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What roles do myths of origin play within religion and society Contents Introduction The Hebrew Bible Old Testament Creation Myth Unity versus Disunity Explanation versus Paradox Oppression versus Liberation The New Testament Creation Myths Their role in religion Their role in society Conclusion Bibliography Introduction What is myth For rationalists such as Muller they provide pre-scientific explanations of natural phenomena For functionalists such as Malinowski they are a codification of belief explaining rites and justifying norms For Jung myth provides expressions of a collective unconscious Barthes studied the process of mythification Levi-Strauss structuralists studied the structure of myths and form critics led by Bultmann advocated demythologising This essay will compare myths of origin in the Hebrew Bible Old Testament and the New Testament The cosmogonic myth of the Genesis creation narrative Gen 1-3 has interwoven yet often paradoxical roles in Judaism Christianity and society The myths of origin of Jesus Mt 11-411 Mk 11-13 Lk 15-413 Jn 11-34 however have very different roles in religion and society This essay will seek to examine what this reveals about the nature of myths of origin The Hebrew Bible Old Testament Creation Myth Unity versus disunity The Priestly section 11-24 of the Genesis myth reveals much about the character and creativity of God He is eternal pre-existing all things and omnipotent He is transcendent hovering over the waters yet immanent speaking directly to Adam and Eve He created the world and saw that it was good He created humans male and female in his image and likeness and saw that it was very good On these points Judaism and Christianity agree What does it mean to have been created in the image of God What therefore does it mean to be human Jonsson 19881 writes it has been claimed that ones conception of the image of God in man imago
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