Use one of the theories of myth to analyze Genesis 1. Explain exactly how the theory you choose accounts for the story.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Genesis I, the story of creation is presented. The world is created, then man, then the animals, and then woman. When the woman eats of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, she knows sin and therefore shame. She encourages the man to do the same. This introduces original sin (in the form of the snake, representing evil), and it is for this sin, failing to follow the rules set forth by God, Adam and Eve are sent out of the Garden of Eden.

While many cultures have stories that explain the creation of the world, animals and mankind, and also speak of power that controls this creation, this story is the basis of the Christian and Jewish faiths in explaining the beginnings of the world. These themes are common in cultures that do not follow them as part of a religion, but simply as a cultural belief. So there is a commonality:

Jung asserted that all humans share certain innate unconscious psychological forces, which he called archetypes. Jung believed that the similarities between the myths from different cultures [reveal] the existence of these universal archetypes.

In other words, Jung felt that "myths" (if you choose to believe it is a myth or perhaps an allegory) were common responses from diverse cultures: the names and details may be different, but this story in particular comes forth from the Old Testament, recorded by Jewish scholars. Jung's theory, then, explains the common theme among "creation" stories/myths.

However, as far back as Plato, myths were studied and even classified:

Sallustius...a Platonist...divides myths into five categories – theological, physical (or concerning natural laws), animastic (or concerning soul), material and mixed.

(The last category refers to myths that are a combination of at least two of those categories listed previously.)

Genesis provides the circumstances under which mankind came into existence; how the world was created—the land, the light, the stars, and the seas, etc., and explains the specifics surrounding the causes for their ejection from the Garden of Eden, an explanation for sin and punishment, and the belief that this caused strife between God and his children.

In terms of the five categories, Genesis 1 would fall into the category of theological. In terms of the physical (natural laws), this story does not account for the details of personality of the people, or explain thunder (as some cultures do) or explain how the sun rises and sets each day.

In that the story in Genesis 1 is theological, it explains how God created all things—the world, its inhabitants, animals, plants and emotion. This introduces the concept of God, His power and His relationship with the world since that time.

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