Mythology The most common mythology people think of is Greek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJC m8W5RZes
Introduction But mythology is actually a broader term Myths are religious narratives that tell stories and are important to religious beliefs Origins Histories Rules of behavior Can be written or oral
Myths and Worldview All people experience things they can’t explain The way we perceive reality is our worldview and it colors all we see and how we interact with things Ex. Navaho vs. Judeo-Christian view of nature
Myths and Worldview Read the Judeo-Christian and Navaho creation myths on pg.34-35 & pg. 45-46 Analyze for themes: Nature-human interaction How humans are created View of animals Interaction between humans and supernatural Element of time
Myths and Worldview So how would we summarize the different worldviews from these two creation myths?
Myths and Worldview Navaho: interconnectedness with nature, living in balance, respecting living things Judeo-Christian: controlling nature, humans were given the world and can exploit it
Supernatural Read the story on Snow White (pg. 30- 31) What is the ‘moral’ of the story? What aspects are supernatural? Is this a religious study? Why or why not?
Supernatural This story is a folktale It entertains and gives a lesson, but is not a religious text
Supernatural Legends are stories that people believe really happened, but have been embellished Urban legends are stories that supposedly happened in the recent past
Supernatural What are some examples of urban legends?
Supernatural Bloody Mary Big Foot The escaped killer with a hook hand Basically anything that people think is a hoax or tabloid story
Myths These are sacred stories They explain: Human’s origin Creation of the universe Values and norms Good vs. evil They are religious and used in religious rituals Bible stories, Qur’an, Torah, etc. (Table 2.1, pg. 32)
Myths Be able to distinguish what makes folktales, legends, and myths different Use table in book
Written and Oral Texts Some cultures do not have written histories They use oral traditions to pass down cultural knowledge Oral texts are performed, not recited Slightly altered each generation Can be adapted to new events Others are written Qur’an means “recitation” and is literal word of God and so not changed in any way
Example Genesis from the Bible is a creation myth Part 1: God makes the world in 6 days He makes plants, then animals, then humans Importance of the Sabbath Part 2: Creates Adam and Eve Fall from Eden Makes humans first and then animals Creates Eve out of Adam
Example These myths reflect worldview and social charter (human interactions) Male dominance Humans given control over nature Correct and incorrect behavior Punishments
Myths There are different forms of written traditions How many versions of the Bible are there? Some keep traditional language (it sounds more “religious”) and some use current language
Understanding Myths Myths are found in all societies but vary widely There are different ways to approach studying them Most of these are connected to theories we discussed in chapter 1
Approaches to Myths 1. Evolutionary (incorrect) idea of unilineal evolution Evolve from simple to complex Primitive to civilized Frazer (The Golden Bough) NO!
Approaches to Myths 2. Fieldwork and Functional Can use myths to understand cultural system See what function myths have in society Boas (Father of American Anthropology) Malinowski (Essential needs of humans)
Approaches to Myths 3. Structural Look at structure of the myth Dualism: light/dark, good/evil, male/female No focus on meaning or content Levi-Strauss
Approaches to Myths 4. Psychological Unconscious projections Collective consciousness Archetypes: orphan, creator, fool, etc. Freud Jung
Common Themes Know common themes to use on homework!!
Common Themes Common themes may come from diffusion of knowledge or from collective consciousness Birth Metaphor Supernatural creating something Chaos Things created out of chaos or darkness Emergence Things created by emerging from under the earth Holy People Holy beings create people
Apocalyptic Myths Center on the destruction of the world Cycles of destruction and creation Noah’s flood Revelations ○ Four horsemen, lamb of God, lake of fire, etc.
Trickster Myths Some myths are for entertainment and some discuss serious matters Trickster myths are less serious and teach people how not to behave Example: Haida story of the Raven (pg. 49).
Hero Myths Though stories all vary, there is a common pattern or story line (monomyth) Hero leaves common world and enters supernatural world receives training encounters obstacles and is victorious hero returns to help his friends and family Common in our stories and movies
Discussion Questions 1. Define what worldview is. How does this impact how people see nature and the environment? 2. What are some common themes among different religious creation myths? 3. What is a monomyth? Why are popular movies (previous slide) not considered religious?
Assignment ICA #1 “Creation Myths” together in groups
Videos As you watch videos look for: Similarities Common themes Connection to environment Examples from lecture