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Old 11-11-2001, 03:55 PM   #1
Anunnaki
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Question Joseph Campbell

I know that Joseph Campbell is a well respected scholar on mythology,but does he really lay it all on the line or does he stop short of telling the truth about Christianity in order to not rock the boat?

I`ve been looking at the new DVD collection,but I don`t want to spend the money to find out his view of Christianity falls short of the truth. I could watch the History and Discovery channels for free if I wanted to watch scared professors catering to the ignorant,brain washed majority.

I`ve found religious websites that seem to hate Campbell and say he has no respect for the UNmythological religions. This would be a good indicator,but I also know of a few diehard believers who happen to praise his work.

So whats the deal here?

[ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: Anunnaki ]
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Old 11-11-2001, 04:26 PM   #2
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By DVD collection, do you mean "Power of Myth" with Bill Moyers?

Annunaki, I don't know what you would interpret as "falling short." The Moyers interviews do not directly address the historicity of Jesus or the factual basis of Christianity. On a few occasions, you'll get Campbell equating Christian or Jewish mythology with other mythologies, which adherents of those religions would find dismissive. But Campbell is more in the "All religions are equally true" camp, which leaves some atheists dissatisfied (as I've seen in this forum).
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Old 11-11-2001, 06:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy:
<STRONG>By DVD collection, do you mean "Power of Myth" with Bill Moyers?

Annunaki, I don't know what you would interpret as "falling short." The Moyers interviews do not directly address the historicity of Jesus or the factual basis of Christianity. On a few occasions, you'll get Campbell equating Christian or Jewish mythology with other mythologies, which adherents of those religions would find dismissive. But Campbell is more in the "All religions are equally true" camp, which leaves some atheists dissatisfied (as I've seen in this forum).</STRONG>

Yep,Thats the one I`m talking about.
I think I might be one of those dissatisfied atheists.

What I`m looking for is something that will cover the entire Christian mythology. The catch is that it has to be a VISUAL presentation.
Anyone have any sugestions?
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Old 11-11-2001, 07:07 PM   #4
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I'm not really sure what you expect from Joseph Campbell. He is a scholar whose field of study is mythology, and he does not treat Hebrew and Christian mythology differently than any other. This is exactly as it should be.
He is not a theologian or a philosopher. His job is not to go around proclaiming which religious beliefs are true and which aren't. I do not expect him to come out and attack Christianity any more than I expect him to come out and attack the traditional beliefs of the Navajo people. To do so would be completely unprofessional.
Perhaps if he wants to make his own personal beliefs known to the public, that is fine. But when he is speaking in his role as a scholar of mythology, he should remain objective. To do otherwise would be inappropriate, IMHO.
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Old 11-11-2001, 07:34 PM   #5
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I know he came out against the Bible and its mythology as far as whether it's useful today. He denounced it all as sanctified cheuvinism and said it's no use to you unless you want to be a traditional Jew.

With that said, he did speak on Bible myths with due respect as antiquated literature which reveals much about people...as does any myth.

Watching old lectures on PBS, I think he was a great story teller. And that's all he wanted to be. I think his fear was that he be regarded as some kind of guru.
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Old 11-12-2001, 01:37 PM   #6
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I've watched "Power of Myth" repeatedly on videotape; maybe I'll get the DVD set one of these days. I enjoy the interviews for what they set out to be: explaining the nature of mythology as a kind of living manifestation of human psychology. I don't expect the show to be a video representation of, say, McKinsey's Biblical Errancy. Though that would be swell, too.

The PBS series "From Jesus to Christ" delves into some of the factual basis of the gospels. It features some iconoclastic conclusions, but it doesn't call something an outright lie. It also addresses miracles or resurrections in a "take it or leave it" manner, meaning you don't have to buy the supernatural claims to understand the rise of Christianity.
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:30 AM   #7
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Campbell has said repeatedly in books and interviews that Christianity is a myth that should not be taken literally.

If you search my user number 1981 and "joseph campbell" you'll run across a thread from several months back where Metacrock and I discuss him. There's an interview linked there where he says more or less plainly that it's simply a myth and a literal resurrection of jesus should not be taken seriously.

Michael
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Old 11-13-2001, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:
<STRONG>Campbell has said repeatedly in books and interviews that Christianity is a myth that should not be taken literally.

If you search my user number 1981 and "joseph campbell" you'll run across a thread from several months back where Metacrock and I discuss him. There's an interview linked there where he says more or less plainly that it's simply a myth and a literal resurrection of jesus should not be taken seriously.

Michael</STRONG>

Thank you turtonm and everyone else for your input.
I have not read any of his books,but some snooping around seemed to indicate that he says it`s nothing more than a myth.

The reason I was wondering about Campbell (besides all his work being very interesting) is due to an argument I had with a conservative Christian on another message board.
I knew that Christianity and other religions have no basis in reality,but I did not know the specifics of how they actually came about.
Well anyway,this guy starts with how he taught at some undisclosed college for years and used Campbells books and videos in his class. He was somehow able to study this material for years without ever noticing Campbell saying that the miracles and resurrection of Jesus were myths,but it took me less than 2 minutes of web searching to find Campbell saying it IS mythology and that the mian religions of the world should be disassembled.

He even went as far as to tell me that I lack the "intellectual integrity" to acknowledge that Jesus was a real historical figure who was born of a virgin,performed miracles,died on the cross and ascended into heaven!
He even went one step further to say that if Campbell said it was a myth,than "Campbell is wrong too!"

I`m sure you can imagine how frustrated I was.

This was why I was unsure of what Campbell actually said about it. My hunch was that Campbell did say it was myth and that my opponent was just too blinded by his beliefs to accept it.
I actually had never even heard of Joseph Campbell prior to the debate. It was the other guy who brought him up thinking it would help support his argument.
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Old 11-13-2001, 10:44 AM   #9
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Hi Mike - how's the move going?

I remember looking for a quote that would tie Campbell down, but he was too artful.

Campbell came from an era where intellectuals in general did not believe in Christianity, but did not have the courage to say so. He always seemed to stop just short of saying that Christianity was not historically true.

I think the thread you are talking about was this one citing this article.
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