Hum 105~World Mythology
How is the word myth used popularly? For example, what does the statement, “It’s a myth” mean? In contrast, how is the word myth used in the academic context? After considering the definition in your textbooks and course materials, write a definition in your own words.
The word myth is used most popularly in tales and stories. These tales and stories have been passed down from generation to generation and are based on some truth, but mostly an idea or common theme.
The statement “It’s a myth” means that a tale or story may be based on some truth, but that it is also based on fiction. For example, if one of your friends told you that they saw a UFO it would be hard to believe them because you did not witness this event and perhaps because your friend does not have any tangible proof of it’s existence. In contrast, while the term myth can be used in a variety of academic setting, its main purpose is to analyze different cultures and their ways of thinking.
Within the academic setting, a myth is known as a true fact and over time has been changed through the many different views within a society.
Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the tribulations of mankind.
I believe different cultures address similar themes as a way to explain a culture’s origin, its history and even it’s heroes. For decades myths have been passed on and have become an integral part of many cultures. While some mythologists may say that myths are simply mistranslated mutations or accounts of historical references, it is much more likely that myths were perhaps important tools used throughout the different societies to preserve history in a way and maybe even their values and culture. In studying, while I have found that there are many myths indigenous to that area, they are also unique to the very cultures that have created them. One common
thread I have found is that although most times, myths may be seen as completely outrageous, they are almost always based on the attitudes of that particular that created them, their attitudes on the subject and most importantly, their values.
What is the relationship between belief, knowledge, mythology, and religion? Where do mythology and religion intersect? Where do they diverge? Think about the function of myth and religion in helping human beings cope with change, suffering, loss, and death.
The very first thing I am able to think of with this is the Bible. It encompasses everything that has been asked. As far as humans being able to cope, it is said in the Bible that “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Even with this example, one can assume that there is literally nothing that cannot be done, as long as God is on your side. The Bible also encompasses suffering, loss and death just through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Having said that, its what happens after that that can be tied directly to mythology. He is resurrected from the dead ascends into Heaven, thus creating that idea that one is capable of immortality, even if you have died. Where this diverges is that unlike Greek mythology, most people who identify themselves as Christians will not recognize the Bible as one of the greatest stories of mythology, ever.
How would you defend mythology’s relevance in contemporary culture? Think about familial and cultural traditions. Also, consider how mythology is used in the arts and in advertising typify human experience.
Using the same reference of the Bible, as a Christian, I would try to find ways show the relevancy in todays society. I would begin by analyzing my own thoughts and beliefs, and then try to find ways to relay this information to others. I would find proof to support the claim that there is at least some tangible evidence to the validity contained within the Bible. Take for instance Noah’s Ark. Although I, myself have questioned how this could even be remotely true, scientist have recently advised that they believe they may have found the remnants of the Ark on Mt. Ararat. As
far as how this has been prevalent in familial and cultural traditions, within my family, we have used the Bible as a manuscript, so to speak, on how we were meant to live our lives has helped to mold us into the people we are today.
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