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Parallel Myths - J.F. Bierlein

Paperback Published: 1st November 1994
ISBN: 9780345381460
Number Of Pages: 353

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“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

An Introductionp. 3
What Is Myth?p. 3
Language and Mythp. 6
Time and Mythp. 11
History and Mythp. 17
The Civic Mythp. 19
Morality and Mythp. 21
The Sense of the Sacredp. 22
The Cast of Charactersp. 24
The Greek and Roman Pantheonp. 24
The Norse Pantheonp. 29
The Gods of Indiap. 30
The Egyptian Pantheonp. 32
The Hawaiian Pantheonp. 32
The Aztec Pantheonp. 33
Beginnings - The Creation Mythsp. 37
Creation Myths of Indiap. 37
The Creation Myth of Iranp. 41
The Norse Creation Mythp. 44
Greek Creation Mythsp. 46
Creation Myths of Africap. 48
Creation Myths of Egyptp. 51
The Creation Myth of Finlandp. 53
The Chinese Creation Mythp. 53
The Creation Myth of Japanp. 54
The Polynesian Creation Mythsp. 56
Creation Myths of the Americasp. 59
The Babylonian Creation Mythp. 71
The Biblical Creation Storiesp. 73
The Talmudic Creation Storyp. 76
"The Creation"p. 78
Some Notes on the Creation Mythsp. 80
The Earliest Timesp. 91
The Biblical Fallp. 91
The Talmudic Fallp. 95
The Story of Poia (Blackfoot Indian)p. 97
The Four Ages of Man (India)p. 100
The Five Ages of Man (Greece)p. 103
The Five Suns (Aztec)p. 104
The Five Worlds (Navajo)p. 105
North American Indian Myths of Emergencep. 108
Three Stories of Maui the Trickster (Polynesia)p. 111
Prometheus and Epimetheus (Greece)p. 114
The Origin of Medicine (Cherokee)p. 115
Murile and the Moonchief (Kenya)p. 117
The Human Race Is Saved (Iroquois)p. 118
The Flood Mythsp. 121
The Story of Noahp. 121
Manu and the Fish (India)p. 125
Utnapishtim (Babylonia)p. 125
The Flood Myth of Hawaiip. 126
Tata and Nena (Aztec)p. 127
Deucalion (Greece)p. 128
North American Flood Mythsp. 129
The Flood Myth of the Incasp. 133
The Flood Myth of Egyptp. 134
Tales of Lovep. 136
Greek and Roman Love Mythsp. 136
Two Peruvian Love Storiesp. 147
Angus Og (Scotland and Ireland)p. 151
Algon and the Sky-Girl (Algonquin Indian)p. 153
Morality Tales from the Mythsp. 155
Morality Tales from the Mahabharata (India)p. 156
Anansi the Spider (West Africa)p. 159
Greek Morality Talesp. 165
Four Parallel Storiesp. 171
The Story of Two Brothers (Blackfoot Indian)p. 171
The Story of Two Brothers (Egypt)p. 173
Bellerophon (Greece)p. 175
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (Genesis 39)p. 176
Some Brief Myths of the Herop. 179
The Story of Siegfried (Norse/Germany)p. 179
Theseus (Greece)p. 185
Hiawatha Tarenyawagon (Iroquois)p. 191
The Myth of Sisyphus (Greece)p. 194
The Journey to the Underworld and the Path of Deathp. 200
Ishtar in the Underworld (Babylonia)p. 200
Marwe in the Underworld (Kenya)p. 203
Savitri (India)p. 205
Pare and Hutu (New Zealand)p. 209
Sayadio in the Land of the Dead (Iroquois)p. 210
The Spirit Bride (Algonquin)p. 211
Osiris and Isis (Egypt)p. 212
Blue Jay in the Land of the Dead (Chinook)p. 217
The Greek and Roman Afterlifep. 220
Peruvian Death Mythsp. 223
Socrates on the Greco-Roman Afterlifep. 224
Persian (Zoroastrian) Death Mythsp. 226
Nachiketas (India)p. 227
Jewish Death Mythp. 229
Tibetan Death Mythsp. 229
Baldur (Norse)p. 231
The Death of Moses (The Talmud)p. 233
The End - Visions of the Apocalypsep. 237
How Rudra Destroys the Universe (India)p. 237
The Persian Apocalyptic Mythp. 239
The Islamic Apocalyptic Mythp. 241
Maitreya (Tibet, Korea, Mongolia)p. 245
Ragnarok: The Twilight of the Gods (Norse)p. 246
North American Apocalyptic Mythsp. 248
The Old Testamentp. 249
The New Testamentp. 250
Views of Myth and Meaningp. 257
Parallel Myths and Ways of Interpreting Themp. 267
The Discovery of Parallel Mythsp. 267
Myth as a History of Prehistory: The Matriarchal Theoryp. 271
Transitional Thinking in the Interpretation of Mythp. 275
Psychological Theories of Parallelism in Mythp. 279
A Modern Nonpsychological Approach: Structuralismp. 296
Philosophical Perspectives on Mythp. 299
The "History of Religions" School of Mythp. 302
Myth - Yours, Mine, and Oursp. 304
Modern Questions of Faithp. 304
The Demythologization of Judeo-Christian Culturep. 314
The Legitimacy of the Supernaturalp. 325
Notesp. 327
Bibliographyp. 333
Indexp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780345381460
ISBN-10: 0345381467
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 353
Published: 1st November 1994
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.8 x 14.0  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.29
Edition Number: 1

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