The author of such acclaimed books as Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth discusses the primitive roots of mythology, examining them in light of the most recent discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, and psychology
The universal belief system is formed from our evolutionary psychology much as the three instinctual fears of modern people (fear of dark, fear of snakes, fear of heights) were formed by our biological evolution, from the time when proto-humans dwelt in trees.
Campbell offers a look at how many cultures today exhibit the same reverence and point of view toward mythology that primitive mankind did and how many of these remain. One considers such "beliefs" as animism (found in Native American and African tribes), people with a pipeline to the divine (witness the shaman, priest, witch doctor), the belief in luck, the "evil eye", "Father sun", "Mother moon". Indeed, according to Joseph Campbell, fertility in both people and plants played an important role in the development of such myths.
Much of the suppostion on the part of the author involves the substance of divinity and how we communicate with it/her/him. The scholarship and research involved in this trilogy is simply astounding. A mandatory read for anyone seriously interested in the birth of our deepest ideas.
Masks of God has a other "faces" (such as Masks of God: Oriental Mythology) for those interested in further study, where he covers the traditions of the far East such as India, Japan, and China. "Creative Mythology" being volume four, and in some respects I have to hand it to him: he saved the best for last! Campbell always seemed to have this "encyclopedic mind" which could recount any myth from any country in any given era with such ease and poise; it was always a treat to see him speaking on the matter whether in video or in person.
As some of the previous reviewers have pointed out, here Campbell delves into the mythology which completely evolved from the early onset of what is dubbed "The Dark Ages"; bringing us up to date in modern times. The main parts explored here are titled: The Ancient Vine, The Waste Land, The Way and the Life, and New Wine- all extremely interesting looks stemming throughout history on what mythologies were present and it what ways modern society has been effected by it all. This is a magnificent book, the likes of which any Joe Campbell fan should own. Such an engaging author and expert on the subject at hand, come let him draw you in. Enjoy!