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Difference between revisions of "Mythology"

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(redefined myth, added section on study of mythology)
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A '''mythology''' is a religion that no longer retains enough adherents to defend its stories as being true.
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Mythology is the study of the myths that inform a religion or culture about its laws,  its history, its morals, its social constructions, and really everything else that define the culture or religion's WorldView.  The term "mythology" is also used to define the set of myths that informs any particular religion.
  
For instance, the religions of ancient Greece, Rome, and Norway are called "mythologies" by most people.  However, some or all of the fabulous tales and claims made by the [[Bible|New Testament]] or [[Qur'an]], for example, are defended by billions of people as being true.
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All religions have myths and associated mythologies, however Christians tend to get angry and expect their religion to not be held to the same standards as other religions when studied in a non-theological setting.
  
Myths are also more fun to read than "real" religious stories, because one is under absolutely no obligation to try to believe them.
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Despite the popular idea of myths being something "false", neither truth nor lack of truth defines a myth. What makes it a myth is how it impacts upon the culture and the culture's passing of its standards.
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==Study of Mythology==
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The study of mythology tends to provide fun insight into the development of the human character in any given religion.  For example, scholars and enthusasts alike can learn how a given society views sexuality by reading the sexual exploits of the gods.  If, as in the Hindu traditions of Krisha, the god of love enjoys the company of men, you can assume that homosexuality was - if not at least normal, then accepted.  If you find that zeus ran around with many wives, that is a sure sign the  culture in question had multiple wives. 
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Mythology is the best way to understand how humans position themselves in the world.  The Jewish stories of the creation in <i>Bereshit</i> show that Jews feel they are the caretakers of the world, that they follow a god who has direct intervention into the lives of those who honor him - therefore they will take care to follow biblical directives.  Also, the myth of Adam & Eve demonstrates proper social order for man and woman<ref> Please note, in mythology that is associated with living traditions, the modern religion may not place the same meaning or importance on a myth that the original authors did</ref>.  Christians, on the other hand, tell of a dying/rising god who is the proper venue for salvation.  Based on that myth, Christians hold themselves out as being able to convert others to this salvation by word or deed.
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Modern mythology includes tales of aliens, Johnny Appleseed and Washington's Tree, America as a melting pot, and the idea about conservatives that Rush Limbaugh as a drug addict and Fred Phelps is a closet gay.  In the last case, it became "myth" when individual stories symbolize the liberal view (true or not) that conservatives typicall make laws against things they themselves do.
  
Mythology is a term frequently applied to modern religious beliefs and texts by [[freethinker]]s who think that they are as silly as the ancient ones.
 
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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[[category:religion]]
 
[[category:religion]]
 
[[category:Myths and legends]]
 
[[category:Myths and legends]]
 
{{stub}}
 

Revision as of 22:07, 14 July 2008

Mythology is the study of the myths that inform a religion or culture about its laws, its history, its morals, its social constructions, and really everything else that define the culture or religion's WorldView. The term "mythology" is also used to define the set of myths that informs any particular religion.

All religions have myths and associated mythologies, however Christians tend to get angry and expect their religion to not be held to the same standards as other religions when studied in a non-theological setting.

Despite the popular idea of myths being something "false", neither truth nor lack of truth defines a myth. What makes it a myth is how it impacts upon the culture and the culture's passing of its standards.

Study of Mythology

The study of mythology tends to provide fun insight into the development of the human character in any given religion. For example, scholars and enthusasts alike can learn how a given society views sexuality by reading the sexual exploits of the gods. If, as in the Hindu traditions of Krisha, the god of love enjoys the company of men, you can assume that homosexuality was - if not at least normal, then accepted. If you find that zeus ran around with many wives, that is a sure sign the culture in question had multiple wives.

Mythology is the best way to understand how humans position themselves in the world. The Jewish stories of the creation in Bereshit show that Jews feel they are the caretakers of the world, that they follow a god who has direct intervention into the lives of those who honor him - therefore they will take care to follow biblical directives. Also, the myth of Adam & Eve demonstrates proper social order for man and woman[1]. Christians, on the other hand, tell of a dying/rising god who is the proper venue for salvation. Based on that myth, Christians hold themselves out as being able to convert others to this salvation by word or deed.

Modern mythology includes tales of aliens, Johnny Appleseed and Washington's Tree, America as a melting pot, and the idea about conservatives that Rush Limbaugh as a drug addict and Fred Phelps is a closet gay. In the last case, it became "myth" when individual stories symbolize the liberal view (true or not) that conservatives typicall make laws against things they themselves do.


See also

References and Notes

  1. Please note, in mythology that is associated with living traditions, the modern religion may not place the same meaning or importance on a myth that the original authors did