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Myth and Ideology

Edited By Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander

This posthumously published work by Lawrence Krader surveys the study of myths from ancient times (classical Greece and Rome, Egypt, Babylonian, Akkadian, Sumerian, Chinese), from the Biblical traditions, from the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia, and from Northeastern and Central Asia. The book covers the various approaches to the study of myth from ancient times through Europe in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, in the Romantic movement in the late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth century, among the evolutionists of the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century, and the structuralists, and hermeneutic approaches as well as linguistics. The book covers the treatment of myth from the inside, that is, from the experience of those committed to the myth and from the outside or those ethnologists, philosophers, and other students of myth who are outsiders. This treatment takes up the theme of esoteric and exoteric myths as it rejects some of the assumptions and approaches to the study of myth in the past while singling out others for approval and inclusion in the general theory of myth. Interestingly, it includes a discussion of myth in science and in infinitesimal mathematics. And, it considers the relationship between myth and ideology in the twentieth century in relation to politics and power. It both incorporates and broadens Krader’s theory of nature as a manifold consisting of different orders which he developed in his magnum opus Noetics: The Science of Thinking and Knowing.

Foreword by Mayán Cervantes – Editors’ Preface by Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander – Editors’ Introduction by Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander – Preface – Introduction: Rebels as Demons in Ancient Chinese Myths – Myth in Classical Antiquity – Myth in the Renaissance and Enlightenment – Myth in the Nineteenth Century – Bachofen, Tylor, Müller, Frazer: Introduction to Part II. Modern Studies of Myth – Durkheim and His School. Alcheringa, or Dreamtime – Myth as the Myth of Others – The Force of Myth in Our Own Time – Myth of Another Time and Space – Myths of the North Pacific Peoples – Winnebago Trickster Myths. Radin, Malinowski, Kluckhohn – What Is True Myth? Pawnee Creation and Coyote Myths. Dorsey and Grinnell – Structuralists, Lévi- Strauss, Leach – Myths and Universals – The Treatment of Myth as a Code – Myth of the Law in the Book of Daniel – Esoteric and Exoteric Myth – The State as Myth and Myths of the State – Sacred and Secular Myth – Myth in the Making – Myth, the Known and the Unknown – Myth and Ideology – References – Index.