The Mythic Firmament

  • Ninian Smart
Part of the Philosophy of Religion Series book series


Common as it may be to define religion by reference to belief in God, gods, etc. (a procedure which runs up against troubles in any case in regard to, for example, Theravada Buddhism), there may be merit in looking at the Focus or Foci of religious activity through the medium of the mythic, that is, in a context where such entities are acting, not just so to say quietly existing. It is also useful to achieve as much clarity as is at present possible on the nature of the mythic in view of the many debates about the functions, existential, social, and so forth of myths. To some extent my procedure will be prescriptive, that is, defining myth in a manner suiting my argument.


Original Event Christian Tradition Religious Language Eternal Life Creative Power 
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  1. 1.
    For a general discussion of these and other issues see N. Smart, ‘The Concept of Worship’ (Macmillan, 1972).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 4.
    See my ‘Towards a Systematic Future for Theology’ in F. G. Healey (ed.), ‘Prospect for Theology’ (Nisbet, 1967).Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    See I. T. Ramsey (ed.), ‘Christian Ethics and Contemporary Philosophy’ (S.C.M. Press, 1966).Google Scholar

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© Ninian Smart 1973

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  • Ninian Smart

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