The Eternal Drama: The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology

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Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Athena—do the gods and goddesses of Greece have anything to say to us that we haven't already heard? In this book, based on a series of his lectures, the eminent Jungian analyst and writer Edward F. Edinger revisits all the major figures, myths, oracles, and legends of the ancient Greek religion to discover what they can still reveal—representing, as they do, one of the religious and mythic foundations of Western culture. Building on C. G. Jung's assertion that mythology is an ...

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Overview

Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Athena—do the gods and goddesses of Greece have anything to say to us that we haven't already heard? In this book, based on a series of his lectures, the eminent Jungian analyst and writer Edward F. Edinger revisits all the major figures, myths, oracles, and legends of the ancient Greek religion to discover what they can still reveal—representing, as they do, one of the religious and mythic foundations of Western culture. Building on C. G. Jung's assertion that mythology is an expression of the deepest layers of mind and soul, Dr. Edinger follows the mythic images into their persistent manifestations in literature and on into our modern lives. He finds that the gods indeed continue to speak as we grow in our capacity to listen and that the myths express the inner energies within all of us as much as ever. Heracles is eternally performing his labors, Perseus is still confronting Medusa, Theseus is forever stalking the Minotaur, and Persephone is still being carried off to life in a new realm.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Edinger, a Jungian psychologist, examines the major figures in Greek mythology and analyzes the gods, goddesses, and heroes of these myths to find archetypes described by Jung. Basing his book on a series of lectures he gave in the 1970s, Edinger traces Jungian archetypes through poetry, literature, and the dreams of patients and shows how others have built on the myths. Unfortunately, when he describes the personality types of the mythical figures and explains how people today manifest an Apollo personality or are psychologically akin to Ares, the author makes connections and generalizations that are sometimes hard for the reader to accept. Still, this book would be helpful to students of Jungian psychology who want a perspective on the ties between Jung and the Greek myths. Appropriate for large public and academic collections.-Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L.
From the Publisher
"A compelling answer to fundamental questions about why and how we should read myths. . . . A book rich with fresh readings of well-known myths, buttressed by illuminating linkages between the Greek, Hebrew, and Christian roots of our modern psyche."— Parabola
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877739890
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/15/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240

Meet the Author

Edward F. Edinger, M.D., a founding member of the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in New York, is the author of many books on Jungian psychology, including The Eternal Drama and Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Author's Note
Editor's Preface
1 What Is Mythology? 1
2 The Beginnings: Cosmogony 9
3 The Olympian Gods 18
Zeus, Poseidon, Hades 21
Apollo 27
Hermes 29
Ares 31
Hephaestus 35
4 The Olympian Goddesses 38
Hera 38
Hestia 40
Demeter 41
Artemis 42
Aphrodite 44
Athena 48
5 The Heroes 52
Heracles 52
Jason and Medea 64
Theseus and Ariadne 71
Perseus 80
6 The Trojan War 89
7 Odysseus 102
8 The Tragic Drama: Oedipus 123
9 Shrines and Oracles 134
10 Dionysus 142
11 Orphism 156
12 The Eleusinian Mysteries 174
Notes 185
Glossary 193
Bibliography 199
Credits 203
Index 205
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