Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Overview

A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Lévi-Strauss, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. It focuses on different approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines—including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. Robert Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play.
In order to analyze...

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Myth: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude Lévi-Strauss, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. It focuses on different approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines—including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. Robert Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play.
In order to analyze the different theories of myth, Segal focuses on the fable concerning the fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis. Where one theory does not work, he substitutes another myth, showing that, for all their claims to all-inclusiveness, certain theories, in fact, only apply to specific kinds of myths. A uniform set of questions is provided to elucidate both the strengths and the weaknesses of the conjectures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It isn't often that you find a book that gives you a brief, intelligible way into an entire field of study, but in Myth: A Very Short Introduction, Robert A. Segal does it in style. As a reader, especially a student reader, you walk away feeling enlightened from the power dosage of knowledge. The book is designed to do this."—Journal of Folklore Research
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192803474
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/21/2004
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 278,466
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Segal lectures in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University. He is the author of The Poimandres as Myth, Religion and the Social Sciences, Explaining and Interpreting Religion, and Theorizing about Myth.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Myth and Science
Myth and Religion
Myth and Philosophy
Myth and Literature
Myth and Society
Myth and Structure
Myth and the Mind
Conclusion

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