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Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor (2001)

de Joseph Campbell

Outros autores: Eugene C. Kennedy (Editor)

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Thou Art That is a compilation of previously uncollected essays and lectures by Joseph Campbell that focus on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Here Campbell explores common religious symbols, reexamining and reinterpreting them in the context of his remarkable knowledge of world mythology. According to Campbell, society often confuses the literal and metaphorical interpretations of religious stories and symbols. In this collection, he eloquently reestablishes these metaphors as a means to enhance spiritual understanding and mystical revelation. With characteristic verve, he ranges from rich storytelling to insightful comparative scholarship. Included is editor Eugene Kennedy's classic interview with Campbell in The New York Times Magazine, which brought the scholar to the public's attention for the first time.… (mais)
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Joseph Campbell shows in this book the closeness of myth and religion. The first chapter shows the difficulty of this in the public eye. "No, myth is not a lie. A whole mythology symbolic is an organization of symbolic images and narratives, metaphorical of the possibilities of human experience and the fulfillment of a given culture at a given time." Myths have four functions:
1. aligning waking consciousness to the mysterium tremendum of this universe, as it is.
2. interpretive, to present a consistent image of the cosmos.
3. to support a specific moral order in a society.
4. to carry individuals through various stages and crises in life.

These are essays combed from Campbell's oeuvre and combined into 7 chapters.
1. Metaphor and religious mystery.
2. The experience of religious mystery.
3. Our notions of God (including symbols)
4. The religious imagination and the rules of traditional theology.
5. Symbols of the Judeo-Christian tradition (Genesis and Abraham).
6. Understanding the symbols of Judeo-Christian spirituality (similarity of the Hebrew and Greek narratives).
7. Question Period (some questions that Campbell responded to at his lectures.

I found that Campbell offers a compelling narrative. ( )
  vpfluke | Jun 9, 2019 |
One of Campbell's better books, the numerology analysis in the beginning is highly speculative and some would consider it "woo" but it's interesting and still falls within the subject of comparative mythology. Do not skip the foreword by Eugene Kennedy it really sets the stage for the rest of the book. ( )
  Chickenman | Sep 13, 2018 |
Six-word review: Mythology and spiritual symbolism interpreted metaphorically.

Extended review:

This is the first volume in a series of compilations of material from the lectures and essays of Joseph Campbell, selected, integrated, and edited by various scholars on behalf of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. As such, it can't be viewed in quite the same light as the books authored by Campbell, although the content and the words are his. It's a little more casual, a bit disjointed, a bit repetitive, and possibly--although this is my own inexpert opinion and may be groundless--a bit muddied in places by the necessity of stitching together pieces of disparate material.

It could conceivably be the case that the editor has unwittingly introduced errors and interpretations that don't belong to Campbell. Editing someone else's work is a worthy enterprise, but inevitably fraught with risk. The perils become many times greater when the author is no longer around to answer questions and review his own work.

I would have expected, for instance, that Campbell himself would have spoken of the precession and not the procession of the equinoxes; but one way or another, the term appears erroneously on page 44. That is not the only such lapse I noticed in the book.

With that caveat in mind, I did enjoy reading this small volume, awed, as ever, by the breadth and depth of Campbell's knowledge, his ability to assimilate vast quantities of material, and his representation of it through the lens of a single clear vision. Any exposure to Campbell's thinking always makes me feel that I have glimpsed other dimensions of being. Even when I fail to retain the perspective gained at a higher elevation, I remember that I've been there. ( )
  Meredy | May 15, 2014 |
The nature of being a number of disparate talks and essays stitched together into one work results in it being poorly structured and disjointed. It's also prone to more of Campbell's forays off into la-la-land than normal. ( )
  g026r | Aug 27, 2010 |
Campbell's essays on Judeo-Christian tradition exploring common symbols of Western religions.
  Lake_Oswego_UCC | Mar 29, 2009 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Joseph Campbellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Kennedy, Eugene C.Editorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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Thou Art That is a compilation of previously uncollected essays and lectures by Joseph Campbell that focus on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Here Campbell explores common religious symbols, reexamining and reinterpreting them in the context of his remarkable knowledge of world mythology. According to Campbell, society often confuses the literal and metaphorical interpretations of religious stories and symbols. In this collection, he eloquently reestablishes these metaphors as a means to enhance spiritual understanding and mystical revelation. With characteristic verve, he ranges from rich storytelling to insightful comparative scholarship. Included is editor Eugene Kennedy's classic interview with Campbell in The New York Times Magazine, which brought the scholar to the public's attention for the first time.

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