Tales of Darkness: The Mythology of Evil / Edition 1

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Overview

Evil, an undeniable yet inexplicable force in human existence, is often defined as that which ought not to be, yet is - so it must be destroyed, or contained, or lived with. Myths of evil function to universalize the human condition, to show the tension between the ideal and the real, to reveal but not allegorize that condition, and to go some way to assist humanity in understanding, combating, and coping with evil within its societies.

Tales of Darkness explores the causes of evil in myth, encompassing themes such as defilement, the figure of the trickster, evil people both within and outside the society, and traumatic initiations. Robert Ellwood then looks at "cures" for evil: laughter, sacrifice, the flood, the hero's quest, initiation, the savior, divine wisdom and the end of days. This is a fascinating examination of how people have dealt with evil, not philosophically but in terms of the myths, ancient and modern, which present stories convergent with our own, from creation myths to Star Wars.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826436610
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 2/10/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,231,513
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert Ellwood was Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. He is author or editor of over 25 books, including textbooks in world religions and religious studies, histories, and works on spirituality.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Abomination of Desolation: Confronting Evil, and Myth

Part I. Evil Is Abroad
1. Defilement
2. Evil People
3. Space Invaders
4. The Way Things Are
5. Couldn't It Have Happened Differently?
6. Trickster's Gameplan
7. Traumatic Initiations
8. The Hero's Dragon
9. Evil Under Analysis

Part II. The Road Back: Curing Evil
10. Laughter and Wisdom
11. Through Death to Life
12. The Hero Victorious
13. The Meaning of War
14. The End of Days
15. Summing Up

Bibliography Notes Index

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