Religioius Myths in Modern Term Paper

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Religioius Myths in Modern Times

Religious Myths in Modern Times

There are many religious myths which have abounded since prehistoric times. But the in the context of current day religions and the misuse of the word "myth," the contemporary believer does not want to call his or her faith a "myth." The meaning of the word "myth" therefore might be explained as it pertains to this research.

Christian mythology consists of all the stories which make up the bulk of the gospels - the story of the life, actions and travels of Jesus and his followers. Mythology may be discriminated from theology in that the stories may be discriminated from the beliefs arising from them. A further alternative in use of words: some prefer to say "Christian narrative" instead of the words "Christian mythology."

Most religions are made up of stories which become part of the belief system of the believer. Siddhartha Gautama's travels and steps to experiencing Nirvana in the Buddhist religion, the stories of animals and people which combine to create a pantheon of gods for the Hindu religion, the writings of Jewish history and their interpretation which make up the Jewish faith, the stories of Tiki, the Sun-God of the Peloponnesian Islands, the oral traditions and stories which create a way of life for the primitive tribes in South American jungles, the stories in the Koran, which interpreted, become the religious belief of Islam, the traditional narrations and artifacts that make up the backbone of traditional African religions, and so forth.

The largest religion today, Christianity, which claims 33.06% of the world population as adherents in 2005, is still made up of many variations of Christian belief. There are Protestants, Catholics, Assyrians and Eastern Orthodox, for a start. Each of these may be broken down into various denominations within them, each one of which has created a belief system from the myths which come from the same source, the Old and New Testaments (Bryces 36).

The Sunni and Shi'a beliefs make up differing segments found in Islam, as the people in the United States have become aware as they watch the fight between them in Iraq. Therevada Buddhism is distinguished from Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism and most other religions also have such divisions within them. What this means is that the interpretation of the mythology of most religions is disputed among its members and adherents with like views tend to worship together and form separate segments within a certain belief system.

A world overlook at the religious myths today shows a huge variety of choices. Most religions in the world have as their source the writings of the Koran and Pentateuch, or the Old Testament. The stories in these books were written down sometime within recorded history, and, in fact, make up part of recorded history. The sources of the stories, however, date back beyond recorded history, into pre-recorded times, when oral history was the means of passing along information, and therefore fall into the category of narratives, or oral history. What this means to us today is that most of the sources for the belief system of the world's population is derived from spoken tradition. There is no way to determine the factual accuracy of most of the histories and stories that have become the foundation for most of today's religions. As a matter of fact, some of the stories have differing written versions and interpretations.

Whereas Christians make up the largest majority of religions, the Muslims are second, with 20.28% of the world population, Hindus make up 13.3% and falling far behind, the Chinese Universists make up 6.27%. Jews, who fathered most of the myths, are now.23% of the world population.

Myths continue to be made. Today the internet has spawned thousands of "myths" that tell new stories about "miracles" and strange happenings related to participants' religions. Over the internet, these stories travel at the speed of light around the globe and are changed and twisted till they become as believable and astounding as the first myths were. Often they are based on some former, or biblical happening or related to something in the Bible or concern some religious leader. There are websites that debunk them, but they still are… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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