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

 

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Ambulance service under fire: baby seats to go, response times 'worse than ever'

The NSW Ambulance Service is removing child-safety seats from ambulances, while the Victorian service is facing criticism over lengthy response times following the death of a three-year-old.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Is e-reading to your toddler story time or just screen time?

When reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and we're advised to read to their children early and often, should parents be turning to e-readers for storytime?

Community mourns inspiring young dad

A young dad who fought a five-year battle with cancer has been remembered for his inspiring legacy at a funeral service attended by hundreds of family and friends this week.

Meningococcal kills Queensland toddler

Public health authorities say the death of a toddler in north Queensland from meningococcal disease highlights the danger the illness poses.

Nicole Kidman: 'I hope every month that I'm pregnant'

Nicole Kidman is hoping to add to her family, but says she's doubtful it will happen.

Recall: Aldi Wooden London Bus play set

Aldi has announced a recall of their popular Wooden London Bus play set.

Great gift ideas for first birthdays

From soft toys to balance bikes, here are some great ideas for first birthday gifts.

Mum learnt she was pregnant hours before giving birth

Kim Walsh arrived at the doctor with abdominal cramps. Hours later, she was cradling the baby experts told her she could never have.

How cancer has made me a better, happier person

I'm a far better person post-cancer than I ever was before. The goal now is to stay around long enough to find out who I can become, and what I can achieve.

Pete Evans says a paleo diet can prevent autism. He's wrong

Pete Evans is not a paediatrician or even a nutritionist or dietitian. So why should we believe his extreme views and remove food groups from our children's diets over the advice from those more qualified?

Let's get back to commonsense parenting

Forget the new 'Lawnmower' parenting trend; try using plain old-fashioned commonsense instead.

Woman sues after having a mixed-race baby

A US woman is suing a sperm bank after it sent her vials from African-American man, instead of the white donor she had selected.

Bonding ideas dad will love

Dad may not say it, but he could be feeling lost, confused and seriously left out. However, there are lots of things new fathers can do to be more included in the excitement of pregnancy and new parenthood.

The house that hope built for childhood cancer

Baby Laelani Baker was diagnosed with cancer before she was even born. Her heartbreaking story is just one of the reasons the Build for a Cure project is raising money for vital research into childhood cancer.

Does stay-at-home parenting get better?

Parenting doesn’t ever get easier; the challenges just change. But the challenges of caring for young children definitely lessens as they get older.

Inquest into the short and tragic life of Chloe Valentine

As the first phase of an inquest into the death of Chloe Valentine drew to a close, there was no doubt Chloe's life was marred by appalling neglect.

When mothers kill

The act of killing one's child is unthinkable for most, and a mother who kills her offspring has a special power to inspire shock and revulsion.

6 beauty tips for tired mums

For those of us with young children, eight hours sleep is a distant memory. And while we can’t do much to secure more shut-eye, there are some ways to fake it.

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

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'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.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Awkward grandparents

When Grandma and Grandpa pose for a snap with the kids, things can get very weird, very quickly.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
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.