What does myth have to do with the Christmas story?

There are two contrary ways of characterizing myth. By far the more common way is negative: a myth is a false or delusory belief or story. Here the aim is to expose the myth and be done with it. To
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There are two contrary ways of characterizing myth. By far the more common way is negative: a myth is a false or delusory belief or story. Here the aim is to expose the myth and be done with it. To take an innocuous example, the story that young George Washington was so honest that he could not deny to his father that he, the son, had chopped down the cherry tree is a myth because it never occurred. Taken positively, a myth can still be false, but the significance of it when believed to be true is what counts. The story of Washington’s confessing that he had chopped down the tree attests to the character of the person even as a child. (An American comedian once contrasted Washington to Richard Nixon: we’ve gone, he said, from a President who could not tell a lie to a President who could not tell the truth.) Viewed positively, a myth can as likely be true as be false. What matters, to use the line of Joseph Campbell, is the “power of myth.” But that power does not require that the myth. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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