Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo


  • Angela Ales Bello
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1367

Related Terms


Myth is a Greek term μύθος that means “word” or “story.” In all cultures, myths are recounted by ritual mimes and celebrated in public festivals with the aim of appeasing the gods or warding off evil. They are the originating source of the religious institutions of a clan or a city. Myth is always the product of a collectivity.

In Western cultures, from the birth of Greek Logos, interpretations of myths are multiple. Logos is understood to be the foundation for philosophy and the sciences. It attempts to comprehend myths in their individual form and even tries to eliminate them as they are judged to be fruits of the imagination and, therefore, false. Interpretations are mostly linked to philosophy and, more recently, to historical-philological investigations, cultural anthropology, sociology, history of religions, psychoanalysis, and the phenomenology of religion.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lateran UniversityVatican CityItaly