Religious Language Myths


Insights into purpose of existing

German biblical schoalrs of the 20th century when looking at the new yestament within christian tradition used 'sitz im lebel' or situation in life - don't apply your own sitz im lebel as it would add perspectives that would not have been relevant at the time and lead to misunderstanding

Myths exist in all cultures like creation of the universe, roles and persons of gods, heroic myths, good and evil and how the world works - interpretatiosn are not necessarily definitive - many mythsd are similar to one another for isntance ex nihilio creation myths

Mythical language formed of metaphorical, symbolic and analogical terms - meaning beyond literal readinf od the text - often written a long tine ago

many aspects of region depend on myth to provide a means of expressing religious truths - other language would simplify or devalue them -

A myth is a story, imagined or true that helps us make sense of reality - Matt

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Creation Myths

Ex Nihilio - out of nothing

Water like imagery used to describe the void before vreation - God concering chaos - calm chaos - creating the opposite of nothign darkness and light ('let there be light') - Phillip Freund notes the similarlity between this and other myths that start in the waters such as the morning sun gof of Egyppt lifting himself from the waters in order to bring baout creation, the zuni tribe of America the creation myth about the sun father coming from the water to create humans - a 19th century poem speaks of the primordial waters that spawned the faughter who ends up creating the first man - the maoris of new zealand's creation myth shows the demigod Maui pulling up the islands of new zealand from the depths of the ocean - The role of humans is often one of stewardship for the creator

Tillich notes that myth is found in all religion - 'myths are always present in every act of faith because the laugh of faith is the symbol' -'nothing less than symbols and myths can express our ultimate concern' - Meaing that is it gives is not cognative - provides context and purpose

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Heroic Myths

Gives context on how to be rather be and humanity's relationship with itself rather than it's relationship with the universe - provide inspiration -

Batman is representative of our dark subconscious who nevertheless works for the good of huamnity - Morrison

Solar hero - sun giving life and power- photospyntheisis - Sun God Ra - creation myths associated with Ra - heroic deeds centerd around his ability to give life

Canaanite religion Baal - promoter of life and feritiltiy - yahwh initially regarded as a sky god - figures of life are killed by a dark force oppossed to life but are restored by invention

Resurrection muth often assocaited with the nation of a solar hero as a archetype (what Jung said) - story of Rama being restored to his rightful throne - Jesus - siddhartha becoming buddah seperated from the rest of the world and being accosted by the demon mara

Myths provide inspiration - triumph over evil

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Challenges to myths and problems associated with t

You would have to assume that the integrity of the myth was preserved and not morphed over time

Other myths show competing truths or values - Dawinism poses a threat to many myths

Are non-faith based myths more of less reliable

The central claim of christianity that Jesus' resurrection was a unique event in history is threatened as resurrections happened in other mythical literaure

Value of mythical language change as the values of society change - meaning of a myth may alter to fit the prevailing intellectula mood of the time

Bultmann argued that the new testamented should be reinterpreted due to its emphaisis on mythical language - deemed it as unhelpful to the modern mind - 'cosmology of a pre-scientific age'

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