Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Creation and Creativity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200242-1

Creation Myth and the Creative Process

Creation myth contains narrative accounts of how one or more deities created the world. Because they are divine beings, creator goddesses and gods represent sacred, iconic images of creativity and the creative process. These myths might seem to have little to do with human creativity, because humans create on much smaller scales and because humans do not possess the magical powers of manifestation that goddesses and gods demonstrate. Interpreted metaphorically, however, cosmogonic tales of origin present imagery of archetypal creativity that can elucidate the day-to-day creative process as understood by research psychologists. Creation myths imagine creativity mythopoetically, conveying the subject through images and correspondences. Cosmogonic narrative presents imaginal case studies of the psychology of divine creativity.

Research psychologists define creativity as the ability to produce new and useful products. On the archetypal scale, creative...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Chaudhary, N., & Punya Pillai, P. (2016). Creativity and Indian culture. In V. P. Glăveanu (Ed.), The Palgrave handbook of creativity and culture research (pp. 391–405). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  3. Dacey, J. S., & Lennon, K. H. (1998). Understanding creativity: The interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Russ, S. W. (1993). Affect and creativity: The role of affect and play in the creative process. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Sawyer, R. K. (2012). Explaining creativity: The science of human innovation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Luis ObispoUSA