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Chris

Speaking of myths...

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hey

who are the good/important writers to look to read about "Myth"--the history of myth, the importance of it, how it place a role even in this ol' modern now postmodern life. I value story and myth so deeply i felt it was time i dug a bit deeper into the topic.

hope that makes sense. :pasm1:

thanks!

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Hi, Chris:

You've probably heard most of my recommendations at Cornerstone, but maybe I've added a few since then. I think Campbell has a lot of good things to say, and certainly he's right enough times that I'm more interested in a Christian approach to what's right on in Campbell than a hasty dismissal. But I like Mircea Eliade on myth even better than Campbell. For one thing, unlike Campbell, he's extremely sympathetic to Christianity. Then there's the usual gang: CS Lewis in On Stories, Experiment in Criticism and a few key essays in God in the Dock. Tolkien's On Fairy Stories. George MacDonald's The Fantastic Imagination. Chesterton in Orthodoxy and Everlasting Man. Then maybe Northrup Frye for an accessible introduction to the myth criticism approach to literature. Roland Barthes in Mythologies for the dangers of the mythic approach. A Frye disciple named Frank McConnell on film as myth in his Storytelling and Mythmaking. Maybe even Rollo May in A Cry for Myth (which I haven't read, but keep meaning to get to...) Don't know how crazy you want to get with psychologies and theologies and anthropologies of myth. Or on into semiotics. It gets thick pretty fast, too rich for me in shelf space, brain space, or time space. But I keep buying books anyway... And so will likewise be interested to see further suggestions people have here...

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Go Mars Hill! I just started at the school connected to the Journal.

Thanks Mike for the list. That will keep me chomping for awhile. I've got plenty of other areas of reading to keep me busy as well, so just hitting some of this list should keep me learning and happy this year.

And good to know i've already got a start with Lewis...and I love Orthodoxy (though someone has my marked up copy and i can't remember who :puppydogeyes: )

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Go Mars Hill! I just started at the school connected to the Journal.

??

A Mars Hill school? Do you get blue suede shoes with your cap and gown when you graduate? smile.gif (Ken Meyers joke, FWIW). Tell us more.

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Do you get blue suede shoes with your cap and gown when you graduate? smile.gif (Ken Meyers joke, FWIW). Tell us more.

oh, now your are going to have to explain the joke. it's lost on me.

ok...well, check out www.mhgs.edu. The school is in Bothell, which is north of Seattle. It is a tiny, darn cool graduate school. Dan Allender, who used to work with Larry Crabb, began the school. They have counseling and theology studies but have a strong emphasis on the arts, culture, and community. For example, they read Their Eyes Were Watching God for a hermenutics class. I'm not sure how it fit in, since i wasn't in the class, but it sounded pretty cool to me. They also have an art counsel, which brings together a theme based student art show every semester.

All this is right up my alley, so i totally expect to have a good time even while slaving over papers and getting my soul torn up and put back together learning to be a good counselor :scatter:

i just discovered that I have the latest copy of Mars Hill Review. Now if i can just get that back from the guy who borrowed it.

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Do you get blue suede shoes with your cap and gown when you graduate? smile.gif (Ken Meyers joke, FWIW). Tell us more.

oh, now your are going to have to explain the joke. it's lost on me.

Myers wrote a book called "All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes." I figured it'd be required reading at the school.

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A Mars Hill school? Do you get blue suede shoes with your cap and gown when you graduate? smile.gif (Ken Meyers joke, FWIW). Tell us more.

Uh Yeah! There's a Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC.

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So I've got my Mars Hill Review back and have begun the article. I was excited to learn that Joseph Campbell did an interview that was shown on PBS titled Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth AND that Scarecrow Video down the street has a copy.

Second, reading about his idea of the hero and the hero's journey made me think of an article by Frank Herbert I just read [url=http://www.dunenovels.com/news/genesis.html]here. Paul, the hero here, didn't just have a fatal flaw, he carried the danger of taking the whole universe down with him if he mistepped...or maybe even if he didn't. :light:

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The book The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken has a section on myth and fantasy. There is an excellent essay by Tom Howard entitled Myth: Flight to Reality. There is also an essay by G.K. Chesterton entitiled The Religious Meaning of Myth.

The Christian Imagination is a book I would recommend for anyone who loves literature.

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Guest thom_jurek

For anyone looking at the context of myth seriously, the book, I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning by Frnech anthropologist and philospher Rene giorard is indispensable as a work notonly highlighting myths but a rigorous apologetics toward them in a a Christian context. A much more accessible update of his seminal work, Violence and the Sacred, he makes the case as to why Christians should NOT be afraid to hold up the redeption narrativer against myths from other eras/cultures where the hero/god dies and rises again. Without doing the man any injustice by oversimplying his reason, his notion of the Christian story being the only "myth" (postmodern secularists view of the salvation story) where the Savior identifies with the Victim by becoming one is singular. Violence and the sacred is much deeper and wider in its approach, but I Saw Satan Fall Like Lighting is a very accessibhle introdcution into his thought. He argued his point on French nationaltelevision with two psychoanalysts over a week during prime time--only in France would this be on mainstream TV--and one of those analysts ended up becoming a Christian. (Thhere is a book that transcribes their entire dialogue called Things Hidden Since The Foundation of the World in which Girard takes on all postmodern relativism (including deconstrcution), structural anthopology, mythology, etc. I Saw Satan... is one of the most astonishing books I have ever read.

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Joseph Pierce's book, Tolkien: Man and Myth presents Tolkien's life and work from a myth-orriented viewpoint.

hehe...'myth-orriented', there's some joke fodder.

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I've just starting reading God of the Fairy Tale: Finding Truth in the Land of Make-Believe by Jim Ware (Waterbrook).

user posted image

It's fairly light reading so far, but could well be important for the demographic that is suspicious of fantasy/myth. Ware seems to be saying that fairy tales are simply representations of the true story. He discusses the fact and presence of evil and the triumph of good as neglected truths--he even speaks against softening the frightening details of fairy tales for young children.

Nothing mind-blowing yet, but good... and I think it's a discussion that is sorely needed in evangelical circles.

And it has Hank Hanegraaff's endorsement on the cover.

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I've just started taking classes at Mars Hill Grad School in Seattle. This past Monday night Dan Allendar, the prof and pres of the college, was talking about how dangerous it is to totally sheild our children. He criticized some writings for children, said Veggie Tales are great work,well done, but that nothing gets into the reality of death and evil and sorrow like fairy tales.

and I have to agree.

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Alan wrote:

: The root of Pagan can also be see in aeropagos--Mars Hil. We'd probably use the

: word "hillbilly"?

"Pagan" and "heathen" both basically mean rural. Since Christianity was largely an urban phenomenon, as new cultic movements usually are, the people who represented the old traditions came to be identified as countryfolk.

And re: the word "cult", here are a few excerpts from my summary of Rodney Stark's book on the rise of Christianity, specifically the bits where he defines his terms:

- - -

Social Theory and Historical Reconstructions -- Distinguishes between "sects" ("religious groups in a relatively high state of tension with their environment") and "churches" ("groups in a relatively low state of tension"). Emphasizes that these concepts are names that describe observed phenomena, but are not explanations for said phenomena.

[ snip ]

Class, Sect, and Cult -- Distinguishes between "sects" ("occur by a schism within a conventional religious body when persons desiring a more otherworldly version of the faith break away to 'restore' the religion to a higher level of tension with its environment") and "cults" ("always start small -- someone has new religious ideas and begins to recruit others to the faith, or an alien religion is imported into a society where it then seeks recruits"). Sects tend to appeal to the poor and lower-class; cults tend to appeal to the privileged.

[ snip ]

Christianity as a Cult Movement -- Jesus led a sect movement within the context of Judaism; Paul and company led a cult movement within the context of the Roman Empire. Thus, Paul's converts likely came from the privileged classes.

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This seems as appropriate a thread as any...

After reading 'Galactic gasbag' again a month or two ago, I realized I had never gotten off my butt and watched Bill Moyers' Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. So I put a hold on the library's copy, and it finally became available a few days ago. I have now watched four of the show's six episodes, plus the bonus George Lucas interview, and ... I think I'm underwhelmed. I find I am repeatedly reminded of this paragraph from the article I just linked to:

Campbell specialized in treating religious imagery as a set of metaphors divorced from historical context, a method that allowed him to talk, for example, about the Crucifixion as symbolizing the tree of life in an agrarian society, when in fact it was a very concrete reference to a particularly atrocious form of execution, rooted in a very specific period. Campbell's ability to generate whirlwinds of cross-cultural references makes his chatter sound tremendously erudite -- his disarming style reduced Moyers to an awestruck supplicant in the "Power of Myth" series -- but once the dust settles it's hard to grasp the point of it all.

There are some definitely intriguing things here and there in the series, and I take mike_h's point about appreciating that which was right in Campbell's way of thinking, but it seems to me that Campbell isn't saying anything all that original -- just a lot of typically secularist stuff about how God is not separate from us but is really within ourselves, etc. Or maybe my reaction to this show is a little like those kids who saw Casablanca and complained it was full of cliches -- maybe Campbell is the guy who helped popularize that way of thinking!

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If it wasn't for Star Wars, few would know who Campbell was. "Oh, Campbell, he taught at Sarah Lawrence. Scholarly guy. Real big on Jung."

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...he makes the case as to why Christians should NOT be afraid to hold up the redeption narrativer against myths from other eras/cultures where the hero/god dies and rises again. Without doing the man any injustice by oversimplying his reason, his notion of the Christian story being the only "myth" (postmodern secularists view of the salvation story) where the Savior identifies with the Victim by becoming one is singular.

That makes me think of this radio programme:

In Our Time: Redemption

(there's also an archived episode on myth with a particular focus on the Norse Gods that may be of interest)

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For anyone looking at the context of myth seriously, the book, I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning by Frnech anthropologist and philospher Rene giorard

I'm sorry if I seem spelling/grammar Nazi-ish, but in case anyone has the same trouble finding it I did, the correct reference is "I See Satan Fall Like Lightning" by Rene Girard. Here is the Amazon link.

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PTC, a year ago:

There are some definitely intriguing things here and there in [Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth], and I take mike_h's point about appreciating that which was right in Campbell's way of thinking, but it seems to me that Campbell isn't saying anything all that original -- just a lot of typically secularist stuff about how God is not separate from us but is really within ourselves, etc.

Yes. Thank you.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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