Theology is the study of the concept of God. It involves rational and systematic methods for studying the existence of God as well as the nature of religions, religious truths and the relationship between God and humans.
Cosmology involves systematic and rational methods for studying the origin of the universe based on evolution. In religion, mythological cosmology deals with the study of a body of beliefs based on religious, mythological, historical and esoteric traditions about the creation and the origins of man and the universe (Zuntz 126).
Originating from the ancient Greece, Theogony is a synthesis of the ancient Greek traditions about the existence and role of gods. The Hesiod’s Theogony is an account of the narratives that show the origins and ancestry of gods. It also explains how these gods started controlling the cosmos.
According to Zuntz (147), mythology is the rational and systematic study of myths of a group of people or society, including the body of narratives and stories about the nature, customs and history of the people, their beliefs and gods or deities.
The impact of a culture’s mythology, cosmology and theology on the social value- Islam, Christianity and Mesopotamian/Babylonian traditions
Babylonian mythology and its impact on social value
The Babylonian Theogony provides a detailed origin of gods and goddesses who were involved in incest and murder at the beginning of the world. Although the writings present cosmic themes, they are based on realistic details that governed the social life in Babylonia. For instance, the gods, like humans, had to dig into the mass of the earth to release groundwater in order to form the sea. The Babylonian mythology also describes how the deities built cities such as the “Dunnu, the twin towers”, which became the seat of their rule on earth (Damrosch and Pikes 8). These provide adequate evidence of the Babylonian settled farming culture and the great cities. It justifies the Babylonian social value of equal involvement of people in economic activities in order to improve social welfare.
Secondly, the Babylonian social values of peace, love and respect for humanity are portrayed in the Babylonian Theogony. For instance, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Earth considers respect for other people. She does not enforce herself on her son because she says, “…Come, let me make love to you” (Damrosch and Pikes 12). In addition, when Amankandu kills his father and marries his mother, he realizes the “crucial pair of sins” he had committed. To reconcile with the social norms, he treats his father’s body with reverence and lays him in the city of Dunnu.
Thus, these aspects of the Babylonian theology indicate how the social values developed. The society expected peace, love and humility. In addition, it held marriage and childbearing with regard as indicated in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Christian mythology and social values
In Christianity, the social values of equality, love and respect for humanity are described in the belief in God and the Holy Trinity. The belief in the existence of Jesus as a human and the son of God at the same time portrays the Christianity’s social values of love and universal humanity. For instance, Mark recorded Jesus’ response saying, “…The most important commandment is…Love your God and your neighbor”. Every other law is secondary to the law of love (Sykes 56).
Islamic Theology and its impact on social values
One of the main social values in Islamic theology is the nature of humans. In Islam, Allah, the God, provided human beings with a good nature and a purpose. According to Islamic theology, humanity was also “endowed with a deep awareness of the existence of God” (Karenga 48). Thus, humans have the natural and independent ability to perceive what is right, good and ethical. God expects the society to do the right, love and live with each other harmoniously.
Damrosch, David and David Pikes. The Longman Anthology of World Literature. New York: Longman, 2008. Print.
Karenga, Maulana. Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. Mali: Univ of Sankore, 2009. Print.
Sykes, Stephen. The Identity of Christianity. London: SPCK, 2004. Print.
Zuntz, Günther. Persephone: Three Essays on Religion and Thought in Magna Graecia. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. Print.
The Origin of Humans: Mythology, Cosmology and Theology