Story telling is one of the oldest and most widely spread of human activities. Myth, legend, and folktale can be seen to occupy a single scale of culture-specific stories: at one end are myths, which tend to compel belief; at the other are the simpler folktales, more for amusement. All express the basic values of those who tell them. A number of traditional narratives will be discussed. We will think together about both how and what they mean. This class is part one of two; part two will be offered for Spring 2015.
Professional bio: BA degrees in civil engineering, philosophy, and history from Rice University in Houston (1962). PhD in comparative religion, University of Chicago (1968). Taught at Stanford University and Miami University (Ohio); retired in 2000. Numerous articles on myth and folklore in such journals as History of Religions and Asian Folklore Studies. Personal Bio: I have taught a variety of courses at TELOS since 2003, whose students have helped enormously in recovering my sense of calling as a teacher. Mythology is my passion, especially the way myth and culture reflect one another. I also have deep interests in Asian culture, psychology, and environmental issues. I am active in our local Unitarian Universalist church, and practice Buddhist meditation regularly.