Myths and Mythologies: A Reader

Routledge
Free sample

In all cultures and at all times, humans have told stories about where they came from, who they are and how they should live their lives. 'Myths and Mythologies' brings together the key classic and contemporary writings - philosophical, psychological, sociological, semiological and cognitivist - on myth. To the insider, myths contain truth, revelation and a 'history of ourselves'; to the outsider, a culture s myths can be seen as the product of foolish, infantile and wishful thinking. Myths tell us about specific cultures, about human creativity, and how narrative shapes and reflects understanding. The 'Reader' is an invaluable resource for students and scholars interested in the impact of narrative on human culture and the meaning of truth in religious language.
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About the author

Jeppe Sinding Jensen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 16, 2016
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781315475752
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Does rationality, the intellectual bedrock of all science, apply to the study of religion?
Religion, arguably the most subjective area of human behaviour, has particular challenges associated with its study. Attracting crowd-healers, conjurers, the pious and the prophetic alongside comparativists and sceptics, it excites opinions and generalizations whilst seldom explicitly staking out the territory for the discussions in which it partakes. Increasingly, scholars argue that religious study needs to define and critique its own field, and to distinguish itself from theology and other non-objective disciplines. Yet how can rational techniques be applied to beliefs and states of mind regarded by some as beyond the scope of human reason? Can these be made empirically testable, or comparable and replicable within academic communities? Can science explicate religion without reducing it to mere superstition, or redefine its truth in some empirical but meaningful way?
Featuring contributions from leading international experts including Donald Wiebe, Roger Trigg and Michael Pye, Rationality and the Study of Religion gets under the surface of the religious studies discipline to expose the ideologies beneath. Reopening debate in a neglected yet philosophically significant field, it questions the role of rationality in religious anthropology, natural history and anti-scientific theologies, with implications not only for supposedly objective disciplines but for our deepest attitudes to personal experience.
'Interesting and important. Religion has long been associated with irrationality, both by its defenders and its critics, and the topic of rationality has been unjustly neglected The book certainly deserves to be widely circulated.'
Greg Alles, Western Maryland College
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