An exploration of mythology, religious belief, and scientific theory on the origins of the universe.
A classic study of mythology, this examination investigates stories from all continents and ageswith all their startling similarities and contraststo reveal the workings of the human mind and imagination. Philip Freund provides revealing insight into the universality of ideas and faith by examining a wide range of texts such as the Old Testament, the Upanishads, and Gilgamesh in his search for parallels between creation fables. The analysis estimates, for example, that more than 500 flood legends have been told by more than 250 tribes and peoples from around the world. Also featured are clear presentations of the theories of towering figures such as Freud, Jung, Frazer, Campbell, and Malinowski who have proposed variously that myths are primitive history based on literal fact, a means of expressing profound tribal wisdom and psychological and sexual truth, or that they represent a search for kinship with the animal and vegetable world. Fascinating and erudite, this revered book ranks among the select handful of core texts in any mythology collection.