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Lecture Notes

28 Pages

Classical Studies
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Lecture 1 Myth is not something that is untrue. It is a story, and they are reflective of the beliefs and realities of the people who created them; foundation of religious practices and moral systems. Video: Star Trek Clip (Darmok) The idea that they cannot speak to these alien forms because they do not understand language. But you soon discover that the language is mythology, and stories etc. End it off with his own story of Gilgamesh. Understanding our own mythologies and then understanding others mythology, helps us understand other people. Lecture 2 Key Words, Paradigms and Quotes Urban Legends we have the implication that those of others, who are not Western in the 21 century, that these myths are ficticious. We place a value judgement on their valuation. Star Treks Jean Luc Piccard used an ancient myth of Gilgamesh and even current pop- culture uses references to such myths. Myth and religion is linked, worked together. The study of religion involves more than just the chronological order of events, but the reason of such events; and study such events (study religion) at phenomena and thus the history of humanity. Its important to understand the context when that religion came to be. Smarts 6 Dimensions of Religion: Ritual Ethical Social Experiential Doctrinal tend to give religions some sense of clarify. Theology (discussion of the divine) uses myth to create doctrines. They attempt to present the total picture, whereas myths are not totally clear. Mythological myth is simply story of what was said and what was believed at a particular time Joseph Campbell developed this idea that there is a complex of universe and symbols: Myth is humanitys one great story or, as it says in the Vedas of India, Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names. Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth His critics argued that he overlooked the differences and only focused on the similarities. However, as long as we acknowledge that the context is different, looking at similarities is legitimate. As human beings, we all share these innate commonalities; we have reoccurring characters that come up linked to psychology the tyrant and the hero figure. Comparative Religion (religious studies). Religion is viewed as a worldwide culture, it needs to be understood before it can be explained. (Introduction to Myth article) he was a proponent to make others understand religion, and understand the expression of religion in different cultures as it redefines and shapes the world. Religious language is mythic language. Mircea Eliade believed that religion expresses itself from myth, it grants meanings to things by seeing them through mythic prototypes and that mythic language is participatory (it connects individuals to a social order (is key) and that it offers stories and teachings and images about the purpose of life and providing guidelines, laws of living life. However, everything: ideas, focal ideas, are deemed to be sacred, dowed by a supernatural authority. Not only does it guide them, it also asks things of the participants and mythical stories do the same. The stories are not right or wrong, they represent experiences back in day that were observables to the human beings. And it is because we are Human, we experience the world in religious terms. Sitz im Leben historical context, political context, geological context etc. we have to be aware of both our own Sitz im Leben but also the Sitz im Leben of the cultures. William Paden ARTICLE He talks about myths as stories for entertainment, but also for story-telling. Myths suggest real time, real places and were intended to represent the actual world at that time. He then talks about: Ideology: something that tells us why the things are the way they are. Something that gives us insight as to why it is they way it is He talks about the prototypical events; foundational events. The myths have a two way character, linking language in the world. Describes myths as a sacred, world, constitruting language. Mythic Time contains characters that are bigger than history, and talks about future times, the espitology, the end of time myths. The idea of the seasons, a cyclical nature of the world, what comes to be a world view: that time started somewhere and ending in the near future. He also talks about the interconnectivity of myth and time. These characters in myths help structure time. (things are good, then flood, things are good, then hurricane etc...) Talks about Gods as super-manifestation of man. The inclusion of Jewish and Christian text within myths. He also focuses on the idea of the origination of the world. Cosmology: the study of the world, the universe and how it came to be. Anthropology as well the beginning of man and also the reason why things are the way they are. Myths the organizer of time, space and history. Rights of passage, holy days (participatory aspect). Myth addresses and resolves conflicts (pg. 90) and that along with myth, we alos get mediators of the myths (religious specialists, interpreters who then create doctrine, create rituals) INTRODUCTION TO MYTHS The purposes of a myth is usually outside the purposes of scientific ideologies. They offer the content of the urban legend. They use the example of alligators in the sewers: stories are reflective of the concerns/fears of the contributing society. They offer examples of myths can be studies, such as the Trojan War. All of these different insights, (pg 13 chart is a good model) used for examining primary texts. Helps us give an idea of what such cultures strive for. Their relationships and limitations why are we mortal? The struggles of humans to become useful in human societies formation of the social cultures. Who studies myth and why? Scientists study myths Constantly re-examining the understanding the way the universe works Myths can inform various scientific myths o Such as the star (in Jesuss story maybe was a early visitation of Haileys Comet.) Cataclysmic disasters Healing methods o Pharmaceuticals will go to aboriginal nations to discuss methodologies, cures for things Historians Past events, trying to reconstruct what might have happened to groups of peoples, individuals, countries o Based on accounts written down by people, their laws, commercial Use archaeological findings maybe to find out what kind of food, what type of weapons Myths aid historians to understand the mindset of the people they are studying, the characters, the exemplars, the heros. o Particular cultures, rituals, ceremonies There are two ways of telling a story: 1) Paratactic The ideas are presented with no logical connections. However, the audience wasnt looking for apparent contradictions. These texts were not written down for comparison. The audience is listening for the main points, not looking for the critical details. An example can be found in the Genesis (1) the earth was created in 6 days and man was created on the 6 day, however, (2) then later it says that man was created first, before all creation the reason for this is that the stories were told at different times to different audiences. But the important point behind this story is that human was created by God and were very important to God. 2) Syntactic Not going to look at in detail in this course**** Comes from written works, which have their own problems in i. Because the reader needs to have an understanding of the writers perspective and context, and aspects ii. Homer, eg, reshaped stories into a unified story, that represented their worlds iii. The tellers perspective will/must come into play iv. Its not done in a specific style Later authors are reshaping older, oral tradition, into more logical, more easily understood translation (comprehensible). But also at the same time, combining different ideas and beliefs. Primary Text The original text, the source, not the translation, not the reshaped Secondary Text Translations of Primary Text Not the myth itself, but the comprehensive look at the myth. Sociology Metaphysics Aetiology/etiology History Archeology Comparativism Phenomenology Historical religion Ahistorical religion
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