Parallel Myths

Parallel Myths

"Unusually accessible and useful . . . An eye-opener to readers into the universality and importance of myth in human history and culture."--William E. Paden, Chair, Department of Religion, University of Vermont

For as long as human beings have had language, they have had myths. Mythology is our earliest form of literary expression and the foundation of all history and morality. Now, in Parallel Myths, classical scholar J. F. Bierlein gathers the key myths from all of the world's major traditions and reveals their common themes, images, and meanings.

Parallel Myths introduces us to the star players in the world's great myths--not only the twelve Olympians of Greek mythology, but the stern Norse Pantheon, the mysterious gods of India, the Egyptian Ennead, and the powerful deities of Native Americans, the Chinese, and the various cultures of Africa and Oceania. Juxtaposing the most potent stories and symbols from each tradition, Bierlein explores the parallels in such key topics as creation myths, flood myths, tales of love, morality myths, underworld myths, and visions of the Apocalypse. Drawing on the work of Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Karl Jaspers, Claude L�vi-Strauss, and others, Bierlein also contemplates what myths mean, how to identify and interpret the parallels in myths, and how mythology has influenced twentieth-century psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and literary studies.

"A first-class introduction to mythology . . . Written with great clarity and sensitivity."--John G. Selby, Associate Professor, Roanoke College

Title:Parallel Myths
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780345381460
Format Type:

    Parallel Myths Reviews

  • John

    I was greatly looking forward to re-reading this book for a book club and I was somewhat letdown. I am a bit of a student of mythology so I was quite excited to find a book that purported to draw on t...

  • Ruby Hollyberry

    This was assigned for a college course on mythology. It is AMAZINGLY bad. There are so many errors in it, I can't tell you. The explanation of the origin of Christmas Trees is completely wrong from be...

  • madie

    It’s very interesting how mythology, history and religion can be connected and have overlaps.It is said that myths are the religions that were used to be practiced....

  • Christy Stewart

    Just what I was looking for; something to use for quick referencing. Not for the more advanced student of mythology, it's a pretty light read....

  • Taylor Reece

    Interesting, but some of the myths were different from how I learned them…...

  • Edward Galway

    There are a multitude of factual errors, regardless of the version of myth being referred to. I believe that this was not intentional, as there is a blur between storytelling, explanation, and opinion...

  • La

    The theme of this book works to impart that humans beings have an innate ability to connect to higher consciousness which produces the assortments of myths independent of cultural influence from other...

  • Cassandrah Ankenman

    I read this after reading the books by Immanuel Velikovsky. Definitely worth the read and super interesting!...

  • Aubrey Hales-Lewis

    Not really my thing but I had to read it for work....

  • Caressa

    Loved the variety of myths and read many I had never heard of before...