Thou Art That - Chapter 1, Metaphor and Religious Mystery Summary & Analysis

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During a book promotion tour, Campbell is interviewed by a radio personality, who declares that "Myth is a lie." Campbell contends that it is a metaphor, and they argue. Half of the people in the world contend that the metaphors in their religious tradition are facts and the other half contend they are lies. This separates believers from atheists. Mythology serves four functions. 1) Religious/mystical: individuals' consciousness is aligned to the mystery of the universe. Zoroastrianism and the Bible both depict a good world that falls. 2) Interpretive: through mathematics people perceive the mystery of time and space and reduce the gods to agents. Genesis reflects third-millennium BCE science, naïve for astronauts circling the moon to read in 1968. 3) Validation/support for moral order in society. As societies change, "mythic dissociation" occurs, leaving people unable to explain the...

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This section contains 313 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Thou Art That Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Thou Art That from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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