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Other religions disagree: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, for example, are unanimous that it makes a great deal of difference whether or not the world and everything in it was created by God. But let us take a look at the two other kinds of myth.

Foundation myths (or origin myths) describe the foundation of the religion itself. In religions that have historical founders, this involves the founder's life and works. For Christianity, this is the life of Jesus, for Islam, the life of Muhammad, and so on. Even in religions that do not have a single historical founder, certain individuals take on such an important role that we can see their life stories as foundation myths. In Judaism, for example, the story of the life of Abraham is central to what it means to be a Jew. In Hinduism, the life of Krishna plays the same role.

End–time myths (or eschatological myths) are the other side of the creation myths. They describe the end of the world.

Some religions, like Hinduism believe that ours is just one in an endless succession of worlds: As one world dies out, a new one is created to take its place. Such religions do not have end–time myths in the true sense of the word, though they may have stories that tell the details of the recreation of worlds.

Christian artists have long tried to depict the end of the world. (c) William Blake/Wikimedia. Public Domain 2009.

Other religions, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, say that the world was created at a specific time, and that it will end at a specific time, and that this will be for keeps: no new world will be created afterwards. The details of this event vary from one religion's end–time myth to the other.

Myths are not always religious in nature: there are also secular and national myths. To give an example from South Africa, for Afrikaners the Great Trek of the 1830's serves as a foundation myth. It was from that event onwards that they started to think of themselves as a nation.

For members of the African National Congress, on the other hand, the Great Trek was a historical disaster. For them, the great foundation myth is the Kliptown Conference of 1955. Both of these events really happened. So they are not myths in the common sense of the word (remember, in the common sense of the word, a myth is something that is not true or did not happen). But they are myths in the Religion Studies sense of the word "myth". In terms of the importance that they gained in people's minds, both of them serve as important foundation myths.

Fact file: african creation myths

This myth of creation comes from the Boshongos of Central Africa.

In the beginning there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the sun. The sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. Still in pain, Bumba vomited up the moon, the stars, and then some animals: the leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and, finally, some men.

This myth is told by the Mande people of Mali:

At first Mangala was alone. Although Mangala did not have a physical form he was troubled by having matter inside of him. After removing the matter he tried to turn it into a seed. This first seed fell apart, but instead of giving up, Mangala decided to try again. This time, he used two seeds and placed them inside of a womb. The seeds transformed into fish. One of these fish, Pemba, tried to escape and in doing so created Earth but almost destroyed the womb. Mangala used Pemba's brother Farro and salvaged his creation by turning it into the sun. Farro was turned into a human and populated the Earth with his followers.

And this is the creation myth of the Yoruba people of Nigeria:

A long time ago, Olurun lowered a chain from the sky down to the Earth, which at that time was all water. He sent his son Obatala down to Earth with a chicken, some dirt and a palm nut. Obatala used the chicken to spread dirt until there was dry land. Obatala planted the seed and started the first kingdom, Ile–Ife. He was the kingdom's first ruler and all of the Yoruba are his descendants.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
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Source:  OpenStax, Learning about religion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 18, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11780/1.1
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