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Essays on a Science of Mythology Paperback – September 30, 1969

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Editorial Reviews


"There is an abundance of interesting and occasionally suggestive detail . . . and beyond all this there is the undeniable importance and fascination of the question of the archetypes which Jung puts before us."--Sewanee Review

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bollingen Series (General) (Book 22)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (October 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691017565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691017563
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology). Jung's radical approach to psychology has been influential in the field of depth psychology and in counter-cultural movements across the globe. Jung is considered as the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth. His many major works include "Analytic Psychology: Its Theory and Practice," "Man and His Symbols," "Memories, Dreams, Reflections," "The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung," and "The Red Book."

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven Herrmann on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Steven B. Herrmann, PhD, MFT
Author of "Walt Whitman: Shamanism, Spiritual Democracy, and the World Soul"

Although Jung was not a child analyst himself he conducted a Seminar on Children's Dreams in 1940, at around the same time he wrote his important paper contained in this book on the psychology of the child archetype. In preparing to write this seminal paper he had observed the spontaneous emergence of the child archetype in the actual dreams of children as reported by parents or remembered by adults. So, it has to be acknowledged that when this book was published in collaboration with C. Kerényi in 1941, Jung was formulating his hypotheses based upon empirical data. I feel his postulates still hold a great deal of weight in light of current trends in the field of analytical depth-psychology. This is an important book for anyone interested in questions of fate and destiny, whether in science, psychology, religion, or art. It is certain to strike a corresponding chord in each reader.

Kerényi begins with the following inquiry: "Which came first: solitude in the primeval world, or the purely human picture of the orphan's fate?" (Kerényi, 1959/1949, 30). This is a question that is of central importance not only to a science of mythology, but to clinical problems experienced every day by psychotherapists who deal in practice with fate and destiny in the lives of patients.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MacheteJason on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Carl Kerenyi was a Hungarian scholar who was one of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology. Kerenyi's scientific interpretation of the figures of Greek mythology as archetypes of the human soul paralleled the work of Dr. Carl Jung. He endeavored to establish mythology as a science in its own right by linking mythology with psychology. Kerenyi and Jung compiled The Myths of the Divine Child and The Divine Maiden into this book. Kerenyi saw mythology, theology, anthropology and psychology as expressions of real human experience. He eventually replaced the concept of archetypes with 'Urbild'. Regardless, he saw archetypes as concrete realities of human life.

Essays on a Science of Mythology examines the "Primordial Child in Primordial Times." Kerényi looks at the child-God in Greek, Norse, Finnish, Etruscan, and Judeo-Christian mythology. Kore, Athena, Artemis, Hecate, and Demeter-Persephone are discussed while Jung speaks of the Divine Child and the Maiden as living psychological realities that provide continuing meaning in people's lives. While this work is important I found it to be extremely dense and not for the layperson. Kerenyi and Jung take turns writing every other chapter. Jung's contributions are very interesting while Kerenyi's insights are scientific but ultimately dry and technical. Since neither author is known for brevity so you may find these ideas better explained elsewhere (such as in the works of Joseph Campbell). While I have learned so much from Dr. Jung I did find many of the pages in this book provided little insight. He once described a poltergeist as a "catalytic exteriorisation phenomenon" but that's just the tip of the iceberg in this text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By José Henrique Rocha Dias Correia on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fresh look into myths that, one must recognize, shape our lives. Quoting Fernando Pessoa, well know portuguese poet of the twentith century: "The myth is the nothing that is everything".
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