The Mythology of Christianity

The Mythology of Christianity - The Mythology of...

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The Mythology of Christianity By Marco Mujica HUM 2310, Valencia Community College Professor Cary 9 March, 2008
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Mujica The Mythology of Christianity For much of the Christian world, comparing the Faith to mythology is something blasphemous and taboo. How can such a doctrine as widely accepted as the Good Book be compared to stories of Hercules and Pandora? By breaking down basic conventions of Christianity, strong connections are made to the four functions of mythology. Christianity is the dominant religion in the western world, much like Greek and Roman polytheism was dominant in the ancient times, but we are much quicker to label ancient polytheism “mythology.” By analyzing Christianity’s mythological functions, one can see how even stories of Jesus Christ can be categorized as myth. The four functions of any mythology are mystical, cosmological, sociological and psychological. The mystical function is the “awe factor” of a mythology. It connects its people to the wonders of their world, such as celestial bodies and changes in the season. The cosmological function attempts to explain or define these mystical happenings by creating stories and rituals. Stories that explain the origins of said happenings are called aetiological stories. An example would be the story of the Christian God creating our world in seven days. The sociological function extracts symbolic meaning from the cosmological stories and builds a moral code for the society to follow. Fables are an example of a sociological myth. They are tales and rituals spawned from a particular culture that express some moral value derived from the people’s mythology. A clear example of the sociological function of myth is the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments on which are written God-given laws for Man. The psychological function is more personal. It is the “ah-ha factor” of the four functions. It creates a connection between the person and his/her mythology. The effectiveness and meaning is 2
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Mujica very subjective as is relies on the individual’s interpretation and understanding of his/her mythology and how it relates to him/her. This is achieved by deriving abstract ideas from concrete language. Abstract language describes the non-tangible such as love and honor. Concrete language shows tangible things such as people and furniture. “Language without myth loses human warmth as well as the meanings and values that give personal significance to life…. Human understanding comes from our ability to identify the subjective meaning of the language of others” (Trachy 10). A prime example would be
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course HUM 2310 taught by Professor S during the Spring '10 term at Valencia.

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The Mythology of Christianity - The Mythology of...

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