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 désir d'amour

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 Angelot

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 Angelot

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 4kidlets

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 Angelot

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

 

Video: 10-week-old baby sounds like she says 'I love you'

It’s mixed in amongst garbled baby talk, but this 10-week-old's apparent attempt at telling her parents that she loves them has made her an internet star.

I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

To say I became obsessed is something of an understatement. Everywhere I went I found cause to be reminded of my impending pain.

When your bundle doesn't bring immediate joy

One mum says joy is very a personal feeling and expecting all new mums to feel it in the months after their baby born may do more harm than good.

Lessons learned from my toddler

Blogger Kiran Chug explains why she is going to let her toddler make more decisions for himself.

Family welcomes first baby girl in more than 100 years

The Silverton family has heard the phrase "it's a girl" for the first time in four generations.

When a community of kindness steps in

In future when someone I care for, or even someone I barely know, is experiencing a difficult time, I will not overthink it. I'll follow my heart.

Mum in Business: Jac Bowie

Jac Bowie is the founder of Business in Heels, one of the fastest growing women’s networking events in Australia. She shares her story, including how she juggles work with a young family, and ways to work smarter.

What not to say to a mum of twins

Being a mum of identical twin boys stirs up great interest and fascination. It also opens itself up to nosy, invasive questions, as well as huge assumptions.

The mums suing over unplanned babies

A mother-of-five who calls her two youngest sons "miracle babies" is just one of many mums seeking financial compensation for their children's unplanned conceptions.

Video: Dad sings 'Hallelujah' to his daughter every year

It's a gorgeous song to begin with, but this dad's version of Hallelujah, sung for his young daughter, is especially touching.

Constipation in babies when starting solids

While starting solids can be frustrating and messy (yet also fun!), introducing solids can also play havoc on tiny digestive systems.

Parents reunited with baby snatched from hospital

A mother whose newborn baby was snatched from hospital has spoken of her joy and relief at getting her daughter back.

In defence of the bumpie

Are bumpies - bump selfies - really "exhibitionism of the weirdest kind"?

Life on the other side of the fence: Why I'm child-free and quite content

Acknowledging that motherhood isn't a bed of roses – to begrudge lack of time, sleep, money and spontaneity – is sacrilegious and a no-no, especially by mother superior-types.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else?s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Vote for a chance to win $5000

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We?re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women?s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Baby news for Isla and Sacha

Congratulations are in order for Aussie actress Isla Fisher and her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Vote to win

What are your favourite baby products?

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We?re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.

 
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.