Jump to content

What is mythology?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Oriental lily

Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

Dd 9 got a book from her uncle about mythology for Christmas. She has asked me what it means and I am struggling to find a concise and easy description that she understands.
Cultural beliefs that is known to not be true?
Make believe stories that people once believed?

I am a bit stumped?

Anyone have a good description?

#2 Pull Up A Beanbag

Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

stories from cultures to explain the world

#3 pinkcupcakes

Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology

i thought this was pretty clear and simple! ( its my favourite way to think! wink.gif )

#4 Oriental lily

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

The reason I am struggling I figured out is because their s a very fine line between mythology and religion!

So I guess mythology is like extinct belief systems?

Still might be hard for  a 9 year old to comprehend.....

#5 Mitis angelam

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

I'd say mythology plays a part in (some) current belief systems; for example, plenty of people who don't literally believe in Adam and Eve use their story as a basis for reflection on the world etc.

I like the definition which says that mythology is an expression of creative imagination which interprets the real world.  So it's a story which isn't true, but has connections back into what is true in our lives and experience.

#6 Gudrun

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:28 PM

Creation stories?  Or even just stories?  Great present IMO.

Edited by Gudrun, 26 December 2012 - 03:29 PM.


#7 ubermum

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

Here

Edited by ubermum, 26 December 2012 - 03:36 PM.


#8 Oriental lily

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

rolleyes.gif

#9 LynnyP

Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

Stories used to explain how the world works in a way most people can identify with.  I don't see much difference, if any, between religion and mythology.  I suppose religion is a mythology the culturally powerful believe also?

#10 ~Nodnol~

Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

Very basically, mythology is stories that explain creation. Myth also helps to explain reasons behind things like weather (Persephone and Hades for example), man's domination over other animals (Prometheus giving man fire) and so on. A lot of myth is similar across cultures, there are Flood myths for a couple that are similar. I personally don't see any difference between myth and religion, if anything I favour Greek mythology as something I feel a pull to.

hth. Mythology is fascinating. I hope your daughter enjoys it!

#11 Mitis angelam

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (LynnyP @ 26/12/2012, 05:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I suppose religion is a mythology the culturally powerful believe also?


No, religion is more than a collection of stories.  Generally a religion would also entail a way of life, rites of passage, communal organisation, ethical systems, organised worship and so on.  Adherents of religion may have a set of myths to which they refer, but to conflate mythology and religion is to make a category error.

#12 SnazzyFeral

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 26/12/2012, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, religion is more than a collection of stories.  Generally a religion would also entail a way of life, rites of passage, communal organisation, ethical systems, organised worship and so on.  Adherents of religion may have a set of myths to which they refer, but to conflate mythology and religion is to make a category error.



Does that make the bible a collection of myths? I always thought of the bible as kind of guide book to how to live as a Christian but there are different sects who use the same book but draw different conclusions from it.  so the bible then wouldn't be intrinsic to the religion/practice of Christianity?

The story of the rainbow serpent is a myth that contains guidance on how to live in balance which is a religious practice. Does that make the rainbow serpent story a myth or part of a religion? Given that the story contains information on how to practise a religion.


#13 jayskette

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:30 PM

the perfect gift for Christmas!  biggrin.gif

#14 Imaginary friend

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

QUOTE (SnazzySass @ 26/12/2012, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does that make the bible a collection of myths? I always thought of the bible as kind of guide book to how to live as a Christian but there are different sects who use the same book but draw different conclusions from it.  so the bible then wouldn't be intrinsic to the religion/practice of Christianity?

The story of the rainbow serpent is a myth that contains guidance on how to live in balance which is a religious practice. Does that make the rainbow serpent story a myth or part of a religion? Given that the story contains information on how to practise a religion.


My understanding would be that the story of the rainbow serpent would be a myth belonging to the aboriginal culture/religion. Likewise one could say the story of Adam and Eve is a myth belonging To the Christian/Jewish religions.

#15 Mitis angelam

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

QUOTE (SnazzySass @ 26/12/2012, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does that make the bible a collection of myths? I always thought of the bible as kind of guide book to how to live as a Christian but there are different sects who use the same book but draw different conclusions from it.  so the bible then wouldn't be intrinsic to the religion/practice of Christianity?

The story of the rainbow serpent is a myth that contains guidance on how to live in balance which is a religious practice. Does that make the rainbow serpent story a myth or part of a religion? Given that the story contains information on how to practise a religion.


I think it would be fair to say that the Bible is a collection of writings, some of which have mythic elements.  For example, no one takes the story of Job as a history; it's a reflection on issues of suffering and justice in the context of faith in God, through story and dialogue centred on a particular character.  In that sense, it's a myth.  But not all the writings in the Bible are the same genre; there are historical writings, legal codes, song lyrics, letters and so on; these are not myths in the same sense.  

I think to take the Bible as a "guide book" is a real problem; for starters, it's 66 books (more if you're not Protestant), written at different times by different people in different contexts addressing different concerns.  The way it shapes how a Christian thinks, lives and worships is complex.  That's not to say it's not important; I think it's enormously important and the Scriptures have always been central to Christian worship.  But you can't reduce a living Christianity to the Bible alone.

I am no expert on indigenous religious systems.  I would have thought the rainbow serpent story was a myth which informed a religion.  But I may not understand how it functions within that belief system.

#16 SnazzyFeral

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 26/12/2012, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it would be fair to say that the Bible is a collection of writings, some of which have mythic elements.  For example, no one takes the story of Job as a history; it's a reflection on issues of suffering and justice in the context of faith in God, through story and dialogue centred on a particular character.  In that sense, it's a myth.  But not all the writings in the Bible are the same genre; there are historical writings, legal codes, song lyrics, letters and so on; these are not myths in the same sense.  

I think to take the Bible as a "guide book" is a real problem; for starters, it's 66 books (more if you're not Protestant), written at different times by different people in different contexts addressing different concerns.  The way it shapes how a Christian thinks, lives and worships is complex.  That's not to say it's not important; I think it's enormously important and the Scriptures have always been central to Christian worship.  But you can't reduce a living Christianity to the Bible alone.

I am no expert on indigenous religious systems.  I would have thought the rainbow serpent story was a myth which informed a religion.  But I may not understand how it functions within that belief system.



I think that the rainbow serpent is a myth that informs a religion in the same way that you are saying parts of the bible are myths that inform Christian religions. But Dreaming stories also contain laws and history so that would make them quite like the bible.

I think myths, while they explain creation, also provide a framework for how to live within the cultural context of a society and so they contain the laws and history of that society as well as explaining how things came to be. I think too that the distinction between religion and society did not used to be quite so clear. Even today the religion of Christianity is twined deeply within the structures and institutions that mark Australian society as distinct from Japanese society for example,  though many Australians are not Christian and many don’t have Christian backgrounds.

Perhaps myths are more easily defined not because they are separate from religion or society but because they have become outdated within our society and its belief systems or were always alien to it and so are no longer needed and are more easily recognised. I think we have many myths that we encounter in day to day life that have relevance for us now so we don’t necessarily mark them as “teaching story”.   If religion is defined by its practice then mythology must be part of that practise because mythology really only becomes static after it has become superfluous.

Edited by SnazzySass, 26 December 2012 - 09:41 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Wondersuit heaven: Bonds & Disney launch exclusive collection

Bonds and Disney fans with babies to buy for will be celebrating this news. Bonds and Disney have just released collaboration Wondersuits.

Perth hospital mistakes cancerous tumour for "behavioural issues"

When Naomi Holly, a mother of three, noticed her eight-month-old daughter Nora, was having difficulty crawling and standing up as normal, she knew there was something wrong.

Piano playing dad soothes son to sleep in moments

There's nothing more frustrating, or distressing to a parent than a sick child who can't  - or won't got to sleep. 

Lucky escape for mum and bub after snake found in couch

Perth mother Laurie Rushton Dyble was sitting on a recliner chair in her home holding her six-month-old son when her husband suddenly told her to get up and leave the room.

When your partner misses the birth

While no one wants their partner to miss their baby’s birth, it can happen. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

Motherhood challenge: smug or just a bit of fun?

The #motherhoodchallenge sounds harmless, doesn't it? Some women disagree.

Who's the mum? Family photo goes viral

Last year, it was "The Dress". This year, it is a family photo that is breaking the internet.

5 easy meditation practices for beginners

So who's with me? You know meditating is one of the best things you can possibly do for yourself.

Woman to go on trial for being a bad housewife

An Italian woman could face up to six years in jail after her husband accused her of not doing enough cooking and cleaning at home.

Is the latest advice on women and drinking over the top?

While most expectant mums know to stop drinking when they’re pregnant, experts now warn women should stop drinking earlier than that. Is this necessary?

How household chores can double as a workout

If there's less than a slim chance you'll find time to get out for a jog or to hit the gym today, take heart in knowing that household chores contribute to the calorie equation.

I have no idea what I'm doing - and that's okay

Why don't we talk about the fact that when everything goes right, we may still feel completely lost, and certain that we have failed?

Dad warns of hair tourniquet danger after baby almost loses toe

A shocked father has shared his family's experience in a bid to warn other parents about the dangers of hair becoming entangled around a baby's toe.

Town welcomes first baby in 28 years

Since the 1980s, the Italian town of Ostana had not seen the birth of a single baby.

How to start teaching your kids road safety

It's something that can be taught as early as possible and reinforced as they get older and more mobile - even from toddlerhood.

Just announced: Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic+ Collection update

Meet the brand new understated chic model from Bugaboo.

The emotional moment a mum hears her late son's heartbeat

It's been two and a half years since Heather Clark's seven-month-old son Lukas passed away.

Nine reasons why you have 'brain fog'

One minute your productivity is skyrocketing and the next you're sitting there trying to focus – just like that you draw blank, your brain, mush.

I had a caesarean and it was beautiful

Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Penny Wong

'The most hurtful argument in the marriage equality debate'

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong is used to to hearing arguments against same-sex marriage. But for Australia's most prominent gay politician, one hurts more than others.

Does exercise have to be fun to work?

Some things in life are inherently served with a big scoop of fun: balloons, bubbles, cupcakes to name but a few, but exercise?

Hair dye gives woman second-degree burns

She wanted a fresh colour for 2016, but instead she got chemical burns.

Kelly Slater saves mum and toddler from 'freak wave'

A Perth family has thanked US surfing "legend" Kelly Slater after the star saved a mother and a young toddler from "a freak wave" in Hawaii.

Apple recalls millions of power adapters

Tech giant instigates massive international recall of power point adapters due to risk of electric shock.

Toddler's adorable alphabet goes viral

It's impossible not to share this little boy's excitement  about the alphabet.

Tot's nighttime waking saves family's life

Like all tired parents, Monique and Kyle Ruppel were looking forward to the day their 15-month-old daughter Celia would start sleeping through the night. 

Australian mum gives birth to quintuplets

An Australian mum who has shared the ups and downs of carrying quintuplets has welcomed her five babies into the world.

Dad of four girls faints at gender reveal for fifth baby

It was all too much excitement for this dad.

The simple way you can help your baby's language development

The way parents respond to their child's babbling can shape how their infants communicate.

Zika virus is 'spreading explosively': WHO

The World Health Organization announced that it will convene an emergency meeting about Zika.

National database recommended for child protection cases

Baby Ebony was repeatedly failed by the agencies tasked with her protection before her horrific death at the hands of her father, South Australia's deputy coroner says.

Hospitals put babies at risk by ignoring policy on elective caesareans

Thirty-eight weeks or 39? Non-medical factors are pushing women to have elective caesareans earlier than official guidelines - and hospitals are playing along.

Police help deliver baby on busy roadside

Two police officers delivered more than a traffic fine by the side of a busy Melbourne road yesterday.

1D's Louis Tomlinson shares first photo of baby

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson has posted the first picture of his baby boy, Freddie, on social media.

 

FREE TICKET

Free first aid demonstrations daily

Get your free ticket to the Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.