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Parallel Myths by J. F. Bierlein
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Parallel Myths

by J. F. Bierlein

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650422,947 (3.55)5
"Unusually accessible and useful . . . An eye-opener to readers into the universality and importance of myth in human history and culture."--William E. Paden, Chair, Department of Religion, University of Vermont For as long as human beings have had language, they have had myths. Mythology is our earliest form of literary expression and the foundation of all history and morality. Now, in Parallel Myths, classical scholar J. F. Bierlein gathers the key myths from all of the world's major traditions and reveals their common themes, images, and meanings. Parallel Myths introduces us to the star players in the world's great myths--not only the twelve Olympians of Greek mythology, but the stern Norse Pantheon, the mysterious gods of India, the Egyptian Ennead, and the powerful deities of Native Americans, the Chinese, and the various cultures of Africa and Oceania. Juxtaposing the most potent stories and symbols from each tradition, Bierlein explores the parallels in such key topics as creation myths, flood myths, tales of love, morality myths, underworld myths, and visions of the Apocalypse. Drawing on the work of Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Karl Jaspers, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and others, Bierlein also contemplates what myths mean, how to identify and interpret the parallels in myths, and how mythology has influenced twentieth-century psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and literary studies. "A first-class introduction to mythology . . . Written with great clarity and sensitivity."--John G. Selby, Associate Professor, Roanoke College… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
anyone who believes reading will change their fundamental beliefs shouldn't worry about what they are reading, but what they believe. the book was pretty much written to be part of a college class on myths and mythologies. it is dry in places and repetitive in others. it's broke into different sections such as: creation, love, heroes, and underworld to name a few. reading these together is where the repetition comes in. the end of the book goes over some philosophy of why we believe what we believe and give you different views on such beliefs (the dry part as mind you some of this was written mid 1700)

i read the book because i thought it would be interesting and like myths, not because i was taking a class. it was what i excepted and better, so if you're interested in such things its worth your time. :) ( )
1 vote tabicham | Jul 22, 2017 |
Side by side excerpts of parallel myths from across the globe organized by topic. Good for an introduction / survey. Interpretive text is a bit dry. ( )
  ddailey | Nov 25, 2010 |
001400
  louvel | Aug 4, 2009 |
Great bathtub reading! Engagingly written, yet informative. ( )
  drinkingtea | Feb 2, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
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To my mother,
Veronica LaFleur Parrent Bierlein
(1931-1992),
and
Robert G. Hirschfeld
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Preface
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Myth is an eternal mirror in which we see ourselves.
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1. An Introduction
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What is Myth? Let's begin by telling one.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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An entertaining and thought-provoking look at the common threads woven through the world's greatest myths -- and the central role they have played through time.
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