The Lessons of Nature in Mythology

Location: McFarland Publishers

Date of Publication: October 29, 2015

Author: Rachel McCoppin

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This examination of myths from around the world focuses on the role nature plays within mythology. Creation myths from myriad cultures recognized that life arose from natural elements, inextricably connecting human life to the natural world. Nature as portrayed in myth is unpredictable and destructive but also redemptive, providing solace and wisdom. Mythology relates the human life cycle to the seasons, with spring, summer, fall and winter as metaphors for birth, adulthood, old age and death.
The author identifies divinities who were direct representations of natural phenomena. The transition of mythic representations from the Paleolithic to Neolithic period is discussed.

Introduction: The Land is the Myth
Chapter 1: Emerging from the Earth
Chapter 2: The Earth Goddess, the Male Seed, and the Harvest
Chapter 3: Divine Nature
Chapter 4: Untamed Nature and the Unfettered Human
Chapter 5: Trees of Knowledge and Botanical Metamorphosis
Chapter 6: The Seasonal Life Cycle and Myths of Destruction
Chapter Notes

This resource was suggested by Rachel McCoppin

About Rachel McCoppin:

Rachel S. McCoppin is a professor of literature at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. She has published in the areas of mythology, comparative literature, and multicultural pedagogy in scholarly books and journals.

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