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The Jung and the Restless: Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey (Ad Navseam, Episode 58)

October 12, 2021

Today the guys tackle the life and work of public intellectual Joseph Campbell, best known for his theory of the monomyth which proposes that all hero narratives are, at root, simply variations on the same story. Once they get past the irritating, almost Forrest Gumpian nature of Campbell’s self-mythologizing biography, Dave and Jeff get down to the stages of the “journey” itself. Behold calls to adventure, tests, mentors, katabaseis, resurrections; and a Frodo, Harry, Katniss, and Skywalker hiding behind every veil. Questions beget questions: is the Christian narrative just another “hero’s journey”? Can we blame Campbell for Jar-Jar Binks? And perhaps most importantly—where’s the best place in the hero cycle to stop off for some soup?

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