The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology v. 1

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9780140043044: The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology v. 1

In the second volume of his monumental work, 'The Masks of God', Joseph Campbell explores oriental mythology as it developed into the distinctive religions of Egypt, India, China and Japan. These religions differ widely in preoccupation and observance from religions that developed in the West though they spring from a single root - the ancient civilisation of Sumer, in what is now Iraq. In the West the myths tell of the knowledge of good and evil while in the East they dwell on the fruit of knowledge. As the Eastern branch spread and subdivided across Asia, manifesting itself in ever more varying modes of thought and expression so Joseph Campbell explains, through philosophy and literature, what they retain from the root that created them.

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Review:

One cannot but admire the width and diversity of Joseph Campbell's scholarship. --'New Statesman'

Inspired passages connecting with the luminously permament, beyond gender, beyond time. --'The Guardian'

An extremely thorough contribution to our knowledge of the origins of so many of the legends, themes and symbols which are integral to modern culture, both Eastern and Western... A rewarding and informative read. --'Tribune'

About the Author:

Joseph Campbell was born in New York in 1904. His childhood interest in American Indians, travel through Europe in the 1920 s and a love of modernism (Picasso and James Joyce) led him to believe that myths are man s creative attempts to explain psychological, social and spiritual realities. From the 1950 s onwards he worked on his Masks of God series, outlining the universal patterns in the world s myths, one of the seminal intellectual works of the twentieth century. At his death in 1987 Joseph Campbell had found international fame and his work is a foundation for much of popular culture.

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