Christian Mythology

“A one sentence definition of mythology? “Mythology” is what we call someone else’s religion”

Joseph Campbel.

That’s ok when we’re talking about traditions that aren’t ours, but it can get people fussed up when the topic is their own religious faith.  Because  “mythology”  means something that isn’t true, right?  Well, not exactly.  Turning to Campbell again:

“Mythology is not a lie. Mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth — penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words, beyond images. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”

Put that way, it’s no wonder I’ve always loved mythologies.  Lately, I’ve been reading about war-induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and  several of the authors  have been referencing  mythology. Why? Well, historically, PTSD hasn’t been  easy to address, but Jonathan  Shay (“Achilles in Vietnam” and “Odysseus in America“) and subsequent counselors have found it helpful to veterans.

One Response to “Christian Mythology”

  1. May 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    ha! so true! joseph campbel was a smart guy.