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University of Phoenix Material
Divine Roles Across Cultures Matrix
Select one common divine role that recurs in world mythology. Possible options of divine roles include the following: father or mother divinities, divinities of war, home or hearth divinities, divinities of love, divinities of wisdom, divinities of medicine or health, divinities of the wind, divinities of agriculture, divinities of the sky, ruler of all the gods, and so on. Identify the role in the title of your matrix. Select two myths, each from a different culture, in which the divine role appears. Identify the divinity names and cultures in columns A and B. Complete the matrix by answering each of the five questions for both selected divinities. Title: 1. How is this divinity portrayed? Describe the divinity’s role within the myth. Column A Divinity Name: Zeus Culture of Origin: Greek Zeus was the ruler of all the Olympian gods and master of all men. He is also the lord of the sky, light, winds, clouds, thunder, rain and other atmospheric phenomena. He is represented as the god of justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked. Not surprisingly for the god of rain, he’s married to Hera (the goddess of the Earth). Column B Divinity Name: Odin Culture of Origin: Norse Odin is the ruler of all the gods of the Norse mythology. He lives in Valhalla, where half of all dead warriors gather after death. He sits at his throne viewing the whole world. Odin is the god of war, magic, poetry and wisdom. He is the wisest of all the worlds, but paid he gave one of his eyes for this power. Odin had the power to transform into whatever he wanted, from serpents to fish, smoke or fire. He was all powerful.
Hades got the Underworld. Odin was a “good” god as opposed to his grandfather Ymir who was cruel. Since Ymir was a cruel. Cronus was cruel and swallowed his children after birth. Then he and his brothers Poseidon and Hades divvy up the universe. Poseidon received the sea. and these gods joined him in fighting to wrest control of the universe from the Titans and Cronus. a characteristic proper of a patriarchal society such as the Greek society. Zeus also was accorded Odin is a powerful male god with incredible wisdom about everything. Zeus was the last son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. When Zeus grew up. Odin has a positive interaction with his brothers. and Zeus took the sky. Odin and his brothers then made all things (Earth. Rhea saved Zeus by hiding him in a cave. As a male god he is powerful and is also the ruler of all the gods. The sisters of Ymir however are upset at the death of their brother and try to cause trouble for people. Having a female as the ruler of all gods would have been impossible in a patriarchal society like the Scandinavian Vikings. Is the divinity male or female? What function does this gender play? 3. . etc. Zeus imprisoned most of them in the underworld.Divine Roles Across Cultures Matrix HUM/105 Version 3 2 2. Odin and the other gods killed him. and there is an agreement that he is the most powerful. After he vanquished his father and the other Titans.) from parts of Ymir’s body. he made Cronus to vomit up his siblings. how does this divinity compare with other divinities? How does this divinity interact with or compare to divinities of the same gender and to divinities of the opposite gender? Zeus is a male god. sky. moon. Within the myth of origin.
that assist him or her? supreme authority on earth and on Mount Olympus. 5. Zeus weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him. What real-life ideals does this divine role represent? How attainable are these ideals? Zeus is like Superman in the sense that he’s powerful. He is married to Hera but is the equivalent of a womanizer as he has many affairs. etc. protects the weak and punishes the wicked. this is a situation we have seen with many rulers throughout history. powerful character that exacts justice on those that are bad. He is however a rather “human” god in that he has affairs and is often unfaithful to his wife. He is also known to punish those that lie or break oaths. Odin can also transform itself into other things like animals. present and future (like an omniscient god). If I were to compare Odin to a character from contemporary culture it would be one of the dictators that come to power with good intentions only to start abusing it later on. who fly out each day and return at night with their news of the world. such as divine powers or characteristics? What objects does the divinity possess. The real-life ideals represented by Zeus role is one of a just. Zeus is the ruler of all divinities in Mount Olympus. What are the divinity’s attributes.Divine Roles Across Cultures Matrix HUM/105 Version 3 3 4. Odin had a magical horse and spear which helped him accomplish his goals. . They gather information for Odin to make decisions and be informed. In real-life the justice system is supposed to enable the Odin is supposed to have wisdom about everything that happens in the past. whether male or female. it’s rather easy to be powerful and just. Identify one character from contemporary culture that shares characteristics of each divinity and explain why you chose each character. such as a weapon or animal. There is a nefarious side to Odin which is that he could be capricious and abuse his power for example by causing wars. or fire. For Zeus. Hera. He derives much power from this wisdom over everything. Hugin and Munin. while protecting and helping those that are good but weak. He is the rain god and the cloud gatherer. Odin has two ravens. Sadly. being that he’s the god of the Olympian gods.
com/myths/english/2_norse_full. with the police and courts catching the bad guys. References Leonard. New York. mythology has evolved in different cultures as a way to answer important questions that related to the human condition. Summary: Write a 150. Retrieved from http://www. He punished the wicked while bringing justice to the weak. NY: McGraw-Hill. and that everybody should have a chance to justice. most people have rough ideas about what are desirable behaviors. MetaReligion. and bringing a sense of justice to the victims.d.to 350-word short essay addressing the following: Why do so many cultures have divinities in similar roles? As it was studied in the beginning of this class. In the case of Greek mythology Zeus came to be a supreme god. & McClure. Norse Creation Myth. There is also a view that wicked people should somehow have to pay for their wrong actions not just as retribution but also as a warning to others and to teach them a lesson.htm The Big Myth.com/World_Religions/Ancient_religions/Europe/norse_creation_myth. Big Myths: The Norse. and particularly is a god of justice and mercy. what happens when people die? How did the universe come to be? How should people behave? Not surprisingly. (n.Divine Roles Across Cultures Matrix HUM/105 Version 3 4 execution of these ideals too. S.metareligion. Retrieved from http://www. Myth & knowing: An introduction to world mythology. but also was a god of justice and mercy. Other religions also believe in one God and that he will bring justice to all or can protect them and answer them through means of prayer. In most cultures there is a view that the weak individuals should be protected. M.bigmyth. (2011)..htm . For example. who not only have power over the sky and everything happening over the Earth. a male god as the Greek society was a patriarchal society. (2004). This is very similar to what we find in Israelite mythology in which the one god is all powerful.).
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