Joseph Campbell


Birthdate: March 26, 1904 - October 30, 1987

Joseph Campbell was a writer and lecturer on mythology and religion. He is particularly known for studying and pointing out the similarities in the myths of many cultures.

Campbell graduated from Columbia University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Medieval Literature. He received a fellowship to study in Europe from Columbia and studied Old French, Provençal, and Sanskrit at the University of Paris and the University of Munich.

From his website

Unable to continue post-graduate studies in his chosen discipline as faculty at Columbia, he spent five years living in a cabin in independent study, reading nine hours a day. A further period in California and a friendship with John Steinbeck contributed life experiences which were shaping his future career choice.

He also taught for a year and continued independent reading and study of the ideas of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. All this was beginning to alert him to the patterns that he would later see in mythology.

In 1934 he was offered a professor position at Sarah Lawrence College. This was to be the environment from which he would formulate his ideas and write his books.

Organizations and Projects

Joseph Campbell Foundation Website

The Joseph Campbell Foundation was formed to preserve and promote Joseph campbell's works and to support further efforts in mythology and comparative religions. The website offers a calendar of events, a newletter, and a chance to become an associate, as well as a forum.

Joseph Campbell Facebook Page

On this page they post a daily quote from Joseph Campbell and keep people updated on relevant events.

YouTube Video

Joseph Campbell - The Dynamic of Life

YouTube Video

Joseph Campbell - Becoming an Adult


An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in conversation with Michael Toms - Joseph Campbell 1990

Amazon Synopsis: In the tradition of The Power of Myth, a conversation with Joseph Campbell that distills the mature wisdom and eclectic spiritual thinking of the world-renowned scholar and mythologist.

A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: Unlocking James Joyce's Masterwork - Joseph Campbell, Henry Morton Robinson and Edmund L. Epstein 2005

Amazon Synopsis: Since its publication in 1939, countless would-be readers of Finnegans Wake - James Joyce's masterwork, which consumed a third of his life - have given up after a few pages, dismissing it as a "perverse triumph of the unintelligible." In 1944, a young professor of mythology and literature named Joseph Campbell, working with Henry Morton Robinson, wrote the first "key" or guide to entering the fascinating, disturbing, marvelously rich world of Finnegans Wake. The authors break down Joyce's "unintelligible" book page by page, stripping the text of much of its obscurity and serving up thoughtful interpretations via footnotes and bracketed commentary. They outline the book's basic action, and then simplify — and clarify — its complex web of images and allusions.

Baksheesh and Brahman: Asian Journals - India - Joseph Campbell, Robin Larsen, Stephen Larsen and Antony Van Couvering 2002

Amazon Synopsis: After ten years of intensive study of Indian art and philosophy, Joseph Campbell, at 50, finally embarked on a journey to India. Searching for the transcendent (Brahman), he found instead stark realities: growing nationalism, religious rivalry, poverty, and a prevalent culture of what he called “baksheesh,” or alms.

This journal chronicles the disillusionment and revelation that would change the course of Campbell’s life and study, and his transition from professor to counterculture icon. Balancing Campbell’s astute explorations of mythology and history are his often amusing observations of a sometimes frustrating alien culture and his fellow Western travelers. This account also includes personal photographs, specially commissioned maps, and illustrations redrawn from Campbell’s own hand.

Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968 by Joseph Campbell 2002

Amazon Synopsis: In these essays, Joseph Campbell explores the origins of myth and their role in everyday life — from Grimm fairy tales to Native American legends. He explains how the symbolic content of myth is linked to universal human experience and how myths and experiences change over time. Included is his acclaimed essay “Mythogenesis,” which examines the rise and fall of a Native American legend.

The Hero with A Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell 2008

Amazon Synopsis: Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars.

As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists—including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers—and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell and Phil Cousineau 2003

The author of Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Masks of God series, and The Power of Myth here turns his powers of observation and analysis on his own life's journey and conveys the excitement of his life-long exploration of mythic traditions, which he called "the one great story of mankind." In conversations with poets, anthropologists, and philosophers such as Robert Bly, Angeles Arrien, David Kennard, John Densmore, Stanislov Grof, and Roger Guillemen,

Campbell reflects on subjects ranging from the origins and functions of myth, the role of the artist and the need for ritual, to the ordeals of love and romance. Illustrated throughout with photographs from Joseph Campbell's family archive and with a new, revised introduction, The Hero's Journey introduces the reader first-hand to Joseph Campbell the man, his discoveries, his terminology, and his thinking.

In All Her Names: Explorations of the Feminine in Divinity - Joseph Campbell and Charles Muses 1991

Amazon Synopsis: A quartet of harmonizing viewpoints on the value of the feminine in religion and society. Originally conceived by Charles Muscs and Joseph Campbell, this book consists of essays by the editors as well as Marija Gimbutas and eco-activist Riane Eisler.

The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion - Joseph Campbell 2002

Amazon Synopsis: Developed from a memorable series of lectures delivered in San Francisco, which included a legendary symposium at the Palace of Fine Arts with astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Joseph Campbell’s last book explores the space age. Campbell posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually at work within human beings as well and that a new mythology is implicit in this realization. He examines the new mythology and other questions in these essays which he described as "a broadly shared spiritual adventure."

The Masks of God, Vol. 1: Primitive Mythology - Joseph Campbell 1991

Amazon Synopsis: The author of such acclaimed books as Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth discusses the primitive roots of mythology, examining them in light of the most recent discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, and psychology

The Masks of God, Vol. 2: Oriental Mythology - Joseph Campbell 1991

Amazon Synopsis: An exploration of Eastern mythology as it developed into the distinctive religions of Egypt, India, China, and Japan.

The Masks of God, Vol. 3: Occidental Mythology by Joseph Campbell 1991

Amazon Synopsis: A systematic and fascinating comparison of the themes that underlie the art, worship, and literature of the Western world.

The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 - Joseph Campbell 2007

Amazon Synopsis: Provocative and personal writings on mythology, culture, and modern life by our century's foremost interpreter and teacher of myth.

Gathered together here for the first time are twelve eclectic,far-ranging, and brilliant essays exploring myth in all its dimensions:its history; its influence on art, literature, and culture; and its role in everyday life. Written at the height of Joseph Campbell's career -- and showcasing the lively and learned intelligence that made him the premier writer on mythology of our times -- these essays investigate the profound links between myth and history, the arts, and modern life.From psychology to the occult, from Thomas Mann to the Grateful Dead, from Goddess spirituality to Freud and Jung, these playful and erudite writings reveal the threads of myth woven deeply into the fabric of our culture and our lives.

The Mythic Image - Joseph Campbell 1981

Amazon Synopsis: A paperback edition of Campbell's major study of the mythology of the world's high civilizations over five millennia. It includes nearly 450 illustrations. The text is the same as that of the 1974 edition.

Mythologist Joseph Campbell was a masterful storyteller, able to weave tales from every corner of the world into compelling, even spellbinding, narratives. His interest in comparative mythology began in childhood, when the young Joe Campbell was taken to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Madison Square Garden. He started writing articles on Native American mythology in high school, and the parallels between age-old myths and the mythic themes in literature and dreams became a lifelong preoccupation. Campbell's best-known work is The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), which became a New York Times paperback best-seller for Princeton in 1988 after Campbell's star turn on the Bill Moyers television program The Power of Myth.

During his early years as a professor of comparative religion at Sarah Lawrence College, Campbell made the acquaintance of Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, a kindred spirit who introduced him to Paul and Mary Mellon, the founders of Bollingen Series. They chose Campbell's The Mythic Image as the culmination of the series, giving it the closing position--number one hundred. A lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced study of the mythology of the world's high civilizations, The Mythic Image received a front-cover review in the New York Times Book Review upon publication. Through the medium of visual art, the book explores the relation of dreams to myth and demonstrates the important differences between oriental and occidental interpretations of dreams and life.

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words: Joseph Campbell on the Art of James Joyce - Joseph Campbell 2004

Amazon Synopsis: In 1927 Joseph Campbell was given clues to reading James Joyce’s labyrinthine Ulysses by its original publisher Sylvia Beach and, as he said, it changed his career. His discoveries became the foundation for his later work in comparative mythology. To analyze Ulysses and Joyce’s other works, he employed depth psychology, anthropology, religion, and art history as tools. A treasure for Joyce and Campbell fans alike, Mythic Worlds, Modern Words collects 60 years of Campbell’s writings, lectures, and other commentary on Joyce, including exchanges with his audiences and Campbell's 1941 Joyce obituary.

Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal - Joseph Campbell 2012

Amazon Synopsis: Master mythologist Joseph Campbell had a genius for finding the unifying symbols and metaphors in apparently distinct cultures and traditions. In Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal, Campbell explores, with his characteristic clarity and humor, the principle that underlies all the great religions of India and East Asia, from Jainism and Hinduism to Buddhism and Taoism: the transcendent World Soul.

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 Campbell 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.

In Myths of Light, Campbell explores the core philosophies and mythologies of the East, comparing them through vivid examples and stories to each other and to those of the West. A worthy companion to Thou Art That and to Campbell’s Asian Journals, this volume conveys complex insights through warm, accessible storytelling, revealing the intricacies and secrets of his subject with his typical enthusiasm.

Myths to Live By - Joseph Campbell and Johnson E. Fairchild 1993

Amazon Synopsis: What is a properly functioning mythology and what are its functions? Can we use myths to help relieve our modern anxiety, or do they help foster it? In Myths to Live by, Joseph Campbell explores the enduring power of the universal myths that influence our lives daily and examines the myth-making process from the primitive past to the immediate present, retuning always to the source from which all mythology springs: the creative imagination.

Campbell stresses that the borders dividing the Earth have been shattered; that myths and religions have always followed the certain basic archetypes and are no longer exclusive to a single people, region, or religion. He shows how we must recognize their common denominators and allow this knowledge to be of use in fulfilling human potential everywhere.

Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation - Joseph Campbell 2004

Amazon Synopsis: Joseph Campbell is one of this century's great disseminators of the psychological wisdom of mythology. One of the basic functions of myth, he contends, is to help each individual through the journey of life, providing a travel guide to reach fulfillment — a map to discover "bliss." In Pathways to Bliss, Campbell once again draws on his masterful gift of storytelling to apply the larger themes of world mythology to personal growth and transformation. Looking at the more personal, psychological side of myth, he begins to dwell on life's more important questions — those that are often submerged beneath the frantic activity of our daily life. With characteristic wit and insight, he draws connections between ancient symbols and modern art, schizophrenia and the Hero's Journey, revealing the way myth helps identify one's heroic path.

The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell 1991

Amazon Synopsis: Finally available in a popularly priced, non-illustrated, smaller-format edition, which is ideal for the college market and general reader alike, this extraordinary best-seller is a brilliant evocation of the noted scholar's teachings on mythology.

Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion - Joseph Campbell and Diane K. Osbo 1995

Amazon Synopsis: Celebrated scholar Joseph Campbell shares his intimate and inspiring reflections on the art of living in this beautifully packaged book, part of a new series to be based on his unpublished writings.

Sake and Satori: Asian Journals -- Japan - Joseph Campbell, David Kudler and Robert Walter 2002

Amazon Synopsis: In this second volume of his Asian journals, Campbell reports on his travels through east Asia and his five-month stay in Japan. Sake and Satori includes the never-before-published sequel to Campbell’s Baksheesh and Brahman and covers the author’s journeys through Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

It offers a snapshot of 1950s Asia and its rapidly changing postcolonial and Cold War tensions. Campbell shares his experiences with Noh drama, Kabuki theater, and geisha houses, and explores how Asia absorbs and resists Western notions of gender, pluralism, and wealth. He relates conversations with fellow travelers, scholars, and Japanese people from all walks of life. Along the way, his asides develop into philosophical explorations augmented with photos and drawings.

Tarot Revelations - Joseph Campbell, Richard Roberts and Colin Wilson 1987

Amazon Synopsis: Tarot Revelations is an analysis of the mysterious philosophy in the ancient cards that became modern playing cards. Citing Dante, C.G.Jung, and early Gnostics and alchemists, Campbell and Roberts reveal a path that has spiritual meaning for everyone. Writing in collaboration with Richard Roberts, Joseph Campbell stated, "We have come to revelations of a grandiose poetic vision of Universal Man that has been for centuries the inspiration of saints and sinners, sages and fools, in kaleidoscopic transformations." According to Richard Roberts, "In the 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana, we have a genuine document of the soul's initiation into higher consciousness. As such the Major Arcana may be interpreted as a Western Book of the Dead."

Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor by Joseph Campbell 2001

Amazon Synopsis: Thou Art That is a compilation of previously uncollected essays and lectures by Joseph Campbell that focus on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Here Campbell explores common religious symbols, reexamining and reinterpreting them in the context of his remarkable knowledge of world mythology. According to Campbell, society often confuses the literal and metaphorical interpretations of religious stories and symbols. In this collection, he eloquently reestablishes these metaphors as a means to enhance spiritual understanding and mystical revelation. With characteristic verve, he ranges from rich storytelling to insightful comparative scholarship. Included is editor Eugene Kennedy’s classic interview with Campbell in The New York Times Magazine, which brought the scholar to the public’s attention for the first time.

Transformations of Myth Through Time - Joseph Campbell 1990

Amazon Synopsis: The renowned master of mythology is at his warm, accessible, and brilliant best in this illustrated collection of thirteen lectures covering mythological development around the world.

The Way of the Animal Powers (The Historical Atlas of World Mythology, Vol. 1) - Joseph Campbell, Robert Walter and George Armstrong 1983

Amazon Synopsis: The volume itself is a consummate example of the art of bookmaking. Campbell's scholarly and readable text is integrated throughout with a profusion of color plates, specially-commissioned full-color maps, outstanidng black and white photographs, unique drawings, and numerous illuminating charts. Drawing on cultural and art history, as well as on anthropology,ethnology,archaeology,paleontology, and linguistics, THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL POWERS will be indispensable to all those interested in mythology, comparative religion, history , and the study of man.


Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction - Joseph Campbell 2012

Amazon Synopsis: Before he was the engaging professor who brought mythology into people’s living rooms through his conversations with Bill Moyers, before he became known as the thinker whose ideas influenced Star Wars, and before his now-beloved phrase “follow your bliss” entered the popular lexicon, Joseph Campbell was a young man who tried his hand at writing fiction. At the age of twenty-nine, after years of Depression-era unemployment, when he lived off money he had earned playing saxophone in a jazz combo and read the world’s great literature in a syllabus of his own design, Campbell published his first short story. That tale, included in this collection, remained the famed mythologist’s only published piece of fiction, until now.

In these stories, readers will find rich mythological symbolism, down-to-earth concerns with the ravages of the Second World War, and singular iterations of Campbell’s famous Hero’s Journey schema — all interwoven into a literary style that anticipates the genre that would years later come to be known as “magical realism.” Compelling in their own right, these seven stories are essential reading for longtime Campbell fans and the many who continue to discover him afresh.


Joseph Campbell on Power of Myth With Bill Moyers


Joseph Campbell Collection: Mythology and the Individual: Volume 1 CD Collection- Joseph Campbell 1996

Product Description: From the Star Wars trilogy to the lyrics of the Grateful Dead, Joseph Campbell has had a profound impact on our culture, our beliefs, and the way we view ourselves and the world. Provocative and exhilarating, full of wit and wisdom, these lectures are windows into one of the great minds of our time.

Joseph Campbell Audio Collection Volume 2: Inward Journey: East and West - Joseph Campbell 2003

Joseph Campbell Collection Volume 3: The Eastern Way - Joseph Campbel1997

Product Description: Never before on audio and authorized by the Joseph Campbell Foundation, here is Volume Three in a new 40-hour series. These are the key lectures that Campbell kept in his study and used as the basis for later lectures on myth, symbolism, and spiritual awakening. Provocative and exhilarating, full of wit and wisdom, they are windows into one of the greatest minds of our time.

Joseph Campbell Audio Collection Volume 5: The Myths and Masks of God - Joseph Campbell 2003

Western Quest (Joseph Campbell Audio Collection Vol. 6) - Joseph Campbell 1999

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