ISBN : 9780198724704
New to this Edition:
Where do myths come from? What is their function and what do they mean?
In this Very Short Introduction Robert Segal introduces the array of approaches used to understand the study of myth. These approaches hail from disciplines as varied as anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, philosophy, science, and religious studies. Including ideas from theorists as varied as Sigmund Freud, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Albert Camus, and Roland Barthes, Segal uses the famous ancient myth of Adonis to analyse their individual approaches and theories.
In this new edition, he not only considers the future study of myth, but also considers the interactions of myth theory with cognitive science, the implications of the myth of Gaia, and the differences between story-telling and myth.
Introduction: Theories of myth
1: Myth and science
2: Myth and philosophy
3: Myth and religion
4: Myth and ritual
5: Myth and literature
6: Myth and psychology
7: Myth and structure
8: Myth and politics
Conclusion: bringing myth back to the world
"The volume fulfills its function admirably, it is a pleasure to read, and Segal's grasp of myth theories, as well as his ability to present them lucidly, is impressive. It is refreshing to read an author who takes all the myth theorists that he discusses quite seriously and explains them clearly, but who engages his materials from a keen theoretical point of view, always with a view to logical inconsistencies and gaps in the argumentation." - Laura Feldt, Religion & Theology
"This small yet extremely rich volume, now in its second edition and having been translated into a variety of European and non-European languages, can today be regarded as a classic... [a] remarkable overview of modern theories of myth." - Angus Nicholls, Religion
"This admirably clear and sensibly priced volume, although 'very short', is also very comprehensive" - Juliette Wood, Folklore
"Science Fiction readers, and more so writers, may well find this short introduction to myth of interest. SF has drawn on mythological tropes from supermen (including Superman) and technology with, and imparting, god-like powers, through to flights to the heavens." - Concatenation, Jonathan Cowie
"this is an essential addition to your library. It is an inexpensive book that maps out the territory of the theories of myth - covering a lot of academuc ground while being very readable and accessible." - International Journal of Jungian Studies