When we talk about Religion and Mythology, often we mistake them for the same thing. This is often due to the fact that, both are based around stories and full of miracles and special events that, we the readers from a 21st century perspective deem as logically and physically impossible. Growing up as a child, religion was a pillar that I personally was brought up with yet at the same time when it came to aspects such as entertainment, Mythology is a key influence on children’s programmes. There is a heavy element of magic realism portrayed in cartoons and T.V. series and so from a young age, both entities have at some point come to a crossroad. Linking, and binding their stories together for example the monotheistic belief of One God as opposed to the Polytheistic approach of Mythology. Religion and mythology as aforementioned are related but to a certain extent. Religion and mythology both involve cycles of creation and origins of the human life. Often this makes it difficult for people to distinguish the two, but there are still distinct features that allow us to see the differences in the two entities. Most elements of mythology and religion can be identified as belonging to one or the other. The key focus in this essay is to explore the similarities between Christianity and Greek Mythology as I believe they are the eldest and most complex ‘religions’ and its seems befitting that we will explore them in depth and come to a conclusion whether Religion is influenced by Mythology at all?
At first glance, there does not seem to be much similarity between Christianity and Greek Mythology. However, upon a more detailed examination, one finds many similarities. Cultural influences affect both Christianity and Greek Mythology and cause the similarities seen. These two religions’ origins are found in the Near East/European geographical area. Both religions arose within a similar culture, Christianity gaining popularity at the expense of Greek Mythology. The differences that the two religions have are surface level differences. The most obvious difference deals with the number of gods. In Christianity, there is only one god: Yahweh. This God is the personal God of all the Israel people. Yahweh forbids the people to worship other gods. They are not allowed to `worship a fertility god, because Yahweh IS the only Fertility God. He is also the god of war, the god of love; he is the god of everything and anything. The people are to worship only him. This is different in Greek Mythology. There are multitudes of gods. The excepted number of Olympian Gods is 12; however, there are other gods that are worshiped within Greek Mythology. When a new territory was gained that had a different local god, the region was allowed to still worship that god, however, the people had to acknowledge that the Greek Gods were more powerful. This idea can be seen in other religions besides Greek Mythology, like with Babylonian mythology. The idea was one that helped with tensions between the territory that was taken over and the conquering nation, like the Greeks. It allowed the Greeks to merge and blend with other cultures. In fact there seems to be evidence that this was how the original twelve Olympian Gods originated. The reason why Christianity did not follow in the cultural path is that the role that religion played in society. For the Christians religion was something very serious, it dealt with the eternal soul and the place that the eternal soul would rest once it left this realm. They believe that a person’s actions here on earth dictates where that person’s soul will go. A person has control over his or her destiny by the choices he or she makes in life. They not only pray to the lord for help in life, but also for help in saving the eternal soul. People pray for to repent whatever sins they may have committed in life. The role of religion of Greek Mythology is not like that. This role deals not with the afterlife, but rather with life on...
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