Religion, Myths Legends, Sacred Stories

This forum is for more genaralized discussions of the relationship between religion and beliefs and the environment. Those subjects dealing with various present indigenous cultures are discussed in the Indigenous Peoples Forum.

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Religion, Myths Legends, Sacred Stories

Post by edfrank » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:28 pm

This is a place for memebrs to talk about the how their religious beliefs influence their view of the the relationship between man and theh natural environment. In addition it will serve as a place to discuss the belief systems of past cvultures as are told in their myths, legends and sacred stories. In this section I am using the word myth in the scholarly sense.

A myth refers to a story of a supernatural, sacred, or religious nature that relates the world of man, to the natural world, and to the supernatural. All myths are, at some stage, believed to be true by the peoples of the societies that used or originated the myth The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word: "A traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces or creatures , which embodies and provides an explanation, aetiology, or justification for something such as the early history of a society, a religious belief or ritual, or a natural phenomenon." Myth by this definition is clearly distinguished from the use of the word in everyday speech, in which it basically refers to any unreal or imaginary story. If a story is referred to a myth in this section, it is not meaning or implying that the story is false or imaginary, but simply a story of a religious or sacred nature.

Virtually every religion in the world has stories involving trees in their sacred literature. In the Judeo-Christian religious tradition are accounts of the Garden of Eden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, in the very first book of the Bible. Other religions, both past and present, also have passages in which trees play an important role in defining the relationship among man, nature, and higher beings or gods..

The other major category of stories to be represented here are allegories, fables, and parables. These commonly use the same thematic elements as other sacred stories, but are designed to teach the reader or listener about some value or concept. These are generally acknowledged to be fictional in nature, but still play an important role in the context of a particular religion. One thing to consider is that many of these stories were told by generations of people around campfires before they were ever put to paper. Many therefore are meant to be told aloud, and listened to, rather than to be quietly read.

"Myths and Legends are Born from the Truth."

Myths, Legends, and Sacred Stories on the ENTS Website:
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky


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