To Explain the Inexplicable: Mythology and the Reconciling of Existence

To Explain the Inexplicable: Mythology and the Reconciling of Existence Essay example
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Religion and Theology
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Name 1 Name Class Instructor Date To Explain the Inexplicable: Mythology and the Reconciling of Existence Topic 1 - The habit (or temptation) of interpretation can create difficulty in reading the ancient Mesopotamian myths. For a modern reader with a thoroughly Western (read Greek) orientation, the inclination to apply a Greek mythological construct to Mesopotamian hero tales, tales of creation and of regeneration can be tempting…

Introduction

While it may be useful to regard the Greek mythological paradigm as a “Rosetta stone” of sorts for more ancient traditions, it can be a “crutch,” a complacent academic refuge. As such, it can be difficult to appreciate the Mesopotamian myths on their own terms. A less analytical problem is the absence of whole stanzas in the Mesopotamian myths. For instance, the 45 lines missing from tablet two of the Epic of Gilgamesh undermines the tale in terms of continuity and leaves a gap in the development of the relationship between Enkidu Name 2 and Gilgamesh. These gaps are, of course, unavoidable but do engender a degree of difficulty in understanding and appreciating the story within its own cultural context. This, as well as the tendency/temptation to impose a Greek construct, is reminiscent of a characteristic mentioned in Campbell’s first function of mythology. Campbell contends that “the mind goes asking for meanings; it can’t play unless it knows (or makes up) some system of rules” (Campbell, 2011). ...
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