Beyond Eden: Opening Ourselves to the Power of Creation Myths

Maori creationLast week, as part of my preparation to teach a class on myth-making I spent some time exploring the creation myths from cultures other than my own. What I rediscovered was the power of story to help us make meaning of and in our lives. It is an exercise that I highly recommend! 

Sand Artist – Marcus Winter is an indigenous artist of New Zealand who brings the Maori Creation Story to life with his performance painting of sand art.

The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell

Bill Moyers’ six-part series exploring the work of Joseph Campbell on the Power of Myth first aired back in 1988 and remains one of the most popular series that PBS has ever aired. I still remember watching it for the first time in 1992 in a Religious Studies 101 class. It opened my mind to a whole new way of understanding our desire to make meaning of our experiences. I post it here for the benefit of the class I’m currently teaching on Progressive Christianity. As we attempt to move beyond the doctrines and dogmas that have held the church captive to a new way of being church, it is helpful to understand that so many of the mysteries we encounter in life cannot be contained in thoughts, ideas, or doctrines ¬†precisely because they transcend words. To speak of eternal mystery we must use the language of myth.

The video below is the one in the series: The Hero. I suspect that once you’ve watched it, you’ll want to search out the other videos in the series.¬†