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Creation Myths

An overview of the elements occurring within creation myths.

Anita Bartholomew

on 27 August 2010

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Transcript of Creation Myths

CREATION MYTHS Every culture has/had a version of the origin of life.

What's the point in telling these stories? How did the world come to be?
Where did we come from?
Questions... What patterns exist when comparing creation stories?

What civilizations have a creation story?

How does the Greek creation myth fit the pattern?
Which civilizations have a creation story? Any guesses? Shinto
Greek (ancient)
and many more...
Now, the most important question:

What do all of these creation myths have in common? -Initiator- Supreme being who created the earth (by will, by hand, or by assigning work)
Often imperfect, mortal, impulsive
Greeks – gods and goddesses
Iroquois (N.A.) – Sky Woman
Aborigine (Australia) – Father of All Spirits
Christian/Jewish – God
-World Before Earth- Created from nothing (uncommon)
Another world above or below Earth
Greeks – Chaos
Bushmen of Africa – world beneath surface
Japanese – land above clouds
Hopi – past worlds with people
-The Sea- Land rises out of sea (and has potential to be swallowed again)
Viking – fire meets ice and creation takes place out of melted water
Japanese – 2 gods stir ocean and make islands appear
-Creation of People- Usually made out of another substance
Babylonian – blood of an executed god
Eskimos (Greenland) – children grown out of the earth
-The First Couple- Man and woman from whom all others are born
Nordic – Ask and Embla
Christian/Jewish – Adam and Eve
-Human Consequence- Often humans disobey god(s) and cause pain, evil, and bad things for future humans
Greeks – Prometheus and Pandora
African Bushmen – punished for building fire
Aborigine (Australia) – animals punished for building fire
Christian/Jewish – Adam and Eve
-Other less common patterns- -Claim of truth
-Seem unlikely to other cultures
-No known author
-Different versions
- Speculations of our ancestors

- Reason, intellect, and imagination of humans throughout history
So, what do creation myths reveal? Why do we read them?
Full transcript