Sunday, April 27, 2014

Myth, Genesis and The Resurrection

Fr. Paul Nicholson clarifies and corrects most cogently.


Frank O'L. said...

Excellent addition to your blog. Fr. Nicholson nails it !

Let me add 2 cents worth to his clarification, on the use of the word 'myth.' The anti-religious would like it to be disparaging but, as usual, on this as with so much else they are simply wrong.

Years ago, in my study of ancient history, I read ' The Origins of Mythopoeic Thought in the Ancient Near East,' by Henri Frankfort. It was a fascinating read, and helped greatly in understanding how the ancient peoples themselves thought of their 'myths.' They did NOT think of a 'myth' as a fantasy, a legend, or a fairy-tale ... i.e., something UNTRUE.

The equating of 'myth' with 'untrue' is the perspective of modern secularists, who are (when it comes to History) 'low-information' contributors. For ancient peoples, it was precisely the opposite. Myths were their expression of their understanding of Truth. For pre-literate cultures, lacking a scientific method, written histories, modern means of communication, etc., etc., a myth was their expression of what they believed to be real and true.

To expect a myth to be a literally accurate history of the relations between 'the gods' and mankind is to misunderstand what a myth is. If one considers the various myths of the Greeks, the Romans and other ancient pagans, one usually discovers an astute observation about _human nature_, moreso than some revelation of the Divine. But even here, the Creator instilled in his creatures intuitions which would become clearer with the Incarnation ... as Chesterton so well explained.

ELA said...

Very helpful insight Frank. Thanks for adding further impact to Fr. Nicholson's message!