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09-12 - b Sources of western culture i Greeks vs Persians 1...

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. . . man [sic] is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert his thoughts into lies, but he comes from God, and it is from God that he draws his ultimate ideals. . . . Therefore, . . . not merely the abstract thoughts of man but also his imaginative inventions must originate with God, and must in consequence reflect something of eternal truth. In making a myth, . . . a storyteller . . . is actually fulfilling God’s purpose, and reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien We are told in the New Testament by Paul and others that the Bible has to be understood spiritually—pneumatikos—and the word “spiritually” means a good many things in the New Testament. But one thing it always means, always has to mean, is “metaphorically” ~ Northrop Fry RELG 203: Bible and Western Culture September 12, 2007: Myth and Truthiness I. The ‘Strong Man’ a. Approach: through culture to the Bible
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Unformatted text preview: b. Sources of western culture i. Greeks vs. Persians 1. Leonides vs. Xerxes ( 300 ) 2. Alexander vs. Darius ii. Rome: pax et securitas iii. Israel 1. Joshua vs. Canaanites 2. Jesus vs. Satan II. Culture and Myth a. What is ‘culture’? i. standard of excellence 1. high/low 2. high/folk/low ii. way of life iii. subaltern/oppressed iv. popular culture b. Myth i. traditional ii. usually involves superhuman characters iii. usually concerns events remote in antiquity iv. usually involves a conviction that the world is we perceive it with our outward senses is not the ‘complete picture’ (e.g. Harry Potter) 1. intertwining of good and evil (not simply binary opposites) 2. heaven & hell meet on earth v. Tolkien: myth ! lie, but a fragment of the truth vi. Frye: myth = extended metaphor for human condition 1. nostalgia 2. alienation + separation 3. hope of restoration...
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