The Modern Study of Myth and Its Relation to Science

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Abstract

The history of the modern study of myth can be divided into two main categories: that which sees myth as the primitive counterpart to natural science, itself considered overwhelmingly modern, and that which sees myth as almost anything but the primitive counterpart to natural science. The first category constitutes the nineteenth-century approach to myth. The second category constitutes the twentieth-century approach. Tylor and Frazer epitomize the nineteenth-century view. Malinowski, Eliade, Bultmann, Jonas, Camus, Freud, and Jung epitomize the twentieth-century approach. The question for the twenty-first century is whether myth can be brought back to the physical world, but in a way compatible with science. The case of the myth of Gaia will be considered as a possible way of doing so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-771
Number of pages15
JournalZygon: Journal of Religion and Science
Volume50
Issue number3
Early online date12 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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Keywords

  • myth
  • religion
  • science
  • social science

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