Jonathan Young (psychologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jonathan Young
OccupationPsychologist, writer
SubjectPsychology, mythology

Jonathan Young (born September 29, 1944) is a psychologist who became the founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives.


Young developed an interest in the teaching functions of stories through early exposure to folklore. He was one of six children in a much-traveled family. His parents read and discussed the lore of each place they visited, such as the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, the Pied Piper in Hamelin, the Arabian Nights in Baghdad, and the Buddha in India and Japan.[1]

His graduate studies focused on the psychology of stories, and included work with Viktor Frankl, Rollo May, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers.[1] He earned his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University.[2]


Joseph Campbell with Jonathan Young, 1985.

Young is best known for his series of books, Saga: Best New Writings on Mythology.[3] He assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell for several years at seminars. In addition to the Campbell archives, he organized the collections of psychologist James Hillman, and archeologist Marija Gimbutas. As a professor, Young created and chaired the Mythological Studies Department at the Pacifica Graduate Institute,[4] working with Jungian theorists such as Robert Bly, Marion Woodman, Robert A. Johnson, Jean Houston, and Thomas Moore.[1]

In 1995, Dr. Young launched the Center for Story and Symbol in Santa Barbara, California to continue the work of Joseph Campbell. Through the center's programs, he presents seminars internationally on the uses of mythic stories for therapists, writers, clergy, and teachers. He also teaches the hero's journey in screenwriting programs. He lectures occasionally at universities, such as UCLA, Notre Dame, and Oxford, as well as ongoing courses in Mythopoetics at Pacifica Graduate Institute.[5] He is featured in the History Channel documentary Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed. He also frequently appears on the History Channel and H2 television series Ancient Aliens.[6]


  • Saga: Best New Writings on Mythology[3]
  • Article on Joseph Campbell, The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Jonathan Young, Biographical Sketch". The Center for Story & Symbol. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Faculty: University of Philosophical Research". University of Philosophical Research. Archived from the original on 2014-12-31. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "SAGA - Best New Writing on Mythology". The Center for Story & Symbol. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  4. ^ "A Letter from Stephen Aizenstat". Folkstory. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Faculty - Pacifica Graduate Institute". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  6. ^ Diamond, Stephen A. (12 March 2012). "Ancient Aliens, the Collective Unconscious, and the Quest for Meaning". Psychology Today. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Joseph Campbell - A Scholar's Life". The Center for Story & Symbol. Retrieved 9 January 2011.

External links[edit]