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    Macalester College
   
 
  Jul 25, 2017
 
 
    
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College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

RELI 141 - Non-Classical Mythology


What is myth, and why have scholars spent so much time arguing over its nature? How have various groups used narratives and other related forms to describe the origins and nature of humans, animals, love, death, and the cosmos? Do myths exist in our present-day culture? How have people brought themselves into contact with myth through ritual, drama, possession, music, art, pilgrimage, and other activities? Do people really believe their myths? Do myths change the way in which we experience the world? This class will explore the role of myth in religion and culture, with an emphasis on examples outside of the more familiar ancient Greek and Roman traditions. Our focus will be on the religious aspects of myth, but we will also explore perspectives drawn from Folklorisitcs, Literary Criticism, Art History, Philosophy, and other academic disciplines. Through readings, lectures, slides, videos, and hands-on experiences, we will investigate case studies from many cultures and historical periods. We will explore aspects and uses of myth including myth theory, archetypes and psychological transformation, cosmology and the idea of social charters, myth as a kind of scientific thought, the use of myth in art and performance, political control and subversion, and recent efforts to utilize or create new myths in the form of literature and film. Every other year. (4 Credits)