True Myth: C.S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell on the Veracity of Christianity

By James W. Menzies

A comparison of the role of myth in understanding Christianity, comparing C.S. Lewis’s literal reading with Joseph Campbell’s symbolic approach.

ISBN: 9780718893767


True Myth examines the meaning and significance of myth as understood by C.S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell and its place in the Christian faith in a technological society. C.S. Lewis defined Christianity, and being truly human, as a relationship between the personal Creator and his creation mediated through faith in his son, Jesus. The influential writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell had a different perspective, understanding Christianity as composed of mythical themes similar to those in other religious and secular myths. While accepting certain portions of the biblical record as historical, Campbell taught the theological and miraculous aspects as symbolic – as stories in which the reader discovers what it means to be human today. In contrast, Lewis presented the theological and the miraculous in a literal way. Although Lewis understood how one could see symbolism and lessons for life in miraculous events, he believed they were more than symbolic and indeed took place in human history.

In True Myth, James W. Menzies skilfully balances the two writers’ differing approaches to guide the reader through a complex interaction of myth with philosophy, media, ethics, history, literature, art, music and religion in a contemporary world.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 268

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

James W. Menzies has been a pastor for close to thirty years, serving for the past twenty-five years his home church, Perryville Bible, in Rhode Island. He received his BA and MA from Columbia International University, South Carolina, and his PhD from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island. He is the author of a history of Perryville Bible, A Church in the Place.



1. Introduction
2. Myth, An Attempt to Define the Indefinable
3. C.S. Lewis and Myth
4. Joseph Campbell and Myth
5. Christianity as History, Mystery, and Myth
6. C.S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell on the Role of Myth in a Technological Society
7. Conclusion



Endorsements and Reviews

True Myth is an important book that has long needed to be written. Menzies has performed yeoman service in synthesising a great deal of material on topics that deserve closer examination. While being fair to the legacy of Joseph Campbell, Menzies presents a rich and nuanced understanding of myth that would have pleased C.S. Lewis.
Louis Markos, Professor of English, Houston Baptist University, Greater Sharpstown, Texas

A valuable book to put into the hands of anyone whose faith has been shaken by Frazer’s The Golden Bough, or to have as ammunition for a discussion group the next time someone says Christianity is ‘just a myth’.
Kirsty Anderson, in The Reader, Vol 114, No 4

This learned and impartial book would benefit undergraduates and above.
Christopher Villiers, in Theological Book Review, Vol 27, No 2