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Modern Myths

The Heroic Monomyth and Modern Gods

What are some examples of modern deity myths?

Modern deity myths have, for the most part, been those expressing new understandings of the God of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. For Christian theologian Paul Tillich (1886–1965), a personal god was an absurdity—a being rather than Being itself. For Jewish theologian Martin Buber (1878–1965), God was discovered only in contact between people. For Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955), God was the culmination of an evolutionary process leading to something like the Hindu concept of Brahman, the essence of reality present everywhere but non-definable. Philosopher-anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1904–1980) spoke of something he called “immanent mind,” which is in the individual mind but also in the life all around us. Each individual mind is a subsystem of a larger universal mind “comparable” to God. In the twenty-first century, theologians continue to reconsider the concept of god, seeing the deity as a guiding force “within,” as neither male nor female, as present but somehow nor personal.



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