Myth: A Handbook

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - Social Science - 196 pages

A type of folklore, myth is central to all cultures. Myths convey serious truths learned over generations and provide practical advice for living within a society. And while many myths go back to antiquity, they are also an important part of popular culture. Because they are so fundamental to civilization, myths are studied in a range of disciplines and at all levels. This reference is a comprehensive but convenient introduction to the role of myth in world cultures.

Written by a leading authority, this handbook is of use to high school students, undergraduates, and general readers. It defines and classifies types of myth and provides numerous examples, many of which illustrate the significance of myth to contemporary society. In addition, it surveys the history of the study of myth and overviews critical approaches. It examines the relation of myths to larger contexts, such as politics, religion, and popular culture. The volume closes with a bibliography of print and electronic resources and a glossary.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Definitions and Classifications
11
Examples and Texts
39
Scholarship and Approaches
101
Contexts and Transmissions
129
Bibliography
171
Internet and Other Electronic Resources
177
Glossary
185
Index
193
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

WILLIAM G. DOTY is Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. His many books include Myths of Masculinity (1993), Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals (1986, 2000), Contemporary New Testament Interpretation (1972), Picturing Cultural Values in Postmodern America (1995), and Mythical Trickster Figures: Contours, Contexts, and Criticisms (1993).

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