Myths of Light

Campbell, Joseph   |  Kudler, David, editor

This previously unpublished title brings the focus of Campbell’s remarkable knowledge and intellect to one of his favorite topics, the myths and metaphors of the Asian religions. By his own account, Joseph Campbell began his comparative study of the world’s religions with a chance meeting with the renowned Indian Theosophist Jeddu Krishnamurti on a trans-Atlantic steamer.

Though he was deeply fascinated by mythologies and religions from every continent, Asia’s potent mix of theologies captured his imagination more than any other, and offered him paths to understanding the essence of myth. Readers who have been waiting for an accessible summation of Campbell’s insights into the great Asian traditions will have it in this compact volume.

Myths of Light collects previously unpublished lectures and articles on the mythologies and religions of Asia, from the ancient Hindu Vedas to Zen koans, Tantric yoga, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The sixth in New World Library and the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series, this work stands as a worthy companion to Campbell’s Asian journals (Baksheesh & Brahman and Sake & Satori) and to the examination of Western religious metaphor, Thou Art That.

As in his other popular works, Campbell conveys complex insights with warm, accessible storytelling, a hallmark of his public lectures, here revealing the intricacies and secrets of Asian religion and philosophy with his usual enthusiasm.

(New Cover)


Campbell delves into the stories and imagery, as he defines them, of Buddhism and Yoga and other “Oriental” systems of belief, to find a well of deep humanistic wisdom in each one. — Publishers Weekly

Myths of Light brings us a previously unpublished title all about the rich metaphors and mythic splendour of the Asian religions. Uniting both myth and religion, Campbell delves into the Asian mysteries in a way that any Western reader can not only understand, but enjoy reading…. As with all of Campbell’s writings, lectures, and even rough notes, the prose is unimpeachable. Campbell manages to make even the most complex of theological points clear, even the things that would seem alienating and just plain strange to the average Western reader. He manages to maintain respect for his subject matter without making it seem as if nothing outside the East is important or worthy–a hard balance to keep, but one Campbell has mastered in his love for all myths.Dindrane,

In this text for scholars and the interested general reader, comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell explores the core philosophies and mythologies of the East. Using a wealth of examples and stories, he compares these Eastern ideas to each other and to those of the West. Edited by David Kudler (of the Joseph Campbell Foundation), the text is based upon transcripts of seven previously unpublished lectures and articles. — (c)2003 Book News, Inc.

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