TRS202 Marymount University Mythology and Cosmology Discussion –


Watch the video attached and Read below what Eliade and Strenski have to say about creation myths and cosmogony in general. Then give a short response to each of the questions on the Answer Sheet


Mircea Eliade:

All myths participate in some sort in the cosmological type of myth—for every account of what came to pass in the holy era of the beginning (in illo tempore) is but another variant of the archetypal history: how the world came to be.

The creation of the World being the pre-eminent instance of creation, the cosmogony becomes the exemplary model for ‘creation’ of every kind… Origin myths continue and complete the cosmogonic myth.

Ivan Strenski reduces Eliade’s understanding of myth to the following categories:

  • They are stories about origin, beginning, and creation itself.
  • The purpose of the creation myth is to provide human beings with an ontological orientation by narrating their origin, beginning, or creation as sacred and/or external events.
  • They are the result of human yearning for orientation which comes from knowing one’s origin.
  • They are timeless, which serves to make the subject of the myth immortal.


Cosmogony: the science or the theory of the creation of the Universe. (How the Universe came to be.)

Cosmology: is the science or the theory of the Universe as an ordered whole and the rules that govern it. (The Universe as it is now.)

Hierophany: going beyond the profane (natural rather than supernatural) world of space-time through ritual or storytelling, and entering into the sacred (supernatural rather than natural) realm of eternal time.

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