Original Research - Special Collection: UP Faculty of Theology Centenary Volume One

Myth as metaphor

Gert Malan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3260 | © 2016 Gert Malan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 November 2015 | Published: 08 July 2016

About the author(s)

Gert Malan, Department New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Modern Christianity has failed to update its myths and has even eliminated them, thus, excluding the metaphysical experience indispensable to religion (Jung). Myths should be interpreted, not eliminated. Answering the question about how to interpret myths without eliminating them or their intended effect is the object of this paper. The study investigates the possibility of interpreting myths as metaphors, thus, in a non-literal way. Various definitions of metaphor and myth, and theories for their interpretation are discussed, with focus on their relationship to symbolic universes. Finally, a non-mythical symbolic universe structured by root-metaphors is suggested as a framework for the existential interpretation of mythical concepts in the New Testament.

Keywords: myth; metaphor; conceptual metaphor; root metaphor; hermeneutics; existential interpretation; demythologising


Keywords

myth; metaphor; conceptual metaphor; root metaphor; hermeneutics; existential interpretation; demythologising

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