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Author: Gustavo Esparza

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to delve into the role of myth in human culture as its archaic form. Despite the common conception that considers the mythical as a prelogical form that needs to be overcome, here it is argued that, regardless of the evolution of human thought, it continues to be based on its foundations that are expressed in mythological form. In this paper, three different historical conceptions are analyzed, together with their corresponding epistemic expressions achieved throughout their cultural evolution: their metaphorical base, the sign as a way of believing, and the ability to universalize. I would like to argue that myth allows us to understand the archaic as a logical path from action to knowledge. In the end, it will be argued that the myth has its own rules of knowledge and is a valid form of understanding.

In: The Bounds of Myth

Abstract

In this paper we analyze some passages of Aristotle’s Problems related to the perception of movement and action, and then put them in relation to the theory of the dramatic composition of the Poetics. Exemplarity is an indispensable resource in moral formation for the ancient Greeks, in particular for Plato and Aristotle. However, there are only a few studies that consider the process of perception of movement and moral action. Ultimately, we explain why the imitation of actions present in the dramatic art is a valuable resource to understand the complexity of practical life precisely because of its ability to present human actions before the eye in its organic wholeness.

In: The Bounds of Myth
In: The Bounds of Myth
In: The Bounds of Myth

Abstract

This article studies the meanings of the term doctrine in De doctrina christiana, as it is necessary to determine the scope of a word that has been integrated into the worldview of Christianity after a long semantic journey. From a methodological point of view, we integrate two perspectives: on the one hand, a review of the secondary literature on Augustine, based on the turning point that the contributions of H.I. Marrou and P. Brown represented. On the other hand, we apply the philological method, since its historical nature lets us understand the nuances of the transition from classical culture to Christianiy. Our contribution to Augustinian studies rests on the following affirmation: the cultural baggage of the grammarian was put in tension by the interpretation of the Scriptures that express, for Christianity, “the truth that God is,” with the darkness and ambiguity of human language. The elementary experience of God involved finding an instrument to express a part of that primordial truth and beauty.

In: The Bounds of Myth
In: The Bounds of Myth
Author: Gustavo Esparza

Abstract

My purpose in this paper is to analyze the encounter between Adam and Eve as it is described in Genesis 1–2. Here I consider the myth as a valid source of self-knowledge, inasmuch as through its narration it is possible to experience the moment of fascination in which “man” realizes that “woman” is “bones of his bones and flesh of his flesh.” I will emphazise that this expression is developed through a phenomenological process which implies, in turn, a pedagogical path to form in man the capacity to understand the woman as the culminating point of creation, and that, being “like” me means being different from me.

In: The Bounds of Myth
Author: Jon Stewart

Abstract

This article argues that we can track specific stages in the development of subjectivity by tracing the different accounts of the afterlife. As the sense of subjectivity and individuality becomes more pronounced, this is reflected in ever more refined views of the underworld or heaven, as the case may be. An attempt is made to establish the basic framework of this claim with just a few examples, which can be used as the point of departure for a more detailed study. The article examines the Mesopotamian, Hebrew, Greek, Roman and Medieval Christian views of the afterlife, which, when taken together, clearly show an undeniable trajectory.

In: The Bounds of Myth
Author: Ethel Junco

Abstract

Based on two sources, one Greek and the other medieval, I underscore the consonances presented by the enigma, a construction of discourse that speaks and omits simultaneously. In both narrative treatments I ponder the principle of unity. I start with the enigma as the motive of action and stop with the particular answers—word and silence—as axes of self-knowledge. To support this claim, I examine the story of Oedipus in the Theban cycle, according to the dramatization of Sophocles in Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, and Perceval or The Tale of the Grail by Chrétien de Troyes; in each piece I focus on the core of the enigma, namely, the test of the Sphinx at the gates of Thebes and the procession of the Grail in the castle of the Fisher King. The two cases are resolved according to the worldviews of each age, supported on the Greek rational resourcefulness and the path of medieval mystic silence.

In: The Bounds of Myth

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explain the approach of Saint Thomas Aquinas in relation to the language that man uses to speak of God, in particular metaphorical language. Thus, it is a question of responding in this way to the apophatic problem. It begins with the claim of Aquinas, commenting on Aristotle’s Metaphysics: “The philosopher is, in a sense, a philo-myth, i.e., a lover of myth.” Aristotle’s position regarding myth is explained first; then I discuss the place of metaphor in the epistemological doctrine of Saint Thomas, following the perspective of the Thomistic School of Barcelona. I conclude that human language, including metaphorical language, can really express divine perfections, but without reaching the knowledge of the essence of God. Finally, I explain how God helped the cognitive weakness of man through Revelation, using metaphors to adapt to man’s way of knowing, which reaches the intelligible through the sensible.

In: The Bounds of Myth