What’s the difference between between religion and mythology and why do certain religions get called mythologies?


I noticed most ancient people’s religion get called mythologies, does that have something to do with it?

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Religions currently still have followers, mythologies are religions that people stopped believing in. It is possible that in a few hundred years some modern religions may be termed mythologies.

The only difference is who you’re asking.

> Religion is usually defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.


> Since the term myth is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly controversial: many adherents of religions view their own religion’s stories as true, and therefore object to those stories being characterized as myths, while seeing the stories of other religions as being myth. As such, some scholars label all religious narratives as myths for practical reasons, […]


They are technically interchangable, but it really comes down to origin. All religions technically originate from the same place, but then the grow separate beyond that when people started to spread out. Like a long game of telephone.and then as cultures developed, that influenced what they added on. For example, alot of the mythology side comes form natural phenomenons if the regions, like volcanoes, and earthquakes. Others are a combination of different cultures mixing their beliefs together, like native American beliefs.

Myths are stories and mythology is a collection of stories.

Religion needs belief in one or more deities and rituals or practices.

For example, Christianity is a religion and the stories of Jesus and the disciples are part of the mythology related to the religion of Christianity.

Another example – Hinduism is a religion and the stories of Hindu gods and goddesses would be the mythology related to the religion of Hinduism.

Despite common usage, mythology doesn’t mean “falsehoods”. It’s in essence the lore of a religion, the stories pertaining to some faith. Religion is then the actual practical implementation *of* said faith: the rituals, the clergy, the prayers, the buildings, the rules and laws, how practitioners worship, e.t.c. In fact talking about “Christian mythology” is perfectly valid when talking about specifically all the stories in the bible when divorced from how Christians conduct their faith in the real world. IN short, the tale of the last supper is mythology, but the actual ritual of the sacrament (eating and drinking in remembrance of Christ and the last supper) is religion.

For most ancient faiths we have pretty much *no idea* how the real world religion worked. All we have is the mythologies, the stories that survived. We only have terse ideas on how Odin was worshiped, but we have a whole lot of stories about Odin and his antics. As such these faiths get to be mythologies as that’s all that remains, while modern religions get to be religions because they actually get practiced. Greek neo-paganism *is* a religion building on Greek mythology, but it has very little to do with the greek pagan religion that once existed.

Religion is ‘officially recognised myth.’ It boils down to who is willing to kill you for what you either do or don’t believe? Only a few, it’s a myth. Lots and lots, it’s a religion.

Mythology doesn’t have to be religious or completely fabricated. Much of our idea in America about the Founding Fathers is a sort of modern day mythology. There are even individual mythical parables, like the story of the cherry tree.

We don’t have a clear agreed upon definition for religion. If you want to start a hot debate, find two religion or philosophy graduates and ask them to define “religion”, then take a step back take out snacks from your pocket and enjoy the show.

However mythology is just a collection of myths, epics, or other narratives that explain the origin of “the world”. There are many mythologies, basically one for every culture. They explain everything from the world, to the origin of the people, explain the gods and their orgin.

Christianity does have a mythology, it is just tangential myths and narratives that expand the culture around the religion. It is important to understand that Christianity, for example, does not share unified mythology. There are culture specific mythologies, like Saint George killing the Dragon, or Saint Patrick driving away the snakes. So on and so forth.

However there is a western christian bias on the use of terms here. West/Christianity consider(ed) it’s culture and religion to be more “real” and “truthful”, when compared to different faiths and cultures. Basically extension of imperialism and colonialism.

Scientology is the one true religion *giggle*…no wait..that guy with the water into wine..is the one true religion…..no wait….what’s the one with the big magical cube *giggle*…ok…the one with the magical underwear is DEFINATLY the one true religion….

It all starts with one person. That person claims a deity has spoken to them, and gave them rules to live by. They start spreading these beliefs to other people. This group of believers is a cult.

At some point, the cult’s founder will die. If the cult’s beliefs have become sufficiently widespread to survive their death and keep spreading from person to person, it’s now a religion.

If people stop following and spreading this religion’s beliefs, it essentially “dies out” and becomes mythology.

My own personal take on this (not based on any standardized definitions), is that “mythology” puts an emphasis on stories and characters, while “religion” puts an emphasis on beliefs and practices

Myths are allegorical stories that try to explain the world.

Religion is what followers do. The word is related to *ligature*; it binds the people together.

The same reason the story of the elites and monarchs is called history and the history of the common folk is called folklore.

Something I found on this subject was that the stories all connect, ever heard of Adam and Eve the ones who ate from the tree? Well in Greek mythology someone named pandora opened a box that she wasn’t supposed to open! Giving everyone a curse, sound familiar?