"Myth" refers to colorful stories that tell about the origins of humans and the cosmos. Attitudes towards myth vary greatly. Some regard it as a source of spiritual growth, while others see only falsehood. Some see in myth the distinct character of particular cultures, while others see universal patterns. Some regard myth as "contemporary" and "alive", while others think of it as "ancient" and/or "dead".
We will explore such issues in the context of an examination of the origin stories of four cultures: Maori (Polynesia), Native American, classical Greek, and Euro-American. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented by visual materials. The requirements will be three short essays and a mid-term and final quiz.