Joshep Cambell: The Virgin Mary.


Author and teacher, Joseph Campbell describes the veneration of the Virgin Mary as the need of the human psych.
“Most remarkable of all, however, are the revelations that have emerged from the mental clinic. Freud, Jung, and their followers have demonstrated irrefutably that the logic, the heroes, and
the deeds of the myth survive into modern times”, Joseph Campbell The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
pg 4-6.

Based on the work of psychologist like Sigmund Freud, and C. G. Jung, Campbell proves his theory- whose subject is the human need of a protective figure. “Humans beings are born too soon; they are unfinished, unready to meet the world. Consequently their whole defense from a universe of dangers is the mother, under whose protection the intrauterine period is prolonged", pg 6. 

With the mother as the protective figure, the veneration of the Virgin Mary is our inner need from protection. Protection that comes from the mother church.


Frankly, I think the whole premise…

“Humans beings are born too soon; they are unfinished, unready to meet the world. Consequently their whole defense from a universe of dangers is the mother, under whose protection the intrauterine period is prolonged"

…has little to do with science and more to do with philosophy.

If you buy that premise, then it would appear to be true. But, if the premise is wrong, it falls apart. For my money, the premise is wrong because it does not tell us what is real about human nature. It does tell us a lot about what these people wanted human nature to be to fit into their theory, though.

This theory leaves out sin completely, which should come as no surprise since the authors dismissed it when attempting to understand human behavior/psychology.

Hardly convincing or useful, IMHO.


Did Campbell ever deny that the Virgin Mary is still active in the non-natural realm?

A baby needs a mother, true. That doesn’ t mean that the mother is a figment of the baby’s imagination.:smiley:


Psychology is science, philosophy is more into theology. However, the theory is every thing but manipulation of the data. Sigmund Freud died decades ago, but his methods are still use today. Hence, is not about telling what the human nature is or isn’t; its about being able to help people with mental problems.



Since Campbell believed that all religions are cultural ways of describing the same fundamental truths, he most likely considered the Virgin Mary as a Christian way of describing the sacred feminine/Divine Mother, which meant that Campbell believed that the sacred feminine/Divine Mother does exist.


Actually Secular Psychology IS its own philosophy and religion, it is a religion where God and morals dont exist.
His “methods” being used today dont mean anything but that that is how corrupt “science” and psychology is today.


Secular psychology follows the main stream and collective thinking. Its guide are the moral values taught by the church.


The Catholic Church is becoming less and less its guide as secularists try to free themselves from any moral absolutes.


That the Catholic Church is becoming less and less its guide is in part true, but the moral values of today is all that we, as a society, have left.





There is only one protector whose name is GodAllahYHWH, and none else, in my opinion.



much of Campbell’s work on mythology in various cultures has come into question recently, as have his methods of anthropology research, so I would not put a lot of stock in an argument based on his work.


Part of being a scholar is being open to criticism and critique. When you are a deceased scholar you don’t have much choice! Later generations of scholars always question and build upon the work of those who have gone before. Only in the spiritual arena is critique of our spiritual forebears discouraged or not allowed. The church has been questioned on its methods and conclusions. Perhaps we should not put a lot of stock in any argument stemming from the principles, traditions and activities of the Church given the existence of these questions…


Could you provide sources for this opinion, please? I have read a great deal of Campbell and an unaware that his research has come into question. Reasonable people may disagree on the meaning of certain things but to question someone’s research is to question their integrity.

I would be very interested in hearing the opinions of others and seeing their qualifications in mythology and anthropology. :slight_smile:


I’d like to point out that anthropology is not psychology. Campbell may have used Jungian archetypes within the context of his research but those archetypes apply to all of mankind.

Annie, I too would appreciate links to Campbellian criticism. I’m an anthropologist by training but DW uses Campbell extensively in her World Lit class in English. Both of us have read most of his works and neither of us was aware of any criticism. I don’t mean this in a nasty way…I’m simply trying to keep up with my field.


I agree. If you were to accept the premises these people forward, as if they had any actual foundation to support their claims… You could just as easily justify Marx’s claim that “religion was the opiate of the people”. We know better than that. SO the argument is moot. The notion is merely more fodder for the anti-Catholic grist mill to ruminate on.

As a “psychology major” I can tell you that the “science” is at best a hunt and peck, shoot in the dark, try and hope, maybe we’ll get lucky…sort of thing. Its mostly theory, much unproven and shaky…so…their premise is little more than a waste of time and paper.


In regard to science being mostly theory, that is not quite accurate. Science is mostly hypothesis. Let me give you the two definitions so that everyone can understand the difference. :wink:

Popularly, hypothesis and theory are used almost interchangeable to refer to some idea which is vague or fuzzy and which seems to have a low probability of being true. In many popular and idealistic descriptions of science, however, the two words are used to refer to the same idea, but in different stages of development.

Thus, an idea is just a “hypothesis” when it is new and relatively untested - in other words, when the probability of error and correction is still relatively high. However, once it has successfully survived repeated testing, has become more complex, is found to explain a great deal, and has made many interesting predictions, it achieves the status of “theory.” This is not an unreasonable perspective to take - after all, it makes sense to try to use terminology to differentiate younger from more established ideas in science. from

Of course psychology has long been considered a soft science. You are probable correct that up until now it has been a hunt and peck system. However, new instruments such as MRIs and CATs are helping even the soft sciences to understand the working of the human mind.

As for psychology ignoring sin, I don’t think it does. It may not mention it by name, but so what. When people are truly happy they are living a life of moral and ethics. When people violate these codes, stress (guilt) builds up in their minds. With properly designed experiments and the appropriate equipment these types of cognitive patterns will be recognized and measured.

Here is but one study on meditation and its effect on the brain.

“Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. "These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice


I believe that people who belittle science as a threat to religious belief do not truly understand either.



I agree with you. Science and Religion are two legs with which humanity walks straight forward on the road to progress in this world and if sucessful in both, in the hereafter as well.


The ultimate truth about Jesus is:
(Firstly), JesusYeshuaIssa did not leave anything revealed on him from GodAllahYHWH in the form of written stone tablets as was in case of Moses, (Secondly) or anything written by JesusYeshuaIssa himself when he left from Galilee, after the incident of Crucifixion, alongwith his mother Mary in search of the lost ten tribes of the house of Israel, he died natural and peaceful death in Kashmir, India.
Jesus left nothing behind authenticated by him, in possession of the Church.
We do respect the NTGospels which (Thirdly) have account of Jesus life, but it does not have much utility for a non-Catholic, a book of history subject to scrutiny, internal as well as external, for each event for truth on merit

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