Friday, November 29, 2013

Myth defined

Myth is therefore more rightly defined as a reflection on the human world (immediate to the author) “by describing or imaging creative analogies between the circumstances and experiences of human beings in the world and beliefs about the world of the gods.” Here, we find the “analogical thinking” that Averbeck has mentioned. Mythological analogical thinking is the tendency of the ancient mind to relate their beliefs about the distant past (a usual subject of mythological writing) in terms more familiar to them. That is, they tended to analogize known elements from their world around them in order to explain the unknown (or lesser known) elements of their past.— Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1-11 , pages 46-47

<idle musing>
Or, as a seminary professor of mine said, "reasoning from the given to the divine." We still do that, but we don't call it myth anymore...
</idle musing>

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