Joseph Campbell: Master of Myth
Tutor: Kenneth Rees
Enquiries: 020 8671 6372 or email: See below
Enrolment (credit/debit card): 020 7269 6000 or on-line via: www.marywardcentre.ac.uk - Course No. 443
This two-day course looks at the achievements of the late Joseph Campbell in respect to his placing at the centre of the human condition the role of `mythological voices'. Among the numerous themes which occupied him over his lifetime was the great monomyth of the hero's journey and the importance of forging one's own path; the masks of deity enshrouding the various gods and goddesses found throughout the world, forming a bridge between East and West; and the need to `follow your bliss' in order to achieve a fulfilled life. His work infused a range of artistic expression including George Lucas's Star Wars franchise and the Grateful Dead rock band. His formative influences included H. Zimmer, A. Bastian, his students and his wife, the dancer Jean Erdman.
We thus look at the role of mythology in both reflecting and instructing humanity and the relevance of Campbell in developing this perspective. In analysing the similarities between myths we discover the archetypal significance of the `masks of God'. The course explores the various dilemmas of the modern world as identified by Campbell and his solutions, including the value of having a mythic awareness for today and the need for a new (ideally, global) mythology to replace the decline of key meta-narratives over the past century.