Because theology is a topic of interest for me, people often attempt to label me as a follower of some specific religion.
So, I will clarify:
I am not a follower of ANY religion. However, I do study ALL of them.
All religion can be defined as a form of cultural mythology.
Lots of folks have trouble with this idea. They are willing to look at the stories from other cultures as mythology, but they can not bring themselves to use that term for their own belief system.
When they define other beliefs as mythology, and define their own beliefs as Theology, it implies that one is false, and the other is true.
Webster dictionary defines mythology as:
1 : an allegorical narrative
2 : a body of myths : as a : the myths dealing with the gods, demigods, and legendary heroes of a particular people
3 : a branch of knowledge that deals with myth
4 : a popular belief or assumption that has grown up around someone or something
So it is clear that all religion does in fact fall under that definition of Mythology.
What I find fascinating is that each and every teaching from the major religions can be traced back to other myths and beliefs from other cultures.
For instance, did you know that there are over a dozen different myths of a crucified savior?
These myths came from many different cultures, and each tell their own story, but also share many common threads.
Common elements between these myths are:
-the saviors birth is usually related to a miracle or mother with special powers (Virgin, Goddess etc.)
-Savior has healing magic
-Savior is killed by his own people
-Savior is flanked in death by two others, one representing good, one representing evil
- Savior comes back to life
What really blows my mind though, is the fact that most people choose a religion without ever looking at religion. I mean, you would not buy a car or a DVD player without due diligence and careful research, right?
Why is it that people choose a worldview without an equal sense of critical analysis?
Faith is so important. It DESERVES careful thought...Doesn't it?