The line between legend and history can sometimes be thin. Legends often draw on deep and rich storytelling that weaves together fantasies, myths, fairy tales, and a wee bit of history. We may like to think history is more scientific, but historical accounts are often entangled with personal perspectives and interpretive memories. Religion and mythology are sister studies, evoking vision and fantasy with powerful consequences. How do they work together? To what end?
Religion and Myth
Myth and religion tell the same story of seeking the unknown from different perspectives at different times.
If you think the purpose of myth is to lead us to facts, you've missed the point.
In an imaginary world, we can be taken away from the familiar things of this world and see them from another angle, sometimes perceiving them as they really are for the first time.
The stories we tell ourselves can draw our own tribes closer together. They can also further distance us from those who tell themselves different stories.
Religion and myth become one as worshippers imaginatively respond to a Creator manifest in nature.
David C. Downing
Both C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were engaged in mythopoesis, "myth making," finding new stories in which to embody spiritual intuitions that seem to go as far back as humanity itself.
Stories are subversive; they tiptoe past (in C. S. Lewis's words) the "watchful dragons" that would keep us in the dark and staleness of prison.
Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson
Without myth, there simply is no Christian faith.
Fantasy challenges many all-encompassing claims of the modern, industrialized, and secularized world.
In religious traditions around the world, what is real is actually a many-layered cake and the world of imagination is one of those layers.
Stories are true insofar as they imitate the story that tells us.
The Christian writer ought to enjoy a distinct advantage. We have no excuse for being as bad in our depictions of evil as we generally are.
Paganism contained a good deal of meaningful stuff that pointed to and was realised in the historical story of Christ.
C. R. Wiley
Most people know that Grimm’s Fairy Tales are not the watered-down stuff Walt Disney gave us. They’re much darker, far grimmer. Two questions arise in my mind at the thought: first, what purpose did the real stories serve? (they were passed down for generations, and I’ve heard tell their roots go down so deep they’re [Read More...]
I don’t know where God gets the patience. We are absolutely the most difficult people to communicate with! As the Letter to the Hebrews begins, “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets.” Many and various ways – thank you, God for trying everything you could think of [Read More...]