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The creation myths that we have studied so far have been from all different places around the world. Something that I believe to be in common with many of these creation myths is that many were presented orally at religious ceremonies or rituals. This means that many people of a culture would gather around, listen, and celebrate the myths of how their culture was born. This to me shows that myth, even though we do not define it as religious, holds many religious qualities to it.

For example the textbook says that the Mesopotamians would present Enuma Elish orally at ceremonies dedicated to Marduk, it was even said to be recited by the high priest during their New Year’s celebrations. The Mesopotamians were said to praise and give thanks to Marduk to help control the flooding (Marduk fighting waterery chaos for his people – this waterey chaos being Tiamat). Another example of the religious value of one of the creation myths we have looked at would be the Chinese myth.  In the chapter about Chinese creation myth it mentions that many of these myths were told orally at rituals that in some cases were held in temples (in most cases they were celebrations in honour of ancestors or divine beings). It also mentions how the Chinese have many shrines in their homes dedicated to divine beings in their creation myths ( like Kuan Yin) and even their own ancestors. These shrines would be a way for families to pray and please the “gods” they believed in. Both of these examples show how myth is used for many religious reasons.

Even though we do not define myth as religion, I still believe that it is an important quality of all myth. All of the creation stories that we have read were created by the culture themselves to recite in religious ways, hoping to appease their gods. What do you guys think? Do you believe that religion is an important quality of myth? I do, as in most cases the myths are not just created for an explanation of how the world came to be, but instead for religious purposes, that many cultures used in rituals to please their gods. 

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One thought on “Religion & Myth

  1. I agree that most myths are not just created for an explanation for how the world came to be but also used to show appreciation to the gods/goddesses they worshiped. We also have to take into account, however, how these myths influenced the other cultures and by consequence their religion. The Greeks worshiped Aphrodite who was added into myth after contact with the Eastern provinces, just as in Genesis “the flood” hails from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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