Author Topic: Christian Mythology  (Read 1058 times)

Waski_the_Squirrel

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Christian Mythology
« on: May 04, 2016, 06:07:56 AM »
This may be meant to be more humorous, but there is a serious point. You all probably studied Greek religion in English class. You studied the Greek gods and goddesses.

So, today a friend of mine brought up a story in the news about people having some ribs removed to look skinnier. (Google it for horrifying pictures.) Now, I grew up Christian, attended a Christian college, and even spent a while preaching in a Christian church. My point is that I'm reasonably familiar with Christian mythology. So I said something along the lines of that there was a precedent. "Adam got rid of a rib so he could get a girlfriend."

My friend laughed and remarked that the girlfriend got him kicked out of paradise. But, another person at the table just stared blankly. I'm not 100% sure what her faith is, honestly, though, since this is rural North Dakota, I'm fairly certain it's Christian. It's possible she thought I was being sacrilegious, but I'm leaning toward the idea that she didn't get it. Now, the idea that Eve was made from Adam's rib is not an obscure Biblical story. I had a student in my Anatomy class bring it up this year when he told me that men have one less rib than women. I pointed out that it wasn't true, and left him an "out" by saying that only Adam would have been affected by that anyway.

So, my colleague didn't know this story. So, it occurred to me: at what point do we start teaching Christian mythology in English class? It really is part of our culture and a major part of our history and literature. I do think it's important to teach the mythology, as long as it's not taught as fact.

But, I will concede that we have a lot of people in this country who feel that the Christian religion is different from the other religions.

In my preaching days, one of the things that bothered me about Christians was their Biblical ignorance. Ironically, as I read my Bible more and more, I started doubting it more and more. So, I had a year of feeling superior because I was on my second reading of the thing, but it was the actual Bible that undermined my faith.

So, should we teach Christian mythology like we teach Greek mythology? And, if so, what stories should be part of it, and which ones do we discard?

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 09:40:32 AM »
So, should we teach Christian mythology like we teach Greek mythology? And, if so, what stories should be part of it, and which ones do we discard?

I don't remember ever being taught any mythology in school, tho I knew about various kinds because it was some of my favorite reading as a kid.  I do think comparative religion (which I also don't remember being taught in school) is a good subject for kids to study, altho with the way classes are being eliminated one after the other these days that's probably unlikely to happen. 

I think the basic myths should be read, the ones whose themes often turn up in Western literature -- the rib, the apple, the tempter snake, Job, Jona, the pillar of salt, and similar stories.  The more obscure stuff will probably be covered in church (assuming the kid is Xtian) or thru independent reading.
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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 05:39:58 PM »
So, it occurred to me: at what point do we start teaching Christian mythology in English class? It really is part of our culture and a major part of our history and literature.

I think at least a few generations will have to pass before it would be possible for Christian myths to be taught as myths in the United States. Even assuming there will be a time when the majority of the population is non-Christian, there would still be a vocal Christian element that would strenuously oppose such a move.
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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 07:09:10 PM »
I had classmates that were seriously pissed off when a world history teacher referred to Noahs Ark as allegory.

We loosely touched base on several religions in that class. Bible was a entire unit in English. I remember discussing the Roman gods in depth as well but I can't remember what class that was in any more. Probably it was before high school when we were on "teams" so all classes kinda intersected.

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 09:20:18 PM »
So, it occurred to me: at what point do we start teaching Christian mythology in English class? It really is part of our culture and a major part of our history and literature.

I think at least a few generations will have to pass before it would be possible for Christian myths to be taught as myths in the United States. Even assuming there will be a time when the majority of the population is non-Christian, there would still be a vocal Christian element that would strenuously oppose such a move.

Vocal Christian element? Surely you jest. 

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2016, 06:35:46 PM »
I definitely think it's important to tell students some basics of every mythology, not only Christian, because it helps to understand our cultural past and the effects it has on the present. Also only if students to know about the 'whole picture', they'll able to form a differentiated viewpoint.
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existentialcrisis

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 04:26:07 PM »
I predict in the future religion will be taught in schools as mythology. Especially once the scientific revolution has taken full course.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mythology
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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 05:11:56 AM »
I fear that the teaching of religion as mythology will be delayed until a long  time in the future EC. I'd rather it had begun yesterday but no such luck.

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 07:17:57 AM »
In Norway, religion is pretty much being taught alongside mythology. Private schools are a bit of an exception, but the whole point of private schools in this country is to cater to the needs of those parents, who feel like public education is sorely lacking in brainwashing.

In public schools, however, religious education is... Bland. Bland and mildly boring. I don't have a problem with its existence;I just wish they taught a little less tolerance and acceptance towards backward cultures and religions under the pretence that we all have some sort of obligation to respect each others' opinions. We do not. We must respect one another's right to be full of shit, but not the shit itself. The shit, it ought to be mocked and ridiculed and frozen out of the society, but... Progressives, globalists and puppy-eyed peace-on-Earthers.

If you wonder why conservative populism is doing as well as it is, well, the three abovementioned groups are to blame. By the way, no, I'm not just pointing fingers in the atmosphere. Politically, I myself belong with the progressive non-Socialist crowd. However, their environmental hysteria and umbrella of acceptance for anything "different" (By which they mean "worse," in my vocabulary) have long-since driven me deep into the blue. (In Norwegian politics, left-wing socialists are red, right-wing conservatives/populists are blue and the rest are shades of green and yellow)
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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 08:54:36 AM »
I personally don't want religion taught in schools. Like Asmo said, it ought to be thrown out of society. If you really want to learn about Christian mythology, every town in the USA has like a million churches, so you can go there. And you won't even have to waste 5 days of the week on that nonsense.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 07:31:04 PM »
Theoretically, Christianity should be taught as mythology. When you look at it that way, you see a wider picture. You get to see how the Pentateuch developed with its rejection of Mesopotamian ideas of deities. In addition, you get to see the values (er... lack of values, more like) of people of the time, etc.

I can't sugar-coat it - the fact that a collection of texts from around 2000 years ago which can't even make the simple moral pronouncement that slavery is utterly wrong in every single way (among other atrocious beliefs, such as sexism, stoning people for being gay, etc.) is still seen as a holy text that is worshiped by a HUGE number of people as the authority on morality is straight-up scary.

Like... People should take one look at the ethics of the book and be able to easily say "Wow. That's totally just the culture of its time trying to project its idea ethics into a propose deity's law", but instead... people actually believe it. How... Why...?

The texts make so much more sense as ancient mythology... but so many people still buy into this, we can't even really go into teaching it as mythology. The Christians will cry "persecution!" which they already are too happy to do at things that absolutely don't effect them.

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Re: Christian Mythology
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2016, 12:14:40 AM »
^ Astute observation Harmonie.