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Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell Series) Hardcover – 5 Oct 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (5 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577312023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577312024
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 891,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Will delight both avid Campbell disciples eager for more of his thoughts and newcomers to his work." -- "Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

"[A] romp through the Judeo-Christian tradition -- a lightning-paced tour with an extremely knowledgeable and provocative guide to illuminate some intriguing, untrammeled paths."
-- "Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

"It is Campbell the armchair speaker who shines through, buoyant with life and with comments that are eerily relevant to current times."
-- "Parabola"

"The work confirms the commonality of the human experience. A much-needed prescription in today's world."
-- "San Francisco Chronicle"

[A] romp through the Judeo-Christian tradition a lightning-paced tour with an extremely knowledgeable and provocative guide to illuminate some intriguing, untrammeled paths.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
It is Campbell the armchair speaker who shines through, buoyant with life and with comments that are eerily relevant to current times.
Parabola
The work confirms the commonality of the human experience. A much-needed prescription in today s world.
San Francisco Chronicle" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Perhaps most responsible for bringing mythology to a mass audience, Joseph Campbells works rank among the classics in mythology and literature: Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume The Masks of God, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, and many others. Among his many awards, Campbell received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contribution to Creative Literature and the 1985 Medal of Honor for Literature from the National Arts Club. A past president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, Campbell was professor emeritus at Sarah Lawrence College in New York until his retirement in 1972 at which time he devoted himself to his writing. He died after a short struggle with cancer in 1987. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Unlike some other books that I've read that stick to 'proving' or 'disproving' the literal truth of the Bible--thus entirely missing the point, it seems to me--this book explores the spiritual meanings of the scriptures. From the opening, where Campbell points out that myth, which we have mis-defined as 'lie', really means metaphor, to the closing, which is a wonderful interview between Campbell and the editor of this posthumous work, Campbell offers a breathtaking redefinition of some of the stories and images we all take for granted.
SInce this book was drawn from his popular lectures, it isn't surprising that the style is more accessible and conversational than the dense, scholarly prose in some of his other books (The Hero with a 1000 Faces, Masks of God). It's much more like The Power of Myth. The editor asks the reader to imagine sitting in Campbell's library or a small lecture hall, and that is precisely the sense of intimacy that I felt in reading this wonderful work.
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By A Customer on 9 Oct. 2001
Format: Hardcover
as a religious person i've always been frustrated by the limited approach most theologians (not to say priests) approach the subject. i found that this book spoke to me on a level i really hadn't anticipated. it was thoughtful, inspiring and provocative in its "transforming" of "religious metaphor." or is that in its discussion of "transform[ative] religious metaphor"?
i loved this book--it was much less 'new age-y' than the power of myth and much less scholastic than some of the other campbell books i've read--the masks of god or the hero of a thousand faces. the editors took campbell's thoughts and lectures and created a wonderfully effective, compelling argument.
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Format: Hardcover
THOU ART THAT is the first volume in THE COLLECTED WORKS OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL which contains materials gathered from previously uncollected essays, letters, diaries, articles and lectures. As such it represents a broad sampling of Campbell's work on mythology and the Western religions.
In one of the more interesting parts of the book Campbell describes the basic differences between the world religions of creed which are Buddhism, Christianity and Islam and the leading ethnic religions of birth which are Hinduism, Judaism and Shintoism.
Often Campbell points out that our ideas of the universe are being reordered by our experience in space. There are no horizons in space causing many people to retreat into fundamentalism.
For a small book THOU ART THAT is filled with much food for thought. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to reading future volumes in this series.
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Format: Hardcover
excellent.
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Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book, you should realize that the ideas expressed in it cast fundamental doubt on the most common interpretations of Jewish and Christian religious testaments. If you will find this blasphemous or upsetting, perhaps this is not the right book for you. If you want to see a different interpretation of familiar Scripture, you will find the book to be interesting.
Joseph Campbell is well known to many for his work on mythology, especially The Hero with a Thousand Faces. He takes that same perspective to Judeo-Christian Scriptures and comes to different conclusions. Essentially, his point is that whatever the "fact" is of the original events described in the Holy writings, the stories that have come down to us are myths, that reflect a metaphorical interpretation of those events. His arguments for this perspective are two-fold: One, many of the stories have very similar kin in the writings of the civilizations that preceded the establishment of Judaism. Two, he finds the "facts" as described as being not persuasive. To him, the events described seem mythologized, recast from a truthful base into a more appealing form. Although he is certainly entitled to his opinion, few will be overwhelmed by these arguments.
Mr. Campbell goes on to argue for interpreting these Scriptures from the point of view of an internalized, individual experience, much like Buddhism does. He finds this form of religion to be more appealing, because he argues it brings the joys of religion more into daily existence. He also argues that formalized religion channels people away from religious experience, in favor of social rites.
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