In a world whereby diverse cultures and religions collide amongst the disparate and polarized people of our planet, there are few pervading threads that adhere the seams of human life and experience as vividly and profoundly as mythology. Emerging from the first primordial peoples of the earth, from the Occident to the Orient, mythology appears to be an almost innate and inbuilt feature of the human psyche; as religion fuels the contention of superhuman gods who perhaps once sowed the seeds of life, mythology yields the direction and
Abstract: Myths are symbolic representations of the innermost aspects of life and the spiritual underpinnings of the religions. Numerous mythological stories depict the journey of self, both inwardly and outwardly. Myths preserve that journey of ultimate destiny of every individual which reveals timeless truth. Mythologies of different cultures speak about the hero’s journey both inwardly and outwardly which lead to spiritual growth. The hero departs from this world and goes through the wilderness of unconscious and returns to the society of being strong and self-aware in spirit. This research paper describes the set of concepts known as “The Hero’s Journey” drawn from the depth of psychology of Carl G.Jung and mythic studies of Joseph Campbell. It tries to relate those ideas to contemporary story telling which evolve from our innermost selves and our most distant past. Joseph Campbell described the hero’s journey as monomyth in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949). Hero’s journey is a hand book of life which gives instructions in the art of being human. It is not an invention but an observation. It recognizes a set of
In order for the myth to be substantial, it must be able to withstand misunderstandings. Through solidifying the meaning of the myth, it is being limited to two divisions, metaphysics — what the myth says about reality— and normative ethics—the moral imperatives of the myth (Rue 129). This presents a problem for religion because these divisions allow scrutiny of the myth by opposing fields, e.g. science. To give an example of the opposition of science and religion, the creation story in Genesis chapters 1-3 states that God created the Earth in seven days. Science has presented its idea of evolution occurring over a period of thousands of years. These two theories clash and cause doubt of the myth. This is a time where the myth requires reinterpretation by religious leaders in order to defend the core metaphors of the myth. Radical reinterpretations, like in the cases of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, have a high probability of “demonstrating the essential compatibility between the narrative core and the new mode of thought,” and so, “transforming timely new insights into the timeless meanings of the myth” (Rue
In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell states, “…myths offer life models. But the models have to be appropriate to the time in which you are living, and our time has changed so fast that what was proper fifty years ago is not proper today. The virtues of the past are the vices of today. And many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today. The moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time, here and now. And that is what we are not doing.” I support Joseph Campbell’s stance that ideals and paradigms we rely on now have changed over time and will change in time. Myths are used as a tool to teach children the conduct they should be exhibiting. Nonetheless, these myths and conducts
Zeus hurls his thunderbolt and the world trembles. Odin invites fallen warriors in the halls of Valhalla for a drink. Jesus Christ spreads the words of his father and gathers disciples. Buddha sits and meditates the meaning of the universe. Across the world there have always been mythological stories. From the first civilization to modern times, mythologies help explain the vents of the world and attempt to provide answers for unanswerable questions. Though every mythology appears different, if one looks close enough, commonalities appear. Joseph Campbell spent his life studying mythologies and religions along with compiling the commonalities amongst them. This study on the works of Joseph Campbell focuses on the following areas:
The term “myth” is often associated with stories that are considered to be false. In the context of religion, however, the term, “myth”, describes any of the tales that are accepted by a given religion, and these stories are usually treated as historical fact by followers. The Abrahamic religions would likely agree that most of the myths in their sacred texts are indeed historical facts. There are parallels between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that should be recognised. The similarities are greatly apparent in the myths that are described within their holy books: the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran, respectively. This paper will compare the myths of creation; the great flood; the prophets: Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad; and the afterlife as they are viewed by the three religions to show that their individual myths have more similarities than differences.
Myth still remains one of the major links that merges the different cultures and religions from various ethnicities. “The Creation of the Titans and the Gods”, as well as “The Creation, Death, and Rebirth of the Universe”, are among the many creation myths that highlight these combinations. Throughout history, myths have created various similarities and differences between the cultures and religions of the world.
In the article “Redefining Myth and Religion: Introduction to a Conversation,” Dr. Loyal D. Rue discusses how science, religion, and myth are related and how they coexist. Some people may argue that science and religion should not coincide and that they are opposites. However, Rue argues, “…In an ideal world, the vocabulary of science would inform the myth that binds together the culture.” In this statement, Rue claims that science can be used to help explain the supernatural phenomena that religion and myths describe. Science is not anti-religion; it helps us to explain religion in ways that humans can understand.
Myths are not solely a matter of representation, but are narratives of value within a culture that is paradigmatic, authoritative and applicable. Paden explains that within religious worlds, myths set the foundation that shape people’s way of life. Subsequently, they shape societies moral compasses and beliefs. The creation story in the bible is sort of a grounding prototype that shaped the belief of the catholic church. This story shows how myth is being applied and used to orient people to a higher power both in the past and currently. It is also a characteristic of myth as it tries to explain life’s fundamental questions. This relates to Paden’s thoughts about myth being labelled as more than just a language, but one with an authoritative
What is a myth? When one thinks of a myth perhaps one thinks about a story being told by the fire, or a dramatic tale about an invincible hero, or perhaps a cosmological occurrence that caused everything to be. Personally, when I think of the word myth, I think of the ancient Greeks or Romans with their many gods and goddesses; however, to most, the story being told by a myth is simply that, just a story. To most the term “myth” has been confused for a legend or folklore. The truth of the matter is however, that to religious scholars, a myth is more than just a story; a myth is how a society’s religion came to explain what seemed the inexplicable. With modern science booming and being capable of explaining the events
In chapter two, it discusses the Bible and myth and Oswalt begins discussing the numerous competing definitions and understandings of “myth” that have been offered in recent years. The basic problem of myth is the problem of definition. However, Oswalt specifically addresses whether the Bible should be viewed as myth. Oswalt then offers his own definition. As with Oswalt’s definition of myth, he emphasizes that "Myth can be considered as a form of expression whereby the continuities among various realms, such as the human, the natural, and the divine, are expressed and actualized." (Oswalt, 2009). In this chapter, Oswalt also does a good job of telling us the many approaches to describing what a myth is and he presents two approaches of the
Joseph Campbell was born March 26, 1904, in New York, to a middle class, Roman Catholic family. Since a young age he was terribly fascinated by the Native yank cultures and mythologies. Growing up Joseph educated himself with the culture and story distended to incorporate the myths of the many cultures worldwide. Joseph Campbell believed that this was universal, and as a result it sprang from the common imagination of the collective unconscious. He went to date on enumerate the actual themes and options that different myths shared, and theorized, within the case of those heroic myths the quality plot that he referred to as the monomyth. Joseph takes the North American country through the understanding of how the Hero’s journey and the
The Power of Myth is both a tribute and an organized book conversation between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers on the subject of mythical symbology in the world today in addition reformatting ancient stories for our inner life today.
Author John N. Oswalt begins The Bible Among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? with a concise and well-written introduction that whets the reader’s appetite, compelling one to continue reading. He begins by informing the reader that his novel has been in the works dating all of the way back to the 1960s, when he attended the Asbury Theological Seminary. Oswalt quickly points out that one of the main points that the book will focus on is determining if “the religion of the Old Testament [is] essentially similar to, or essentially different from, the religions of its neighbors.”1 Oswalt is swift to acknowledge a major difference between the Old Testament and the religions of the Israelites Near