Joseph Campbell

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Joseph J. Campbell (1904 – 1987) was an American mythologist, perhaps best known for his PBS miniseries, The Power of Myth, based on his book of the same name and another book titled The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Personal Life

Joseph Campbell was born in 1904 to a conservative, Catholic family in White Plains, New York. [1] He remained a political conservative throughout his life. [2] However, his books and other writings show him to have been an atheist as an adult. [3] His books use questionable academic tactics and relativism in an attempt argue against the factual accuracy of Christian scripture. [4]

In 1938, Joseph Campbell married Jean Erdman, to whom he remained married for the remainder of his life.

He passed away due to esophageal cancer in 1987. [5]

Professional Life

Joseph Campbell wrote extensively on mythic structure, identifying themes and plot elements common to hundreds of myths from many different world cultures. Perhaps his most widely-read book, which is required reading in unviersities across the world, is The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this book, he examines the "human impulse to create stories and images that, though they are clothed in the motifs of a particular time and place, draw nonetheless on universal, eternal themes."

He achieved widespread recognition with his PBS miniseries, "The Power of Myth."