There is myth and there is Gospel. Let’s make sure we know what makes them different.
The goal of the following video essay is to highlight the difference between Joseph Campbell’s reading of myths and René Girard’s reading of myths, as well as their different understanding of the Gospel.
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) is inspired by Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), among others. He understands the Gospel as one more example of a myth. According to him, myths are essentially about a dying and resurrecting “monstrous hero-god”, whose necessary and inevitable violent sacrifice establishes an ever provisional peace and order. Moreover, Joseph Campbell believes that such hero myths exemplify inescapable dynamics working in human life and culture, at an individual as well as a collective level.
René Girard (1923-2015), on the other hand, understands the Gospel as a radical criticism of the violent sacrificial structure that is justified by traditional hero myths. In contrast to Joseph Campbell, René Girard shows how the Gospel undermines the idea of violence…
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