Myths and Religion

James Campbell proposed that to the extent religion attempts to explain the Great Mysteries,  mythology and religion are basically the same thing. There has been a mythologizing of all religions and like myths themselves religions are mere metaphors. Carl Jung proposed that “myth is an integral component of all religions.” (1957) Mary Lefkowitz felt myths “are in essence stories about supernatural life.” (2003) Ancient Mesopotamian (Sumerian) mythical stories morphed into Biblical religious stories like the Creation Story, Garden of Eden, and Tower of Babel. Scottish anthropologist James Frazer compared mythology and religion across many cultures and concluded religion is mainly based on magic. I suggest that myths are often a transition on their way to a religion. Huston Wilson contended that, “religion is the ensemble of mythic narrative that explain the origins of a people, their destiny, and why they are obligated to subscribe to particular rituals and moral codes.” (1998) Wilson felt religions develop to bring some understanding of an ultimate meaning. (2003) However, Harrison said, we should keep in mind that, “ultimate reality lies beyond understanding.” (2003) Primack and Abrams maintained,  “mythic language is not the possession of any specific religion but is a human tool.” (2006) Karl Marx proposed that religion comes from social-needs and he called religion “opium of the people.” (1848) Sigmund Freud maintained that any religion is nothing more than some kind of wish-need.

myths and relgion

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