Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand

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Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” So, the first goal for our class is for everyone to understand what we mean by “mythology.” You will be looking over some readings in which the term is used to understand what the authors mean by it.
We will start our study of mythology by first considering pantheons, an important element of mythology, and how they are defined in various cultures.
Christopher R. Fee, in his book Gods, Heroes, & Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain, has this explanation of the term, pantheon:
A pantheon is an overview of a given culture’s gods and goddesses and reflects not only the society’s values but also its sense of itself. A pantheon directed by a thunderbolt wielding autocrat might suggest a patriarchy and the valuing of warrior skills. A pantheon headed by a great-mother goddess could suggest a village-based agricultural society. To confront the pantheon of the Egyptians is to confront a worldview marked by a sense of death and resurrection and the agricultural importance of the cycles of nature. The Greek pantheon is a metaphor for a pragmatic view of life that values art, beauty, and the power of the individual, and that is somewhat skeptical about human nature.
Response
For this discussion, you should think about the meaning of the terms “mythology” and “pantheon.” Your response to prompts 1-4 is your initial response, for which you are expected to write a total of 200-300 words. For prompt 5, each of your two replies is expected to be at least 125-200 words.
Please do not include any of the prompt’s text (below) in your response:
After reviewing the Week 1 resources, how would you explain the term “mythology” and why it may be difficult to define. How should we interpret myths? Since myths are rarely literal, how does that complicate our interpretation of them?
Define “pantheon” to someone who might not have heard of this term. Include important features and concepts.
After reviewing discussions of various pantheons in the resources, what traditions did you find the most similar, and why? Which traditions seem the most unique, and why? …..
…..
Ask one original, objective question (not a personal response) of your classmates focused upon the readings. You could ask a question about what the pantheon reveals about a culture’s values, about a tradition that we did not cover this week, about a source online that perhaps gives new insight about mythology or a pantheon (or anything else that is relevant to the topic of our discussion). Remember that your goal is to ask an objective, complex question that will require your classmates to enhance their thinking about this week’s topic and then to write a 125-150 word response (imagine that you are leading a discussion about the term and want to involve the class–this is the question which other students will answer for their replies).
…..
(Week 1 RESOURCE LINKS)
-https://www.pbs.org/mythsandheroes/myths_what.html
-https://thecrashcourse.com/courses/indian-pantheons-crash-course-world-mythology-8/
-https://thecrashcourse.com/courses/the-greeks-and-romans-pantheons-part-3-crash-course-world-mythology-9/
-https://thecrashcourse.com/courses/the-norse-pantheon-crash-course-world-mythology-10/

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