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 Beanbag Warrior

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 Harlekijn engel

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 Harlekijn engel

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 Harlekijn engel

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

 

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Trying to understand why your baby is upset

Working out what?s underlying your baby's fussiness can be a case of trial and error. Here are a few common causes and how you can remedy each one.

When those you love judge your parenting

In today's society, never has it been harder to parent without judgment. But what about when judgment is coming from closer to home?

Don't play the victim blame game with family violence

It's not a woman's job to teach violent men how to behave.

11 truths about having two under two

When I told my mothers? group that my husband and I had started trying for our second baby they told me I was crazy. Now I can see why.

'How do you say goodbye to someone you've only just started to get to know?'

New mum Sarah Sutton was faced with a shattering scenario no person should have to endure.

It's a ... boy! Couple welcomes son number 13

"It's a boy!" That's the phrase Kateri Schwandt has heard in labour delivery ward for the 13th time in her life.

Six reasons to go for a walk

Can't find time to get to the gym? It could be just as beneficial to put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

Toddler styling

Seven things my toddler taught me about my home

My standards at home were never that high but having a two-year-old has taught me to be cool with chaos.

Australia's top baby names of 2014

The numbers have been crunched and it's official: Australian parents are having a bit of an 'O' moment.

How to set up the perfect nursery for your baby

You'll soon be meeting your baby, but you've got one big task to get done first: setting up a comfy, calming nursery you'll both be able to enjoy.

Childcare rebate: tougher rules for stay-at-home mums

A new form of activity testing will be introduced to ensure the highest subsidies go to parents who contribute the most to the workforce.

The women who desperately need more support in pregnancy

For women suffering from chronic morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum, pregnancy can be the roller coaster from hell.

When labour doesn't happen and you're induced

I never actually went into labour - so by 42 weeks I was booked in for induction.

Mum's grief for triplets inspires change

The death of Sophie Smith's triplet baby boys has motivated the half-marathon mother and her team to raise $1.25 million for charity.

The best advice for treating head lice

Just like a horror movie ... THEY'RE BAAAAAACK. So what works in treating and avoiding head lice and nits?

Overdue and over it

A watched womb never labours ... or at least mine didn't.

Parenting an early walker

Watching your child take their first wobbly steps is one of the best parenting highs you'll ever experience. But with that high comes a new reality.

Baby-led weaning worked for us

My baby wasn't interested in food - until we tried something new. Now she's eating it all, and it often comes from my plate.

'Paralysed bride' becomes a mum

Rachelle Friedman Chapman was preparing to marry the man of her dreams when tragedy struck four years ago.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
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.