Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
In the BeginningThe Navajo Genesis$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jerrold Levy

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780520211285

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520211285.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Envoy

Envoy

Chapter:
(p.218) 10 Envoy
Source:
In the Beginning
Author(s):

Jerrold E. Levy

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520211285.003.0010

This chapter considers the nature of religion and myth, and the reasons why most westerners view the so-called primitive religions as less coherent and perfect than the world's “great” religions. The major cause of this view, beyond the tendency to see one's own religion as more advanced and therefore superior, is the nature of myth itself. Small, preliterate societies must preserve their traditions in a form that can be memorized and understood by a wide range of listeners, not just the most philosophical ceremonialists. To the extent that Navajo myth and religion represent North American religions in general, the chapter concludes that the religions of precontact North America are no less comprehensive or sophisticated than those of the civilized Western world, and that our lack of understanding results from the paucity of data rather than any deficiency of the primitive intellect.

Keywords:   religion, myth, preliterate society, North America, Navajo

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.