New Age Theology and Joseph Campbell

QUESTION: New Age Theology – Joseph Campbell


Mentor of Modern Mythologies: Joseph Campbell (d. 1987), American professor and writer, is best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion and for mentoring a generation of Hollywood directors and screenwriters. In his influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), Campbell discusses the “monomyth” cycle of the hero’s journey, a pattern, he claims, found in many cultures. The monomyth involves the hero receiving a “call to adventure” and passing “threshold guardians” (often with the aid of a wise mentor or spirit guide) before entering a dreamlike world. There, after a series of trials, the hero achieves the object of his quest—often an atonement with the father, a sacred marriage, or an apotheosis (elevation to divine status). He then returns home. Campbell wrote that almost all hero myths, religious and secular, throughout history and across cultures, contain at least a subset of these patterns.

New Age Theology – The Monomyth Comes to Hollywood
Thus, Campbell concluded that all religions tell the same story. George Lucas was the first Hollywood filmmaker to publicly credit Campbell’s influence on his own work. Lucas stated that the Star Wars series re-invented mythology for today’s generation. Campbell’s influence also is seen in a number of other successful Hollywood films, including Disney’s 1993 film, The Lion King, and blockbuster series such as The Matrix and The Legend of Bagger Vance. More recently, computer game companies have used Campbell’s ideas for developing storyboarding techniques and new products.


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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