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The Rise of Modern Mythology, 1680-1860

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The Rise of Modern Mythology is a voice of reason in the contemporary maelstrom of international religious violence and American pluralism; more than any book I know, it exposes the roots of the Western appropriation of non-Western mythologies, from Lawrence of Arabia and Omar Khayyam to Tibetan Buddhism in Hollywood and Krishna Consciousness in airports. This is a book that we need now. --Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, The University of Chicago the ...
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" . . . peerless . . . " —The Key Reporter " . . . this book is a first. It will be a standard . . . Comprehensiveness as well as the clarity of the headnotes should make it ... endure." —Choice " . . . so good as it stands . . . one should simply be happy to have it." —The Journal of the History of Ideas " . . . an original, compendious, and highly useful contribution to historical and mythographical scholarship." —The American Scholar "The Rise of Modern Mythology is a voice of reason in the contemporary maelstrom of international religious violence and American pluralism; more than any book I know, it exposes the roots of the Western appropriation of non-Western mythologies, from Lawrence of Arabia and Omar Khayyam to Tibetan Buddhism in Hollywood and Krishna Consciousness in airports. This is a book that we need now." —Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, The University of Chicago Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Rise of Modern Mythology is a voice of reason in the contemporary maelstrom of international religious violence and American pluralism; more than any book I know, it exposes the roots of the Western appropriation of non-Western mythologies, from Lawrence of Arabia and Omar Khayyam to Tibetan Buddhism in Hollywood and Krishna Consciousness in airports. This is a book that we need now. --Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, The University of Chicago the History of Ideas and The Encyclopedia of Religion, and (with Robert D. Richardson) has edited and introduced Myth and Romanticism, a 50-volume set of sources for English Romantic writers. Robert D. Richardson, Jr. is an independent scholar and literary biographer who currently divides his time between Middletown, Connecticut, Key West, and Cape Cod. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Denver, the University of Colorado, Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, Sichuan University in China, Yale, and Wesleyan. He is author of Literature and Film, Myth and Literature in the American Renaissance, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, and Emerson: The Mind on Fire. He edited (with Allen Mandelbaum) Three Centuries of American Poetry and is working on a biography of William James.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a useful contribution to the history of myth scholarship in several scholarly traditions, ...this collection certainly deserves an audience among folklorists, anthropologists, and others in the humanities and social sciences who enjoy the mythology of myth in Western intellectual history". — American Anthropologist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253350121
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 4/22/2000
  • Series: Midland Bks.
  • Pages: 592

Meet the Author

Burton Feldman, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Denver, has also taught at the University of Chicago and Hebrew University. He has contributed articles on 18th-19th century mythology to the Dictionary of
the History of Ideas and The Encyclopedia of Religion, and (with Robert D. Richardson) has edited and introduced Myth and Romanticism, a 50-volume set of sources for English Romantic writers.

Robert D. Richardson, Jr. is an independent scholar and literary biographer who currently divides his time between Middletown, Connecticut, Key West, and Cape Cod. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Denver, the
University of Colorado, Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, Sichuan University in China, Yale, and Wesleyan. He is author of Literature and Film, Myth and Literature in the American Renaissance, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, and Emerson: The Mind on Fire. He edited (with Allen Mandelbaum) Three Centuries of American Poetry and is working on a biography of William James.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1972 Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 The Earlier Eighteenth Century
Introduction 3
Of the Origin of Fables 10
From "Jupiter," in The Dictionary Historical and Critical 22
From "Origin of Idolatry," in Letters in Serena 27
From the Natural History of Superstition 35
From The Present State of His Majesties Isles 43
From Description of Guinea 44
From The Customs of the American Savages Compared to the Customs of the First Ages 47
From The New Science 55
From "Of the Mythology of the Antients," in The Travels of Cyrus 64
From Sacred and Profane History Connected 73
From Cyclopedia 80
From Critical Reflections on the Accounts of Ancient Peoples 84
From The Mythology and Fables of the Ancients explain'd from history 88
From "Mythology: or the Religion of the Greeks" 96
From An Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer 103
From Letters concerning Mythology 107
From The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated 113
From The History of the Heavens 119
From Stonehenge, A Temple restor'd to the British Druids 126
From Tooke's Pantheon 133
From Polymetis 134
From "Hymn to the Naiads" 140
From Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews 146
From Philosophical Dictionary 153
From the Natural History of Religion 160
Pt. 2 The Later Eighteenth Century
Introduction 165
From On the Worship of Fetish Gods 170
From The System of Nature 180
From An Essay on the Study of Literature 187
From "Homer's Religion and Mythology," in An Essay on the Original Genius and Writings of Homer 192
From Northern Antiquities 203
From Carthon 210
From "A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian" 211
From "Inquiry into the Causes of Fables" 218
From "An Interpretation of the Language of Myths" 220
From "A Correspondence on Ossian" 228
From "On Contemporary Uses of Mythology" 230
From Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Mankind 232
From Travel Diary 235
From The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry 236
From A New System 243
From A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus 251
From Egyptian and Greek Fables Unveiled 258
From Mythic-Hermetic Dictionary 258
"Prometheus" 263
From Treatise on the Gods 264
From "On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India" 270
From The Origin of All Religious Worship 279
From Jerusalem 291
From "A Descriptive Catalogue" 292
From "A Vision of the Last Judgment" 295
Pt. 3 The Nineteenth Century to 1860
Introduction 297
German Romanticism and Myth 302
"Talk on Mythology" 309
From The Athenaeum 313
From System of Transcendental Idealism 320
From Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology 322
"In My Boyhood Days" 331
From "The Only One" 332
From "Germania" 332
From "Klingsohr's Fairy Tale," in Henry of Ofterdingen 336
From Lectures on Literature and Fine Arts 343
From Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature 345
German Romantic Mythology and India 349
From Universal Mythological Lexicon 355
From On the Language and Wisdom of the Indians 357
From The World as Will and Representation 361
English Romanticism and Myth 365
From Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste 370
From The Prelude 373
From The Excursion 374
From a letter to John Thelwall 375
From The Curse of Kehama 376
From "Spirit of the Ancient Mythology" 377
From Sartor Resartus 379
From Mythic History of the Asiatic World 383
From Symbolism and Mythology of Ancient Peoples 390
From The Origin of Pagan Idolatry 400
From Teutonic Mythology 410
From Introduction to a Scientific System of Mythology 418
From History of the Literature of Ancient Greece 422
French Romanticism and Myth 426
From America and Invention 432
From The Genius of Christianity 433
From Seraphita 435
"El Desdichado" 439
From The Satyr 439
From Historical View of the French Revolution 441
From The Fairy Mythology 445
From Tales and Popular Fictions 446
From The Mythology of Ancient Greece and Italy 448
From The Life of Jesus 454
From The Inequality of Human Races 466
From "Art and Revolution" 472
From "The Art-Work of the Future" 473
From "A Communication to my Friends" 475
From "The Nibelungen" 477
From "Origin and evolution of the Nibelungen-myth" 478
From Comparative Mythology 483
From The Essence of Christianity 496
From The Difference between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy 498
From "The Leading Article of No. 179 Kolnische Zeitung" 499
From Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right 500
From "Theses on Feuerbach" 500
From German Ideology 501
Victorian Popular Mythology 505
From The Heroes 507
From The Age of Fable 508
American Romanticism and Myth 511
From "The Age of Fable" 516
From Margaret and Her Friends 519
From "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion" 523
From Mardi 526
From "Walking" 527
Bibliography of Works on Myth, 1680-1860 528
Index 555
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