In all cultures and at all times, humans have told stories about where they came from, who they are and how they should live their lives. 'Myths and Mythologies' brings together the key classic and contemporary writings - philosophical, psychological, sociological, semiological and cognitivist - on myth. To the insider, myths contain truth, revelation and a 'history of ourselves'; to the outsider, a culture s myths can be seen as the product of foolish, infantile and wishful thinking. Myths tell us about specific cultures, about human creativity, and how narrative shapes and reflects understanding. The 'Reader' is an invaluable resource for students and scholars interested in the impact of narrative on human culture and the meaning of truth in religious language.
Table of Contents
Introduction I. Philosophical approaches to the study of myth Introduction Lucien LÃ©vy-Bruhl, ?The transition to the higher mental types? from How Natives Think Susanne K. Langer, ?Life-Symbols: The Roots of Myth? from Philosophy in a New Key Ernst Cassirer, ?The place of language and myth in the pattern of human culture? from Language and Myth Karl Popper, ?The Worlds 1, 2 and 3? from ?Indeterminism is not enough: An afterword? in The Open Universe John R. Searle, ?Language and Social Reality? from The Construction of Social Reality II. Psychological approaches Introduction Friedrich Max MÃ¼ller, from Comparative Mythology Bronislaw Malinowski, ?Myth in Primitive Psychology? from Magic, Science and Religion Sigmund Freud, ?Introductory lecturers on psycho-analysis? Mircea Eliade, ?Cosmogonic Myth and ?Sacred History?? from The Quest III. Sociological approaches Introduction Ã‰mile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss ?Conclusion? from Primitive Classification George DumÃ©zil ?The Gods: Asir and Vanir? from Gods of the Ancient Northmen Mary Douglas ?Primitive Worlds? from Purity and Danger Pierre Clastres ?What Makes Indians Laugh? from Society against the State IV. Semiological and narratological approaches Introduction Claude LÃ©vi-Strauss ?Overture? from The Raw and the Cooked Marcel Detienne ?The Myth of ?Honeyed Orpheus? from Myth, Religion and Society Roland Barthes ?Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives? from The Semiotic Challenge Roy Wagner ?The Theory of Symbolic Obviation? from Lethal Speech V. Cognitivist approaches Introduction Edwin Hutchins ?Myth and experience in the Trobriand Islands? from Cultural Models in Language and Thought Bradd Shore ?Dreamtime Learning, Inside-Out: The Narrative of the Wawilak Sisters? from Culture in Mind Jerome Bruner ?The Transactional Self? from Actual Minds, Possible Worlds Andy Clark, ?Language: The Ultimate Artefact? from Being There VI. Modern Myths and Mythologies
Jeppe Sinding Jensen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark.