The Masks of God is the summation of Joseph Campbell’s lifelong study of the origins and function of myth. In volume 3 of the series, Occidental Mythology, Campbell examines the themes that underlie the art, worship and literature of the Western world. Occidental Mythology traces European consciousness from the Levantine earth-goddesses of the Bronze Age and the subsequent tribal invasions that shaped Judaic and Greek myth before examining the influence of Persia, Rome, Islam and Christian Europe on ancient beliefs.
The Masks of God traces mankind’s history as a search for meaning through ideas, themes and quests of culture and religion.
Joseph Campbell was the leading authority on comparative mythology of the twentieth century. He taught at Sarah Lawrence College for most of his career and died in 1987.
“Campbell’s masterwork… has inspired passages connecting with the luminously permanent, beyond gender, beyond time.”
“Campbell’s words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but among a wide range of other people who find his research down mythical pathways relevant to their lives today.”
“Looks at the myths, rituals and legends of the Western world… The human race is united not just biologically but also spiritually, by … continually recurring themes, subjects and stories… It is an extremely thorough contribution to our knowledge of the origins of the legends, themes and symbols which are integral to modern culture, both Eastern and Western.”
“One cannot but admire the width and diversity of Joseph Campbell’s scholarship. Campbell’s great gift is for fluent and engaging exposition.”
“Campbell has become the rarest of intellectuals… a serious thinker who has been embraced by popular culture.”