This is the first 1,000 characters of 308 words (1.23 pages) in the essay titled Myth
Role of Myth in Religion
Industrial society has no body of shared beliefs, no common mythology. Its members hold onto a collection of disconnected beliefs and are vaguely familiar with fragments of many myths. The advantage that some new religions have in this situation is that they possess powerful connected mythologies that have ancient experiences.
The mythologies of new religious movements are created out of numerous disconnected myths found in society generally. By weaving these unrelated myths into compatible wholes, new religions create a sense of continuity with society. Through the use of traditional myths, they are able to give themselves an apparent historical depth that legitimates their claims to be the carriers of a high culture. In common speech, to call a story "a myth" is to say that it is untrue.
Once accepted, a myth can be used to glorify the past, explain the present, and hold out hope for the future. It gives i...
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