A recognition of the mystery of death, and therewith, of life, marks the spiritual separation of man from the beasts. — Joseph Campbell
In this installment of the Historical Atlas of World Mythology (Digital Edition), Joseph Campbell explores the very earliest signs of human myth-making. Starting with ancient burials and the astonishing ceremonial caves of the great Paleolithic hunting plains and following up through the stories and rituals of modern hunter-gatherers, the !Kung of southern Africa, he explores the close relationship of the hunter to the hunted, and the way in which humans have attempted to live in spiritual balance while living literally on the deaths of their neighbor creatures.
Joseph Campbell’s multivolume Historical Atlas of World Mythology, his magnum opus, marked the culmination of his brilliant career as scholar, writer, teacher, and one of the foremost interpreters of our most sacred traditions.
Campbell described his work as an attempt to tell humankind’s “One Great Story” â€” our saga of spiritual awakening and the subsequent development of the many different mythological perspectives that have shaped us throughout time. His central theme is that our seemingly disparate spiritual traditions are neither discrete nor unique, but rather each is simply an “ethnic manifestation” of one or another of those “elemental ideals” that have forever transfixed the human psyche.
For more information about the Historical Atlas, the table of contents, publishing schedule, myth-motif index, and other information, visit the Historical Atlas of World Mythology.