9780195161052

Myth A Biography of Belief

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195161052

  • ISBN10:

    019516105X

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-07-31
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Exploring classic works such as the Song of Songs, the Tao Te Ching, the Rg Veda, the New Testament, and the Indonesian myth of Hainuwele, Myth: A Biography of Belief reveals the cultural energies that ancient "mythmakers" sought to corral in their creations. David Leeming argues that mythsare, by definition, evolving creations that live on in the work of modern-day "mythmakers" such as W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, and Albert Einstein. Leeming provides an engaging new outlook on the role of myth in the works of these and other contemporary artists and scientists. The similaritiesbetween modern concepts like the "Big Bang" and ancient myths of creation illustrate our continuing need to confront the mysteries of existence by way of metaphor and narrative. Leeming suggests that myth and factual knowledge do not negate, but complement each other. Whether it is the "AmericanDream," alien abduction, or belief in virgin birth and resurrection, these "living myths" play a very therapeutic role in the development of a healthy society.

Author Biography


David Leeming is Emeritus Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut and author of A Dictionary of Asian Mythology. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Myth and Religionp. 3
Creation: Myth, Science, and Modernismp. 27
Deity: Myth and Genderp. 67
The Hero: Myth, Psyche, Soul, and the Search for Unionp. 107
Bibliographyp. 163
Text Creditsp. 169
Indexp. 171
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