Comparative Mythology (Esingle)
Joseph Campbell taught Mythology to students at Sarah Lawrence College, just north of New York City, for thirty-eight years. Late in his tenure, Campbell made a proposal to use his introductory course as the basis for the then-new field of cross-cultural studies. The proposal gives a wonderful glimpse into Campbell’s pedagogical philosophy, but also into his approach to his chosen field. Included is one of the most-requested downloads from the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s website: the reading list that Campbell used in that Introduction to Mythology course.
These pieces, along with nine other essays ranging in subject from the numerology implicit in the Goddess mythologies to the erotic irony of modern novelist Thomas Mann, are included in the collection The Mythic Dimension. This volume was reissued in 2008 by New World Library as part of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series; this article is being published in electronic form by the Joseph Campbell Foundation.