Main Oral Tradition Discussion

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02:17:23 PM Feb 9th 2011
Just for the record, the main reason we know about these oral traditions is that someone wrote them down eventually...
05:29:49 PM Feb 19th 2011
edited by TrevMUN
I just checked the history page and saw that you reverted my edit back on the 9th minutes after I introduced it, Majin Gojira:

9th Feb '11 1:57:52 PM Majin Gojira
Not all of it was written down and it was oral before it was written down. Check out "A History of God" sometime and learn yourself some things.
Added line(s) 33 (click to see context) :
** The Bible - which collects an edited version of many of the earlier oral traditions.

First of all, your edit reason's tone comes off as highly patronizing. If you don't mean to be patronizing, you should dial it back a bit, because it left me rather incensed.

Second, I disagree with a number of the examples listed on this page, despite my removal of only the Abrahamic examples. I removed those specifically for two reasons:

  1. The Hebrew Mythology page was cut.
  2. The Christian Mythology page is a redirect to the Useful Notes on Christianity.

Redirecting a "Mythology" page to a page that extensively and objectively covers a religion smacks of certain opinions held by the tropers who redirected it which really ought to be avoided.

Note, though, that I am aware of the academic definition of the term "mythology." It's for those reasons that I'm personally against the labeling of religions as mythologies, and yes, that includes so-called "dead" religions like those of the ancient Egyptians and Norse (and I'm well aware there are revival religions for them).

Now, if "mythology" was used to describe stories related to a religion but not directed at the religion itself, that would have been fine. For example, the tale that garlic and onion sprung up in Satan's footsteps—that's something I would consider a Christian myth, because it's a tale that is related to Christianity yet isn't something you'd find in The Bible itself, or in most Christian theological works.

I also take issue with your assertion that "all literary traditions are just oral traditions before they were written down." The Bible has its foundations in written tradition as much as it does oral tradition (the original Torah started out with both written and oral components, with the oral Torah acting as annotations and commentary). The Christian Bible, in its current form, is largely a written tradition. It's misleading to slap the whole thing in this list and say that it all began purely as an oral tradition.

It's not just the Abrahamic list with which I have an issue, as I had mentioned in my edit reason. For example, King Arthur is almost certainly a literary tradition, because his persona as the literary character started with Geoffrey of Monmouth. It was seeing works like that included on this list which gave me reason to say that this list might need a sweep to remove any works that don't belong on this page.
03:01:09 PM Feb 25th 2013
edited by ArcadesSabboth
We're now in the process of separating Oral Tradition (the medium) from Mythology, Sacred Literature, Myth, Legend, Folklore, etc. (the genres that were conflated with Oral Tradition) in the Repair Shop.

For the record I agree completely that the connotations of "myth" are derogotory when applied to any religion. But Classical Mythology and Norse Mythology and so on are such widely used names and we don't really have any alternatives to them. I think trying to replace the whole word "myth" with some other term is a lost cause. Better to just push for equal treatment of all religions, gently explain the meaning of the word, and suspend people who insist on starting edit wars over it.

Also, it's worth noting that a religion (as practiced and/or believed) is distinct from the stories told within/from the worldview of that religion, even when telling those stories is a religious practice.
06:59:57 AM Oct 29th 2010
Hey, what happened to the Hebrew Mythology page? That had some good stuff on it.