In this beloved 1988 PBS series, mythologist and storyteller Joseph Campbell joins Bill Moyers to explore what enduring myths can tell us about our lives.
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers
Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience. Campbell's best-known work is his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies, termed the monomyth.
Since the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell's theories have been applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. His philosophy has been summarized by his own often repeated phrase: "Follow your bliss." He gained recognition in Hollywood when George Lucas credited Campbell's work as influencing his Star Wars saga.
Campbell's approach to folklore topics such as myth and his influence on popular culture has been the subject of criticism, including from folklorists, academics in folklore studies.
Billy Don Moyers (born June 5, 1934) is an American journalist and political commentator. He served as the ninth White House Press Secretary under the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years. Moyers has been extensively involved with public broadcasting, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees for his investigative journalism and civic activities. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the corporately structured U.S. news media.
01: The Hero's Adventure
Long before medieval knights charged off to slay dragons, tales of heroic adventures were an integral part of world cultures. Joseph Campbell challenges everyone to see the presence of a heroic journey in their life.
02: The Message of the Myth
Joseph Campbell compares the creation story in Genesis with creation stories from around the world. Because the world changes, religion has to be transformed and new mythologies created.
03: The First Storytellers
Joseph Campbell explains how ancient myths bring humans to understand and accept birth, growth and death. Also the role of mystical Shamans, and the decline of ritual in today’s society.
04: Sacrifice & Bliss
Joseph Campbell discusses the role of sacrifice in myth, which symbolizes the necessity for rebirth. He stresses the need for every one of us to find our sacred place in the midst of today’s fast-paced, technological world.
05: Love and the Goddess
Joseph Campbell talks about romantic love, beginning with the 12th century troubadours, and addresses questions about the image of women — as goddess, virgin, Mother Earth.
06: Masks of Eternity
Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell discuss the common experience of God across cultures. Campbell provides challenging insights into the concepts of God, religion and eternity.