Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Jul 8, 2004 - History - 176 pages
14 Reviews
This book is not about myths, but about approaches to myth, from all of the major disciplines, including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and psychology. The fate of the preternaturally beautiful Adonis is one of the main fables upon which Segal focuses, in an attempt to analyse the various different theories of myth. Where the theory does not work, he substitutes another myth, showing that, for all their claims to all-inclusiveness, certain theories, in fact, only apply to specific kinds of myths. A uniform set of questions is provided, to elucidate both the strengths and the weaknesses of the conjectures. A survey of the past 300 years of theorizing on myth, this book takes into account the work of such prominent thinkers as Albert Camus, Claude LÚvi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud. Finally, Segal considers the future study of myth, and the possible function of myth in the world as the adult equivalent of play. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Review: Myth: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #111)

User Review  - Brittney Martinez - Goodreads

The book is as advertised, a brief overview of theories that academics have about myths. You get good insight to the beliefs of a wide range of academics and can choose to pressure a love of thought more in depth with another title. Read full review

Review: Myth: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #111)

User Review  - Katherine - Goodreads

I don't think this is a very good introduction to myth theory - mostly because of the way in which it's organised, though I also think that it is clumsily written. However, it is the best of the most ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Robert Segal lectures in the Department of Religious Studies, at Lancaster University, specialising in theories of myth, theories of religion, and gnosticism. He is the author of The Poimandres as Myth, Religion and the Social Sciences, Explaining and Interpreting Religion, Joseph Campbell, and Theorising about Myth (forthcoming). He has also edited numerous books, including The Gnostic Jung, The Allure ofGnosticism, The Myth and Ritual Theory, and Hero Myth Reader (forthcoming). He has also written the introduction to In Quest of the Hero.

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