The Religious Impulse (Audio: Lecture I.5.5)
We have a highly differentiated society able to absorb people of many, many different faiths, but that means that the society itself cannot be governed by a single faith. Even that phrase that we have on our coins, ‘In God We Trust,’ does not evoke a response from everyone. For instance if you were to go to Hawaii… over half the population are Buddhist, [who] do not believe in a god. Even that apparently rather innocuous statement is not valid anymore for many of the citizens of our community. —Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell explores the origins of important Judeo-Christian religious motifs. He interprets a range of religious symbols, from the western crucifix and its associations with the tree of life to the “fear not” mudrå the gesture of raised hand with exposed palm in eastern sacred sculpture. A central concern of all great mythologies, he notes, has always been the dynamic relationship between life and death.
Running time: approx. 60 minutes