The Myth and Ritual Theory: An Anthology / Edition 1

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In this collection, Robert Segal, one of the leading interpreters of theories of myth, seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of the myth and ritual theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Segal has tracked down those hard-to-locate gems from the classicsof the study of religion, literature, folklore and ethnology, andhas put them into historical and analytic perspective. There isnothing like it anywhere. A 'must' for the classroom." IvanStrenski, University of California, Riverside

"Twenty-nine selections plus an expert'sintroduction to a central theme in the modern history of religions.I look forward to teaching with it and urge its acquisition byclassicists and historians of myth and religion." William M.Calder III, University of Illinois

"This is a monumental collection of essays and abstracts oftexts, all concerned with a most classical theme in symbolicstudies - the debate on the relation (if any) between ritual andmyth.....There is a repository of knowledge in The myth andritual theory - ideas to be picked up, developed and led ontonew paths connecting them with temporary studies of human symbolismin terms of imagery and discourse." Goran Aijmer, University ofGothenburg

"'Meaty' could repeatedly characterize this valuable anthology.It is meaty because Robert Segal offers a wide range of texts ingenerous excerpts. It is meaty because Segal offers not only textsfrom the traditional theorists but also generous selections fromboth literary critics and classicists. It is meaty because Segaldoes not confine himself to an information-packed 'Introduction';he also offers informed and informing introductions to eachexcerpt. ... On these bases alone, anyone with an interest in mythand ritual will surely thumb this book to tatters." C. RobertPhillips III, Lehigh University

"This is an impressive and illuminating book - ambitiouslyconceived, methodically organized, and especially well designed forpurposes of either historical understanding or theoreticalcomparison. Segal's talents as both excavator and critic combineopportunely to make The Myth and Ritual Theory a nearindispensable text, not only as a sourcebook for students, but as astarting place for further inquiry into one of the most enduring,and engaging, interpretive debates of modern times." Journal ofthe American Academy of Religion

"The Myth and Ritual Theory, edited by Robert Segal, isgenuinely indispensable for teachers of myth who prefer to centertheir approach in traditional materials. For those who have grownweary of putting on library reserve hard to find or out of printworks by classic scholars in the field of myth and ritual, thisbook is a god(s)send." Nova Religio

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631206804
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/12/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. Segal is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University. He previously taught in the United States and has held positions at Stanford, Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh and Tulane. He has published widely in the field of religious studies, including three previous books on myth and ritual.

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Table of Contents



Part I: Original Formulation of the Theory: .

1. Lectures on the Religion of the Semites: William RobertsonSmith.

Part II: The Development of Theory: .

2. The Golden Bough: James Frazer.

3. Themis: Jane Harrison.

4. The Myth and Ritual Pattern of the Ancient East: S. H.Hooke.

Part III: Application of Theory to the Ancient World:.

5. Excursus on the Ritual Forms Preserved in Greek Tragedy:Gilbert Murray.

6. A Ritual Basis for Hesiod's Theogony.

7. New Year Festivals: Ivan Engnell.

Part IV: Application of the Theory Worldwide:.

8. The Life-giving Myth: A. M. Hocart.

9. The Beginnings of Religion: E. O. James.

10. Myth in Primitive Psychology: Bronislaw Malinowski.

11. Myth and Reality: Mircea Eliade.

Part V: Application of the Theory to Literature:.

12. The Hero of Tradition: Lord Raglan.

13. From Ritual to Romance: Jessie L. Weston.

14. The Archetypes of Literature: Northrop Frye.

15. The Ritual View of Myth and the Mythic: Stanley EdgarHyman.

16. The Idea of a Theater: Francis Fergusson.

17. The Myth and Ritual Approach to Shakespearean Tragedy:Herbert Weisinger.

18. What is Myth?: René Girard.

Part VI: Revisions of the Theory: .

19. Thespis: Theodor H. Gaster.

20. Myths and Rituals: A General Theory: Clyde Kluckhohn.

21. Homo Necans: Walter Burkert.

22. Structure and Dialectics: Claude Lévi-Strauss.

Part VII: Evaluations of the Theory:.

23. The Dramas and Dramatic Dances of Non-European Races:William Ridgeway.

24. Introduction to Apollodorus, The Library: JamesFrazer.

25. The Evidence of Divine Kings in Greece: H. J. Rose.

26. The Myth and Ritual Position Critically Examined: S. G. F.Brandon.

27. The Myth-Ritual Theory: William Bascom.

28. The Ritual Theory of Myth: Joseph Fontenrose.

29. Prospects: H. S. Versnel.

Further Reading.


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