. But both serve a common mystery.

I was reminded of this recently in reading Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyer's conversation on The Power of Myth. This wonderful book is filled with pictures of Tibetan and Native American art, photographs of aboriginal initiation rites and drawings by William Blake. Adapted from a six-part television series filmed at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch shortly before Campbell's death, the book moves from the tales of ancient Greece and India to the latest episodes of Rambo and Star Wars. Here the power of story still lives. As Campbell once said, "The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change."
 

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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Campbell, Josephprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Moyers, BillInterviewerhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Flowers, Betty SueRedaktørmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Grubin, DavidForordmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Cathy SaksaOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Grieco, Agnesemedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hille, FransOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Larsson, Lars Göranmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lingiardi, Vittoriomedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Tatge, Catherinemedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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MOYERS: Why myths?
EDITOR'S NOTE
 
This conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell took place in 1985 and 1986 at George Lucas's SKywalker Ranch and later at the Museum of Natural History in New York.
INTRODUCTION (by Bill Moyers)
 
For weeks after Joseph Campbell died, I was reminded of him just about everywhere I turned.
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MOYERS: What happens when a society no longer embraces a powerful mythology?

CAMPBELL: What we’ve got on our hands. If you want to find out what it means to have a society without any rituals, read the New York Times.

MOYERS: And you’d find?

CAMPBELL: The news of the day, including destructive and violent acts by young people who don’t know how to behave in a civilized society.

MOYERS: Society has provided them no rituals by which they become members of the tribe, of the community. All children need to be twice born, to learn to function rationally in the present world, leaving childhood behind. I think of that passage in the first book of Corinthians: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

CAMPBELL: That’s exactly it. That’s the significance of the puberty rites. In primal societies, there are teeth knocked out, there are scarifications, there are circumcisions, there are all kinds of things done. So you don’t have your little baby body anymore, you’re something else entirely.
      When I was a kid, we wore short trousers, you know, knee pants. And then there was a great moment when you put on long pants. Boys now don’t get that. I see even five-year-olds walking around with long trousers. When are they going to know that they’re now men and must put aside childish things?

MOYERS: Where do the kids growing up in the city—on 125th and Broadway, for example—where do these kids get their myths today?

CAMPBELL: They make them up themselves. This is why we have graffiti all over the city. These kids have their own gangs and their own initiations and their own morality, and they’re doing the best they can. But they’re dangerous because their own laws are not those of the city. They have not been initiated into our society.
MOYERS: Well, I have often wondered, what would a member of a hunting tribe on the North American plains think, gazing up on Michelangelo’s creation!

CAMPBELL: That is certainly not the god of other traditions. In the other mythologies, one puts oneself in accord with the world, with the mixture of good and evil. But in the religious system of the Near East, you identify with the good and fight against the evil. The biblical traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all speak with derogation of the so-called nature religions.

      The shift from a nature religion to a sociological religion makes it difficult for us to link back to nature. But actually all of those cultural symbols are perfectly susceptible to interpretation in terms of the psychological and cosmological systems, if you choose to look at them that way.

      Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.

MOYERS: What is the metaphor?

CAMPBELL: A metaphor is an image that suggests something else. For instance, if I say to a person, “You are a nut,” I’m not suggesting that I think the person is literally a nut. “Nut” is a metaphor. The reference of the metaphor in religious traditions is to something transcendent that is not literally any thing. If you think that the metaphor is itself the reference, it would be like going to a restaurant, asking for the menu, seeing beefsteak written there, and starting to eat the menu.

      For example, Jesus ascended to heaven. The denotation would seem to be that somebody ascended to the sky. That’s literally what is being said. But if that were really the meaning of the message, then we have to throw it away, because there would have been no such place for Jesus literally to go. We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy. Astronomy and physics have simply eliminated that as a literal, physical possibility. But if you read “Jesus ascended to heaven” in terms of its metaphoric connotation, you see that he has gone inward—not into outer space but into inward space, to the place from which all being comes, into the consciousness that is the source of all things, the kingdom of heaven within. The images are outward, bur their reflection is inward. The point is that we should ascend with him by going inward. It is a metaphor of returning to the source, alpha and omega, of leaving the fixation on the body behind and going to the body’s dynamic source.

MOYERS: Aren’t you undermining one of the great traditional doctrines of the classic Christian faith—that the burial and the resurrection of Jesus prefigures our own?

CAMPBELL : That would be a mistake in the reading of the symbol. That is reading the words in terms of prose instead of in terms of poetry, reading the metaphor in terms of the denoration instead of the connotation.
MOYERS: In classic Christian doctrine the material world is to be despised, and life is to be redeemed in the hereafter, in heaven, where our rewards come. But you say that if you affirm that which you deplore, you are affirming the very world which is our eternity at the moment.

CAMPBELL: Yes, that is what I’m saying. Eternity isn’t some later time. Eternity isn’t even a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now that all thinking in temporal terms cuts off. And if you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. The problem with heaven is that you will be having such a good time there, you won’t even think of eternity. You’ll just have this unending delight in the beatific vision of God. But the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life.

MOYERS: This is it.

CAMPBELL: This is it.
Fairy tales are for children. Very often they’re about a little girl who doesn’t want to grow up to be a woman. At the crisis of that threshold crossing she’s balking. So she goes to sleep until the prince comes through all the barriers and gives her a reason to think it might be nice on the other side after all. Many of the Grimm tales represent the little girl who is stuck. All of these dragon killings and threshold crossings have to do with getting past being stuck.
      The rituals of primitive initiation ceremonies are all mythologically grounded and have to do with killing the infantile ego and bringing forth an adult, whether it's the girl or the boy. It’s harder for the boy than for the girl, because life overtakes the girl. She becomes a woman whether she intends it or not, but the little boy has to intend to be a man. At the first menstruation, the girl is a woman. The next thing she knows, she’s pregnant, she’s a mother. The boy first has to disengage himself from his mother, get his energy into himself, and then start forth. That’s what the myth of “Young man, go find your father” is all about. In the Odyssey, Telemachus lives with his mother. When he’s twenty years old, Athena comes and says, “Go find your father.” That is the theme all through the stories. Sometimes it’s a mystical father, but sometimes, as here in the Odyssey, it’s the physical father.
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The national bestseller, now available in a non-illustrated, standard format paperback edition   The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the "song of the universe, the music of the spheres." With Bill Moyers, one of America's most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit. This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell's work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.  

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