Myth/Folklore Scholar ReportsJoseph Campbell by Leon Kompelmakher
- The most famous American scholar in the field of comparative mythology
- He was born in 1904 in New York City and became fascinated with Native
American culture and mythology from a very young age.
- He studied biology and mathematics at Dartmouth and later Columbia
- He only became deeply absorbed by mythology after finishing his studies
when he went off to live in the woods where he stayed for about five years.
- While living in the woods, he made a routine of reading 10-12 hours a day
and this is where he developed his comprehensive knowledge of world
mythology and began thinking deeply about it.
- Campbell’s ultimate goal was to study mythology in context with religion
and psychology and try to find the universal truths and sentiments that all
the cultures were expressing and create a formula, and for this reason
people called him the “Einstein of religion and mythology”.
- He developed this thing called archetypal patterns that maps out all
possible variations of the same myth that are found around the world and
wrote a famous book called the “Hero with a Thousand Faces.”
- He worked as a professor at Sarah Lawrence College for 38 years and died
in 1987 at the age of 83.
Unknown Author. "Joseph Campbell". Wikipedia : The Free Encyclopedia.
Georges Dumezil by Josue Pineda
Georges Dumezil was born in 1898. His father Jean Anatole Dumezil, was a general in the French Army who instilled a love of the ancient world to his son. At a very early age he began to learn Latin and Greek, and then followed German. His love for Mythology didn’t start until his father turned him to Greek mythology when he suggested that he read the great historiographer of the ancient world, Berthold Georg Niebuhr. Since then his love for Mythology grew so much that over the course of his life he learned forty languages so that he could read the original texts. He became the author of many book, most of which have yet to be translated. But his works concentrate mainly on the Indo-European perception.
The culmination of his work lies on his theory of the regulations of life. He broke it down into three subjects; 1. Sovereign and Religious Functions – These are deal with the spiritual needs of the “civilized cultures.” 2. Martial Functions – This deals with the Physical Strength of the culture by the way they perceived the military functions in their society. 3. Economic Functions – This function is the fecundity of the culture or the intellectuality and they way they use this to further their culture . Thus, he demonstrated that this "tripartite ideology" structures socio-religious organization as well as the imaginary of Indo-Europeans . So to Dumezil, you could break down a culture by anglicizing their Mythological tales because he felt that they explain the cultural feelings towards the three main essential part of a culture; Spirituality, Physicality, and Wisdom.
Alan Dundes by Neeraja Kulkarni
Alan Dundes was an author of many studies of fairy tales, including Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. He argued that folklore is often set aside as a mediocre form of culture, even though it has inspired numerous societies around the world. Dundes stated that folklores come in the forms of many “high culture” books such as: Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, or as Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man. He stated that there are about 200 to 300 types of folklore, including: folk dance, folk costumes, speech, jokes, superstitions, etc.
Alan Dundes distinguished among Myths, Legends and Folktales to locate fairy tales among folklore.
ñ Myths: a sacred narrative with truth value
ñ Legends: stories told as true, but set in the post-creation world
ñ Folktales: stories told as fiction
With this list, we can see that fairy tales are usually seen in the Folktales category. Alan Dundes said that all people might not have fairytales but all people do have folktales. He also warned that the fairy tales assembled by the Brothers Grimm are a mixture of numerous folktales. Therefore he warned us not to take them very seriously. These stories, he said, belong to LITERATURE, and definitely not to FOLKLORE.
Some books by Alan Dundes such as: Never try to Teach a Pig to Sing, Up to Your Ass in Alligators, and Work Hard and You Shall be Rewarded connects to the normal human by using everyday views and things. When Alan Dundes wrote his books, he researched extensively on them, and collected “signs of the times” like: parodies, cartoons, and poems that make their way through copy and fax machines, mail, and other places that can be found in everyday life. Because these signs are so common, they are the hardest to place and are usually created by authors that are named: “anonymous”. In his books, Dundes demonstrates the existence of folklore in modern day technology and prove false that folklores only reflect what happened in the past.
As a small note, I would also like to add that Alan Dundes wrote Cinderella: A Casebook and the Little Red Riding Hood: A Casebook. In these stories he researched extensively and found that there are different versions of the stories in different countries.
Unknown Author. “Wayne State University Press”. July 23, 2005
MacDonald Heather; Riasanovsky, Maria; Bourgoin, Stella.
Cultural Representations in Children’s Literature: Exploring Resources and Themes in Global Education. July 23, 2005
Émile Durkheim by Jason Harken
Durkheim is given credit for being one of the founders of modern sociology. Durkheim is considered by many to be a functionalist. Functionalism is one of the three schools of modern sociology that attempts to explain the existence of different parts of society by analyzing what function they serve for the society as a whole. Durkheim believed that religion and mythology could be explained by analyzing it's function and purpose in society. This led Durkheim to believe that religion and mythology grew as a result of social factors, not divine. He believed that religion and mythology served a purpose to a society and that is the only reason it exists. If religion and mythology did not have a function, then it would not exist.
Durkheim explored religion and mythology further in his 1912 book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. In this book, Durkheim set out to accomplish two goals. First, he wanted to revise his definition of religion. Second, he wanted to explore the worlds first religion in order to gain more understanding on how and why religion was created. After much exploration into the definition of religion, Durkheim finally said that "A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden -- beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them." This definition Durkheim believed could be applied to all forms of religion, not just modern day popular religions but ancient ones as well.
Mircea Eliade by Steph Leung
Mircea Eliade was a famous renowned Romanian historian of religion, writer, but predominantly known as a philosopher.His lifetime lasted from 1907-1986. As I was researching this scholar, I found to my surprise that he did not study myths or write folktales, but that he was he was heavily interested in the understanding of
OF WHAT STEPHANIE?
From childhood, Mircea Eliade was always an attuned child to pursuing intellectual knowledge by reading and studying the sciences. He even increased his reading time by curtailing his sleeping time to five- six hours a night. Soon his interests spun off into the direction off philosophy and comparative religion. His readings led to Romanian, French and German. Eliade studied philosophy in college and resided in India which later held an important role in his personally philosophy. The rest of his life he wrote many books of religions and philosophy through fiction and non-fiction.
His thought on time and space was an idea that he wrote of in his book Cosmos and History: The Myth of Eternal Return. This idea distinguishes between religious and non religious humanity based on the idea that time as homogenous (similarity) and heterogeneous(individual)(Rennie,1).
“Eliade contends that the perception of time as an homogenous, linear, and unrepeatable medium is a peculiarity of modern and non-religious humanity. Archaic or religious humanity (homo religiosus), in comparison, perceives time as heterogenous; that is, as divided between profane time (linear), and sacred time (cyclical and reactualizable). By means of myths and rituals which give access to this sacred time religious humanity protects itself against the 'terror of history', a condition of helplessness before the absolute data of historical time, a form of existential anxiety(Rennie,1).”
In this specific thought that Eliade emphasizes, I do believe I found a connection to our studies of myth and folklore. He saw time in two measures of linear and cyclical. We see time in linear while myths and rituals give access to having time in cyclical manner.
The following is more understanding upon this idea.
“Eliade's analysis of religion assumes the existence of "the sacred" as the object of worship of religious humanity. It appears as the source of power, significance, and value. Humanity apprehends "hierophanies"--physical manifestations or revelations of the sacred--often, but not only, in the form of symbols, myths, and ritual. Any phenomenal entity is a potential hierophany and can give access to non-historical time: what Eliade calls illud tempus (Latin for 'that time,' I tend to think of it as 'yon time'). The apprehension of this sacred time is a constitutive feature of the religious aspect of humanity. (Rennie, 1).
Eliade believes the sacred comes in its form of symbols, myths and rituals. These three things give us access to the sacred, being called “hierophanies.” These hierophanies can place us in non historical time and is part of a religious facet to humankind.
Rennie, Bryan. “Mircea Eliade” 25 July 2005. http://www.westminster.edu/staff/brennie/eliade/mebio.htm
Liukkonen, Petri “Mircea Eliade” 25 July 2005
Euhemerus by Colleen Sphar
Euhemerus was an ancient mythologist who lived around 316 B.C.E. He worked
in the Court of Cassander, the King of Macedonia. He wrote a *Sacred History
* which is a philosophical fictionalized travelogue. The narrator finds a
golden pillar in a temple that has on it a register of the births and deaths
of many of the gods. The temple is described as having been found by Zeus
himself and how he and all the other gods were only deified mortals. According
to Euhemerus, Zeus was once a great hero whom the people worshipped and made
stories about as a god. He basically rationalized religion which was common
with other attempts in his Hellenistic culture. He is regarded by many
writers as an atheist because he rationalized all of the gods. His work was
translated into Latin but both the original and the translation are lost
except for a few quoted fragments (Christensen).
However, his ideas were used by Cicero and some other more modern
historians. Early Christians used the Euhemerist argument against paganism. For
example, Tertullian adapted his ideas in *Apologeticus* in order to denounce
paganism. Later it was used in the Enlightenment era by David Hume in
History of Religion*. And even later the Socialist Darwin used it in many of
his works to explain how the many religions came about (Christensen).
Peter G. Christensen. "Johannes V. Jensen's *Den lange Rejse: *A Blochian
Approach." University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Sigmund Freud, by Kevin Shieh
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian psychiatrist who
founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. This
school popularized the theory that the unconscious
controlled all behavior. He was born on May 6, 1856 in
Freiberg, Moravia. When he was around the age of four
years old, the family moved to Vienna. He ended up
going to medical school where he became involved in
research directed by physiology professor, Ernst
Brucke. Ernst Brucke believed in a concept called
reductionism, which states that no other forces than
the common physical- chemical ones are active within
the organism. Freud attempted to apply this to
neurology but gave up on the idea later on. Freud was
an early researcher on the topic of cerebral palsy,
which during his time was called cerebral paralysis.
The commonly accepted cause of this disease was lack
of oxygen during the birthing process; this was
dictated by William Little, who discovered the
disease. Freud, instead asserted that the
complications during birth were only symptoms of the
disease. Freud was also really interested in the
content of dreams at what this content could possibly
mean. He ended up writing a book called The
Interpretation of Dreams which was basically that, a
book which explained the symbolism of certain events
inside of dreams. Freud would speak of religion as an
illusion, he would maintained that it is a fantasy
structure from which a man must be set free if he is
to grow to maturity; and as a result of this thinking
he moved towards atheism. Freud also held the view of
the idea of God as being a version of the father
image. Authoritarian religion, according to Freud, is
dysfunctional and alienates man from himself.
Freud’s major contribution to psychoanalysis in
relation to mythology was something called the Oedipus
complex. In the story of Oedipus Rex, told by
Sophocles, Oedipus ends up unknowingly killing his
father and marrying his mother. According to Freud,
men unconsciously desire to kill their fathers and
have sexual relations with their mothers. Freud
explains this complex by stating that at an early age,
the male child will develop a sort of lust towards the
mother, and identifies himself with the father. After
a while, the sexual desires of the child towards the
mother will cause him to perceive his father as a
threat or obstacle. Because of this his attitude
towards the father will become hostile as he wishes to
get rid of his father in order to take his father’s
place with his mother.
Freud found in Oedipus, two universalities of man.
The first was when Oedipus answered the riddle of the
Sphinx at the gates of Thebes. In answer to the
Sphinx’s riddle of : which creature walks on four
feet in the morning, two at noon, and three in the
evening, Oedipus says, man, because man crawls as a
baby, walks upright in maturity, and walks with a cane
in old age. The second universality is encountered as
Oedipus discovers the truth of his deeds, that he has
indeed killed his father and married his mother.
Instead of killing himself like any normal person
would do, he instead puts out his own eyes with the
crown. His blindness reflects upon the fact that man
is often blind to his fate, that many times, we often
do not understand or know the consequences of our
Erich Fromm, by Helen Zou
Erich Fromm, born on March 23rd of 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany, was an important figure in psychology and philosophy during the 20th century. For a person in the field of psychoanalysis at his time, Fromm tried new methods to extend the span of psychoanalysis by integrating psychoanalytic theory into many forms of disciplines, such as economics, philosophy, mythology, and anthropology. He wrote numerous books on psychology, philosophy, and mythology and his refreshing new ideas regarding Freud gave him an edge in the theories of psychiatry.
Erich Fromm was raised in a very traditional Jewish household, but as he entered adulthood, he declared himself apart from religious orthodoxy because he felt that religion was a major reason for human division. He studied at the University of Frankfurt and Munich and received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg at the age of 22. After receiving his Ph.D., he underwent psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Berlin with famous Freudian analysts such as Hanns Sachs and Theodor Reik. After a brief period of starting his own psychiatry branch, Fromm fled to America to escape from the Nazis during 1933. Fromm began teaching at Columbia University as a visiting professor from 1935 to 1939 and he also kept up with his own clinic. He left Columbia and helped from the New York Branch of the Washington School of Psychiatry in 1943. He also became a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan from 1945 to 1947 and then at Yale from 1948 to 1949.
Fromm’s theories regarding psychology were often described as a unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud believed the unconscious, the biological drives, repression, etc. and Marx believed that people identified with their society and by their economical systems. Fromm took these two theories and added the idea of freedom to rise above the two theories from Freud and Marx. He believed that humans have five basic needs: Relatedness, creativeness, the feeling of roots, a sense of identity, and a frame of orientation.
Relatedness is the need to seek out love and union with other human beings. Fromm believed that as humans, we are aware of out distance from one another and so we seek to transcend our distance and create a sort of union with another. Fromm brings religion into the picture by saying that sometimes, the need to feel relatedness is so powerful that we seek to eliminate isolation by turning to a concept of God. The opposite of relatedness would be what Fromm called narcissism, which is overwhelming self love and the person becomes oblivious to the world around him/her.
Fromm also believes that we as humans want to transcend the fact that we are merely passive creatures and by creating, we take matters into our own hands. So therefore, creativity is also essential for the mental well-being of people. His ideas of creation include giving birth, gardening, art, and love.
The third concept of rootedness is the feeling that all people need roots. People all want to feel that they have a place to go in the universe to call home. Fromm believes that this is to make up for the feeling of alienation people feel about the natural world and themselves. In the simplest forms, a child would stick to his/her mother. To a more complicated sense, humans from brotherhoods or sisterhoods with humanity.
A fourth concept is the sense of identity. Fromm believes that humans need a sense of identity in order to stay sane. Sometimes, the urge is so strong that people would do anything to conform into a group or give up a part of our lives just to remain a part of a group.
The last concept is the frame of orientation. We, as people, need to understand the world and our place in the world. Things like religion, mythology, philosophy and science provides a sort of understanding that we need to live. Fromm believes that even when the story is incredibly bad, people will still believe it if they feel the need to explain unexplainable phenomenon. Fromm believes that people need to rationalize with warm, meaning reasons to live their lives happily.
Fromm sees mythology as a need from the last concept of the frame of orientation. The myths are stories that we tell so that we can understand the world better and understand our place in the world. An interesting view point on mythology that Fromm takes is the story of Adam and Eve. Unlike the view of the bible, which generally portrays Adam and Eve as the ones that have committed a sin by eating the apple of knowledge and disobeying God, Fromm applauds Adam and Eve for eating the apple. He praised the independent spirit of Adam and Eve for taking initiative instead of succumbing to the ultimate authority of God. Through the myth of Adam and Eve, Fromm expressed his belief that it was the act of disobedience that set Adam and Eve free. Fromm believe that the “original sin” set man free and released him from the Garden of Eden to the world outside where man truly becomes man through his own means and skills.
Another case in which disobedience is important to the creation of the human race is in the Greek story of Prometheus. Prometheus is proud of his act of disobedience and Fromm defends Prometheus’ act by saying that the human race would not have began if Prometheus had not disobeyed and done what he wanted to do. So generally speaking, Fromm takes mythology and translates them into human values that are essential in a society to function.
Marija Gimbutas, by Lisa Zhao
Marija Gimbutas was born in Lithuania in 1921. She arrived United States as a refugee in 1949 after earning a PhD in Archaeology in 1946. Gimbutas died in LA on Feberary 1994. She was a professor of Archaeology at UCLA from 1963 to 1989. In her work Gimbutas reinterpreted European prehistory in terms of linguistics, ethnology, and the history of religions and she also challenged many traditional assumptions about the beginnings of European civilization. She gained unexpected fame with her last three books: The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe (1974), The Language of the Goddess (1989), and her final book The Civilization of the Goddess (1991). Marija Gimbutas is largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in Goddess-oriented religions. Marija has done excavations in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean area, which revealed the existence of a prehistoric Goddess-oriented culture.
In one of her books, The Living Goddess, Gimbutas describes the goddesses from different religions around the world. One of the religions is the Greek Religion, the first Greek culture was known as the Mycenaean. Base on the artwork, pottery, and figurines, Gimbutas and the archaeologists find that both male and female deities existed, and with female deities outnumbering the male. The investigation also shows the importance of snake at this time. The Mycenaean civilization represents the transitional phrase between Old European gynocentirc culture and the classical Greek culture.
The classical Greek period rose after the Dark Age, which differed from the Mycenaean. On the most radical change was the diminished role of women in society. During the earlier Mycenaean civilization, women held significant positions in society. By the Classical Greek Era, Athenian society excluded women from public life. Women participated in almost no significant social, political, or intellectual activities. Greek goddess at this time serves the male deities.
The Living Goddesses by Marija Gimbutas. University of California Press. 1999
Robert Graves, by Elisa Tejeda
Robert Graves was born in Wimbledon in 1895 and grew up in an upper-middle class family. Towards the second half of his literary career, he began to work extensively on theories, leading to the eventual publication of The White Goddess. He also authored The Greek Myths and The Hebrew Myths,
The White Goddess is Graves’ attempt to discover the meaning of European mythology and retrace the themes of these myths. Graves believed that the White Goddess was part of what he deems “The Theme” which is a recurring story of “thirteen chapters and an epilogue, of the birth, life, death and resurrection of the God of the Waxing Year” (Graves 24). Then this aforementioned God goes on to battle with the God of the Waning Year for the love of a goddess he calls Threefold Goddess. Graves describes the White Goddess as a cruel female who transforms herself into different shapes and often is the ruler of nightmares. In his book, Graves proposes that ancient British, Greek and Hebrew peoples all had a very close connection and that is why their mythology is so similar and they all include the White Goddess. Graves explains the connection geographically, stating, “all three races were civilized by the same Aegean people whom they conquered and absroved” (Graves 61).
Graves discusses numerous goddesses from diverse cultures, making references to Isis from the Egyptians, Rhea from the Greeks and others. Graves also says that all true poets know of the White Goddess and she is their ultimate inspiration, and that poets’ muses all carry an aspect of the White Goddess who not only gives life but also destroys those (male) poets who worship her.
Graves, Robert. The White Goddess: a historical grammar of poetic myth. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1966.
The Robert Graves Trust Information Centre. Accessed July 21 2005.
James Hillman, by Joy Krajicek
James Hillman’s Psychology
A Brief Overview
James Hillman, born in 1926 in New Jersey, is an analytical psychologist. He attended Georgetown University, Sorbonne, University of Paris, and Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland (B.A. & M.A.), and the University of Zurich (Ph.D.). After graduation Hillman directed the studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich and later became a professor in the United States. Hillman is a student of Carl Jung and was trained in the archetypal psychology; however, went further with the archetypal psychology than his mentor. Hillman’s major emphases are on psychoanalytic theory applied to spiritual matters. The author of over twenty books, Hillman extensively studies the soul instead of the ego and believes the psychology practiced today is not solving anything.
A Few of His Books
In Hillman’s book The Soul’s Code, he challenged traditional psychology by “suggesting that each person has a spiritual path or destiny, distinctly separate from genetics or environment that is always trying to live itself out.” Soul is a process by which life gains beauty in difference rather than with the more traditional Jungian notion of the Self as an integrative process of wholeness. He also challenges conventional dream analysis in his book Animal Dreams by suggesting that “animals present themselves in human dreams with motive and purpose of their own.” He encourages people to “get inside animals so that they can teach people about themselves instead of projecting human qualities onto animals or covering them up with stock symbolic interpretations.”
In his archetypal studies, Hillman studied the archetype of war and specifically “the myths, philosophy, and theology of war’s deepest mind.” In his essay on war, Hillman explores war beyond the political and social framework into the fascination with weapons and the psychological “resistance to disarmament.” Yet, he also surveys growing old in The Force of Character and the Lasting Life. Hillman’s ideas about aging: it is “not a process that causes us to decline and become weaker instead, the process strips us of the unimportant, thus exposing and confirming our true character.” He studies the concept of “old” and “leaving” and “left” and believes old age is not as bad as others think.
Another topic Hillman studies is power. Hillman redefines power in terms of sustaining continuity, conserving, teaching, caring, and bringing out the innate potential in each person or task. Growth means a process of shedding worn-out identities, cleaning up messes, pondering the implications of one’s actions for the wider world and for future generations. These ideas are quite different from the corporate definitions of power and growth, demonstrating his movement away from the typical society.
Psychology and introspection can be good, but Hillman’s hatred for it grows. It is too passive, boring, and repetitive. He wants to expand psychology’s impact and extend its borders. He believes we should not only focus on our childhood or past, but on our destiny. We must not shy away from social action and realize our problems have social implications. Self includes the community. Hillman believes in aesthetics and beauty. He believes that archetypal psychology means that every unpleasant experience does not become another battle. We can look on our naturally fractured lives with awe and compassion. We learn, in Hillman’s terms to “see through” but not transcend. “In so doing he has brought us to the knowledge of the soul, both our own and the world’s so that we may care for it, not as a patient needing a cure, but as a poet seeking to sing our lives into beauty and meaning” (Annie Gottlieb). From his diligence, Hillman secured his place in psychology and challenges each of us to be better than we are.
Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2005. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center.
Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005. http://0-galenet.galegroup.com.mill1.sjlibrary.org:80/servlet/BioRC
“James Hillman.” Mythos and Logos. http://www.mythosandlogos.com/Hillman.html.
“The Terrible Love of War.” (Book Review) Urbane Peachey. The Christian Century,
Feb 22, 2005 v122 i4 p56(7).
”The Force of Character and the Lasting Life.” Marty D. Evensvold. Library Journal
July 2000 v125 i12 p164 (226 words)
“Kinds of Power: A Guide to Its Intelligent Uses.” Stewart Brand. Whole Earth Winter
1997 n91 p85(1) (239 words)
“Insight and Outlook.” http://www.scottlondon.com/insight/scripts/hillman.html.
Carl Jung (1875-1961) by Jennifer Orbe
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology. His concept of the collective unconscious has become influential not only in psychology but also in philosophy and the arts. Jung had a close friendship with Freud, but differences and disagreements caused a break.
The ultimate goal of Jung's life work was the reconciliation of the life of the individual with the world of the archetypes. Unlike Freudian theory, Jung believed that people are motivated by a more general psychological energy not just sexual urges that pushes them to achieve growth, self-realization, and harmony. He believed that the human experiences the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits.
In studying different cultures, Jung was struck by the universality of many themes, patterns, stories and images. Jung defined symbols as the best possible expression for something essentially unknown, a key for understanding human nature. He wanted to investigate the similarity of symbols that are located in different religious, mythological, and magical systems. He found these same images to frequently appeared in the dreams of his patients. From these observations, Jung developed his theory of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. In fact, he proposed that instinctual patterns of behavior and perception can be traced in dreams and myths. He wrote, “Because immediate recognition of certain symbols and the meanings of certain myths, could all be understood as the sudden conjunction of our outer reality and the inner reality of the collective unconscious.”
For Jung, archetypes repeat themselves eternally in the psyches of human beings and determine how we both perceive and behave. Jung strongly believed that symbol creation was a key in understanding human nature.
Boeree, Dr. C. George. “Carl Jung.”
“Carl Jung.” Wikipedia.
"Jung, Carl Gustav," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2005
Cowgil, Charles.”Carl Jung.” 1997
Carl Kerenyi by Kaitlyn Stinson
Carl Kerenyi was born in Hungary on January 19, 1987. He became a citizen of Switzerland in 1943. Carl is considered one of the founders of modern studies of Greek mythology. He has written many books and essays including:
<sum> Hermes Guide of Souls: the Mythologem of the Masculine Source of Life
<sum> Apollo: The Wind, the Spirit, and the God: Four Studies
<sum> Athene: Virgin and Mother in Greek Religion
<sum> Asklepios: Archetypal Image of the Physician's Existence
<sum> Gods of the Greeks
<sum> The Heroes of the Greeks
<sum> Goddesses of Sun and Moon
He has collaborated with Carl Jung, creating such books as Essays on the Science of Mythology: the Myths of the Divine Child and the Divine Maiden and The Trickster: a Study in American Indian Mythology. He has also worked with Thomas Mann.
<sum> Unknown author. “Karl Kerenyi”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. July 24, 2005. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Kerenyi>
Suzanne Langer (1895-1985), by Carrie Berk)
Suzanne Langer was born in Manhattan to German immigrant parents. She was raised in a rich intellectual artistic environment. She earned her B.A at Radcliff in 1920; she completed her masters and doctorate in philosophy at Harvard in 1924 and 1926. She taught philosophy at Radcliff, Wellesley, Smith, and other colleges while raising two sons and writing her first scholarly works (Encloypedia & Weatherford).
I’m most drawn to Langer’s earlier writings on art and symbolism. However, in the little time I’ve been introduced to Langer, I’m having great difficulty grasping an understanding of her philosophies.
Suzanne Langer talks about art belonging to the same category as language. This concept to me can be perceived as some type of intellectual science. “The appreciation of a work of art involves a mental shift as radical as the change from hearing noises to hearing speech”( Liddy). This fascinates me. When I’m reading the myths assigned for homework, I feel as if I’m reading a piece of art. My imagination connected with my perceptions of fantasy start flowing. The visualizations I begin to have while reading mythology are super cool. At times I envision myself as one of the characters in the story. For example, being able to change shape or form seems fascinating.
I’m drawn to Langer’s connection to intellectualism and art. In her book, Feeling and Form, she talks about how symbols can be interpreted in all art forms. She says art involves an “aesthetic illusion,” that is, as she puts it, the very being of aesthetic form is to be perceived (Langer). For example, when I’m reading about Beowulf, and how he tears Grendel’s arm off I can create an aesthetic picture in my mind. “They exist only for the sense of imagination that perceives them;” their perceptible character is their entire being (Langer).
She talks about how humans engage in several different mental activities; like music, writing and reading (Liddy). We need to be satisfied as humans by symbolization in literature. We crave symbolism in our reality as humans. Each group or culture, religion will have their own mythology make- up of these incredible stories/myths. Langer would suggest that myths are symbolic of the basic human yearnings and thinking in all cultures of all times, including the present. “We need themes in order to feel and discuss the route of what humanities is” (Jewel). Language is not only verbal. “Art is nonverbal” (Langer, Problems of Art). Langer talks about how we need language as a form of rational symbolism. Music, art and poetry are forms of language and therefore are essential for human expression and human existence. These forms of art in our lives allow us to think and be rational.
American Women’s History by Doris Weatherford, Prentice Hall, General Reference, 1994.
Her Heritage: A Biographical Encloypedia of Famous American Women, CD ROM, Pilgrim New Media, Inc., 1994.
Richard M. Liddy
(He wrote a paper on Susanne and posted it on the web (Susanne K. Langer’s Philosophy of Mind).
Langer, Suzzane k.Problems of Art. 1957. Charles Schribner’s Sons. New York..
He wrote a paper about Humanities on line (Conclusion: Linking the Humanities).
The Tale of Dryops and The birth of Pan By Rafael Lopez Pedraza by Alan Borrayo?
Rafael Lopez Pedraza was born in Cuba, author of the book Hermes and his children. He spent ten years in Zurich. Now he is a professor in the Faculty of humanities, Caracas University. In this article The Tale of Dryops and The birth of Pan Pedraza studies how homosexual relationships can be dangerous and difficult to comprehend even in ancient times. In this article a god falls in love with a mortal. Pedraza reflects also the birth of Pan whom supposedly born from a homosexual couple. Pedraza tries to understand how men’s relationships work in a different perspective that of a psychologist. What he mentions in his article is how the shadow of earliest times still reflects in our society. At that time homosexual relationships were banned as for many people still are today.
Pedraza mentions in this article how psychologists have not show a bit of interest for a deeper investigation or simply understand the erotica among men. Pedraza sees these types of relationships from the human and psychological perspective, which is necessary in order to, have a richer knowledge about it. To pedraza all these is necessary because by doing so, psychologists could understand more and help people better. It is really interesting hoew Pedraza addresses the subject of homosexuality in this article because is really important for our society to accept people the way they are without judgment. In the article is clearly stated that men-men relationships have been there long ago. In conclusion it is important to be able to understand of all kinds of human relationships in life because they are part of our everyday routine.
Max Muller, by Roopa Parameswaran
Biography of Max Muller:
Friederich Max Muller, a German philologist & Orientalist was born on December 6, 1823 to a poet Wilhelm Muller. Earlier in his time, he was interested in music, however later in his life, his interest in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language over powered his interest in music and so he started focusing completely on learning and mastering Sanskrit. Many of his works in Sanskrit linguistics are still used by students today. He had an immense interest in comparative religion, and he is believed to have literally created this discipline. He has published many scholarly works on this subject, the most popular of all being Sacred Books Of the East.
Some of his famous works:
His most famous work, the Sacred Books of the East mainly comprises of translations of ancient religious writings of the Asian continent. He has done numerous researches on Indian philosophy and religion and one of his works include the Rig Veda with commentary.
Some of his teachings were considered very controversial, especially those which showed the Christian faith in poor light. ”According to Monsignor Munro, the Roman Catholic bishop of St. Andrews Cathedral in Glasgow, the lectures were nothing less than 'a crusade against divine revelation, against Jesus Christ and Christianity’ The pantheism taught by Muller made 'divine revelation simply impossible, because it reduced God to mere nature, and did away with the body and soul as we know them. He added that Muller’s theory uprooted our idea of God, for it repudiated the idea of a personal God.” 1
1. Bosch, Lourens Peter van den, “Theosophy or Pantheism?
Friedrich Max Muller’s Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion”, HERE-NOW4U, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://www.here-now4u.de/eng/theosophy_or_pantheism_friedr.htm
He is also known for his Aryan Invasion theory, which talks about how India was invaded by the Aryans who were considered a nomadic Indo – European group from Central Asia in the 1500 B.C. Infact, Max Muller is believed to have coined the term “Aryan”. The validity of this theory has however been challenged.
His views on mythology:
According to Muller’s theory of origination of myths, he suggests that myths were originally created to try and symbolically explain the journey of the sun from the east to the west. He considered all gods and heroes in mythologies to be manifestations of nature, mainly the sun. He suggests that the birth of a hero is the dawn, his overcoming obstacles represents the sun at its highest point, noon. The hero’s decline and demise represents dusk or sunset. He believes that the purposes of many of these symbols were forgotten by the time the basic texts like Theogony and the Rig Veda appeared and people had started expressing faith in the divinities and heroes themselves, and started worshipping them. One of the examples he gives is that of the fact about the Greeks believing that the sun God Helios drove his flaming chariot, the sun across the sky everyday, thus giving more importance to the sun God Helios, than the natural phenomenon of Sun itself. According to Muller, most of these beliefs in divinities and heroes resulted from an earlier attempt to explain the journey of the sun from dawn to dusk.
One of Max Muller’s main contentions about myths is the fact that, he considers myths to be results of linguistics corruptions. According to him “what seems absurd in myth, he suggested, is the result of people forgetting or distorting the meanings of words, e.g., the phrase "sunrise follows the dawn," spoken in Greek could be interpreted as meaning Apollo pursues Daphne, the maiden of the Dawn.” 2 He advanced the theory that myths originated from metaphors describing natural phenomena.3
2. Unknown Author, “Older Interpretations of Myths (Folklore and Mythology)”, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/M/mytholog-older-interpretations-of-myths.html
3. From Columbia University Press, ”Max Muller”, [cited 2005 July 24], Available from: http://www.answers.com/topic/max-m-ller
Though he doesn’t really challenge the existence of myths, he however doubts their interpretation and accuracy, which he believes to be riddled with carelessness and fallacy due to deterioration of many of the ancient languages.
Unknown Author, “Max Muller – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”, Wikimedia, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Max_Muller
Unknown Author, “Bilbo’s World: Mythology an Introduction”, Delano High School, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://www.delanohighschool.org/BillBaugher/stories/storyReader$6
Swami Satyamayananda, “Modern Man, Mind and the Meaning of Mythology”, Sri Ramakrishna Math, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://www.sriramakrishnamath.org/magazine/vk/2002/12-3-12.asp
Unknown Author, “folklore (folklore and Mythology)”, AllRefer.com, [cited 2005 July 24],
Available from: http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/F/folklore.html
Paul Radin, By Diana Hoover
A few important dates and publishings:
• 1883 born in Poland
• 1884 family migrated to New York
• 1897 entered New York City College at the age of 14
• 1902 received his Bachelors degree in history
• 1905 began studying anthropology in Munich
• 1907 entered Columbia University/studied under Franz Boas
• 1911 received his Doctorate degree in anthropology
• 1926 published: Crashing Thunder
• 1927 published: Primitive Man as a Philosopher
The Story of the American Indian
• 1933 published: Theory of Ethnology
• 1937 published: Primitive Religion
• 1949 published: The Culture of the Winnebago, as Described by Themselves
• 1956 published: The Trickster
• 1959 died
Paul Radin was most influenced by one of his professors at Columbia University, Franz Boas. Boas was most known for his work with the indigenous people of Northern Vancouver and British Columbia, Canada. His theory was that everything was important when studying a culture. That collecting data on everything was necessary to accurately understand a culture. This thinking countered the primarily evolutionist views at the time and sent anthropology in a new direction.
Paul Radin applied these teachings in his own work. The most common theme within his work is how individuals respond to the natural disposition of their immediate cultural environment. In Primitive Man as a Philosopher, he compellingly argues that “reflective individuals are to be found quite as readily among primitives as elsewhere.” In Primitive Religion, he states that depending on the intelligence and a person’s inherent inclination, any degree of religiousness, from indifference to profoundly deep, can be found in any culture.
Looking at the position of the individual person in a culture was depicted explicitly in Crashing Thunder, an autobiography of a member of the Winnebago tribe that Radin obtained, edited and published, which subsequently became a landmark in American anthropology. Radin argued that the task of the anthropologist was to record in detail what primitive people said about themselves while injecting minimal critical evaluation. He would often criticize his colleagues that they must never lose sight of the individual while studying a culture of people. Radin advocated for a purely historical approach to the studies and often rejected psychological and psychoanalytical dissection of a culture.
Radin also studied other cultures, such as minorities of San Francisco, Italian, early Mexican, even slavery, but he is most known and respected for his work with the Ojibwa and Winnebago. Paul Radin, an anthropologist who profoundly affected the world of ethnography.
Document Number: K1631005419
Paul Radin, the Encyclopedia Britannica 2005 Premium Service
Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd edition
• Franz Boas
• Paul Radin
Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 6, 1980
As reproduced in Biography Resource Center
Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2005
Paul Radin, by Jennifer Le
Paul Radin was born in Poland but had lived in New York since his early childhood. He is an American Anthropologist and also, an ethnographer. He received a bachelor’s degree at City College and after coming back from traveling abroad in Europe he returned to study under Franz Boas at Columbia University, where he later received a doctorate in 1911. He did fieldwork among the Winnebago, the Ojibwa, the Fox, the Zapotec, the Wappo, the Wintun, and the Huave. He had a particular interest with the Winnebago Indians and wrote down his accounts of their beliefs. He has written several accounts such as, The Trickster: A Study of American Indian Mythology, The Road of Life and Death: A Ritual Drama of the American Indians and also, The Winnebago Tribe and The Culture of the Winnebago.
Unknown author. “Biography of Paul Radin.” Book Rags.com. 7/24/05. http://www.bookrags.com/biography-paul-radin/.
Unknown author. “Paul Radin, Anthropology, Biographies.” All Refer.com. 7/24/05.
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, by Cynthia Yeh
• Born 1768 in Breslau
• Son of reformed clergyman
• His education was in religious schools but he later
chose more liberal University of Halle
o While at University he studied Immanuel Kant’s
• 1794 was a pastor in Landsberg.
• In 1796 he moved to Berlin, where he became chaplain
to a hospital
• He met men who were “romantics”:
- An artistic and intellectual movement originating in
Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a
heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the
individual's expression of emotion and imagination,
departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism,
and rebellion against established social rules and
- In 1799, because of his new friends, he got
confidence to publish his most important and radical
work in the philosophy and theology of religion, On
Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers (This
work won him national fame)
• Other important works:
The Christian Faith (1821; Eng. trans. of 2d ed.,
The Soliloquies (1800; trans. 1926),
Christmas Eve (1806; trans. 1890), and
Brief Outline of the Study of Theology (1811; trans.
He worked on translating Plato’s work with a friend
and some are still used today
• Majority of his written books are on religion
• In 1805 he also began his famous and important
lectures on hermeneutics:
- The theory and practice of interpretation. It is a
branch of philosophy concerned with human
understanding and the interpretation of texts.
The word hermeneutics has two derivations. One is from
the Greek god Hermes in his role as patron of
interpretive communication and human understanding,
while the other is from the syncretism Ptolemaic deity
Hermes Trismegistus, in his role as representing
hidden or secret knowledge.
- During the Reformation, hermeneutics came into being
as a special discipline concerned with biblical
criticism. Friedrich Schleiermacher, the Protestant
theologian, expanded the discipline from one concerned
with removing obstacles preventing readers from
gaining the proper understanding of a text to one
concerned in addition with analyzing the necessary
conditions for readers coming to any understanding of
a text. (Answers)
• Died from inflammation of the lungs on Feb. 12th,
Only thing about myths:
“Friedrich Schleiermacher thus characterized myth as a
“historical representation of the supra-historical”
Houghton Mifflin Company. “Dictionary.” Answers.com
July 22, 2005.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 6th
“Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher.”
July 24, 2005.