Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 - October 31, 1987) is best known for his work in the fields of mythology and comparative religion.

The Hero With a Thousand Faces is one of his best-known books: it discusses the myth of the hero's journey, a pattern found in many cultures.

Campbell, as a child, became fascinated with Native American culture when his father took him to see the Metropolitan Museum in New York. He soon became versed in numerous aspects of Native American society, primarily in mythology. This led Campbell to a lifelong passion with myth, and its similar, cohesive threads among all human cultures.

Campbell was a student of Carl Jung, just as Jung was before a student of Sigmund Freud. Campbell's work in mythology bridged the seemingly disparate stances of Jung and Freud, and their pivotal debate over the collective unconscious which became an embodiment of the conflicts between Western and Eastern worlds of belief.

Campbell was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College from 1934 until 1972.

Campbell collaborated with Bill Moyers on the PBS series The Power of Myth, which was first broadcast in 1988, the year after Campbell's death in Honolulu. They also jointly authored the book The Power of Myth [ISBN 0385247745] associated with the series.

George Lucas is said to have based the Star Wars series on the ideas in The Hero With a Thousand Faces and other works of Campbell.

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